Marland Monday: Tracy purrs, Carrie is so very

Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons
4 min readAug 1, 2022


It’s August 1st, so bunny bunny to you. It’s also Monday which means it’s…

Marland Monday!

Say it with me: Every Monday I look back at the career of Douglas Marland, one of the GOATS of Daytime television. Today I’m starting a three-part series that can be simplified by this:

Soap gets a big name

The big name is sublime

Producer fires big name

Soap loses sublime head writer

Are you ready? Let’s go.

If you’ve been reading MM for a while, you know Mr. Marland wrote for General Hospital for a year and a half. When he took over the show was #9 in the ratings. In one year, it went to #2. He created characters like Bobbie Spencer, her brother Luke, and a family who put the fun in a dysfunctional, the Quartermaines. The matriarch and patriarch were Edward and Lila and they had two children together: Alan a doctor who worked at-where else-General Hospital. In the summer of 1978, Alan’s sister came to Port Charles.

Tracy has brown hair and it’s pinned up in braids. She is also wearing a gold necklace and a lavender shirt. A dart board is right behind her.

Tracy Quartermaine came to visit her family and meet her new sister-in-law, Monica. She had the icy rich girl vibe about her. In one minute she was pleasant to Dr. Lesley Webber (Lesley was being charged with murder) and then remarked to Alan “Well my job gets more intriguing every minute… it’s not every day you meet a lady doctor and she’s facing indictment for murder.” Meow!

I haven’t found many episodes of Elliot’s first run on GH. From what I read in summaries, she didn’t care for Monica. What Tracy wanted was money. Power. Yet I can’t figure out what she did for a living. A socialite? Most definitely; she was married to a lord. They had a son named Ned, who she sent to boarding school as quickly as possible. In the episode, I did see she was going to work with Alan at the heart clinic. Doing what? Perhaps fundraising, being one of those ladies who lunched then got a big check for the clinic. She wore her hair in pinned up braids.

In 1980, Elliot left the show. She got another job right away on another soap, a nighttime one. On Knots Landing, she played Judy Trent, whose husband was in A.A. with Gary Ewing. Judy and Gary bonded, then they bonded in bed. One small problem: Gary was married to Val. Judy left before she could cause more drama.

Several months later, Elliot moved to New York City. Before the big move, she won an Emmy for her performance as Tracy. A month later, columnist Lynda Hirsch broke big news: Jane Elliot was joining Guiding Light. After a disagreement with executive producer Gloria Monty, Marland quit GH and went to the main competition: Guiding Light. Pat Falken Smith replaced him (remember these names-they will come in handy in the next two weeks) Hirsch wrote that she “hopes Jane will be around for years.”

Marland was smart not to create for Elliot a duplicate Tracy. That was too easy. So he created Carrie Todd, a woman who was a graphic designer. Instead of Tracy’s braids, Carrie’s hair was a practical bob. Tracy wore designer clothes, Carrie wore casual clothes. Carrie enjoyed her job. As mentioned above, I’m not sure what Tracy did in Port Charles. Carrie loved to jog. I imagine Tracy frowning at even the thought of sweating. Carrie also loved to garden and had plants, plus she loved eating The only green Tracy liked was money.

After establishing Carrie as a character, it didn’t take long to get her a love interest: Ross Marler. Ross had a reputation as a lawyer who do anything to win. But meeting Carrie Todd was a game changer. Pretty soon he took up jogging and was eating better with her. They fell in love and got married. Oh yeah, she also killed two people.

I know, way to bury the lede! Let’s just say to quote Velma Kelly, Carrie’s two victims had it coming. It’s a complicated story that I haven’t been able to get clips of, but it brought Carrie and Ross closer together. They got married and lived happily ever after in Springfield.

Ha! You really thought that? You haven’t watched soap operas for long, have you? Another storyline was on its way to Elliot, a storyline Marland would try to tell on other soaps. A storyline that changed everything. Not because of its success, but its abrupt end. By the end of summer 1982, people gathered to say goodbye to a beloved colleague. But who?

Tune in next week and find out.