Mary Smythe was, for all intents and purposes, an absentee mother to daughter Greenlee. Mary had gotten accustomed to her jet-set lifestyle and couldn't be bothered with raising a child. Mary also came to resent her daughter because she felt as though Greenlee was "stealing" away the love of her husband, Roger. So for much of Greenlee's life, Mary and Roger were off traveling the world - and Greenlee didn't even so much as get a greeting card on her birthday.
Mary finally returned to Pine Valley just in time for Greenlee's wedding to Leo du Pres. While Mary proclaimed that she'd returned to bond with her daughter that was not the case. Mary's father, Woodruff, ordered his daughter to be a mother to Greenlee or risk being disinherited. All the while, Greenlee believed that her mother truly loved her.
Greenlee hoped that her parents would reconcile, but they remained estranged, barely able to tolerate each other. Roger was shot at Greenlee and Leo's wedding and died soon after. Greenlee had discovered that he'd been having an affair with her best friend, Simone, and leaned on her mother for comfort. They remained close until the funeral service, when Greenlee overheard her grandparents discussing Mary's real motive for being nice to her daughter. Greenlee rejected her mother, but again tried to have a relationship with her after Leo died a few months later. Mary made a few token appearances in Greenlee's life during the funeral and at the holidays, and to turn down Greenlee's request for money to help start up a business, but in early 2003 took a European cruise just when her daughter needed her the most. In March 2003 Mary returned, attempting to fix Greenlee up with a hunky German named Gunther. When she learned of Greenlee's feelings for Fusion Cosmetic's janitor, Carlos (or as Mary called him, "that Mexican"), she was horrified. Greenlee spit venom back at her and their relationship remained distant at best.
Once Mary was back in town, she began to have romantic feelings for her past lover, Jackson Montgomery, who was engaged to Erica Kane. When Jack was hospitalized for a heart condition and needed a donor to match his rare blood type, Mary made Greenlee go with her to donate blood. She tried to stop by Jackson's room, but Erica wouldn't allow her inside because she knew she was still in love with Jackson. Jackson's donor was found and Dr. Joe Martin told Erica that only a family member could be a match, so everyone assumed it was his niece, Bianca Montgomery. Erica became suspicious after Mary made it obvious and clear that "only family" could be a match and Bianca wasn't it. Erica got a hold of the donor papers and was shocked to see Greenlee's name as the donor.
When Erica confronted Mary about Greenlee being the blood donor, Mary admitted that Greenlee was really Jackson's daughter, not Roger Smythe's. Erica practically spit on Mary for keeping the secret from Jackson and making Greenlee grow up with a father who never loved her. Mary told Erica that she married Roger because he was wealthy and Jackson was poor. Mary realized that if she told Jackson, her chances of getting him back into her life would be high. Erica pleaded with her not to tell Jackson the truth because he was still recovering from his heart condition. Mary agreed to wait one week to tell Jackson the truth. By then, he would be out of the hospital and strong enough to handle her news.
When Mary's week was up, Erica came knocking on her door at The Valley Inn. Mary immediately asked her what she wanted. Erica told her that if she told Jackson the truth, she would tell him and everyone else about her secret affair with a 17 year-old royal French boy, Jean Jacques. Mary was banned from ever returning to France. Erica warned her that if she told Jackson the truth and spoiled their wedding, her secret would come out. Mary decided to give in to Erica's blackmail to save her name in the family and her status in society. However, Mary got tired of Erica flaunting her love for Jackson and rubbing it in her face. She used stationary from her room to write a fake note to Jackson telling him that Greenlee was his daughter, not Roger's. She asked Greenlee to deliver the note to Jackson. Greenlee didn't understand why she couldn't deliver it herself. Mary claimed that Erica had been keeping her away from Jackson and watching him like a hawk. Greenlee never delivered it to Jackson, but decided to read it herself the day of Erica's and Jackson's wedding. Mary showed up on the wedding day, looking frantically for Jackson. Instead of Jackson, she ran into Reggie Porter, Jackson's soon to be adopted son. Reggie tricked her and told her that he knew where Jackson was. They drove to an abandoned spot in the woods, Reggie stole her car, and hauled himself back to Pine Valley, leaving Mary stranded in the woods.
When she managed to get back to Pine Valley after catching a ride on a truck hauling pigs, she found Reggie and demanded that he be arrested. No one cared about her story and Reggie acted as though he didn't know what she was talking about. Angrily, Mary went back to her hotel room to clean up. Before she could take a shower, Greenlee showed up, shoving the fake note in her face. Mary told her the truth about Jackson. Then she told Greenlee about Jean and how Erica had been blackmailing her, forcing her to keep her mouth shut. Greenlee was shocked that her mother had an affair with a minor. Mary said she didn't know he was only 17 and if she had known, she wouldn't have slept with him. Mary begged Greenlee to go tell Jackson the truth before he married Erica. Before Greenlee was about to leave, she found the stationary set lying on a desk in Mary's room and figured out Mary forged the note. Mary admitted that she forged the note, but was still telling the truth about Jackson. Greenlee didn't believe her and thought she was making a pathetic attempt to win Jackson over by using her. Mary handed Greenlee her diary and showed her a passage she wrote soon after her and Jackson conceived Greenlee. As Mary had wanted, Greenlee crashed the wedding and told everyone she was Jackson's daughter. Jackson didn't believe her, he figured that Mary was using Greenlee to get him back into her life, even though he had made it perfectly clear he loved Erica. Greenlee read him the passage in the diary, told him to stay away from her and rushed out. Mary showed up just as Greenlee was leaving, but was there long enough to get a verbal tongue lashing from her daughter, who said she never wanted to see her again. Mary and Erica had harsh words, but Mary thought she had finally won the battle.
