Dorian Cramer Lord
By: M. Schade
Life in Llanview would never
be the same after a certain doctor named Dr. Dorian Cramer blew into town in
1973. She immediately wrecked havoc by seducing a younger married doctor, Mark
Toland. After a tiff with his lover, Dorian, Dr. Toland administered a dose of
medication to Rachel Wilson, a patient with Hodgkin's. Dorian had already
administered the drug but failed to initial her chart thus causing her death
with the overdose. Realizing their negligence, they conspired to cover up their
error thus allowing Dr. Larry Wolek to stand trail and be found guilty of
murder. The relationship between Dorian and Dr. Toland began to sour. They
argued, and she fell down the steps and lay in a coma while Toland fled. After
emerging from the coma, Dorian confessed to her part in the cover up and was
fined and suspended from the hospital. Thus was born the feud between Viki and
Dorian because Dorian blamed Viki, a hospital board member, and vowed to get
Dorian immediately found a job as the private physician to Victor Lord who was
confined to bed because of a heart attack. Viki was distraught over Dorian's
presence and even more upset when she discovered her father had married her.
Dorian used every opportunity to remind Viki that she was now the mistress of
Llanfair. She threw a party and tried to humiliate Viki by replacing her
mother's portrait with one of herself. Viki, recovering from injuries from the
auto accident in which Joe's daughter, Megan, was killed, was walking with a
cane. However, she turned the tables on Dorian when she bravely walked down the
stairs without her cane.
In April 1976 Victor
suffered a massive stroke when he discovered Dorian had known before anyone that
Tony was his son. A second stroke sent him to the hospital, but he didn't
survive long enough to tell Viki about Dorian's deception. He died in June under
Victor's will gave Dorian control of the estate, and she
moved quickly to take over the Lord Empire. Knowing that Viki and Joe were
overjoyed with the news of Viki's first pregnancy and that Viki was hiding Joe's
congenital heart problem from him, Dorian vowed to get even by accidentally
blurting out the heredity heart problem to Joe. This caused the first rift in
the Riley marriage.
Kevin had been
kidnapped in late 1976, and by early 1977 Joe began drinking heavily. Viki and
Joe started arguing, and one night after a drinking binge, he spent the night at
Dorian's at Llanfair. Dorian got what she wanted, and Viki asked Joe to move
out. They reconciled when Kevin was returned, but Dorian was not about to give
up. She discovered Joe passed out at his desk and learned he and been having
headaches and blurred vision. Using this information to her advantage, she took
him to New York for tests without Viki's knowledge. She convinced Joe to keep
his illness from Viki, but when he decided to confide in Viki, Dorian panicked.
When Joe passed out at Llanfair, Dorian ripped her dress and trashed the room
and succeeded in making Joe think he was violent. Afraid he'd hurt Viki or
Kevin, he persuaded Viki to take Kevin and go to the cabin. Dorian proceeded to
try to get the vulnerable Joe into bed, but Dr. Peter Janssen found Joe during a
seizure and convinced him to tell Viki. Joe's brain tumor was benign. Viki and
Joe were closer than ever, and Dorian was left out in the cold.
Dorian had even
tried to seduce Clint when he first came to town, but he quickly lost interest
Imagine Dorian's ire when Clint fell in love with Viki.
To add insult Clint bodily removed Dorian from Llanfair when she refused to
leave and faked illness. Dorian was livid. She had lost her beloved home and her
status in the community.
By the end of 1984
Dorian had set her sights on blue-collar Harry O'Neill. As their relationship
intensified, a woman from Harry's past by the name of Nicole Smith resurfaced.
Harry was still very much in love with he mysterious Nicole thus complicating
his relationship with Dorian. Imagine Dorian's chagrin when she realized that
the man she was romancing was in love with her nemesis, Viki Buchanan (aka
Nicole Smith). Dorian lost another man to her enemy.
When Sloan Carpenter
came to town and showed an interest in Viki, Dorian sprang into action again by
trying to seduce Sloan thus hoping to make Viki jealous. However, one of her
most devious stunts to date occurred when she lured Clint to the ski spa in
Vermont by phoning him and telling him Sloan had left Viki alone and she had
broken her leg and needed him. Clint arrived only to find his wife and Sloan
together in bed, which ended the Buchanan marriage.
Dorian was furious
when Sloan's book hinted she might be responsible for Victor's death, so she
persuaded a young coed, Emily, to file sexual harassment charges against Sloan.
When her scheme was exposed, and Sloan was exonerated, she tried another drastic
tactic. She lured Viki into the secret room where she tried to pressure her into
keeping Sloan from publishing the book. After a night of accusations,
jealousies, etc. they emerged more estranged than ever.
