Kim Johnston Ulrich as Ivy Winthrop
|Portrayed by||Kim Johnston Ulrich
|First appearance||July 8, 1999|
|Last appearance||August 7, 2008|
|Created by||James E. Reilly|
|Book appearances||Hidden Passions|
Harmony, New England
Ivy Winthrop (formerly Crane) is a fictional character on the NBC/DirecTV soap opera Passions. Ivy has been portrayed by original cast member Kim Johnston Ulrich since the soap's premiere episode in July 1999. At that time, Ivy was trapped in a loveless marriage to Julian Crane, son of ruthless billionaire Alistair Crane; her one joy was her son, Ethan Crane, the product of her adulterous affair with teenage love and new chief of police Sam Bennett on her wedding night. When Ethan's paternity was revealed early in 2001, Julian, Ethan, and Sam were all furious with Ivy, and Julian quickly divorced her later that year.
Ivy, who had never stopped loving Sam, plotted to win him back from his wife, Grace, eventually hiring David Hastings to pretend to be the amnesia Grace's long-lost first husband. The scheme eventually worked, and Ivy and Sam reunited in 2004. Sam discovered Ivy's deception late in 2006, however, and he broke off their engagement and planned to reunite with Grace until she was killed in London in January 2007. After a brief dalliance with Julian, Ivy and Sam reunited in September 2007, though their disagreements over his daughter, Kay, and Ethan's relationship with Theresa continue to cause friction between the two.
The daughter of governor Harrison Winthrop and Helen Revere-Mott-Beaton, Ivy was (originally) born sometime in 1956. She grew up in a state neighboring Maine and was raised in the lap of luxury, her mother a descendant of Paul Revere. It was possibly her advantaged upbringing that led her to an affair with a Harmony lifeguard, Sam Bennett. Although she knew of Sam's intention to be a cop, Ivy was determined that she would marry Sam and make him give up his blue collar roots, and have him become a businessman, running her father's shipping company, Winthrop Marine, even though she knew he never wanted that. When Sam took a job for the summer working for Ivy's father to make enough money to marry Ivy to keep her in the lifestyle to which she was accustomed, Ivy soon began seeing Julian Crane, and they eventually became lovers. Throughout the summer, she heard nothing from Sam, unaware that her father was stopping the letters from getting back and forth.
Harrison Winthrop knew his daughter and believed that she would never be happy on a policeman's salary. Ivy proved her father right when she got closer and closer to Julian Crane, accepting his offer of marriage after Ivy believed Sam had begun seeing other women. She wed Julian in 1974 believing that his love for her and his father's money would be enough to make her happy. She moved to Harmony after marrying Julian. On their wedding night, Ivy learned that Julian had been forced into marriage by his father, Alistair, and went to Sam, officially consummating their relationship. The next day she went to her father and told him that she was leaving Julian, and she and Sam would live off her trust fund, and Harrison would just have to accept it. Harrison told her that if she wanted to be with Sam it was her choice, but there was no money—their family was broke, the trust fund was gone, and if she left Julian to be with Sam, Ivy would have to live off whatever Sam could make. Ivy went back to Julian, and left on their honeymoon the next day.
Unbeknownst to all, Ivy learned she was with child. She decided to use this to her advantage, and secure a place for Sam's child within the Crane dynasty by passing him/her off as Julian's child. In the spring of 1975, she gave birth to a son, Ethan Crane (later in life he would change his name to Ethan Winthrop). Ivy doted upon her son, so much so she ignored her other three children, sending them off to boarding school as soon as possible. Ivy also resented her husband Julian and kicked him out of their bed after their youngest child, Pretty, was born. She became cold and aloof toward him and, as a result, he nicknamed her "Ice Princess" and "Poison Ivy".
Ivy was still affected by her memories of Sam; she still kept a locket he gave her with his picture inside, and placed a photo of Ethan on the opposite side. This always reminded her of the love she and Sam once shared. She relied on the locket through the years, and also wrote a letter to Sam explaining the truth to him. At the last minute she decided to keep it. She seemed content being the wife of a Crane, only putting the needs of Ethan before everything else. Eventually, she had three more children by Julian - two daughters, Pretty and Fancy, and a son, Fox. Though Ivy did love her children, she never really showed it - only toward Ethan. By the time Ethan was ten, all of his younger siblings were in boarding school, in part so that Ivy could punish Julian by making sure he never knew his children, and in part because she had no interest in any children that did not belong to Sam.
