Rosanna Cabot came to Luther's Corners, and the Snyder farm, soon after her mom's death. Rosanna's mother had come from a small town in Montana and Rosanna wanted to experience that same kind of life. Though she tried to pass herself off as an average girl, Evan Walsh learned the truth: Rosanna was the daughter of wealthy industrialist Alexander Cabot. Rosanna was turned off by her father's money, however, and was much happier hanging out at the Snyder farm. At the farm, Rosanna became attracted to farmhand Hutch Hutchinson. However, not only did Rosanna have competition for Hutch, she also had rich Evan Walsh going after her! Though she ended up choosing Hutch, she was soon put off by his jealousy and the two parted ways.
Soon, Rosanna found love with mechanic Mike Kasnoff. Though her father was against the relationship, Rosanna defied him and told him she didn't care if she had money as long as she had Mike. Later, her father bribed Mike to leave Rosanna. Mike was incensed by the offer and got in an argument with Alex that resulted in Alex's death by a heart attack. Though she was never close with her father, Rosanna never wanted him to die and she lashed out at Mike. Though estranged for a while, soon the pair got back together and became engaged. At the same time, Rosanna found out that her cousin, Carly, was actually her half-sister! Rosanna welcomed Carly into her life and offered to help her in any way. When Rosanna inherited the bulk of her father's estate, she told Carly she would give her a small portion, while most of it would go to various charities. Carly seemed all sweet and kind and Rosanna trusted her completely. Her trust was broken on her wedding day when Carly made sure Rosanna learned that she and Mike slept together when they were apart. For the first time, Rosanna saw Carly's vicious streak and found out the Carly was only after her money. Hurt, Rosanna broke the engagement and, by the time she was ready to forgive Mike, he had been seduced by Carly, who was now pregnant with his child.
Carly's continual presence was more that Rosanna could take. Rosanna was very jealous of Mike and Carly's baby, and she told Carly to name her price and she would buy her baby. However, Carly refused to sell her child. Rosanna then offered to pay Carly millions of dollars to leave town. Unfortunately, Carly arranged it so Mike would walk in when she was handing over the money and Mike broke up with Rosanna. That same night Rosanna and Mike were having dinner on a restaurant yacht and Carly came looking for them. After a arguing viciously with Carly, Rosanna finally had enough and turned to walk away. Just then, Carly grabbed Rosanna by the arm and Rosanna jerked her arm away. Tragically, when Rosanna jerked her arm away, Carly lost her balance and fell backward off the ship, causing her to go into premature labor and lose her baby. When Mike hesitated about whether it was Rosanna's fault, Rosanna knew the relationship was over and, wanting to be as far away as possible, Rosanna left town. However, feeling guilty about the miscarriage, she offered Carly a deal: Carly would receive $50 million when she gave birth to a child in wedlock, provided that Mike was NOT the father.
After some time gambling in Europe, Rosanna decided to add a deadline to the offer. Carly had until New Years Eve 1998 to have a child; if she didn't by then the offer was void. Amazingly, Carly made the deadline and the money was offered to her. However when Rosanna learned that Carly committed fraud, Rosanna immediately took back all the money, leaving Carly with nothing. Not wanting her baby nephew, Parker, to suffer because of his mother's greed, Rosanna set up a trust fund for him that Carly couldn't touch.
A few years later, Rosanna returned to Oakdale armed with a court order giving her custody of Parker until his parents were able to take care of him. Although she claimed that she was just looking out for Parker's best interests, many saw this as a way for her to hurt Carly. Though Craig Montgomery, who was in love with Carly, initially resisted the order by kidnapping Parker, he soon realized that he was facing jail time and agreed to turn Parker over to the aunt that had barely ever seen him.
Back in town, Rosanna immediately found her life intertwined with Carly's. Perceived as the town's pariah, Rosanna struck up a quick friendship with Craig, a man she knew was infatuated with Carly. Though she found a kindred spirit in Craig, Rosanna was still haunted by her own insecurities and her hatred for Carly. Making her life even more complicated was the arrival of Mike Kasnoff. Seeing this as a second chance to reclaim her innocence, Rosanna tried to seduce Mike but was rebuffed. Angry and hurt, Rosanna put her efforts in keeping Craig away from Carly and finding dirt on her sister. Which she did when she learned that Carly slept with another man [later learned to be Mike!] right before she married Jack Snyder. Though Craig tried to take the fall, when Carly wound up pregnant, he was forced to admit that he was only lying to protect her.
