A daughter of privilege and circumstance
Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2000 10:11:49 PM
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It's often been said that children can become totally different people during their adolescence. Flip on any television talk show and you'll hear stories of how good kids went bad or tune into the nightly news and listen to some other horror story. Experts chalk up the sometimes-irrational behavior to raging hormones and the need for children to test their boundaries. In Pine Valley, though, growing up takes on a decidedly different meaning.

In February 1988, Erica Kane gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Bianca Montgomery. The young girl had no idea that she was being born into a life of privilege, a life of having a superstar for a mother. The child wasn't even a year old when her life took its first peculiar twist. Bianca was involved in a phony kidnapping concocted by her father, Travis Montgomery, in an attempt to ward off a hostile takeover of his company by Adam Chandler.

Two years later, Bianca nearly lost her life to Reye's Syndrome

While still just a youngster, Bianca found her mother and Jackson, Travis' brother, kissing. Bianca was furious and took out her anger on an "Uncle Jack doll." She set the doll on fire, but the blaze grew out of control and destroyed the house. Bianca barely escaped death. The fallout from the fire resulted in Travis suing for, and winning, custody of his daughter.

1993 saw two actresses take over the role of Bianca; Lacey Chabert, who would later find fame on the FOX drama, "Party of Five" and Gina Gallagher. Gallagher held the role from 1993 through 1997. To date, she owns the record of playing Erica's daughter for the longest period of time.

Under Gallagher's tenure, Bianca saw even more trouble. She was nearly accosted by Richard Fields, the man who had raped Erica when she was just a child. There was also the uncomfortable issue of learning she had a long-lost sibling and mistakenly feeling that she had to "share" her mother's love. Until now, Bianca was believed to be Erica's only child. That changed when Kendall Hart, played by actress Sarah Michele Gellar, strolled into town. She had been conceived through the violent act of rape. Erica decided to continue with the pregnancy, but Kendall was given up for adoption almost immediately after her birth. Kendall was furious with Erica for seemingly dumping her into the foster parent system. It was Kendall who brought an ailing Richard Fields back to town as a revenge tactic against Erica. Gellar, of course, would go on to win a Daytime Emmy award for her work on All My Children and find more stardom as The WB's "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer."

After Gallagher's nearly four-year run in Pine Valley, it came time for another change. Gallagher wanted to devote her time to her schooling and the writers had a front burner storyline brewing for Erica's daughter. Nathalie Paulding was brought in to tackle what proved to be Bianca's biggest problem to date.

The typical problems of growing up are difficult for many teens. Add to that a constant whirlwind of attention surrounding you, your family, and your world-renowned mother, and life can be even harder. Bianca's body dealt, for lack of a better term, with this turmoil by turning on itself. The young girl grew thinner and thinner with each passing her day, her face a pale shade of white. Erica's attempts to mother her daughter only made the situation worse. The girl was eventually hospitalized and given a feeding tube. The tube was the young girl's only lifeline; without it her life could easily have been cut tragically short. Travis and his wife, Barbara, Dimitri Marick and Erica all gathered together for a family therapy session. If Erica had believed that it was the others in Bianca's life that were causing her such grief, she was soon set straight. Though painful to hear, Erica permitted --- and even encouraged --- Bianca to free herself of everything that was troubling her and causing her pain. In the release, Bianca confessed that it sometimes isn't easy living in Erica's shadow. The session concluded and shortly thereafter Bianca was sent to a wellness clinic in Upstate New York.

It's currently unclear why or how Bianca is returning to Pine Valley. There have been numerous references in recent months that Bianca is doing well in her recovery. Bianca is quite fond of Dr. David Hayward, Erica's beau of the moment. It should also be noted that Bianca really liked another of Erica's lovers (and husbands), Dimitri. Since Bianca is being aged a few years and brought back during the summer months, there are thoughts that she might be the subject of a "young loves" storyline. Previous rumors of a love interest for Bianca never materialized. Most recently, in the late 1990s, many viewers thought that Tim Dillon would be a perfect boyfriend for the girl.

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