Jaime 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 (formerly 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 stepped into the role from October 10, 1975, to June 9, 1976, followed by Rosemary Forsyth from August 24, 1976, to March 25, 1980. Jaime 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. 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 a 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 tuberculosis in his hand. Laura briefly dates Marie Horton's ex fiance, Tony Merrit, however nothing serious develops 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. The following day, Bill is unable to remember raping Laura. Soon after, Laura learns 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.
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, running out into the street and being hit by a car. Mike survives, and Laura realizes she cannot abandon her husband and child.
In 1973, Mickey suffers a heart attack after Mike lashes out at him for the pain he caused Laura by having an affair with his secretary. Mickey is rushed to surgery and survives the operation performed by 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 for Mickey cannot be declared legally dead for seven years. Fate intervenes 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. Two months later, on February 6, 1976, Laura gives birth to their daughter, Jennifer Horton. However, Laura falls into a deep depression, but seems to overcome it with the help of Dr. Marlena Evans. 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 visions of her dead mother who had committed suicide. Eventually, Laura succumbs to the mental illness and tries to hang herself. 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 and again in June 2010, along with her ex-husband, Bill Horton, after receiving news that Alice Horton was extremely ill. Along with many other family members, she was reunited with her daughter, Jennifer, and 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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