Gloria Marsh was born and raised in a small Mid-Western town. Her mother, Helen Marsh, a right wing, ultra-conservative Christian, raised Gloria with an iron glove and a huge amount of guilt, thus causing the adult Gloria to be a very insecure, nymphomaniac who confused love with sex. Gloria followed Craig Lawson (her ex-fiancÚ and partner in crime) to Pine Valley where she blackmailed him into again becoming his accomplice in extortion. Together they tried to bilk a recently widowed Dixie (supposedly dead, Tad Martin). When that failed and Craig was arrested, Gloria's true friendship with Dixie enlightened Gloria that life could be more than money and sex. Gloria was raped by the evil Will Cortlandt, was befriended and courted by Stuart Chandler, married his brother Adam, had an affair with the satanic Alec McIntyre, and had Adam's child, Anna Claire, who died shortly after her premature birth (caused by Adam). The death of Anna Claire caused Gloria to become deranged and she tried to poison Adam because she blamed him for Anna Claire's death. Gloria was institutionalized, rehabilitated and once again trying to lead a normal life. She was refused her nursing privileges (due to her attempted murder and her penchant for pills) and the only job she could find was a nurse to the evil Dr. Kinder. Upon realizing what was going on in Kinder's office, Gloria resigned, and Dimitri (a hospital board member) helped her get reinstated attesting to the wonderful job she did as the nurse to his former wife and coma-patient, Angelique.
Gloria fell in love with Tad, but his insistence that she cut off her friendship with Dimitri put a rift in their relationship. Dimitri used this difference of opinion to draw Gloria closer to him. Eventually, Dimitri convinced Gloria that Tad had cheated on her with Liza and she agreed to marry Dimitri.
During the marriage, Gloria was led to believe anything Dimitri said. Dimitri found out that Maddie was really Edmund's biological daughter, but took Gloria and Maddie to Vadzel. Tad and Edmund went after them. Tad tried to tell Gloria that Dimitri knew about the paternity, Gloria refused to believe him. Gloria took Maddie down to the local hospital and found out for herself. Upon returning to Pine Valley, Gloria reassured Dimitri that nothing would stop her from loving him. That was until she found out the real truth. Edmund and Tad schemed to get Dimitri to the crypt during the Crystal Ballwhile Gloria stood out side the crypt to hear what Dimitri had to say. Tad and Edmund got what they wanted, an angry Dimitri, who spilled his true story. Gloria stepped inside the crypt and slapped Dimitri across the face as he tried to explain, but she turned and walked away. She didn't know that Dimitri would be rushed to the hospital near death after a tree fell atop him. She did CPR to save his life, but it didn't change her feelings for Dimitri. She visited him in his hospital room to return Dimitri's wedding ring. She bid him farewell and left Pine Valley to make a new start for herself.