Dorian was responsible for Victor's death, Viki succeeded in having the body
exhumed, but the two women had a knock down confrontation in the mausoleum when
Viki caught Dorian trying to destroy Victor's remains with acid. Dorian was
found guilty at her trial and sentenced to death. However, with the presentation
of a bogus diary in which Irene Manning supposedly confessed to Victor's murder,
the case was dropped. Dorian's hatred and revenge was now greater than ever.
After Sloan's death
Viki received additional evidence that Dorian could be Victor's murderer after
all and threatened to reopen the case. Dorian said she'd have to disclose
“Viki's secret” as a child. That she was sexually abused by her father Victor Lord. At first denying it, in a memorable scene, the knowledge is too severe for Viki to handle and she splits into several alters. Whereas, before this time, Viki only knew of Niki Smith. Now, Dorian's truth telling evoked the emergence of Tommy, Jean Randolph, Princess, Tori, and Victor. Tommy first came out and threw Dorian down a flight of stairs. Jean then stuff Dorian into a trunk and moved her to the secret basement room at Llanfair. Jean held Dorian captive for weeks but slowly lost control and Dorian escaped. Dorian comforted Princess, worked with Tori, and eventually Viki's family caught on that something was wrong. Viki finally remembered the abuse of her father and remembered that Tori, not Dorian, killed Victor Lord.
Dorian locks Tommy in the secret chamber at Llanfair.
Dorian finds Princess in a motel room that Niki had brought a man to.
Jean Randolph and Dorian, Jean forces Dorian to marry David Vickers
Crusty, newpaper reporter, Mel Hayes moves to Llanview and works at The Banner. Mel and Dorian hit is off and Dorian finally found happiness with Mel Hayes. They marry at The Banner and begin their life together. Dorian is thrilled and Viki is alone.
Dorian's world was shattered when Mel was killed in a plane
crash, and Viki's life was spared. Viki was to be on that fatal flight, but she
intercepted a note meant for Mel, so she got off the plane and lived. Dorian
went ballistic and held Viki responsible for Mel's death.
Her love was dead and shortly afterward when Viki met
Ben, Dorian went crazy. How could Viki find a man to love when she had lost her
man? It wasn't fair. Dorian, again, ended up in a sinister plot with Hugo Monroe
to kidnap Viki. However, it didn't quite go as planned because Hugo turned the
tables on Dorian, and she was forced to spend time in the coal cellar with the
woman she despised.
surprise Dorian appeared to have a change of heart and vowed to make amends with
Viki. However on her way to Crossroads, she ran down Jessica and caused her to
lose her baby and almost her life. Then Dorian did something else out of
character. At Ben's confirmation before the hospital board, Dorian cast the
tie-breaking vote in favor of Ben. Viki and Ben were both perplexed. What was
Dorian's motive in giving her approval for Ben's appointment? They would soon
find out when it was revealed Dorian was the hit and run driver. Viki was
furious when Dorian didn't get jail time for the hit and run. She would never
forgive or forget that Dorian killed her granddaughter and almost cost her
Even though Jessica
forgave Dorian, it took many months for Viki and Dorian to bury the hatchet.
They began to talk and decided they'd like to put an end to the feuding. Dorian
donated money to the Megan Foundation and tried to get Viki back with Ben after
their estrangement. Viki encouraged Dorian to go away with Drake Faraday and
grab all the happiness she could. Viki also confided to Dorian the possibility
of having breast cancer, and Dorian unselfishly offered to stay and help her
through this ordeal. They talked about the energy they wasted with their feuding
and what they admired about each other. With Dorian's departure came an end to
one of the best soap pairings and feuds. Will Dorian return? Will they still try
to be friends, or will the best feud on daytime be rekindled?
"I can't pick a favorite storyline," insists the actress
"But any time that Dorian and Viki got pitted against each
or locked up together was always fabulous for me."
"I will miss Robin more than anyone who has ever left the
It's You for Me and Me for You
Soap Opera Weekly
July 12, 1994
Dorian gleefully pouring Viki a glass of champagne? Viki accepting it with a smile? The duo bumping tushes and breaking out into a capella rendition of Together Wherever We Go? Huh? OK, so maybe this wouldn't happen on-screen, but off-screen Erika Slezak and Robin Strasser enjoy each other's company, which came across clearly during this issue's cover shoot. And while Dorian would be hard pressed to say anything complimentary about Viki, Strasser has nothing but the highest regard for her longtime co-star.
“Nobody tops Erika, no one. You do know she's one of the smartest women in this business, period. When we have a lot to do together, I have somebody come in and I have them help me with the lines so that I am really ready to go over it because Erika has that all-encompassing ability to not only act – I mean she is accurate to the text; she remember it, she doesn't forget a word, she doesn't need to go over it. Like a heavyweight rematch, I have to train about 10 times as hard, and I do. I love working with her, and I am in awe of what she does.”