Marty Saybrooke

Susan Haskell as Dr. Marty Saybrooke in the One Life to Live opening sequence.

Marty Saybrooke 1

Christina Chambers, as Dr. Marty Saybrooke in the One Life to Liveopening sequence.

Dr. Margaret "Marty" Saybrooke (formerly Moody, Thornhart and Laurence) was a fictional character on the soap opera One Life to Live. She was portrayed by Susan Haskell and Christina Chambers from 1992–1997, 2004–2011.  Her last scene was on June 6, 2011.

Casting and impactEdit

The role was originated by Susan Haskell, who played Marty from January 1992 through September 1997[1] and made brief appearances in February 2004 and February 2005.[2] Christina Chambers portrayed the role from November 17, 2006[3][4] to December 4, 2007,[2][5][6] with the character written off for "storyline reasons."[7] When asked if she thought that "fans had a little trouble separating how the character was written this time around from the fact that this is a new face playing the character," Chambers noted that "Whenever you do a recast, it's always going to be a little bit of a struggle. It's unfortunate that they picked up with Marty 15 years in soap time down the road. I think the fans were ready to pick up 15 years ago with the character with her traits and that's not what was given to them."[7] Haskell later returned as Marty on June 11, 2008.[8][9][10][11]

Haskell won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for the role in 1994.[2] At the time of Haskell's 2008 return, Marty was called "one of those tentpole characters that everyone who has watched One Life to Live at some point remembers."[8] It was noted that the 1993 story of the character's gang rape led by Todd Manning "is one of the show's most remembered and impactful."[8]

Character historyEdit

Marty Saybrooke is the scion of one of Llanview's oldest and most prestigious families. Orphaned at an early age, "poor little rich girl" Marty grows up alone in her family's mansion and is the sole heiress to her parent's fortune. Marty comes to be a troubled young woman who resorts to binge-drinking to garner attention.

Introduction and "The Accusation"Edit

Marty is introduced as the roommate of the ailing Megan Harrison during her stay at Llanview Hospital. Both Megan and Marty are diagnosed with lupus, but Marty has chosen to ignore the consequences of her hard-partying lifestyle, which has exacerbated the symptoms of her dangerous disease. Despite her rough exterior, it is clear that deep down, Marty has a wounded heart. After Megan passes away, Marty becomes close to one of her neighbors, Megan's mother Viki Buchanan. She also becomes infatuated with Reverend Andrew Carpenter. When Andrew rebuffs Marty's advances, the spurned young woman launches a smear campaign across Llanview, using her knowledge of classmate Billy Douglas' homosexuality against him, claiming that Andrew is gay and has been having "illicit relations" with young Billy. The rumor is squelched, and Marty's credibility is severely tarnished.

Todd Manning and rapeEdit

Marty's life is forever changed when she meets cocky Llanview University quarterback Todd Manning, and has a one-night stand with him. "Ladies' man" Todd learns he has met his match when the flighty Marty rejects him the next day. Todd still pursues her, but Marty does not give in to his boorish and chauvinistic advances. Over time, a bitter resentment and rivalry develops between the two, particularly after Marty agrees to be Todd's tutor. Todd fails a crucial course due to lack of studying, and irrationally blames Marty for his failure, while still stung by her romantic rejection of him. His anger having reached a boiling point, Todd begins to plot the ultimate revenge on Marty.

When Marty becomes drunk at the "Spring Fling" party on campus, she is gang raped by Todd and two of his fraternity brothers, Zach Rosen and Powell Lord III. Marty eventually reports the rape, and Todd is arrested along with Zach, Powell, and Powell's distant cousin Kevin Buchanan (whom Marty mistakenly believes has also raped her). Placed on trial, the four men are represented by attorney Nora Gannon, ex-wife of District Attorney Hank Gannon and mother of Kevin's girlfriend Rachel Gannon. Nora believes in the innocence of Todd and the others, and is clearly winning the trial, especially after Marty remembers that Kevin had nothing to do with the attack, which damages Marty's case even further. Then, another woman, Carol Swift, reveals that Todd raped her as well. Disgusted, Nora intentionally causes a mistrial.

A furious Todd declares revenge on Marty. He corners Marty and Luna Moody in an alley and threatens to rape both of them. Luna fights back and scars Todd's face. Powell witnesses the incident and tells the police. In addition, Marty manages to trick Todd into confessing to the rape, which she tape records. Todd is sent to jail, determined to get revenge on Marty, Nora, and Powell (whom Todd will learn years later is his biological cousin).

