Lauren Fenmore Baldwin isn’t seen as often on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS as she once was, so some newer fans can be forgiven for not knowing about her wild and dramatic history in Genoa City. The character was introduced back in 1983 and Tracey E. Bregman has played the role since then, even bringing her to Y&R’s sister soap THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL in the mid-‘90s for a few years.
First appearing as a rebellious teen being raised by her father, Neil Fenmore, Lauren spent years bullying and scheming against an insecure Traci Abbott. But later, she matured and married Paul Williams, much to the dismay of his mother. Shawn Garrett stalked Lauren and threatened to kill Paul if she didn’t leave him. Paul managed to rescue Lauren after Shawn buried her alive, but tragically, she lost the baby she was carrying. Their marriage ended after Lauren sold a nude photo of Paul to a magazine. When Neil died, he left Lauren the Fenmore department store chain.
Next, Lauren fell in love with and married Dr. Scott Grainger. But crazy nurse Sheila Carter wanted him for herself and drugged the doc into sleeping with her and getting her pregnant. Scott left Lauren to be with Sheila for the sake of the child, and when she lost the baby, she swapped it with Lauren’s after her own child was born. Although devastated to believe her son had died, Lauren eventually learned the truth. After attempting to kill Lauren, Sheila disappeared and was later found in Los Angeles engaged to Eric Forrester. When Scott died, he urged Lauren to make peace with Sheila, who he believed had changed.
Unfortunately, Sheila had not changed, and continued trying to destroy Lauren’s life, even attempting to drown her in a hot tub! During her time in LA, Lauren had a brief romance with Eric, but then she came home to Genoa City. She found herself the target of an obsessed Kevin Fisher, and his brother, Michael Baldwin, rescued her when the teen kidnapped her. This led to romance between Lauren and Michael, and they soon became engaged.
Sheila resurfaced and joined forces with Kevin’s father, Tom Fisher, to blow up Lauren and Michael’s honeymoon yacht! Although everyone believed Lauren to be dead, Tom had actually abducted her and Paul again came to her rescue. Although Sheila had gone back into hiding, Lauren was still anxious, which affected her pregnancy. Although their son was born prematurely, Fenmore Baldwin was healthy. Unfortunately, Sheila (having undergone plastic surgery to look like Phyllis Summers) showed up and kidnapped Phyllis, Summer, and Fenmore. Having tracked them down, the two rivals faced off, with Lauren shooting Sheila in self-defense.
Later, Lauren was abducted by a woman who looked exactly like her. While Lauren initially believed her to be Sheila, it was really her sister, Sarah Smythe, who wanted revenge, and made herself look like Lauren to do it! Sarah took over Lauren’s life for a time, but Michael eventually managed to rescue his real wife. Lauren also shot and killed Sarah in self-defense.
Lauren’s life was briefly turned upside down when she learned that Jill Foster Abbott was her sister and she took ownership of Fenmore’s. Although they were initially rivals, the two women eventually settled into a relationship. A teenaged Fenmore fell for Summer, and they both bullied a fellow student who fell off a roof during a fight. Michael was forced to arrest Fen, which caused friction in his marriage to Lauren. She had an affair with Carmine Basco, which further strained their union. Michael and Lauren worked on their marriage and joined forces to fight back when Carmine became dangerously obsessed with her. Their marriage also hit a snag when she and Cane Ashby grew close and shared a passionate kiss, but thankfully, nothing came of that.
Lauren supported Michael when he was diagnosed with cancer, and while she was happy when her son, Scott, came home, his visit didn’t last very long. When Fenmore’s had some financial trouble, Lauren was forced to accept Jack Abbott’s offer to have the store become an affiliate of Jabot. But as Jabot fell into chaos as the various family members jockeyed for control of the company, Lauren wanted out of the deal before she was dragged down with them.
When Fen came home for another visit, Lauren was thrilled to learn that he was doing much better after rehab and getting his life back together. Things were going smoothly until Sally Spectra arrived in Genoa City angling for a job. Lauren hired her as her assistant, and when Sally wanted to run the Jabot Collective, she urged her to work her way up the ladder and hired Summer instead. After a while, Lauren promoted Summer and reluctantly agreed to hire Sally as her replacement. But Phyllis warned Lauren not to trust Sally as far as she can throw her!
After reprimanding Sally and Summer for blackmailing each other, Lauren made another poor business decision when she decided to work with Tara Locke. She suspected that Tara was hiding something and was proven right when she was arrested for fraud. Although Lauren promoted Sally on Summer’s recommendation, when it was finally revealed that Sally had driven Summer out of Genoa City, Lauren fired the redhead on the spot. In another in her line of questionable choices, she then agreed to hire Gloria as temporary president of JCV. Lauren was also upset at Chloe and Sally for stabbing her in the back by replacing her wedding dress for Victoria with one of their own.
After agreeing to work with Chloe and Chelsea, Lauren grew increasingly worried when she hadn’t heard anything from Michael after he went on assignment for Victor. And she grew even more concerned upon learning that Victor was having people search for Michael in Peru. Lauren angrily confronted Victor, who promised he’d locate her husband, and Michael soon returned home on his own. But Lauren was frustrated that he still intended to continue working for Victor.
Stay tuned to see what happens next!