Ben Evans (Sunset Beach)
Clive Robertson as Ben Evans (1997)
|Sunset Beach character|
|Portrayed by||Clive Robertson|
|First appearance||January 6, 1997|
|Last appearance||December 31, 1999|
|Created by||Robert Guza, Jr.|
|Residence||Sunset Beach, California|
Ben Evans is a mercurial recluse who lost his wife years ago. He's spending his days running a business in Sunset Beach, and chatting on the net with a mysterious woman named Dorothy. His neighbor, Annie Douglas Richards is a spoiled woman who is trying to seduce him. That's how begins the story of Ben Evans. Days later, Ben meets Meg Cummings, and gives her a job at The Deep. Meg and Ben start to fall in love, but their happiness was limited by Annie, who stopped at nothing to achieve what she wanted. Annie always plotted to break up the two lovebirds, and she used Meg's ex-fiancé Tim to help her get what she wanted. It was also revealed that Ben's mysterious Dorothy was actually Meg. Annie planted bloody sheets, forged diary entries and much more to convince Meg that Ben has actually killed his wife Maria years ago, so eventually Meg decided to leave town, but Ben was not ready to give up on Meg, so he went to Ludlow to get Meg. The couple soon reunited and it seemed like things were finally getting better for them.
Then came December 1997. Meg and her friends decided to spend New Year on a mystery island that Ben bought and everything was going fine until someone started to murder the people on the boat, and on the island. Meg faces the killer on various occasions, but never knew who it was. At the same time, Mark, who was also murdered, revealed to Tim that Ben killed him, but nobody knew that it was actually Ben's evil twin brother Derek Evans. 2–3 months later, it was revealed that Derek has been keeping Ben captive in a warehouse, and was pretending to be Ben for a while. Meg did not suspect anything, but eventually, she discovered the truth and Ben and Derek faced off. Derek was killed (at the time).
Meg and Ben finally reunited and resumed their plans to get married. They did not know that a terrible truth was about to be revealed. While trapped during an earthquake, Meg befriends an amnesiac named Dana and the two women bond over Meg's stories about her love for Ben. After the chaos of the earthquake, Meg promised Dana that she will help her get her memory back. Tim later finds a picture of Dana with Annie and discovered Dana's true identity as Ben's presumed dead wife Maria and decided to use it in order to break up Ben and Meg. Annie later discovers Tim's secret and decides to help Tim in his plan to keep Dana's true identity a secret in order to spring Maria on Ben and Meg's wedding day. Annie and Tim make several attempts to disrupt Meg and Ben's wedding and fate prevents Dana from arriving at the wedding as well. Ben and Meg's ceremony is completed and the couple are happily enjoying their reception. Meg goes to throw her bouquet and a soaked Dana catches it shocking everyone in attendance. It is revealed to a stunned Meg that Dana is actually Maria Torres, Ben's wife, who was presumed dead years ago. Meg and Ben later learn that Maria's reappearance renders their marriage null and void and that Ben cannot divorce Maria and marry Meg until Maria regains her memory. Maria's therapist tells them that the best way for Maria to get her memory back is for her to move in with Ben and Meg. Maria initially refuses, but later agrees when Meg pushes her. Things are tense in the house as Meg struggles to help her friend while dealing with the reality of Ben's first wife returning from the dead.
The next few months were hard for Ben who had to deal with the feelings he once had for Maria returning and his love for Meg. Maria, not wanting to hurt Meg, hires a private detective to find information about her and pretends that she has regained her memory. Meg's sister Sara catches her practicing telling Meg and Ben that she has her memory back and accuses Maria of trying to break up Ben and Meg. Sara lets Meg know about her suspicions, but Maria lies and creates friction between Meg and her family.
