Steve Andropoulos and Betsy Stewart

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Frank Runyeon and Meg Ryan as Steve and Betsy in a ATWT promotion for their wedding.

Stavares "Steve" Andropoulos and Elizabeth "Betsy" Stewart Andropoulos are fictional characters and a supercouple from the American soap opera As the World Turns. Steve was portrayed by actor Frank Runyeon and Betsy was portrayed by both actress Meg Ryan and actress Lindsay Frost. The fictional couple wed on May 30, 1984; the episode attracted 20 million viewers, making it the second highest-rated hour in American soap opera history.[1]

Storyline[edit]

Steve Andropoulos found himself falling in love with Betsy Stewart in 1982. The feeling was mutual and Betsy offered to give him her trust fund money so he could start his own business. Though touched by the gesture, Steve refused her offer. Despite everyone's efforts to keep the news a secret, Steve's brother Nick found out that the pair was dating and suspecting that Steve was only after Betsy's trust fund, Nick went after Steve with Betsy in attendance. Though a panicked Betsy promised to stop seeing him, Nick found them picnicking together and violently confronted Steve. In the course of the argument, Nick had a massive heart attack. In agony, Nick muttered that he wished he'd killed Steve. After extracting a promise from Betsy never to see Steve again, Nick died.

Feeling extremely guilty, Betsy vowed to stay away from Steve and entered into a hasty marriage with Craig Montgomery after he saved her from an explosion. Betsy and Craig's wedding kicked off 1983. But this was not a happy day for the bride, because her thoughts were with Steve. As the wedding procession began, Steve arrived at the church and hid behind a pillar. By the time Craig and Betsy were pronounced husband and wife, Steve was standing outside the church in the rain, tears streaming down his face. Betsy's marriage was strained however due to Craig's jealousy and an unhappy Betsy left him to go to Spain. Steve followed her and declared his love for her over a picnic lunch. No longer able to deny the love she felt for him, Betsy lost her virginity to Steve.

Upon returning to Oakdale, Betsy was ready to leave Craig, but lost her nerve when he planned a romantic evening for her. Torn between her love for Steve and her commitment to Craig, Betsy made love to Craig. At the same time, newcomer Diana McColl was making the moves on Steve.

When Betsy later became pregnant, she was convinced the child was Craig's and decided to commit herself to her marriage. Although Betsy reluctantly chose to remain with Craig, Steve could not accept the idea that she didn't love him anymore. And Craig went to great lengths to rub in the fact that Steve and Diana seemed to be an item now.

Soon after, Steve was wanted by the police for the theft of Whit McColl's gold coins. Later, Betsy, who had been out shopping, got into her car and found a wounded Steve in the back seat. Despite knowing that he was wanted by the police, she took him to the boathouse and lovingly tended to his wounds. Betsy enlisted Steve's friend Tucker Foster to help them find out who framed Steve. She thought it was Whit, but Tucker was sure it was Craig. Then Betsy's grandfather, David, caught Betsy sneaking into the supply room at Memorial Hospital to get medicine for Steve. She begged her grandfather to come and examine him. David discovered that Steve was suffering from blood poisoning and gangrene and would die unless he got treatment. With Betsy's help, David operated on Steve right there in the boathouse. Steve worried about Betsy's safety, especially in light of her pregnancy, so he departed, leaving a note for her at the boathouse. Upset by the note, Betsy started experiencing severe cramps and was rushed to Memorial. As Betsy recovered, Craig and Diana made plans to open a nightclub on the Stenbeck yacht, which Whit had bought as a present for Diana. The club was to be called the Anemone. Betsy wasn't pleased. They were already building a house in expensive Ruxton Hills, so where was all this money coming from?

Meanwhile, one of Whit's rare coins had been bought by Bobbi Maxwell and her boyfriend, Lonnie. They traced Tucker from the pawnshop and called him for a meeting. Betsy and Steve joined the "coin hunt" and arrived for the meeting to try to buy back the coin. Lonnie told Bobbi that a Mr. Maurice Vermeil had one of the coins and was anxious to get another. Steve and Betsy, along with Tucker, set off after Vermeil. The threesome found out that Vermeil did have the stolen coin and was planning to auction if off on a cruise to Bermuda. Betsy paid for Steve's passage, and he joined the cruise pretending to be wealthy playboy Daniel Bishop. When Betsy discovered Vermeil was a mobster, she knew she had to warn Steve. She told Craig that her doctor had recommended she take a cruise, and he believed her. Actually, Craig was relieved, because now he could spend more time with Diana. But when Betsy told Craig she was going to call her broker and sell some stocks to get money for the cruise, Craig panicked. He had made some bad investments and had lost all her money in the stock market. The Montgomeries were broke, only Betsy didn't know it yet. In the process of attempting to help Steve, Betsy found that she was still in love with him and decided to leave her husband.