Dr. Joe Martin allowed Jackson to see the donor papers, which confirmed Greenlee was his donor. Then Joe ran a DNA test, which confirmed that Greenlee was his daughter. Although Mary's relationship with her daughter was ruined and Jackson didn't want anything to do with her, she was confident that they would be a family soon. To Mary's delight, Greenlee and Jackson decided slowly work on their relationship.
Once Mary's father, Woodruff, found out about her affair with Jean and lying to Greenlee about her real father, he disinherited her. All of her money that was left for her was given to Greenlee. Mary was shocked. She begged her father not to cut her out of his life because she had a "lifestyle to maintain." Woodruff was disgusted with her actions, kissed Greenlee good-bye and left Mary penniless. Mary begged Greenlee to help her out since she was broke and alone. Greenlee laughed in her face and told her she couldn't have any of her money. In an act of desperation, Mary told Greenlee that Jackson knew he was her father all along. Greenlee found that hard to believe, especially since Jackson was a kind, loving family man who acted truthfully shocked when he found out about Greenlee. Greenlee wasn't sure who to believe, so she left her home and went out looking for answers.
Mary continued to reside at The Valley Inn, until her credit cards declined and Greenlee kindly helped her out for a few days. After that, Mary made herself in a guest in the home of rich businessman Adam Chandler. He didn't particularly care for her company, but she convinced him to let her stay. She proposed that he allow her to use his artistic studio so she could sell her paintings and make income. Adam agreed, but she knew she would be indebted to him for not kicking her out on the streets.
During this time, Greenlee and the first man she dated since Leo's death, Juan Pablo Renato Ruiz de Vasquez, devised a plan to prove if Mary was really telling the truth about Jackson. Greenlee would act as though she wanted her mother to comfort her and renew their relationship, while Juan Pablo seduced Mary and tried to convince her to leave Pine Valley with him. If Mary chose Juan Pablo, then Greenlee would know she was lying about Jackson. After all, Mary could never resist a rich man's charms. As Greenlee figured, Mary told Juan Pablo she would leave town with him as soon as he whispered sweet nothings in her ears and flashed his money around. On his personal jet, before she thought they were leaving town, Mary admitted to Juan Pablo that she lied to Greenlee-Jackson really never knew that Greenlee was his daughter. Moments after she told Juan Pablo the truth, Greenlee appeared, and was listening to every word. Greenlee was deeply hurt and told her mother about the plan she and Juan Pablo created to fool her. Mary was embarrassed, but begged for her daughter's forgiveness. Greenlee cut her ties to Mary and stormed out.
Mary was ready to get revenge on Juan Pablo for making a fool out of her and lying to her about his romantic feelings. She discovered that Juan Pablo had a brother, Carlos, who was hiding in Pine Valley from an Argentinean mob. When she realized that the mob was looking for him, she sent the news to a trashy magazine. The magazine ran the identity of the brothers and Juan Pablo threatened her life.
Feeling confident that she had raised hell for Juan Pablo and gotten her revenge, she pursued a deal with Adam. His son, J.R., recently returned home and brought an unexpected surprise with him-a new wife, Babe. Babe wasn't exactly what Adam wanted his son to marry. She came from a low-class, adored the soap opera "Dynasty", and spoke with a trashy twang that could drive anyone crazy. Adam immediately wanted her out of J.R.'s life and told Mary that if she wanted to continue to live in his home, she needed to find some dirt on Babe. Mary agreed and became suspicious of the close relationship that Babe seemed to share with J.R.'s brother, Jamie. She even tried to seduce Jamie to get information out of him, but Jamie told her to leave him alone. Adam began pressuring her to get the dirt on Babe, and Mary continued to snoop around for the answers. Try as they might, Adam and Mary were unable to split the pair up. When Adam found out that Jamie had slept with Babe -- and Babe later found out that she was pregnant -- Adam tried to enlist Jamie into breaking up the marriage. That too failed.
Mary's stay as a houseguest at Chandler Mansion came to a surprisingly abrupt end in January 2005. Mary tried to assert herself as Adam's romantic interest when Adam's friend, Dorian Lord, came to town. Mary threw her hands in the air and said that she couldn't live at the mansion if Adam was going to disrespect her. Adam nodded his head and told "Proud Mary" to go, go, go. Homeless, Mary talked Greenlee into giving her some money for a stay at The Valley Inn -- after efforts to stay with Greenlee and new-husband Ryan failed.