1999 — 2000
In July 1999, Ivy Winthrop Crane accidentally met new police chief Sam Bennett for the first time since they last saw each other back in 1974. In the coming months Ivy became obsessed with Sam and his family. The Crane way of life had overtaken and driven her to become power-mad. She did however, have a softer side and wanted to tell Sam several times that he was the father of Crane heir Ethan but changed her mind due to advice from friend and confidant Pilar Lopez-Fitzgerald. Nonetheless, Ivy began inserting herself into several charitable events, always making sure Sam would be there, and she would always try to tell him the truth but fail to do so.
Consumed over wanting to tell the truth over and over again, Ivy always stopped herself. She continually made advances toward Sam, and unwillingly was forced to obey her wicked father-in-law Alistair Crane in helping him break up Sheridan Crane and Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald. She also lent a hand in helping her son to follow his heart when he tackled if he would propose to Gwen Hotchkiss or Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald. When she learned that Dr. Eve Russell had been Julian's love before Julian and Eve's marriages, she used that information to blackmail Eve not only into keeping quiet about her obsession with Sam, but into helping her land Sam and covering up Ethan's conception date so Sam wouldn't think it was possible that Ethan was his son. When the events of the Passions Storm led Ivy to confess who Ethan's true father was, everyone dismissed the idea, believing Ivy to be delusional from a head injury. Manipulating and cunning Ivy tried to infiltrate several romantic interludes Sam shared with his wife Grace, but would always fail miserably at every chance she had.
One thorn in Ivy's side was Gwen's meddling mother Rebecca Hotchkiss. She never really liked Ivy, so she wanted to take her place as Mrs. Julian Crane. She tried to come up with a scheme to get rid of her. As luck would have it, Ivy kept mentioning Sam in her presence. One day, Ivy slipped and mentioned how she was worried about Ethan's father. Rebecca knew that it couldn't have been Julian because he was in the mansion with her. Plus, she hated Julian. She finally figured out that Sam was Ethan's father. She didn't have any proof of this so she had to look for it. While she was looking for proof, she found Ivy's locket with Sam and Ethan's picture in it. She also found her daughter's rival Theresa's laptop that contained the proof she needed. Ivy's letter to Sam was on the computer. The letter said that Sam was Ethan's father. Unknown to Ivy, Rebecca told her daughter what she found out, and Rebecca convinced Gwen that exposing the truth was the only way to show Ethan how manipulative Theresa really was. Rebecca hid her own motivations, which involved getting revenge on both Ivy and Theresa.
2001 — 2003
As Ivy celebrated the engagement of Ethan and Theresa, she was unaware of the Rebecca's plan that would destroy her life. The two women had found and sent a letter Ivy wrote to Sam long ago to the tabloids. A tabloid reporter who printed the headline, Mort Chandler, sneaked into the party and showed a stunned Julian the headline, "Crane Secret Revealed! Ethan Crane is Sam Bennett's Son!" An enraged and grieved Julian exposed Ivy's betrayal to the whole town and denounced Ethan as his son. Ivy suffered emotional turmoil by Sam, Julian, Ethan, and even Grace—who miscarried a baby boy, when she learned the shocking truth, and blamed Ivy for it. Alistair quickly turned his back on Ethan as well. Lost without his identity as a Crane, Ethan vowed to destroy whoever ruined his life. So did Ivy, who tried making up for her secrets to everyone. Grace, still upset over her baby's death, cursed Ivy with her Standish powers.
Even after the devastating tabloid scandal, Ivy still wanted to be a part of Sam's life. She devised a way to break up the Bennett marriage. She hired a photographer David Hastings to pose as Grace's long-lost husband. Ivy had explosive information on David and blackmailed him into having her way. David hated every minute of it, but was forced to follow her orders. David came to Harmony that July, and began inserting himself into the Bennetts' lives. Ivy watched from afar, preoccupied with helping Ethan (now using her last name Winthrop) and Theresa plan their double wedding with her brother Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald and Sheridan Crane.
What Ivy did not know was that a desperate Gwen made an anonymous call to the tabloid, identifying Theresa, Ethan's own fiancée, as the person responsible for sending the e-mail. The tabloid reporter ran the story, and on the wedding day, Rebecca made arrangements for a printed copy to be left in Ivy's bedroom. As Ivy dressed for the wedding, she found the tabloid, and believed the false story! She sped away to the church in her car, and crashed right through the church wall! She stopped the ceremony and denounced Theresa in front of all the shocked guests! Theresa admitted she knew Ethan was a Bennett and didn't tell him, but swore she was innocent of sending the e-mail. Gwen also denounced her, stating she was lying. Ethan was devastated Theresa knew, and Ivy encouraged Ethan never to trust Theresa again.
