Dee Stewart, the youngest child born to David and Ellen Stewart, had a very happy childhood. Surrounded by people who loved her, she never wanted for anything. She was a bright, happy child who never gave her parents any trouble. Unfortunately, Dee's adult life was filled with many troubles, of the romantic kind.
In August of 1976, an 18-year old, Dee announced to her shocked parents that she decided not to attend college. Her mother, Ellen was sure that her daughter was making a terrible mistake. Her father, David, though realized that Dee was no longer a little girl and had to make her own decisions. One night, in September 1976, out driving in a heavy rainstorm, Dee swerved to avoid hitting a dog and struck a barricade, sending it flying into the air. It was not until the next morning,, when her older sister, Annie, showed her the paper, that Dee found out the barricade had hit a car and put the driver in Memorial Hospital. Dee rushed to Memorial where her older half-brother, Dan, was taking care of the young man. His name was Beau Spencer, and Dee kept a vigil at his bed, waiting to see if he would live or die. To Dee's great relief, he recovered, and although he didn't blame her for the accident, he initially ignored her overtures of friendship. Dee liked him anyway. He wasn't aware of it, but he Dee took any interest by Beau to be a flirtation. This gave her a new meaning in life, and she registered at college -- the same college Beau was attending for graduate school. Unfortunately for Dee, Beau only had eyes for Annie, and only hung around Dee to be near her older sister. Months later, when Annie was in a coma following a construction accident, Dee overheard Beau declare his love for her. Shocked, Dee did the right thing and, when Annie recovered, Dee gave her permission to date Beau.
In college, Dee started seeing musician Ian McFarland. Ian's doctor also began to have designs on the beautiful young Dee, and that doctor was her family's longtime adversary, Dr. John Dixon! Dee accompanied Ian to Rome, where he was to conduct a major concert and where they planned to consummate their love. This was John's golden moment to play Svengali to Dee by telling her that Ian was not ready for a late-night schedule because of his fragile heart condition. Ironically, John's attempt to separate the lovers proved medically correct; on February 14, 1980, after the successful concert of Ian's masterpiece, Ian died of a heart attack while making love (right before climax) to Dee for the first and only time! He collapsed right on top of her! Dee felt responsible and John tried to reassure her she wasn't and vowed to protect her when they returned to Oakdale. Both decided to keep silent about the true nature of Ian's death.
After returning to Oakdale, Dee met land surveyor Brad Hollister. Brad was obviously interested in Dee, but Dee rebuffed him because she was afraid of hurting him, the way the thought she'd hurt Ian. The only person Dee felt she could confide in was John and soon they became engaged over the strenuous objection of her father. John did everything he could to widen the rift between Dee and her family and make him indispensable to her. Finally, Brad confronted Dee and forced her to tell him why she ran away from him. Dee confessed the torrid details of her affair with Ian and Brad convinced her that Ian's death was not her fault. Unfortunately, by then Brad was married to Annie, and Dee was unwilling to steal her sister's husband.
Dee's feelings toward Brad didn't go unnoticed by John and he continued to make Dee feel guilty about loving Brad. He also told Dee that Annie was pregnant, destroying all Dee's hopes of the marriage ending. Her hopes dashed, Dee quickly married John. The marriage was a disaster. John was extremely possessive of Dee and jealous of her feelings toward Brad. The stress of the marriage caused Dee to lose sleep and she starting taking sleeping pills. One night, while she was sleeping, a man crawled in her bed and made love to her. Dee assumed the man was Brad, and was later horrified to discover that it was John! When her father found her crying the following morning, she told him that she never wanted to make love to John and he encouraged her to press charges of marital rape against him. During the trial, though, Dee was forced to admit that she HAD encouraged John since she believed he was Brad and she dropped the charges against him. Brad's love for Dee also came out during the trial, and Annie left her husband. Dee and Brad were finally able to be together. Unfortunately, Dee learned that Brad conned her family out of valuable land and decided that they had no future together.
Dee then found herself attracted to the mysterious James Stenbeck even though he had been married to her friend, Barbara. Dee ignored everyone's warnings about James and the two became engaged. John did everything he could to convince Dee that James was evil, but he only succeeded in making Dee hate him more than she already did. Soon, John was found dead and Dee became the prime suspect. Dee was put on trial for John's murder and was later shocked to see him appear in the courtroom! John had wanted to frame James for his death and didn't want to involve Dee. Dee was set to marry James and was shocked when he suddenly broke their engagement and married someone else. Fed up with life in Oakdale, Dee accepted a job offer in New York.
In 1985, Dee returned to Oakdale for Kim's wedding to Bob Hughes. In 1986, she and her sister, Annie, returned for Chris and Nancy's wedding anniversary and, that same year, Dee returned for Chris Hughes funeral. In 1991, Dee returned to town for her own father's memorial service.