Victor Lord
Victor Lord 1
William Stone Mahoney as Victor Lord
One Life to Live
Portrayed by Ernest Graves (July 16, 1968 to March 1974)
Shepperd Strudwick (December 1974 to June 16, 1976)
Les Tremayne

Bill Moor (1995)
William Stone Mahoney (January 31, 2003 to March 12, 2003; May 19, 2004)

Family Lord
Graves Victor, 1968
Ernest Graves as Victor Lord
Parents Martin Reid
Helen Lord (biological; deceased)
Stavros Lord (legal)
Siblings Clayton-Powell Lord
Gwendolyn Lord
Spouses Eugenia Randolph (194?–50)
Irene Manning (1960s)
Dorian Cramer (1975–83)[note 1]
Children Tony Lord [note 2]
Victoria Lord
Meredith Lord [note 3]
Tina Lord
Todd Manning
Victor Lord, Jr.
Grandchildren Megan Gordon
Brian Kendall
Daniel Wolek
Kevin Buchanan
Joey Buchanan
Jessica Buchanan
Natalie Buchanan
C. J. Roberts
Sarah Roberts
Starr Manning
Danielle Manning
Jack Manning
Sam Manning
Victor Lord III
Grandparents Randolph Lord
Virginia Fletcher
Nieces and nephews Clayton-Powell Lord II
Richard Abbott

Victor Dalby Lord, Sr. is a fictional character and patriarch of the Lord family on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live.

An original male protagonist on the series, Victor is introduced on the second episode as the preeminent mass media magnate of fictional Philadelphia Main Line suburb Llanview, Pennsylvania. Victor was originally and most notably played by actor Ernest Graves. Graves debuted July 16, 1968 and played the role until the actor left the series and last appeared onscreen in March 1974.

Series creator Agnes Nixon and executive producer Doris Quinlan subsequently recast Victor to Shepperd Strudwick, who first appeared in December 1974 and played the role until the character's initial on-screen death in June 1976.

Character backgroundEdit

Casting and developmentEdit

Ernest Graves played the role from show's second episode in 1968 through March 1974. Shepperd Strudwick took over the role in December 1974, playing Victor continually through the character's on-screen death June 16, 1976. Tom O'Rourke briefly stepped into the role as a mirage in 1985, and Les Tremayne played the role of Victor in Heaven in 1987. Bill Moor briefly appeared in the role in 1995. The character was briefly brought back to life in 26 years later in January 2003, portrayed by William Stone Mahoney; the resurrection set the soap opera record for the longest span between a character's on-screen death and resurrection. Mahoney went on to play resurrected Victor through his second on-screen death in March 2003, reappearing as a vision for an episode in 2004.



In the summer of 1968, Victor Lord (Graves) is introduced as the founder and publisher of the Philadelphia Main Line newspaper, The Banner, serving the fictional town of Llanview, Pennsylvania. A widower, he is the domineering single father of daughters Victoria or "Viki" (originally Gillian Spencer) and Meredith or "Merrie" (originally Trish Van Devere). The family inhabits Victor's inherited family estate, Llanfair. His late wife, Eugenia Randolph Lord, died while giving birth to Meredith and was, ultimately, unable to produce him his desired male heir to his estate (a picture of her hangs above the mantle of the Llanfair study in early episodes). Victor thereby goes about grooming his eldest child, Viki, to assume the role of running the estate by hiring her as an editor for his newspaper.

Victoria desperately seeks her father's approval and gleefully assumes the role of heiress to the family fortune. Victor eventually grows weary of Victoria's admiration for one of his star reporters, working class executive editor Joe Riley. In the early years, Victor is also unhappy at the growing relationship of his younger daughter, Meredith, with upwardly-mobile doctor Larry Wolek (Paul Tulley, Jim Storm).[1] He meddles in the personal relationships of his daughters, causing a rift between him and Victoria. In November 1968, unable to reconcile her feelings for Joe and for her father, Victoria develops multiple-personality disorder, manifesting in an alter-ego, "Niki Smith," and begins dating Vinny Wolek (Antony Ponzini).