In addition to her relationship with Craig being under strain due to her insecurity about Carly, Rosanna also tried helping Lucy and her boyfriend Aaron find time together behind Craig's back. Though she knew full well that Craig disapproved of his daughter seeing Aaron, Rosanna remembered what young love was like and how a father's disapproval would only escalate matters. It was at this time that Rosanna and Craig's relationship would face a major crisis. Knowing that a now-pregnant Carly was under orders to avoid stress, Rosanna hired Barbara to replace her at Monte Carlo, something that Craig was against. Complicating matters was Jack who was against Carly working during the pregnancy. Finally, to ensure that Carly was Monte Carlo's top designer, Craig masterminded a plan with Barbara's former victims to have her kidnapped until Carly could finish the designs.
Unfortunately, Barbara escaped custody and turned up at Fairwinds just as Craig and Rosanna finished saying their wedding vows! Despite this revelation, it was Craig who ended up leaving Rosanna when he found out she'd gone behind his back and let Aaron see Lucy. Though Craig later went back to Rosanna, this time it was she who felt betrayed and refused to help him when he was arrested for the kidnapping. Though the charges were quickly dropped, Rosanna was still wary about staying with Craig when suddenly Carly disappeared and Jack accused Rosanna of murder! With a case full of circumstantial evidence, Jack was ready to have Rosanna prosecuted when suddenly Craig saved her by figuring out that Carly wasn't dead, she'd simply left town. Her ordeal over, Rosanna renewed her vows with Craig in a small peaceful ceremony with only herself, Craig, Lucy, and Aaron present. Soon after, Rosanna and Craig brought Parker to see Carly in Musselshell. There in Montana, the sisters bonded over the birth of Carly's daughter, Sage, and finally decided to put the past behind them.
Sage's birth caused Rosanna's maternal instincts to kick in and she announced that she wanted a child. Wanting to make Rosanna happy, Craig agreed to adopt but told Margo that he really didn't want a child. Afraid of losing a child the way he lost his son Bryant, Craig decided to sabotage their chances at adoption. Knowing that agencies were reluctant to place a child with him due to his prior criminal record, when Craig learned that Dusty Donovan had been using their club in an illegal gambling operation, he anonymously called the police. Though his plan succeeded, Rosanna learned the truth and was ready to leave him. Desperate to hold on to his wife, Craig got a very speedy adoption and surprised Rosanna with their son. Over the next few months, Rosanna reveled in her newfound motherhood while continuing her new friendship with Paul Ryan. Although Craig expressed some jealousy of her friendship with Paul, she tried to convince him that it was all innocent. However, when Paul became the prime suspect in the death of his fiancée, Rose, Craig noted that Rosanna was his sole champion, even putting up his bail money. Not long after Paul was exonerated for murder, Rosanna learned something devastating--Cabot's adoption was illegal!
Totally devastated, Rosanna made plans to escape with Cabot but had a change of heart when she started thinking about Cabot's birth mother. After the heartbreaking ordeal of giving Cabot to the Canadian authorities, Rosanna told Craig their marriage was over and left him and Oakdale behind. Several weeks later, Rosanna returned to Oakdale from St. Bart's completely and totally changed. Having learned that Paul was the one who turned Craig in to the police (thus causing her to lose Cabot), Rosanna ended her friendship with him and upon learning that Carly was working for BRO, Rosanna forced Carly to choose between working for Paul or remaining in her life. Rosanna also inexplicitly had a dossier on BRO's newest employee, business manager Jordan Sinclair. On the personal front, Rosanna served Craig with divorce papers, letting him off easy by letting him keep his money and Metro. Although Craig wanted to fight the divorce, Rosanna warned him that if he fought it, she'd take everything away from him.
