Ilene Kristen as Roxy Balsom
|One Life to Live character|
|Portrayed by||Ilene Kristen|
|First appearance||November 7, 2001|
|Last appearance||January 13, 2012|
|Created by||Lorraine Broderick
|Introduced by||Gary Tomlin|
Roxanne Louise "Roxy" Balsom (née Lipchitz; formerly Holden) is a fictional character on ABC's daytime drama One Life to Live. She was played by Ilene Kristen from November 7, 2001 to January 13, 2012, the series finale. Kristen was featured as a contract, lead performer in the role from spring 2002 through September 2004, and featured in a supporting capacity before and after.
The character is known for her constant malapropisms, which most other characters ignore and find amusing.
Roxy was introduced in 2001 as the wild, irresponsible mother of Natalie Buchanan and Rex Balsom. It soon was revealed, however, that Natalie was actually the biological daughter of Viki Lord Banks and Clint Buchanan. It was initially believed that when Allison Perkins had kidnapped the Buchanan baby in 1987, another child was returned and grew up to be Jessica Buchanan. Jessica began a tenuous relationship with Roxy, whom she believed to be her mother, and with Roxy's biological son Rex. But when a DNA test on Jessica proved that she was also Viki's daughter, the real story came out.
Viki's longtime enemy Mitch Laurence, who had masterminded the kidnapping, had secretly raped a drugged Viki around the same time she conceived a child with Clint. Viki unknowingly became pregnant with fraternal twins, one fathered by Clint (Natalie) and the other fathered by Mitch (Jessica). Dr. Walter Balsom, who had been one of religious leader Mitch's disciples, took Mitch's daughter during delivery, and Viki never knew she'd had more than one child. Mitch, however, wanted his daughter to grow up loved by Viki in the lap of luxury, and sent Allison to kidnap Clint's child. They replaced her with Mitch's daughter (who would become Jessica), and gave Clint's daughter (who would become Natalie) to Dr. Balsom and his wife Roxy. Walter later died, and Roxy turned out to be an irresponsible and absent mother for much of Natalie's childhood in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In 2002, money-hungry schemer Rex Balsom came to Llanview to take advantage of the wealthy Buchanan family. Raised by his father's sister Corinne Balsom, Rex has an uneasy relationship with the wild, unreliable Roxy. Rex remains close to Natalie, the "sister" he grew up with. He has been involved with Jennifer Rappaport, her mother Lindsay Rappaport and Adriana Cramer. Rex is also friends with Police Commissioner Bo Buchanan, who is constantly frustrated by Rex's mischief and methods but cares about him like a son.
In 2008, his Aunt Corrine dropped a bombshell: the man Rex believed to be his father, Walter Balsom, may not have been his biological father. Then new guy in town Charlie Banks, who is hiding his identity; glances idly at Roxy's business card and introduces himself as "Charlie Balsom." He is dismayed to learn that Rex's name is Balsom too, and Rex asks if he and Charlie are related. So in order to stop Rex from looking further, Roxy claims that Charlie is his father. She begs Charlie to go along with the story; he ultimately agrees, and reluctantly lets an excited Rex start building a relationship with his "father." Next Rex is told that criminal mastermind Mitch Laurence is his father, but it's later revealed that Rex was switched at birth with Schuyler Joplin. Much later, Rex finds out the truth and ultimately learns that his biological partents are Clint Buchanan and Echo DiSavoy.
In Las Vegas, Roxy ended up running into her former lover, and Llanview resident, Max Holden, who was in Vegas and drinking heavily. Roxy was a hard partier and helped Max guzzle away his troubles. The next morning Max woke up in bed with Roxy, and to his horror, saw matching wedding bands. Roxy had tricked him into a quickie marriage, prenup, and even had a video of the whole thing! In the sober light of day, Max despised the trashy, slovenly, pathetic Roxy, and went out of his way to be cruel to her in hope she would divorce him. His and Al's various attacks on her spirit went nowhere, but suddenly luck was on Max's side when Roxy up and vanished one day. She tried calling him, but he hung up on her each time, feeling only slight pangs of remorse. A few days later Max found out that Roxy had been held hostage and nearly killed by Allison Perkins, but was more interested in keeping Roxy out of the way a bit longer in order to claim abandonment and win a fast divorce with fortune intact. He showered love on his bride and tried to keep her away from the courthouse long enough to win his freedom. But Roxy showed up, exposing his lies, and Judge Fitzwater gave her the opportunity to dump Max and take everything he owned. To Fitzwater and Max's surprise, Roxy chose Max over the cash. Although relieved, Max continued to shun Roxy, even making a deal with old enemy Asa Buchanan to help Asa escape his sham marriage to Rae if Asa would do the same with Roxy. Then Max tracked Roxy down to Philadelphia, assuming she was cheating with Asa. Instead, she was visiting her vile, hateful mother, who passed up no opportunity to make Roxy feel like garbage. Max stunned both himself and Roxy by barging into the room to defend her. Max realized that he was falling in love with Roxy and called the deal off with Asa. But Rae had already figured out the plan and manipulated Roxy on every level, even flinging herself on Max so Roxy would catch them in a compromising position. Roxy's heart was shattered and she could no longer trust Max. In spite of his fervent pleas, Roxy divorced him and was awarded the millhouse, the Break Bar, all the bank accounts, as well as the marital assets. With that money, Roxy was able to buy her own hair salon, Foxy Roxy's Hair Haven.