Upon returning from a romantic evening with Steve at the boathouse, Betsy went into labor. It was a breech birth, and Steve had to get her to the hospital quickly. Still a wanted man, he waited in the shadows of the emergency room. Diana discovered him there and tried to get him to leave, but Steve couldn't tear himself away from Betsy, who gave birth to a healthy daughter. In remembrance of her father Dan, she named the child Danielle. Craig told his wife how much he loved her, and now that they had a child, he hoped things would be all right between them. Although Betsy told Craig it was over, things changed when he was fired from his job. Later, Betsy was so moved when she heard Craig talking to his sleeping daughter about his losses, and weakly told Steve she couldn't leave Craig right now. When Steve exploded, Betsy stormed out, saying they were through.

On Kim's advice, a sad Betsy wrote a note to Steve telling him how much she loved him. However, unbeknownst to her, Craig found the note, tore it up and forged a new one saying Betsy loved Craig and regretted having to betray him. The next morning, when Betsy came by to see Steve, Diana answered the door wearing only Steve's shirt. Devastated, Betsy decided she couldn't stay with Craig, so she moved in with Kim. The next morning when Betsy arrived to get the rest of her things, Craig picked a fight with her and seemed to fall down the stairs. Craig then cried "paralysis," getting Betsy to move back in with him. A major storm ushered in the New Year. After it had passed, Betsy's boathouse was on shaky ground. Not about to give up on doing Steve in and knowing that he was already scheduled to work on the boathouse, Craig loosened a support beam so that it would fall on Steve's head. However, Steve and Betsy had decided to work together to salvage their special place, and the beam landed on Betsy instead. Luckily, Steve was able to save her from the wreckage. With the boathouse now destroyed, Craig knew he was sitting on valuable lakefront property. He located a Colonel Jameson, who eyed the property as a potential site for a chemical plant. Jameson shrewdly promised Craig a top level-job if he were able to talk Betsy into selling it. But Betsy had other ideas. She surprised Craig by telling him she planned to build a home for abandoned children on the lot and call it the Refuge. Steve's construction company put in a bid. Diana heard about Steve's plans, got hold of the other bids and changed them, making Steve's the lowest. Steve and Tucker's company got the job. When Betsy couldn't go through with a romantic evening, Craig left in disgust. Upset that Steve was hindering her marriage, Betsy tried to destroy everything that reminded her of him. She found the book of Greek poetry Steve had given her when they first met and decided to give it back to him. When Betsy arrived at Steve's apartment, she tried to say she was through with him, but the chemistry between them was too strong, and they fell into a passionate embrace. Betsy and Steve agreed not to make love until after she had left Craig. Later, after an angry Craig accused her of having an affair with Steve, Betsy told Craig their marriage was over. Then she went upstairs to pack and discovered that Danielle was gone. Craig said he couldn't let Betsy take her away, so he hid her. Craig threatened to leave town with Danielle if Betsy called the police, and if she went to Steve, she'd never see her daughter again. Luckily, Craig's mother, Lyla, traced Danielle to the home of Mrs. Hoffman, a maid whom Betsy had fired previously, and Danielle was returned to her mother. At the same time Diana McColl informed Steve that she knew Craig was faking his paralysis. Steve found Betsy at Kim's, and when she told him she'd left Craig for good, they had a joyful reunion. After learning that Steve, not, Craig, was Dani's father, Betsy and Steve finally married.

Betsy and Steve were finally happy, or so they thought. One day while driving, Betsy was in a terrible accident in Vermont. When she woke up, she needed plastic surgery because of the burns on her face and she had no memory of who she was. Alone and vulnerable, Betsy found herself becoming close to her doctor and agreed to marry him. After a while though she started getting flashbacks of Oakdale and had to go there. While in Oakdale, Craig recognized Betsy and he reunited her with her family.

Betsy's life continued to be difficult though. Though she loved Steve, she found herself arguing more and more about money. Steve wanted the best for Betsy and spent lavishly but refused to tell Betsy where the money was coming from. Soon they found themselves in debt. Ashamed, Steve left Betsy. Despite of all his faults, Betsy still loved him and went looking for him. Unfortunately, she was heartbroken to learn that Steve was serving a life sentence in a Greek jail for trafficking drugs and with much sorrow she divorced him in the fall of 1986.

After a failed attempt at romance with Tad Channing and then Josh Snyder, Betsy decided to get away from Oakdale and in 1988, she and Dani moved to Wisconsin to live near her uncle Ronnie Talbot.

Memorable quotes[edit]

Steve's wedding vows to Betsy:

"Betsy, I take you as my wife. You gave me something to hope for. You told me what it means to really love, somebody. And now I'm gonna try to give back to you some of the joy you gave to me. Whenever you need me, I'll be there. For the good and the bad, nothing'll ever keep us apart. I give you my heart. I give you my life. And I give you my sacred word: I will love you, forever."

Betsy's vows to Steve:

"Steve, my heart is so full of love for you. We have been through so much to be, together. But we never stopped loving each other. We never stopped believing in each other. Your love gives me strength and hope. And now with the people that we love all around us, I take you as my husband. I will always love you. I will try to bring you joy, and in times of sorrow, comfort and health. And I promise these things, gladly, out of my love for you. A heart as soft, a heart as kind, a heart that is strong and free, as in the whole world, thou that can't find, that heart I give to thee. Thou art my life, my love, my heart, the very eyes of me. Has command of every part. Even die for you."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Christopher Schemering (1985). The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. Ballantine Books. pp. 644 pages. ISBN 0-345-32459-5.