Heroic act of former attackerEdit

Marty's life remains turbulent even after Todd is convicted; after finishing medical school, she revisits the past in a brief, foolhardy flirtation with Andrew Carpenter, who is tempted away from his new wife Cassie. Then, Marty grows close to Luna's brother Dylan Moody. After the fugitive Todd saves Marty, Jessica Buchanan, and C.J. and Sarah Roberts from a car crash, he is pardoned and set free, enraging his former victim. Nonetheless, over time, Todd and Marty forge a strange kind of understanding, and attempt to gain some closure. Todd encourages Marty to confront her aunt, Kiki, who is her guardian. Kiki, a society friend of Dorian's, has been raiding Marty's immense trust fund to finance her jet-set lifestyle. Marty travels to Ireland where her aunt is staying and succeeds in severing ties with her. While in Ireland, Marty meets and falls in love with former Irish terrorist turned poet Patrick Thornhart, who is trying to escape some former criminal "associates". However, back in Llanview, a young AIDS patient whom Marty has cared for is dying. Todd travels to Ireland and lends Marty his private jet to fly back while he helps her newfound love, only to be mistaken for Patrick and allegedly killed by the assassins. Todd's pregnant wife, Blair Cramer, harbors great resentment toward Marty for her part in Todd's "death".

Love lifeEdit

Upon her return to the States, Marty works with Patrick to help Bo Buchanan and the Llanview Police Department foil the plans of the Irish terrorist cell "the Men of 21". After an ill-advised marriage to the paralyzed Dylan, Marty admits her true love for Patrick and they finally reunite. Unfortunately, while still single, Patrick has already spent the night with a lonely Blair, conceiving a child. Tragically, Blair loses the baby in a car accident, but Todd, now back from the dead, blames Patrick for Blair's loss, and contacts another of Patrick's old foes, IRA terrorist Mahoney. On the day of Patrick and Marty's wedding, Mahoney shoots Patrick, who appears to "die" in Marty's arms at Todd's penthouse. Marty sobs as she clutches her husband's lifeless body, and tells Todd that Todd is not a man, but a curse. While in the ambulance with Patrick, however, Marty is shocked to discover Patrick is, in fact, still alive. Together, Marty and Patrick flee the country to live happily ever after, telling only friends Nora, Bo, and Mel Hayes of their fate, fearing reprisal from Patrick's enemies. In her cryptic letter, the newly-pregnant Marty tells Bo and Nora that they are expecting a son.

Brief reappearances and official returnEdit

Years later, Marty briefly reappears in early 2004 to testify on Todd's behalf when he is on trial for supposedly raping Blair; she explains that she is now openly living in California as a practicing psychiatrist working with sex offenders, and tells the court that she believes Todd is a "changed man". Despite never forgiving Todd for her rape, Marty believes that Todd is so traumatized, that he will never commit the crime of rape again. She urges Blair, who is unaware that she is suffering from a brain tumor, to reconsider her recollection of the night Todd "raped" her. Marty makes no mention of Patrick or their child, or how they have eluded the terrorists hunting the Thornharts. The following year, Marty appears again, as a hallucination of Todd's, taunting him after his rape and torture at the hands of Margaret Cochran. This spectre comments on the irony of "Margaret [raping] Todd", due to Marty's birth name also being Margaret.

Marty returns to Llanview on November 17, 2006 (now played by Christina Chambers).[3] Marty is shocked to learn that her son, high school quarterback Cole (her child by Patrick), is being accused of attacking Todd and Blair's daughter, Starr. Marty reveals that she has just recently moved back to Llanview and has set up her practice, and that she and Cole are still reeling from Patrick's mysterious death.[3] Todd, Blair, and Marty are all determined to keep their children apart.

Spencer TrumanEdit

Marty serves as psychiatric consult in the court case against the nefarious Dr. Spencer Truman, declaring him mentally unfit and thus sparing him a prison sentence, outraging Todd, Blair, and Llanview Chief of Detectives John McBain, whose father was killed by Spencer in Atlantic City. Later, when Spencer is killed while attempting to abduct and rape a hospitalized Blair, McBain is determined to find the culprit. Marty, meanwhile, begins having disturbing visions of being in Blair's hospital room on the night of the murder, and seeing a scalpel.