Though Ivy tried to talk Ethan out of loving Theresa, he still had feelings for her. That August, he learned Theresa was in Bermuda, and tracked her down. Ivy realized Julian was there finalizing their divorce. Feeling distressed, Ivy managed to seek comfort in the fact that David was succeeding in braking up the Bennett marriage. Ivy's plan continued, and she continued to masquerade as the devoted friend. When the dispatched hurricane Peggy struck Harmony, Ivy assisted Sam in helping him fix Harmony's lighthouse beacon to save the Harmony teenager's on Warlock Island. However, in the midst of the storm she was struck by lightning, and fell from the lighthouse ladder.
Wet and delusional Ivy believed she was dying. Sam managed to send for paramedics. Ivy nearly died on the way to the hospital and was revived. Later, Eve announced Ivy suffered from spinal injuries and had to have intensive surgery. Ivy pulled through the surgery, though now she was wheel-chair bound and could not walk very far. Julian even considered murdering her while she was in her hospital cubicle. She had frequent lapses of pain and for a time became addicted to pain medication. But, Ivy's spirit was not stopped. She continued to instruct David to woo Grace into falling in love with him so that she could have Sam for herself.
Unfortunately, Rebecca saw Ivy's extended recovery as the opportunity to bar Ivy completely from the Crane Mansion and have it redecorated in her tastes. Ivy was furious, and even disgusted when she saw what color Rebecca painted the mansion's living room and its tacky furniture. Ivy refused to accept the divorce, and it was only thanks to Eve and Ethan that she was accepted at all. Eve blackmailed Julian so that Ivy was allowed to stay in the mansion, and Ethan planned to fight for his mother's rights in not accepting the Bermuda divorce. Rebecca soon moved into the Crane mansion and wanted Ivy's friend and companion Pilar fired. Ivy refused. Rebecca responded by shooting Ivy's favorite vase! She proceeded to destroy many of Ivy's heirlooms.
Even though she was an unwanted guest at the mansion, Ivy stood her ground. She begged Ethan to still not marry Theresa, still believing the girl told her secret to the tabloids. It wasn't long before she found out Julian was married to Theresa! She blamed Theresa not knowing that it was Julian who intoxicated her, and drunk himself were set up by his friend Bruce in a marriage ceremony, later revealed to be a sham. Ivy was going to tell Ethan about the secret, but Theresa-now emotionally unstable after learning that she was expecting a child which she assumed to be Julian's- stopped her, and broke Ivy's wheelchair with a fireplace poker. She then locked Ivy in her room. Ivy was determined to tell Ethan the secret even if it meant crawling to Ethan and telling him the truth and that is what she did! With every ounce of strength Ivy crawled down the Crane Mansion steps interrupting yet another wedding- Julian and Rebecca's. Ivy fell unconscious and was placed in the hospital again. Julian evilly wanted the secret of his marriage to Theresa to stay hidden as well and decide to eliminate his wives. He mercilessly coaxed the unstable Theresa to the idea of killing Ivy by putting his lighter up to the unconscious woman's oxygen tank. Theresa could not murder and stopped at the last second, but the explosion was accidentally caused when Rebecca- who was wearing jewelry which brushed up against the tank and caused the explosion. All three women survived. Ivy eventually awoke. Through circumstances she was able to contact Mort Chandler and make him reveal to Ethan the truth about his bride to be's pregnancy on New Year's Eve. Shaken, Ethan left Theresa, and Ivy was triumphant.
Ivy and almost all of Harmony were determined to rid the world of Julian Crane, for all the misery he bestowed upon every body's lives. Ivy was one of the main suspects in his so-called "murder" investigation. (Julian had faked his death and was in hiding; the real culprit turned out to be Liz Sanbourne). It was not long before Ivy, Theresa, and Rebecca were involved in a court battle to see who really was the rightful Mrs. Julian Crane. When Theresa emerged victorious, Ivy and Rebecca plotted revenge. Rebecca doctored a video cassette of the supposed murder site the Crane Cannery, and showed Ivy video footage of what appeared to be Ethan shooting Julian. Rebecca revealed it was false, and revealed that once Theresa saw it she would turn herself in not wanting her beloved Ethan to be imprisoned for murder. Though reluctant, Ivy agreed to Rebecca's plot. Theresa confessed, and was executed, but it turned out to be staged in order to bring Julian back to town. Ivy was now an unwelcome house guest in a home that just a year before, she had called her own.