As Victoria recovers from her first bout with multiple personalities, Victor concedes to the relationships of his white collar daughters to working class gentlemen when he uncovers that he had a long-lost son. Victor then embarks on a search for the son he had long yearned for. Viki and Joe first marry in December 1969, and Merrie (Lynn Benesch onward) and Larry (Michael Storm onward) in June 1970. A short time later, Joe apparently dies in a car crash while reporting in California, giving Victor the opportunity to set his widowed daughter up with a suitor more to his liking. With a vacant editor-in-chief position available, Victor replaces Joe with promoted upper-crust writer Steve Burke (Bernie Grant).

In 1971, Victoria (Erika Slezak onward) announces her engagement to Steve, which her father approves of; Victor is, however, unhappy when he uncovers his continually frail daughter Meredith seeking to conceive a child with Larry. Merrie is prescribed bedrest and later gives birth to Victor's first onscreen grandchildren, twins (one which dies a childbirth and the other, a grandson named Daniel Wolek. In the summer of 1973, in the midst of Victor's search for his son, Meredith is held hostage in the Llanfair carriage house with brother-in-law Vinny when burglars try to steal Victor's prized art collection. A distressed Victor pleads with the robbers to release Meredith during hostage negotiations with Llanview Police Department Lt. Ed Hall (Al Freeman, Jr.). Meredith is viciously assaulted by the thieves, who are killed by the police, and later dies at Llanview Hospital. Victor is devastated by her death, and he (Graves) leaves Llanview in 1974 in search for his heir-presumptive son.


The hostage crisis of Meredith and Vinny in 1973 saw the introduction of newly-minted Dr. Dorian Cramer (originally, Nancy Pinkerton), who Viki dislikes at first sight. Dorian, at first, dates Llanview Hospital co-worker Dr. Mark Toland (Tom Lee Jones), and in the midst of the romance on-the-job in summer 1974. Dorian is suspected of medical malpractice, and all of the hospital board of directors (except for Viki) vote to fire her. Dorian assumes that Viki's was the deciding vote to fire her, and vows revenge. When Victor (Strudwick) reappears in December 1974[2] and suffers a heart attack, and an unemployed Dorian decides to use him in order to get even with the Lord family.

Dorian becomes Victor's personal physician in 1975, and the two quickly elope in May. Soon afterward, Tony Harris (George Reinholt) arrives in Llanview, with Dorian quickly realizing him to be Victor's long-sought son. Tony quickly becomes friends with Victor, and when Tony uncovers a diary from Viki and Meredith's mother, Eugenia, and realizing Victor to be his estranged father, to the chagrin of a greedy Dorian. Dorian connives and succeeds in creating a rift between Victor and his new son. When Tony and Victor learn of Dorian's scheme, Tony first confronts Dorian, who denies having done anything wrong. When Victor begins questioning Dorian, the ensuing argument leads Victor to have a debilitating stroke. When an ailing Victor pleads with Dorian to give him life-saving medication, she refuses; she takes him to the hospital, where he suffers another stroke,[3] which leaves him unable to speak or dictate alterations to his will. Victor apparently dies in June 16, 1976,[4] and Dorian inherits half of his wealth.

Postmortem, 1985-2002Edit

In 1985, Viki commenced celebrations of the 50th anniversary of her father's newspaper. During preparations for the celebration, Viki's goddaughter, Tina (Andrea Evans), happen upon a hidden door in the Llanfair library, leading to secret room. While in the room, Tina stumbles upon a letter written by Victor addressed to Viki, telling of his affair with Viki's former college friend Irene Manning and the siring of his daughter Tina. When Tina divulged the revelations, Viki reverts to alter-ego "Niki Smith", and Tina, for the following year, embarks on a mission to gain what she believed to be rightfully hers as a member of the Lord family. Recovered, Viki later uncovers in 1988 that she had a daughter, Megan Gordon (Jessica Tuck), while under the insisted hypnosis of Victor and delivered by longtime friend and brother-in-law Larry. Megan later dies of lupus in 1992.

