Jamie Lyn Bauer as Laura Horton in 1998
|Days of Our Lives character|
|First appearance||June 30, 1966|
|Last appearance||April 11, 2013|
|Created by||Peggy Phillips|
(at the Meadows)
Susan Flannery as Laura Horton from 1966-1975, pictured with father in law Tom
Dr. Laura Horton (née Spencer) is a fictional character from the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, a long-running serial drama about working class life in the fictional United States town of Salem. Created by writer Peggy Phillips, the role was originated by actress Floy Dean on June 30, 1966 till October 21, 1966. Susan Flannery stepped into the role from November 22, 1966 to May 27, 1975. Susan Oliver briefly steps in the role from October 10, 1975 to June 9, 1976, followed by Rosemary Forsyth from August 24, 1976 to March 25, 1980. Jamie Lyn Bauer assumed the role on November 12, 1993, and remained until July 7, 1999. Laura briefly returned to Salem for her daughter Jennifer Horton's wedding to Jack Deveraux.
Laura's storylines focus on family troubles. She is a member of the series Horton family. Laura's marriage to Mickey Horton was a big part of the characters history. She was also married to another Horton, Bill Horton. Laura went through a period where she appeared to be going insane, but was being brainwashed by Vivian Alamain. Bauer's last episode aired on July 7, 1999, but she returned on May 26 and 27, 2003 and again from June 15 to 28, 2010 and April 10 and 11 2013.
Laura Spencer arrives in Salem as young psychiatric intern at the Salem University Hospital. She immediately catches the eye of Bill Horton, and the two become engaged. Bill calls off the wedding when he learns he can't be a surgeon, due to a tuberculosis in his hand. Laura briefly dates Marie Horton's ex fiance, Tony Merrit, however nothing serious developed between the two. Laura is in love with both Bill, and Tony. Tony however recovers his relationship with Marie, and to cope Laura dives deep into her work.
In the summer of 1967, Laura is assigned to evaluate Susan Martin's state of mind for the courts when Susan stands trial for killing her husband David. In the process Laura spends many hours with lawyer, Mickey Horton. They fall in love, and marry in 1968. Later that year Laura is raped by her ex-lover, and Mickey's brother Bill Horton. Bill can't remember raping Laura the day after. Soon after Laura learns that she is pregnant, and when her father in law Tom Horton discovers a paternity test things become more complicated. Tom learns that Mickey is sterile, and that the baby is Bill's. Laura gives birth prematurely to a healthy baby boy named Mike Horton.
In 1970, Laura and Mickey's marriage begins to fall apart and they separate for a time, but eventually work things out by the end of the year. However, by 1971 Mickey and Laura again have troubles after his affair with Linda Patterson is made public. Laura and Mickey agree to remain married and try to make things work for Mike's sake.
In 1972, Bill and Laura begin to fall in love when Laura learns the true reason Bill went to jail. Laura plans to divorce Mickey and marry Bill, but when the two were overheard talking by Mike he assumes they were having an affair and ran out into the street and is hit by a car. Mike survives, and Laura realized she could not abandon her husband and child.
In 1973, Mickey sufferers a heart attack after his son Michael lashes out at him for the pain he had caused his mother Laura by having an affair with his secretary. Mickey is rushed to surgery and survives the operation performed by his brother Bill. Though he survives the operation Mickey suffers a stroke which erases his memory. Mickey sneaks out of the hospital and leaves Salem. With Mickey out of the way Laura is free to love Bill, however her marriage to Mickey is still an obstacle, and Mickey can not be legally declared dead for seven years. Fate intervened and, when Mickey is discovered to be alive, he grants Laura a divorce so he can remain with Maggie Simmons.
On December 4, 1975, Bill and Laura are married. A year later, Laura gives birth to their daughter Jennifer Horton on February 6, 1976. However, after the birth of her daughter, Laura falls into a deep depression, but seems to have overcome it with the help of her husband Bill and Dr. Marlena Evans. But Laura remains sick and begins to sink deeper and deeper into depression when she learns Bill had an affair with a co worker, Dr. Kate Winograd. Soon Laura begins to hear voices and sees her dead mother’s ghost. Her mother, Carrie, had committed suicide, and Laura eventually goes over the edge and tries to hang herself at her dead mother's wish. Bill finds Laura in time, but she had already slipped out of reality. Laura is admitted to Lakewood Sanitarium where she spends the next 17 years of her life.
In 1993, Kate Roberts begins to pay Laura visits at Pine Haven Sanitarium, where Laura has been transferred. Ironically, Laura is very aware of what is going on around her, but remains in an apparent catatonic state because the crooked sanitarium workers are keeping her drugged in order to milk the Horton family of money. When Vivian Alamain is sent to the same sanitarium Laura is in, Vivian takes an interest in her. Laura realizes that Vivian is her ticket out. Laura is released, and slowly regains her life as she knew it. Laura returns in 2003 for the wedding of her daughter Jennifer Deveraux.
Laura returned to Salem in June 2010 along with her ex-husband Bill Horton, when she received news that Alice Horton was extremely ill. Laura returned along with many other family members. She was reunited with her daughter Jennifer and they reminisced about the wonderful times they shared with Alice. Laura was not happy when she caught Bill talking to Kate at the Horton house, which showed she was still not over their past together. Bill reminded Laura that Alice didn't judge and would have welcomed Kate's visit. Several days later, she received news from Maggie Horton that Alice died in her sleep. In April 2013, Jennifer goes to visit Laura after having relationship problems in Salem.
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