Meg Dale

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Margaret Hart (maiden name Dale; previously, Harper; Andrews and Aleata), known as Meg, was the second major female character and the main villain in the former American soap opera Love of Life. She was first played by actress Jean McBride and when the character returned in the 1970s, she was played by Canadian actress Tudi Wiggins.

The bad sister[edit]

Margaret, better known as "Meg", was the younger sister of Vanessa Dale. Where Vanessa was compassionate and kind, Meg was anything but. She announced right after she left High School in their hometown of Barrowsville, New York, that she was marrying for money. She met and married a wealthy man named Charles Harper, and with him, gave birth to a son, Ben "Beanie" Harper. The Harpers moved to Manhattan. However, she was always cheating mercilessly on her husband, having affairs with wealthy and amoral men.

Her selfish nature wouldn't allow for her to love her son, so Vanessa, who had left Barrowsville to move to Manhattan, herself, mainly to keep an eye on Meg, took up the slack. She gave him the love that his mother denied him. Charles complained bitterly and often to his compassionate sister in-law about all of Meg's antics, and despite repeated pleas from her family, Meg was not about to be denied. She thrived on scandal and whatever scandal she made with her amoral, wealthy paramours, she unabashedly threw it in her family's face. Because of this, her parents were often confronting her on her misdeeds. Despite her villainous nature, deep down inside, she really did love her sister and her family; although her actions usually didn't imply that.

Finally fed up with her antics, Charles had left her. He called her the "Greatest known actress on any stage!" and he didn't mean it as a compliment. Soon after Charles divorced her, she was accused of murder. She was alleged to have murdered her gangster boyfriend, Miles Pardee, out on Long Island, but she was acquitted with the aid of lawyers, Evans Baker, and Paul Raven, who eventually married her sister, Van. Another paramour was a corrupt gambler named Hal Craig.

Then she met a man named Jack Andrews, whom she married some years after her divorce. Like all men that Meg was attracted to, he was devious. He stole her fortune, and left her a pauper. She didn't mourn him, though, for he was killed in a plane crash in Mexico, a crash that also had supposedly claimed the life of Paul Raven, Vanessa's husband. After foisting a paternity suit on lawyer Tom Craythorne and having it backfire on her, she took Ben and left New York for parts unknown.

Seventeen years later, Meg was still incommunicado when her mother, Sarah Dale, was in the hospital in her new home of Rosehill, New York. She had been married and divorced to Edouard Aleata, and by now had had a daughter named Cal, besides Ben, now grown up.

Meg had been summoned by Van and her new husband, Bruce Sterling, letting her know, by a letter, that Sarah had been in the hospital. Meg came along, not long after Cal (who intercepted her letter) had moved to Rosehill, to see her mother. While Sarah recovered, she was saddened that Meg was as amoral and evil as she ever was; and still attracted to corrupt and shady men.

Meg had met the corrupt mayor of Rosehill, Jeff Hart. This had led to her remaining in Rosehill. He was rich, attractive, and absolutely evil, which suited the vile Meg just fine. After having a torrid affair with him, she married him, and again, she made an enemy of her sister, Vanessa, as they clashed over morals. Jeff Hart would ultimately be Meg's last husband.

At first, she enjoyed being married to him, but even Meg wasn't the monster her husband was. For as bad as she was, Jeff Hart was even worse. When Ben had been injured by one of Jeff's flunkies, Meg realized that her husband was a horrid person and divorced him. She then helped her family acquire evidence that could have put Jeff behind prison bars for a long time, not to mention he would have been impeached as mayor.

After the monstrous Jeff had been shot by his son, David, for raping his stepdaughter, and died, Meg remained single and managed her fortune, which was how she ended things when the show ended. She was one of the richest people in Rosehill. Despite being evil, she was an adept businesswoman.

She did try to have a relationship with her former nephew in-law Rick Latimer, who owned a country club style complex, called Beaver Ridge, and she was helping to finance it. However, he fell hard for her daughter, Cal. She fought the pairing tooth and nail, but, as was often the case when she tried to force her own way on things, she failed. This truly strained her relationship with her daughter, which hadn't been strong in the first place. This set the stage for Eddie, who had been the only real father Cal ever knew, to come to Rosehill, and confront Meg on her selfishness. The manipulative woman lied her way out of trouble, as she was often prone to.

Rick and Cal were eventually married, when she was well enough, and they took his son Hank Latimer (by his first marriage to Meg's stepniece, Barbara Sterling) and moved out of Rosehill.

Meg was unusual, as she was the first ever soap character, good or evil, to ever utter profanity on daytime television. She had uttered the word "bastard" at the daughter of her son Ben, while browbeating her son, which was more of an indictment on her, and her awful way of parenting him and Cal when they were younger.