After Theresa, as Julian's new wife, kicked Ivy out of the Crane mansion, Sam allowed Ivy to move into the Bennett garage, causing a rift between Sam and Grace. Ultimately, tensions over Kay, David, and Ivy led the Bennetts to split; Sam and Ivy kissed at Julian and Rebecca's wedding at the end of December, reuniting the former lovers, and ending Ivy's paralysis.
2004 — 2006
Once Grace left with David for Italy in May, Ivy's future with Sam seemed extremely bright. However, once Liz exposed Eve's past with Julian, Ivy had nothing left with which to blackmail Eve, and Ivy's end seemed near. However, for one reason or another, Eve never told anyone about rigging John's DNA test, and Ivy's secret stayed safe.
Fearful that Grace would be lured back to town by Jessica's problems, Ivy allowed Jessica to run rampant and hid the girl's self-mutilation from her father. Sam was furious when he found out and kicked Ivy out of the house. During and after the tsunami, however, they made up, and Ivy moved back into the Bennett home. In November, Sam proposed, and Ivy gleefully accepted. Meanwhile, Ivy's younger son, Fox, slept with Sam's older daughter, Kay, during the tsunami, and they began to date. Ivy opposed their relationship, however, aware of Kay's history as a schemer; fearful that Kay would hurt her son, Ivy hired Valerie Davis to come between the two at work. Displeased with Fox's relationship with Kay Bennett, Ivy schemed to bring Kay's ex-obsession, Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald, back to Harmony. Unbeknownst to her, Fox also began scheming with his father to keep Kay and Miguel apart, thus foiling Ivy's plans; Fox and Kay became engaged in March. A guilt-ridden Kay finally confessed to the fact that Ivy had hired David Hastings, thus exposing Ivy. Despite her pleas, Sam broke off his engagement with Ivy and began working to reconcile with Grace. Dejected and drunk, Ivy ended up sleeping with her ex-husband, Julian.
2007 — 2008
Despite her schemes, Fox and Kay married on January 10; meanwhile, Grace's death left Sam even more enraged, and he blamed Ivy, swearing to never forgive her. Heartbroken, Ivy turned to Julian, and the two had sex again. Unfortunately, Sam, who had been convinced to forgive Ivy, walked in and blasted her for "betraying" him with Julian. Sam swore to never go back to Ivy again.
Julian and Ivy, realizing that they would never be with their respective loves, decided to try to reunite. Honesty, however put a rift between their relationship. Ivy's relationship with Fox was also damaged when she accidentally revealed that her terminally ill son was not dying at all. She managed to reconnect somewhat with her daughter Fancy, and both were shocked when Pretty Crane returned to Harmony, blaming both her mother and sister for her horribly scarred face. Gradually, Ivy began turning toward her feelings for Sam again when tragedy struck. Fox was murdered in September 2007, the victim of an unseen culprit. A devastated Ivy blamed Fox's widow Kay, and believed that her former daughter-in-law was a serial killer.
After seeing that her grandson Jonathan Winthrop pulled through a liver transplant Ivy encouraged her son to once again break up with Theresa who had been acting out of character, and infuriating Ethan at times (both he and his mother were unaware that Gwen was blackmailing Theresa into distancing herself from Ethan). Pilar confessed the blackmail to Ivy, but she had yet to understand it is Theresa who is also being blackmailed. Ivy, unknowingly nearly became a victim of her son's murderer, Viki, in order to serve as a distraction. Theresa eventually revealed that Little Ethan was Ethan's biological son after he and Gwen renewed their wedding vows, finally helping Ivy to realize that Theresa was truly the love of her son's life, after which she admonished Gwen for having kept them from being together. When Gwen and Rebecca's lies were finally exposed (during which, Rebecca griped that she had a constitutional right to being strip searched by a handsome arresting officer. Ivy shot back at her, "In what country, Rebecca, Slutistan?!") She then apologized to Theresa for not having trusted her, welcomed her to the family, and displayed new-found faith in Theresa; after Theresa promised Ivy that she'd be good to Ethan, Ivy's last words on the show were a tearful "I believe you."