Rosanna's desperation in obtaining a divorce soon became clear when she confessed to Carly that she had to marry Jordan in order to ensure Cabot's safety and get him back. Although Rosanna was close-mouthed about the details, Carly agreed to help her. Over the course of a few weeks, Rosanna shamelessly flirted with Jordan and even kept him from a date with Jennifer Munson. Although she tried to keep her intentions toward Jordan a secret, her manipulations were exposed when Paul found Rosanna's dossier on Jordan and gave it to him! Confronted by an angry Jordan, who felt as if he was a pawn in her game, Rosanna was forced to confess the truth: While she was away, an unknown person contacted her and told her that if she married Jordan, Cabot's birth mother would give him back. Unfortunately, Rosanna wasn't able to give Jordan a reason as to why Jordan was singled out since she was never told. Promising that she'd use all her resources to find out why he, a person without a family, was singled out, Rosanna begged him to marry her to help Cabot. Although an angry Jordan walked out, when he heard her devastating sobs, he relented and agreed to marry her for the sake of her child. Later, Rosanna was unsettled to learn that Jordan was Cabot's biological father! Although she tried to keep this information from Jordan, he soon learned the truth.
Although Jordan had no recollection of Cabot's birth mother, he demanded that he be a part of his son's life, since he wouldn't let his son be an orphan like he was. Not long after, Rosanna learned that not only the infamous James Stenbeck was behind the deal of her and Jordan marrying, but James was Jordan's biological father! Realizing that this was James's way of insinuating himself into Jordan and Cabot's life, Rosanna tried to bolt with Cabot but was discovered by Jordan and forced to return to Oakdale. In the midst of this, Rosanna renewed her friendship with Paul after he redeemed himself by saving Cabot's life in a fire. Soon the friendship turned to something more and she found herself falling in love. However, James wasn't about to let his master plan go up in smoke and he put forth another demand--she and Jordan needed to consummate their marriage. Although Rosanna was willing to do anything for James, Jordan wouldn't. Not long after, James escaped and kidnapped both Rosanna and Cabot. Although Paul came to the rescue, Rosanna knew there was a bomb planted and urged him to get Cabot. But Paul didn't and though he saved Rosanna, Cabot seemingly died in the explosion. Furious, Rosanna turned away from Paul and turned to Jordan for comfort. Though the pair immediately regretted their mistake, the damage was already done for Jordan since Jennifer refused to forgive him his discretion. Although Jen expected Paul to be equally surprised, he immediately understood. Needing time to get away, Rosanna went back to Emma's farm to regroup. While there, she gave Paul's younger brother, Will, a shot at redemption by hiring him at the farm after his release from a mental hospital. After spending weeks helping out at the farm, she and Paul started to reconnect and she started to soften towards him. After a while, she realized that she loved Paul and asked him to marry her. Although he initially declined, since he wasn't sure if this was what she really wanted, he later accepted.
Soon after Paul and Rosanna married, Rosanna started being haunted by visions of Cabot. Soon, it went beyond visions--someone was taunting Rosanna by taking Cabot's things out of storage. Although both Paul and Will initially suspected Barbara, she made it clear that she couldn't have done it since she was under house arrest and wearing an ankle monitor. Although she tried to deny it, Rosanna suspected that it was Will. Then one night, Will came downstairs to see someone in the house carrying Cabot's doll. He confronted the person, only to learn that it was his stepmother Emily! As Emily ran out, Will was caught red-handed with the doll. Knowing no one would believe him, he kept quiet about Emily and decided to investigate the matter himself. When confronted, Emily could remember nothing, but an investigation by police unnerved evidence that Emily was behind the stalking and she was arrested. Though the evidence proved she was responsible, Emily could not explain her actions or even remember them. Through some prodding by Paul though, she figured out that she may have been drugged by "her good friend" Barbara. In the end, Paul and Emily found evidence of what Barbara had done and she was arrested. It was at this time that James Stenbeck reemerged with a shocking revelation for Rosanna---Cabot was alive! In order to be with her son, all Rosanna had to do was make sure Barbara wasn't prosecuted. In order to accomplish this, Rosanna drugged Emily to make her believe Rosanna had drugged Emily to set up her own stalking. Unfortunately, James then threw her another curve--he was not relinquishing control of Cabot; Rosanna would have to leave town with him. So, in order to get Cabot back, Rosanna left town by telling Paul that their marriage was a lie; she'd hated him all along.
