Jenny Wolek
One Life to Live
Portrayed by Katherine Glass (1975-1978)
Brynn Thayer (1978-1986)
Current status Deceased Character
Duration 1975-1986
First appearance June 1975
Last appearance May 1986
Cause/reason Moved to Switzerland
Created by Agnes Nixon
Gordon Russell
Introduced by Doris Quinlan
Family Wolek
Gender Female
  • Physician at Llanview Hospital
  • Secretary
  • Novitiate nun
  • Residence Switzerland
    Siblings Karen Wolek
    Spouses Tim Siegel (1976)
    Brad Vernon (1978–81)
    Peter Janssen (1981–82)
    David Renaldi (1984–97?)
    Children Mary Vernon

    Dr. Jennifer "Jenny" Wolek Renaldi (formerly Siegel, Vernon, and Janssen) is a fictional character on the ABC Daytime soap opera One Life to Live. The distant cousin of original characters Larry, Anna, and Vince Wolek, Jenny debuts on the serial June 1975, appearing continually until May 1986.[1]

    Casting and character historyEdit


    The character was originated by actress Katherine Glass in June 1975,[2] and introduced as a novitiate nun preparing to take her final vows. Fate had something different in store, as she falls in love with Jewish, blue-collar Tim Siegel (Tom Berenger).[3][4] When Jenny announced she was leaving the order to marry Tim, her cousin Vince "Vinny" Wolek (Jordan Charney) heatedly objects, complaining of how Tim was "stealing Jenny from the church." A fist fight ensued, leading Vinny to aggravate in Tim a latent brain injury, which resulted in him being taken to the hospital in critical condition.[5] Jenny marries Tim on his deathbed April 5, 1976,[6] and she remains resentful toward Vinny for the duration of his appearance on the serial.[7]


    No longer planning to become a nun, Jenny takes a secretarial job with Dr. Will Vernon (Farley Granger) in 1976. Jenny grew enamored with Dr. Vernon, but began dating his son Brad (Jameson Parker) in 1977. The two married on the episode aired January 3, 1978.[8] Soon after marrying, Jenny learned Brad (Steve Fletcher onward) was a philanderer and the two had a rocky marriage. Actress Brynn Thayer assumed the role in August 1978 amid a contract dispute between Glass and ABC Daytime.[4] Concurrently, Jenny becomes pregnant and looks forward to motherhood. But, the stress of an unfaithful husband and learning he had raped her sister, Karen (Judith Light), became too much Jenny who went into premature labor and gave birth a stillborn daughter named Mary Vernon in 1979. Not told her child was dead in the morgue instead of the maternity ward, misguided sister Karen conspired in a plot with ex-boyfriend-con man Marco Dane (Gerald Anthony) to switch dead Mary with a live newborn.[9]

    Mary Vernon and PeterEdit

    Jenny rears Kristine Karr, a child born during Jenny's delivery to Karen's former fellow prostitutes, Katrina Karr (Nancy Snyder). She then divorces Brad, marrying Dr. Peter Janssen (Jeff Pomerantz) September 2, 1981.[10] Unfortunately, she is soon widowed for a second time when Peter is killed in a car accident in May 1982.[11] Only a short time after losing her husband Peter that Jenny learned the truth about Karen's baby switch, and made the wrenching decision to give the child back to Katrina.[12] Unbeknownst to Jenny and Katrina, both of their children were fathered by Brad.

    David Renaldi and deathEdit

    Jenny next engages in a relationship with David "David Renaldi" Reynolds (Michael Zaslow), the former lover of Dr. Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser) and father to Dorian's daughter, Cassie. Despite being married to Herb Callison (Anthony Call) at the time, Dorian does her best to split up Jenny and David. After finally getting Dorian to relent, Jenny and David wed June 1, 1984.[13][14] She soon becomes worrisome upon learning David to be a secret agent investigating communist espionage activity for the American government. Jenny last appears onscreen making amends with cousin Larry and ex-husband Brad before relocating to Switzerland with David in May 1986.[15]

    When David Renaldi returns to Llanview in 1997, divulging to Dorian that Jenny was assumed dead in Switzerland from an avalanche.


    Jenny Wolek was apart of a move by new head writer Gordon Russell in 1975 to incorporate younger talent into the cast following the 1973 onscreen death of Meredith Lord, played by Lynn Benesch.[1] Katherine Glass, then in an unknown actress, garnered much fanfare and controversy as one-half of soap opera's first teen and interfaith supercouple alongside Tom Berenger (Tim Siegel).[16][17][4][18] Glass' Jenny had particularly resonance with younger viewers who identified with the Wolek heroine.[5]

    Brynn Thayer's work as a Jenny learning her daughter, Mary Vernon, was stillborn and switched soon after birth with the child she raised for two years, Kristine Karr, is considered one of OLTL's most tragic and riveting performances.[4]


    1. 1.0 1.1 Error on call to Template:cite book: Parameter title must be specifiedSchemering, Christopher (1988). pp. 370. Ballantine Books.
    2. Template:Cite episode
    3. One Life to Live recap (1975). American Broadcasting Company. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on March 3, 2013.
    4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Error on call to Template:cite book: Parameter title must be specifiedWaggett, Gerry (2008). pp. 248. Hyperion Books.
    5. 5.0 5.1 Error on call to Template:cite book: Parameter title must be specifiedSoares, Manuela (1978). pp. 182. Harmony Books.
    6. Template:Cite episode
    7. One Life to Live recap (1976). American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved on March 3, 2013.
    8. Template:Cite episode
    9. One Life to Live recap (1979, Part 2). American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved on March 3, 2013.
    10. Template:Cite episode
    11. Template:Cite episode
    12. One Life to Live recap (1982, Part 3). American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved on March 3, 2013.
    13. One Life to Live recap (1984). American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved on March 3, 2013.
    14. Template:Cite episode
    15. Template:Cite episode
    16. Template:Cite journal
    17. "Kathy takes a day at a time" by Jon-Michael Reed, The Salina Journal, August 25, 1975, p. 9
    18. "Actress Joins 'Soaper' Cast", Florence Morning News, February 22, 1975, p. 27
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