Ben was conflicted over his feelings for his returned wife and the love he felt towards Meg. Meg often turned to her best friend Casey Mitchum to help her with her problems with Ben. This angered her sister Sarah due the fact that Casey Mitchum was her boyfriend and Sara was afraid that Casey would leave her for her sister. Sara eventually sees a close moment between Ben and Maria and tells her sister that the two were kissing when they actually were not. Meg confronts Maria about what Sara told her and the two get into a fight at the top of the stairs which leads to Maria accidentally falling down the stairs. The accident leads to Maria regaining her memory, except for the five years she was missing, and she tells Ben and Meg that her feelings for her husband have also returned. Eventually, Meg, sensing the conflict in Ben, decides to leave Ben, despite his objections and declarations of love.
Ben and Meg are reuinited after both become stranded on the side of the road in their respective vehicles in Palm Springs after Sara and Tim conspire to have Meg walk in on Ben and Maria reconnecting in Palm Springs. After being caught in a storm, Meg and Ben take refuge in an abandoned cabin where they make love and Ben tells Meg that she is only one he loves and that Maria is in the past. Ben later tells Maria that Meg is the one he wants to be with and Maria moves out of Ben's house. Maria later refuses to sign divorce papers, but tells Ben and Meg that the three of them should fly to the Dominican Republic and get a quick divorce and then Ben and Meg could fly on to Venice, Italy in order to get married. Meg and Ben are happily looking forward to their trip to get married when Tess Marin entered the show with Benjy Evans. Tess was Maria's friend, and Benjy was Maria and Ben's son. Everyone was shocked.
Tess worked at causing trouble between Ben and Meg by telling Maria that she should be with Ben and allowing Benjy to be rude and disrespectful towards Meg. Maria, although not always intentionally, also works against Ben and Meg by insisting that she live in Ben and Meg's house and not get a divorce in order to bond with Benjy. Tess also begins a relationship with Meg's ex-fiancee as part of her plan to break up Ben and Meg. Tess arranges for Benjy to be kidnapped while Meg is watching him so that Meg would be blamed and feel guilty. Ben, despite all the conflict, remains dedicated to his relationship and love for Meg. Meg, however, decides that she cannot handle living in the same house with a woman who was still in love with Ben, the nanny who was trying to reunite Ben and Maria, and Benjy who was continually resistant to her attempts to bond with him, so she leaves Ben. Ben resolves that he will get Meg back and that they will be a family.
Even with Meg gone, Tess was still working to make sure that she and Ben would never be together again. After overhearing Ben tell Maria that he wishes he could get Meg away for a romantic getaway to their special cabin in Palm Springs, she arranges for Meg to overhear her lying and telling Benjy that Ben and Maria were going out of town to Palm Springs. Meg then drives to the cabin and sees the disheveld bed, candles, Maria's favorite flower, and Ben's cufflinks and thinks that Ben and Maria have made love in her and Ben's special place. Unbeknownst to Meg, Tess and Tim have staged the scene in order to upset Meg. Meg returns to Sunset Beach and goes down to the pier where Casey finds her upset and crying. At the same time, Ben is looking for Meg at Surf central where he finds a distraught Sara packing her things after her and Casey have broken up. Sara warns Ben about Casey's feelings towards Meg, but Ben says that they are just friends. Sara tells Ben that Meg is probably at her favorite spot to think, the pier. Meg tells Casey what she found at the cabin and Casey tries to comfort her, but the two end up kissing. Ben walks upon the scene and sees them kissing and hears Meg tell Casey that she never wants to see Ben again.
A devastated Ben returns to his office at the Deep and wonders what happened to his relationship with Meg. Maria arrives and refuses to leave when Ben asks her to go. In order to get back at Meg for kissing Casey, Ben has sex with Maria and Meg, who is looking to confront Ben about what she saw, walks in on them. Meg storms out of the office and Ben rushes after her. He begs her to stop, but she tells him she never wants to see him again. Ben later goes to Surf Central to talk to Meg, but finds Meg and Annie fighting when he arrives. After throwing Annie out, Ben tries to talk to Meg and tell her that he only slept with Maria because he saw her kissing Casey, but Casey arrives and the two begin fighting. Maria shows up in the middle of the fight and Meg tells the both of them to leave. Ben later tells Maria that the reason he and Casey were fighting was because he saw Casey kissing Meg. Maria then realizes that the only reason Ben had sex with her was because he saw Meg, his true love, kissing Casey. Ben later decides that he needs to go to Seattle in order to investigate Tess and her claims. Before he leaves, he goes to tell Meg that he is leaving and finds out and is shocked that she and Casey are not a couple. When he leaves Surf Central, Ben comments that maybe things are not over between him and Meg after all.
