River Baldwin, also known as Lowell Baldwin on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS hasn’t been on the soap for over a decade, but he should look familiar to many viewers. From August 2008 to January 2009, the character was played by actor Michael Gross, best known as patriarch Steven Keaton on FAMILY TIES in the 80s. But if you don’t remember his Y&R character, that’s where we come in!
When Michael Baldwin discovered his grandmother’s diary, he was able to learn more about his father, Lowell Baldwin. With investigator Paul Williams’ help, he was able to learn that his father was a drug-abusing hippie who called himself “River” and was wanted for murder as part of an activist group who’d bombed a bank in the ‘60s. Learning that Gloria Fisher had bailed him out, Michael confronted his mother, who claimed that Lowell was innocent and disappeared after she bailed him out, leaving them penniless.
Michael had given up searching for his no-good father but then River Baldwin showed up as the officiant at Kevin Fisher and Jana Hawke’s wedding at a California ashram! After things blew up, River followed Michael back to Genoa City to make amends but Jeffrey Bardwell turned him in on the old warrant, and River was thrown in jail. At that point, River’s daughter, Eden Gerick, turned up on Michael’s doorstep begging for help. River asked Michael to take her in and protect her as he went on trial. Michael eventually convinced his father to let him help defend him in court and his investigation soon turned up evidence that River was innocent.
Believing a conviction was imminent, River attempted an escape with Eden’s help and Michael moved swiftly to get his father to surrender himself back into police custody. Learning that the bomb was meant to be confetti, Michael managed to track down the guy who substituted it with a real bomb, but he had passed away. Hearing the tape of a witness calling River the ringleader of the group, Michael recognized his mother’s voice and Gloria confessed the police had pressured her into doing it, threatening to take her son away. When he told his father about her betrayal, River admitted he’d known all along and had already forgiven her for it. During the trial, Gloria testified on River’s behalf and he was eventually found innocent.
But later, Michael learned that his father had actually taken advantage of the bank bombing to steal a large sum of money and tried to turn him in. As the walls closed in around him, River skipped town and disappeared, never to be heard from again!