Marty confesses her fears of having killed Spencer to her therapist, but can not fully remember what her mind has blocked out from that fateful night. When the lovestruck Miles Laurence is determined to win Marty's heart, he takes extreme measures, stealing Marty's audiotaped "confession" from her therapist's office and blackmailing her with it, forcing Marty to marry him in order to retain custody of her son. Marty finally tells John McBain about her precarious situation, and John becomes determined to exonerate Marty, find Spencer's true murderer, and end Miles' sick game with Marty's life. Before John can learn the truth, however, the evidence against Marty becomes overwhelming, and she is arrested as the prime suspect in Truman's murder. John and Marty struggle to uncover the hazy details surrounding the night Spencer was killed, and eventually Marty remembers that she was never able to strike Spencer; instead, he assaulted her and left her in a vacant hospital room, leaving her with a head injury. Soon thereafter, John deduces that Lindsay Rappaport is the real murderer, and Marty is released from prison.

Freedom and apparent deathEdit

After being exonerated, Marty is determined to move forward with her life and end her marriage to Miles. A guilt-ridden Miles, having seen the error of his ways, helps the process along by confessing in open court to having blackmailed Marty into their marriage. Weeks later, Marty's marriage is annulled. Cole and Jessica Buchanan urge Marty to consider a romantic future with John McBain, but a bashful and unsure Marty refuses to consider it. Regardless, Marty seeks John out, and the two spend an afternoon walking the Llanview docks. At the close of the evening, Marty impulsively kisses John. Marty instantly apologizes, but an intrigued John tells her not to be sorry. They share a romantic kiss again soon after.

John and Marty continue to bond during the custody trial for Tommy McBain, but after Marcie McBain goes on the run with her adoptive son, John leaves Llanview to pursue his sister-in-law, along with Todd Manning. After John starts a barfight in Decatur, Georgia, he and Todd are arrested. Marty and Blair go down to Decatur and bail them out. Marty and Blair insist on joining John and Todd as they search for Marcie in the hopes of preventing the two enemies from killing each other. After the group hits the road, John's car breaks down, and the quartet is forced to get a room at a local motel. Initially there is only one room available but Todd uses his "charm" and money to obtain a room from one of the other guests. Marty and John spend the night together in the first room. During the evening, John opens up to Marty about the murder of his former fiancee, Caitlin Fitzgerald, and explains that Lee Ramsey, the FBI agent pursuing Marcie, holds a grudge against him because of Caitlin's death. Marty in turn confides in John about Patrick's murder. She reveals that Patrick was killed by old enemies from Ireland, and that his old friend Simon Ryerson came to her door to give her the news. Having bonded by unburdening themselves, John and Marty end up making love.

After Cole is abducted back in Llanview by a mysterious man in a "Death" costume, another unseen figure shows up at John and Marty's motel room and grabs her just as she gets a call from Starr on Cole's cell phone. Marty and Cole are taken to Ireland and held hostage by none other than Patrick's "old friend" Simon, who was actually the terrorist who killed Patrick. Simon is determined to get an incriminating "list of names" which Patrick kept from his days with the "Men of 21", but is frustrated to discover that Marty has no knowledge of the list; in reality, Patrick hid the list on a microchip inside one of his own poetry books. John finds the chip, and he and Lee Ramsey pursue Marty and Cole overseas and make contact with Simon in Ireland. They set a time and meeting for an exchange: Marty and Cole for Patrick's microchip. Things seem to be going as planned, until Ramsey fires upon the van which contains Marty and Cole in an attempt to apprehend the terrorists. The van spins out of control and goes careening over a cliff. Racing to the bottom of the rock quarry, John struggles to free Marty from the wrecked van, but she insists that he find Cole first, saying she has no life without her son. John reluctantly leaves her side and is able to rescue Cole, who was thrown from the van in the crash, but watches helplessly as the van explodes. Marty is presumed dead, and the bereaved John and Cole return to Llanview.

In the aftermath of Marty's death, her loved (and not-so-loved) ones deal with her loss in their own way: John discovers her posthumous Christmas gift, a dartboard with Todd's face on it; Cole undertakes grief counseling with friend Langston Wilde; and Todd quietly orders a lavish flower arrangement for her memorial service, without leaving his name.


