Brian McColl, the oldest son of wealthy Whit McColl, followed his father to Oakdale after Whit married Oakdale citizen Lisa Colman. An ambitious man, Brian was groomed for a career in politics. However, in time, he became disenchanted and embarked in a career in newspaper publishing. After years of focusing on his career, he found romance with newly widowed Barbara Ryan St. Clair. Soon, the couple fell in love and made plans to marry. Unfortunately, Barbara's son, Paul, was vehemently against the marriage and caused troubled. Disgusted at Barbara's tendency to let Paul dictate her life, Brian broke off the engagement. Not long after, Brian met Shannon O'Hara who would lead him to the love of his life.
Shortly after meeting Shannon, Brian became instantly attracted to her. The feeling was mutual and, after a short courtship, the couple made plans to marry. Unfortunately, their wedding plans were put on hold by Shannon's current husband, Duncan McKechnie, who kept stalling the divorce proceedings. During all of this, Brian met Duncan's sister, Beatrice, a disturbed young woman who mistook him for her deceased fiancé. Sympathetic, Brian tried to help Beatrice by pretending to be her fiancé. This went on for weeks until suddenly Beatrice snapped out of her delusional state and saw Brian for who he was. Astounded, Brian kept spending time with her. Despite his growing attraction towards Beatrice, he went along with his wedding plans to Shannon. Shannon, however, could see that Brian and Beatrice were falling in love and broke off their engagement, encouraging Brian to confess his love for Beatrice. Brian did and the pair quickly became engaged. But surprisingly, Duncan disapproved. Confused as to why Duncan was so protective of his little sister, Duncan confessed the truth to him: he wasn't Beatrice's brother; he was her father. Believing that Beatrice had a right to know the truth, Brian told her he couldn't marry her unless she knew something and Duncan knew what that something was. On the spot, Duncan was forced to admit the truth. The truth out, Beatrice quickly forgave Duncan for his deception and married Brian. After the wedding the couple moved to Scotland where Beatrice gave birth to a little girl.