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Laurel Banning (Charla Delaney)


AMCHistory

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BANNING, Laurel (Carla Delaney Benton) (deceased)
Portrayed by: Kristen Jensen (1992-93); Felicity LaFortune (1993-96)
Family: Michael Delaney (Brother); Lily Benton Montgomery (Daughter)
Marriages: Denny Benton; Jackson Montgomery; Trevor Dillon

1993: Laurel Banning was desperate. The tuition bill for her daughter, Lily Benton’s, special school for children with autism was due. She needed money, a lot of it, and fast. Laurel was one of her many assumed identities that she has created not only to embezzle money for her daughter, but to escape her abusive ex-husband, Denny Benton.
Laurel began working at the Mason Foundation. She became good friends with the foundation’s chair, Natalie Dillon. It pained Laurel to lie to her, but she needed the money. When she learned her deception was about to be uncovered, Laurel went on the run. In hot pursuit, Natalie got in a fatal car accident.
Denny found Laurel and confronted his runaway wife. Laurel and Denny got in a heated confrontation over Lily. When Laurel told Denny that Lily was not his child, he attacked her again. She grabbed a bookend and implanted a fatal blow. Jackson Montgomery discovered Laurel looming over Denny’s dead body. Jackson helped Laurel dispose of the body. They then went on the run until they could exonerate her. A surprise witness testified that Laurel acted in self-defense. Laurel thought she loved Jackson. After they married, he adopted Lily.
Back in Pine Valley, Laurel wanted to make amends with the Dillons. Timmy Dillon had fallen into drugs while grieving for his mother. While on an LSD high, he wandered into the middle of a crowded street. Laurel pushed him out the way on incoming car, saving his life. Trevor Dillon, Natalie’s husband, reached out his hand in gratitude.

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Jack (Walt Willey) and Laurel (Felicity LaFortune) found love as fugitives. Jack almost lost his career as a result.


1994: Jackson and Laurel’s marriage had a rocky start because of Jackson’s hefty work schedule. Laurel spent her days caring for Trevor’s children. That was of course until Trevor met Jane Cox. Jane was strangely protective of Trevor’s children, especially Amanda. Laurel confided her apprehensions with Jackson, but he brushed them off.
Laurel investigation into Jane’s life revealed that she was none other than Janet Green, Trevor’s psychotic sister in law, and Amanda’s biological mother. Somehow, Janet had figure out that Laurel knew the truth and cut the breaks in her car. Laurel got in a car accident that left her paralyzed when she tried to warn Trevor. Jackson met her at the hospital. There, she confided everything about Janet to him. Luckily, Jackson was able to stop Trevor from marry Janet in the nick of time.
Jackson admitted that he had a one-night stand with Erica. Laurel and Jackson amicably divorced.

1995: All the time Laurel was spending with Amanda and Timmy brought her and Trevor together. Knowing no one would love his children as much as Laurel did, Trevor proposed to Laurel. On the day they were to marry, Janet made a surprise entrance. In her hands was a bomb. But upon seeing Amanda standing with Laurel, she ran out of the church to disarm it. Laurel watched helplessly at a lightning bolt struck down an unsuspecting Janet. Laurel and Trevor breathed a sigh of relief realizing that Janet was dead.
Laurel welcomed her little brother, Michael Delaney to Pine Valley. He was a teacher at Pine Valley High School. Laurel was the only person that knew his secret: he was gay. When Laurel confided in Trevor, he freaked out. Michael had taken Timmy and Jamal Cudahy on a camping trip. Trevor insisted that Timmy come home. He did not want Timmy left alone with Michael.

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Laurel (LaFortune) already had the love of his children, so it was not a suprise when Trevor (James Kiberd) asked her to marry him.


1996: Michael sued the Pine Valley school board when he was let go because of parental concerns of his sexuality. Laurel was her brother’s staunches supporter. They made an appearance on “The Cutting Edge” to talk about discrimination in Pine Valley.
Unknown to everyone at the studio, a drunk Jason Sheffield was lurking in the rafters with a gun. Jason’s little brother, Kevin Sheffield, came out as gay. Jason wrongly blamed Michael and was intent on making him pay. But because of his state of mind, he missed Michael and instead shot Laurel in the head. She was rushed to the hospital, but there was nothing any of the doctors could do. Laurel was dead.

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