In the spring of 2008, John becomes suspicious about Ramsey's shady activities since becoming Police Commissioner of Llanview. Banding together with fellow police officers Antonio Vega and Talia Sahid, John works to expose Ramsey as a dirty cop and avenge Marty's death. During the course of their investigation, the trio learn about a mysterious woman Ramsey is keeping hidden away in his high-rise penthouse, tended to by a private nurse. John becomes convinced that this woman is key to unraveling the mystery behind Ramsey's double dealings. As it happens, John's suspicions are correct: Ramsey masterminds the theft of the crown jewels of Mendorra from Lindsay Rappaport's art gallery in order to fence them and pay for his houseguest's costly medical care. It becomes clear that the mystery woman is not merely bedridden, but also mentally impaired due to her unknown ailments. Meanwhile, John's curiosity deepens when he discovers X-rays in Ramsey's office which detail the severe physical trauma of an unidentified female patient.

John has a surveillance device planted inside Ramsey's penthouse. John, Antonio, and Talia stake out the building, waiting for Ramsey or his guest to come into audio range of their "bug." On June 11, 2008, the officers listen in as Ramsey speaks to the woman, who says only two words on tape before the surveillance device goes out of range: "Help me." As John struggles to identify the familiar voice, it is revealed that the mystery woman being cared for by Lee Ramsey is none other than Marty.[9][10]

Ramsey is working with con artist Tina Lord, the Crown Princess of Mendorra, who he plans to sell the Mendorran crown jewels to in order to provide for the crippled Marty's medical treatment. During an exchange between Ramsey and Tina for the jewels, two thugs hired by Jonas Chamberlain enter the penthouse. While Tina hides in another room, Ramsey is murdered by the two thugs, who are then shot and killed by John when he arrives on the scene. Seizing the opportunity, Tina flees the penthouse, distracting John from going upstairs and finding Marty. Later, Todd arrives, having followed Tina, and discovers Marty, who has been left with amnesia after the explosion in Ireland and has no idea who Todd is. Todd brings Marty to his new home, where he begins caring for Marty the way that Ramsey did.

Tabula RasaEdit

Marty has a photograph of herself with John, whom she feels a connection to, and when Marty asks about who the man in the picture is, Todd feeds Marty several lies, telling her that John is the man who left her to die. Todd begin to feed Marty a slanted, selective version of their shared history, claiming that they were friends in college, and that John stole his wife and family from him. When Marty pressures Todd for more information about the past, Todd is forced to tell Marty that she was gang raped in college, while not letting on that he was involved. Marty comes to rely on Todd as a caretaker and friend during her slow rehabilitation, and finds herself growing close to him. Todd is uncomfortable with Marty's affection, but as time passes, he begins to lean on her more and more as his only confidant during his personal strife with Blair and Starr, even going so far as to claim to Blair that the "mystery woman" in his house is his new girlfriend, but that their connection is "deeper than sex." Unnerved by Marty's easy rapport, the lonely Todd nonetheless allows himself to enjoy their "friendship" while continuing to deceive her. On August 18, 2008, Marty has a nightmare, in which she begins remembering her rape.[12] Later that night, she dreams of John, who warns her that Todd is lying to her.

When Todd learns that his niece, Jessica, is actually her alternate personality "Tess," he plans to expose her, but is forced into a stalemate when Tess discovers he is hiding Marty. Tess poses as Jessica, one of Marty's best friends, and backs up Todd's lies to the unsuspecting woman. Over time, Marty and Todd's new "relationship" intensifies, and Marty begins to express romantic feelings for her caretaker. Todd, isolated from his family and increasingly delusional, succumbs to the tension between them and kisses Marty passionately, then pulls away. Todd expresses remorse for his actions, but begins to fantasize about a "clean slate" for himself and for Marty, free of all the "mistakes of the past." In a manic outburst, Todd offers Marty a shocking proposition: Run away with him and raise his daughter's unborn child by his side. Todd claims that Starr wants him to have the baby, when in reality Starr wants nothing to do with her father, and plans to give the baby up to Todd's hated enemy Marcie McBain. Marty is shaken by Todd's request, but eventually agrees; however, when Marty begins to dream about John McBain again, and regains her ability to walk, Todd fears his lies will be exposed. As Todd and Marty's relationship turns increasingly physical, the unstable Todd is eager to whisk Marty away to their "new life" before she can remember the truth. Meanwhile, John continues to investigate the "mystery woman" Ramsey was keeping at the penthouse, and begins to suspect that Marty is alive and imprisoned by Todd.

