Barbara came to Pine Valley in 1987 as a high powered executive involved in her ex-husband's (Travis Montgomery) campaign for political office. She constantly butted head with Erica who was in love with Travis and pregnant with his child. Barbara told Travis that Erica was having his child.
In 1988, Barbara became involved with Tom Cudahy and before long they fell in love. Tom, however, was married to Skye Chandler who was in a 3 month long coma. Even after Skye recovered from her coma she did everything she could to keep Tom and Barbara apart. In desperation she kidnapped Barbara at gunpoint and threatened to kill her. Tom arrived and pleaded with Skye to hand over the gun. She surrendered and was taken to Oak Haven Sanitarium.
Tom and Barbara looked forward to happiness, but on one fateful day, Barbara was engrossed in work while babysitting Laura Cudahy, Tom and Brooke's daughter. She let little Laura out to play with a friend but Laura was killed by a drunk driver as she crossed the street. Barbara was tormented by Laura's death and the tragedy destroyed her relationship with Tom.
In 1989 she had a brief affair with Tad Martin. After Tad dumped her she took up with Travis again who had lost most of his memory when he was beaten and mugged. She found herself pregnant with Travis's child but before he found out, he left town under the pretext of going through a mid-life crisis. He was really undergoing life-threatening surgery for a brain tumor and he didn't want anyone to know.
Tom who was still in love with Barbara proposed to her, and he encouraged her to tell everyone that he was the father of the baby. During the wedding ceremony Barbara gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Molly.
Barbara and Tom's happy life was torn apart in 1990 when Barbara's daughter Molly was diagnosed with Leukemia. She needed a bone marrow transplant to stay alive. Desperate, she was forced to tell Travis the truth that Molly was his daughter. They decided they would do anything to save Molly and when a suitable donor could not be found, they planed to conceive a second child in order to save Molly. They secretly made love and soon Barbara was pregnant again with Travis's child. The strain was too much for Tom and Erica to bear and their respective marriages were over.
In time, Travis married Barbara and she gave birth to another child, whose bone marrow saved Molly's life. Travis received custody of his daughter Bianca after Erica perjured herself on the witness stand and they left Pine Valley for a new home in Seattle. Barbara returns now and then to Pine Valley with her stepdaughter Bianca. She is very protective of Bianca and her involvement in Bianca's life has caused problems for Erica.