In 2002, Roxy was diagnosed with diabetes.
In March 2009 Roxy learns that her grandson Shane has leukemia and need a bone marrow transplant. Roxy goes to a facility where she take the DNA of a mysterious man to see if he can donate stem cells to Shane. Roxy finds out that the man can donate stem cells to shane to save his life. Gigi's estranged ex-stripper sister Stacy Morasco finds out about the man and blakckmails Roxy to make it look like she is the donor to get Rex for herself. Roxy and Stacy convinces the lab tech Kyle Lewis to make it look like Stacy is the donor. Kyle threaten Roxy to let him live in the her hotel or he'll to Rex who is father really is. Stacy blackmails her sister Gigi Morasco to break up with Rex or she will let shane die. Gigi's later agrees to the deal and breaks up with Rex.
In early August 2009 Rex finds out that his biological father is Mitch Laurence. Mitch Laurence returns from the dead in November 2009. Roxy find out in February 2010 from Kyle Lewis that Rex isn't the father of Stacy's baby. In late March 2010 Allison Perkins reveals to Roxy that the night Rex was born she switched her baby with an abandoned one but her baby was sick. Later it turns out that her baby was found and given to her sister. Roxy tells Rex that he is not her son. Allison tells Roxy that her son is Schuyler Joplin who has been arrested for shooting Bo Buchanan. In October 2010 Echo DiSavoy returns to Llanview and needs a place to stay. With no money Echo takes pictures of Roxy in order to let her stay at the hotel. Later, after finding out that Rex's biological parents are Echo and Clint, Roxy throws Echo out of her hotel.
In February 2011, at Natalie, John, Jessica, and Brody wedding, Vimal Patel Clint's former employee reveals that Clint ordered him to change the paternity that shows that he is Rex's biological father.
In June 2011, Rex and Gigi plan to get married at the court, but find out Gigi had been locked in a basement of an old house by Jack Manning and his friends with carbon monoxide leaking. Rex finds her and take her to the hospital, but the doctors were too late and Gigi is declared brain dead. In late June–early July 2011, Rex gives Gigi's heart to Clint Buchanan after Clint turns everything he has to Rex. Rex and Shane moved into the Buchanan Mansion. She urges Rex to re-hire Nigel after Rex tells her he fired him, but to no avail. On September 9, 2011, former con artist Cutter Wentworth buys her beloved stuffed porcupine Morris when Roxy sells the porcupine at a flea market being held outside in Angel Square. What Cutter doesn't know is that Roxy hid a gun that belonged to Rex that Echo told her to hide after Echo and Roxy thought that Rex murdered Victor Lord Jr., who turned out to be the man that wasn't the real Todd Manning after the real Todd showed up in town, and after Victor's nephew was responsible for causing Gigi's death, and Victor had Jack not have any charges pressed on him for Gigi's death. Roxy tried to take back the v from Cutter, but Cutter refused to give Morris back to her, even though Cutter had the gun still hidden inside the porcupine.
Towards the series end, the in-soap, soap opera Fraternity Row that was once run by the Buchanans is cancelled and Roxy is devastated. She desperately tries to revive the soap and get the network to change their minds and renew the show, to no avail. Along with all this, Roxy helps Natalie and John admit their feelings to each other, especially after learning that Liam is actually John's son and not Brody's as originally thought. During all this Roxy also tends to Nigel after Brody kidnaps Liam and knocks Nigel unconscious. While she helps Nigel recover the two discuss their past relationship in 2003, but give no clear reason as to why they broke up. Nigel is then equally saddened when Fraternity Row is cancelled, another event that brings Nigel and Roxy closer together yet again.
Notes and references
- Roxy's maiden name "Lipschitz" is revealed on the January 29, 2008 episode and her maiden name is revealed on the June 4, 2010 episode.
- Roxanne Balsom - SoapCentral.com
- Kristen had also appeared on One Life to Live in the 1980s as Georgina Whitman, a love interest for Bo Buchanan.