When Ben returns from Seattle, he goes to see Meg at her shop and tells her that, although he loves her, he is going to do the right thing and stay married to Maria for the sake of their son. Meanwhile, Ben started to act strange again. While he says that he is committed to Maria, Ben tells Meg that he loves her and that he made a mistake in staying with Maria. Meg tried to tell Maria the truth about Ben, but Maria did not believe her. She was just wanted to believe that Ben had chose her instead of Meg, but it was all part of Derek's plan. It was revealed that Derek was alive and had not died when he fell of the cliff and that he was working with Tess in order to destroy Ben's life. It was also revealed that Benjy was actually the son of Derek and Tess, not Ben and Maria. Benjy was being used by Derek and Tess in order to come in between Ben and Meg. Ben was once again being held captive by Derek. Derek plotted with Tess to destroy Ben's life along with getting payback against Meg for not loving him when he took over Ben's life earlier. Derek's plan to get back at Meg was to say he loved her, but stay with Maria. Tim eventually discovers Derek's true identity and tries to warn Meg, but Derek eventually murders Tim.
After murdering Tim, Derek and Tess decide that they need to put the final part of their plan into action and kill Ben and Maria and take Benjy and the money and get away. Maria, however, discovers Derek's true identity and realizes that Derek has been impersonating Ben all this time. She is taken hostage by Derek and Tess where she is told that Benjy is not her son. She tries to escape and finds Ben drugged on a table where he expresses his love for Meg. Maria realizes that Ben has always loved Meg and not her. Meanwhile Sara and Meg are investigating Ben's strange behavior and come up with a plan to search Ben's house. Casey decides to go instead and while he is searching the house finds documents related to Tess and Derek's plans and Tess knocks him out and takes hostage at the same house where Derek is holding Ben and Maria. Sara becomes worried that she cannot contact Casey and goes to Ben's house where she is also captured by Tess and taken to the house with Ben, Maria, and Casey. Meanwhile, Carmen, Maria's mother comes to Surf Central alarmed that she can not find Maria and asks Meg for help. Carmen tells Meg about Maria's concerns about Tess and Meg promises to help. Meg goes to talk to a wary Benjy who is staying at a friend's house and he tells her about a box with a secret compartment that Tess has where she keeps all her important papers. Meg then goes and breaks into Ben's house where she finds the box and pictures of Tess and Derek. Meg figures out that Derek has been impersonating Ben and finds a deed to the house where Derek and Tess are keeping Ben hostage.
Meg shows up at the front door of the house and when Derek answers the door, Meg calls him by his name. Derek and Meg begin to talk about Derek's return and Meg drops a bombshell when she pretends to be sexually attracted to Derek. The two begin to kiss, but during the kiss Meg grabs Derek's gun and holds him at gunpoint demanding that he tell her where Ben is. Later Tess comes in an distracts Meg and Derek takes the gun from her and takes her to the basement where he has Ben and Maria tied up. While Derek and Meg are upstairs, Ben and Maria, and Casey and Sara in another part of the house, are struggling to free themselves. Ben and Maria talk about how they got into their predicament and Ben gently lets Maria know that he is in love with Meg. When Derek brings Meg down to the basement, Meg is glad to see that Ben is alive, but Ben asks what she is doing there. Derek taunts Maria by asking if she finds Ben and Meg's reunion as touching as he does. While Derek taunts Ben, he manages to free himself and begins to fight with Derek. Tess points the gun at the two men fighting, but Meg and Maria knock it out of her hands and Maria and Tess begin to fight, eventually ending up back in the living room where Maria gains the upper hand and ties Tess up. Back in the basement, Meg helps Ben to free himself from Derek's strangling him and Ben gets the gun, but Derek then grabs Meg by the neck and dares Ben to shoot while he is holding Meg, threatening to break her neck before he pulls the trigger. Meg manages to free herself and Ben and Derek struggle over the gun. The gun suddenly goes off and both men fall while Meg looks on in terror. Meg calls out to Ben who wakes up and assures Meg that he is okay. While the two hug, Derek calls out to Ben and they realize that Derek has been shot in the struggle and is dying. Ben tells his brother to hold on and that he does not want him to die, but Derek still does not want Ben to win, so he takes his last breath and dies. Ben and Meg return to the living room where they are reunited with Casey, Sara and Maria. Maria looks sadly as Ben and Meg embrace with Ben promising Meg that he will never let her go.