Viki engaged in an extramarital affair in 1993 with writer Sloan Carpenter (Roy Thinnes), who authors the biography of Victor, "Lord of The Banner". While penning the book, Dorian (now, Robin Strasser onward) nervously plots to prevent its publication as Sloan's papers alluded to Dorian's complicity in Victor's death, a tale which had become a Llanview urban legend in the years following the apparent death of Viki's father. Intrigued by Dorian's intense interest in the book, Viki goes to Llanview Police Department to implore them to investigate the circumstances of Victor's death, which leads to the arrest (and conviction, after trial) of Dorian for Victor's murder. When Dorian is sentenced to death by lethal injection, con man David Vickers (Tuc Watkins) arrives to town in 1994 claiming to possess the alleged diary of Viki's late friend and Tina's mother, Irene. Later uncovered to be a forgery, the diary claims dead Irene to have smothered Victor, exonerating Dorian at the eleventh hour. Soon afterward, an actual diary entry from Irene uncovers that she bore Victor another son, reformed rapist Todd Manning (Roger Howarth).

When Viki learns of the initial forgery, Viki, still loyal to her late father, vows to send Dorian back to jail for Victor's death in 1995. It is then when Dorian divulges that the source of Viki's multiple personalities--that Victor had long molested his eldest daughter Victoria and that the repression of the molestation led to the creation of her initial alter-ego. Victoria then suffered a recurrence of her multiple personality disorder, subsequently releasing several new personalities who accost Dorian and hold her hostage in Victor's secret room. Upon recovery, Viki comes to terms with her father's inappropriate behaviors.

Because of the pain she had to endure, and dark secrets that were revealed, Viki, who had once worshiped the ground her father walked on, and idealized him to her family all the time, now has nothing but contempt, rage and disgust at Victor's depravity and actions.

Postmortem, 2003-2011Edit

Finally in 2003, following the arrival of Viki's long-lost daughter and fraternal twin sister of Jessica, Natalie (Melissa Archer), an ailing Victor (William Stone Mahoney) resurfaces. It is during this time where Mitch Laurence (Roscoe Born) marries Natalie in a plot spearheaded by Victor to kill his granddaughter and harvest her heart, as he was dying of old age and heart disease. Viki foils Victor and Mitch's plot, saving Natalie from impending death. Victor is again rushed to the hospital. Larry tells Victor's present children, Viki and Todd (Howarth), to say their final goodbyes to their dying father. Victor dies on-screen in March 2003, a month before the return of a shocked Dorian to Llanview.

In 2007, during the funeral of Asa Buchanan, Dorian and Viki are trapped together in Asa's wine cellar. The two argue and Dorian tells Viki that she, not Viki, killed Victor. Viki, flabbergasted, reminds Dorian that neither she nor Dorian had killed Victor because he had returned from the dead a few years before. Dorian then plants a seed of doubt in Viki's mind, responding "if that really was him." During the episode first aired on November 26, 2008, Viki visits her father's grave, and the date of death that is shown is "June 16, 1976," the date of the episode in which Victor originally died first aired. It was never mentioned onscreen whether or not the Victor who appeared in 2003 was an importer and the 2003 storyline is not mentioned again in the series, leading fans to speculate that it was simply reconnected out of continuity.

In 2011, it was revealed by a back-from-the dead Irene that the man known as Todd (Trevor St. John) since May 2003 was in fact his twin, Victor Lord, Jr., and the real Todd Manning (Howarth) had been held hostage by her since his disappearance in March 2003. Victor, Jr. is later seemingly killed on the episode that first aired August 31, 2011. On the ABC network finale January 13, 2012, however, Victor, Jr. is revealed to be alive and being held captive by Allison Perkins (Barbara Garrick).[5]


From the outset, the original portrayal Victor Lord by actor Ernest Graves was received as ruthless and overbearing, playing a role introduced as the powerful center of the fictional town of Llanview, and of the lives of his daughters Victoria and Meredith.[1] For his portrayal of a dying Victor, actor Shepperd Strudwick earned a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series#1970s in 1976.

Leading series actress and on-screen daughter Erika Slezak reflected on Victor's transformation at the 25th anniversary of OLTL in 1993 recalling, "Once, Victor Lord was a paragon of virtue, then producer Paul Rauch said, 'let's turn him into a dirty old man who sleeps with young women and keeps pornography in the basement.'"[6]


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  6. Hunt, Marla. "One Life lives on: 25 Years for the Show that Threw Out Convention", July 15, 1993. 


External linksEdit

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