Growing increasingly obsessed with the idea of "erasing their past," Todd finds himself falling in love with Marty. When he impulsively proposes to her, Marty refuses, saying she needs to understand more about who she was before she can move forward into the future. But when Marty accesses the Internet on Todd's laptop, and begins to research her past history, she is confronted by her caregiver, who convinces her to abandon her previous life and forget who she used to be. Marty's memories are stirred again when she babysits Jessica's daughter Bree, and flashes back to caring for Cole as an infant. Marty pleads with Todd to help her understand what the strange images of her with a child mean, but Todd lies, insisting that Marty has no children, and that she is thinking only of "the son she never had."

When Starr goes into labor on October 31, Todd and Marty finalize their plans to leave Llanview forever, with Todd buying them a large home in New Mexico. Todd also sends Marty's private nurse, con artist Lee Halpern, to assist in his plan to steal Starr's baby; Marty remains blissfully unaware of any wrongdoing. When Todd buys Marty a new wardrobe, she models an attractive dress for him, and confesses that she is falling in love with him. Marty pressures Todd to admit his own feelings, and make love to her. Guilt-stricken and deeply conflicted, Todd admits that he is in love with her but repeatedly refuses to take Marty to bed, claiming that she does not fully understand the situation or what she is asking for. Flashing back to the night of the rape, he orders her to leave, but Marty stands her ground. Unaware of the true impact or significance of her words, or how Todd has manipulated her, Marty tells him that he is not the man he once was, and that she is healed and new, not the woman she used to be. She insists that all that matters in the present is their "love." Todd gives in to his feelings, and on November 6, 2008, Todd and the amnesiac Marty have "consensual" sexual intercourse.

After the act, Todd is seized by remorse about Starr and decides he must stop the planned "baby theft." Rushing to the hospital, he tells Marty he will be back soon, leaving her to write in her new diary about her "passionate night" with Todd and their newfound "love." As Marty lies in her bed, John McBain suddenly comes crashing through her bedroom window on a rope. When John comes in, Todd appears in the doorway. He enters and has to confess everything that he did to Marty. Marty says that Todd has essentially raped her all over again. John beats Todd up. He charges Todd with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, and rape. Todd and Marty are taken to the hospital. While there, Cole sees Marty. When alone with Nora, Marty angrily tells Nora that she "willingly" had sex with Todd. Marty starts to feel sick and nauseous at the thought of having had sex with her rapist. Nora advises her to take the morning after pill to prevent pregnancy due to her sexual encounter with Todd. She does, and later tells Todd with satisfaction.

In December 2008, Téa Delgado (Todd's former wife) returns to defend Todd. She is a lawyer and wants to represent him in the upcoming trial. Although Todd refuses at first, he later accepts Téa's offer. Téa defends Todd, and Nora defends Marty. The rape charges, as well as others, are eventually dropped when Téa is allowed to question Marty at the hearing and subsequently "proves" the sex to be consensual, regardless of Marty's mental state. Devastated, an unraveling Marty sets a plan in motion; professing to still love him, she lures a repentant and hopeful Todd to a New Year's celebration for two. On the roof of the Palace Hotel on January 2, 2009, she admits her deception and urges him to do the one thing that will make her happy: jump. He steps off the edge, and plummets into the water below.[13][14]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Margaret "Marty" Saybrooke Thornhart profile -
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kroll, Dan J. (September 23, 2007). Christina Chambers out. Will Marty be recast?. Retrieved on January 6, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Winkel, Gabrielle (November 2006). Chambers Makes Her Mark. Retrieved on January 6, 2009.
  4. One Life to Live recap (11/17/06) -
  5. One Life to Live recap (12/4/07) -
  6. Marty Saybrooke Thornhart profile -
  7. 7.0 7.1 Flynn, Lauren (December 2007). Christina Chambers On Leaving Llanview. Retrieved on January 6, 2009.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Murray, Jesse (June 10, 2008). Marty Saybrooke 101. Retrieved on January 6, 2009.
  9. 9.0 9.1 One Life to Live recap (6/11/08) -
  10. 10.0 10.1 Error on call to Template:cite book: Parameter title must be specified pp. 15 (June 10, 2008 (Vol. 33, No. 24)).
  11. Murray, Jesse (June 6, 2008). One Life to Live Next Week. Retrieved on December 4, 2008.
  12. One Life to Live recap (8/18/08) -
  13. One Life to Live recap (1/2/09) -
  14. One Life to Live recap (1/2/09) -

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