After the nightmare with Derek, Tess was put behind bars and Meg and Ben struggle to figure out where things stand between them. Ben is anxious to let Meg know that if it had not been for Tess and Derek that they would be married already. Ben wants to talk with Meg and sort everything out, but Meg encourages Ben to be with Benjy and that they will talk later. Meg goes to see Tess and gets Tess to admit that she is the one who arranged to have Benjy kidnapped. Meg returns to Surf Central to try to contact Ben to let him know about the kidnapping, but cannot get him on the phone. She decides to go out and look for him, but when she opens the door to leave, Ben is about to knock on the door and instead pulls Meg in for a kiss. The reunited loves talk about their relationship and how much they love each other and re-commit to one another. Ben wants to further their discussion, but Meg tells him that she needs one night to sort everything out. They make plans to meet at Michael and Vanessa's wedding the next day.
The next day finds Ben and Maria making plans for Maria to move out of Ben's house. The two have decided to divorce and let each other be happy after it was revealed that Derek had been pretending to be Ben and that it was not Ben who had grown close to Maria, it was Derek pretending to be Ben in order to take over Ben's money. Maria realized that Ben had loved Meg all along and that everything she believed about her and Ben had been part of Derek's plan. The two then tell Benjy that they will no longer be living together and come to a peace in regards to their relationship. Ben later leaves, promising to return to take Benjy and Maria to the wedding. Meg comes by the house and asks Maria if she could speak to Benjy alone and Maria leaves. Meg thanks Benjy for his help from the night before and gives both Benjy and his cat a gift for Christmas. Meg learns from Benjy that Maria is moving into her own house. Ben returns to the house and sees Benjy and Meg hugging and asks what's going on, but Meg has to leave unless she be late for Vanessa's wedding since she is the maid of honor. After Meg rushes out, Benjy explains to Ben that he and Meg are friends now, paving the way for a family relationship between the three of them.
At the church, Ben literally bumps into a rushing Meg and tells her that he knows about her and Benjy's breakthrough. Ben asks Meg to marry him again, stating that he did not want to wait another minute not being married to her. They organize a double wedding with their friends Vanessa and Michael. When the two couples are pronounced husband and wife, the camera fades away and the audience next sees Meg waking up in her room in Ludlow, Kansas as if the wedding had been a dream. She goes downstairs and the audience sees all the citizens from Sunset Beach, but they are Meg's relatives and friends in Ludlow. Everyone is there except for Ben. The doorbell then rings and Meg goes to open it and Ben is there on the other side, but the two do not know each other. There is an instant attraction between the two however, and when Ben goes to introduce himself, Meg already knows his name. The final scene finds Meg and Ben lying in bed in their home in Sunset Beach. Ben pulls back a strand of Meg's hair and wakes her up with a kiss. Meg tells Ben about her dream and how everyone from Sunset Beach was with her in Ludlow and none of her current life was real at all. He asks if he was there and she tells him that as soon as she opened the door she knew that they would be together forever. Ben then promises her that they are not a dream and begins to kiss her passionately as the scene fades to black and the final show ends.