Months later, Rosanna found a familiar face in Bangkok: Craig! At first, a scared Rosanna feared James sent him; when she realized he didn’t, she revealed to him that Cabot was alive and that James made her his prisoner when he caught her trying to escape from marrying him. Craig promised to help her get her baby back. However, Rosanna quickly discovered it was hopeless to protect Cabot from James herself and gave the child away so he'd be safe. Returning to Oakdale, Rosanna told the entire story to Paul. Unfortunately, as soon as Paul learned she'd told Craig the truth and trusted him, and not Paul, to get her out of trouble, a hurt Paul wrote her off. At the same time, Craig was desperate to make sure he got custody of his unborn baby with Jennifer Munson and convinced Rosanna to marry him so they could be a family. Unfortunately, that decision would lead to tragedy. Shortly after, Rosanna met a high school student named Gwen Norbeck who was pregnant and looking to give her baby up for adoption. Touched by the girl’s plight, and wanting a family, Rosanna arranged to adopt the child when it was born. Then in a strange turn of events both Jennifer and Gwen went into premature labor at the same time! After hours of fighting for his life, Jennifer’s baby apparently died. To Rosanna’s confusion, Craig showed no grief over the loss of his own baby. Although she tried to talk to him about the loss of his child, he refused to give a suitable explanation, simply stating that he was willing to give his heart to his adoptive baby.
Rosanna became even more confused when Craig started taking such an interest in the baby, calling him “his” baby. Considering that Craig had been against the adoption, his attachment to the child so soon didn’t make any sense. Remembering that Craig had been hanging around the hospital near both babies, Rosanna came to a startling conclusion—Craig must have switched the babies! To see if her hypothesis was correct, Rosanna got the baby’s footprint records and matched them up with the baby’s foot-—they didn’t match. Horrified, she confronted Craig who confirmed that he did indeed switch the babies—only because he wanted to be able to raise his own child. Although Craig tried to make excuses for what he’d done, a sickened Rosanna refused to listen and ran out with the intent of going to the police. Craig followed her, intent on stopping her. Speeding away from the house, with Craig on her tail, Rosanna tried to call Paul to tell him to meet her. Desperate to get Rosanna to stop and listen to him, Craig hit her car continually from the side. Tragically, that caused Rosanna’s car to crash. Although she awoke just enough to tell Paul “wrong foot”, Rosanna slipped into a coma. In the aftermath, Craig was sent to jail for attempted murder and the baby was placed in Carly’s custody. Four months later, after a bitter custody battle between Carly and Gwen as well as Jen’s drug addiction, the truth would finally be revealed.
Two years later, Rosanna finally emerged from her coma thanks to an experimental drug. Upon awaking, the first person she saw was Paul. Paul caught up Rosanna in all that had happened while she was gone--including the fact that Craig's conviction had been overturned and he was a free man. Paul then brought Rosanna back home and tried to get her to remember what Craig had done so he could be convicted for the baby switch and Rosanna's accident. However, her memory of those events was hazy. At the same time, Rosanna's old feelings for Paul were returning. Meanwhile, Craig was married to Paul's former fiancee, Meg Snyder. Rosanna thought Paul wanted revenge on Craig for taking Meg away, but Paul assured her that he no longer loved Meg. Paul seemed to be falling for Rosanna again and eventually the pair made love. Later, Rosanna's entire memory came back and told she Craig that she would reveal his part in the baby switch. However, Craig warned her that with him in jail, Meg and Paul (who had just asked Rosanna to marry him) would surely reunite. Not wanting to lose Paul, Rosanna lied on the stand that she had no memory of what happened. She told Paul that she lied to him when she told him she had. Soon after, Rosanna hired a PI to follow Paul and noted that he did meet with Meg. Seeing the closeness between Paul and Meg, Ro urged Craig to get Meg pregnant to solidify their marriage. Though Rosanna considered calling off her own wedding, Paul convinced her that he and Meg were through. Soon after, Craig announced that Meg was pregnant. Believing the child was Craig’s, Paul turned away from Meg again and quickly married Rosanna.
Unfortunately, Rosanna couldn’t let go of the fear that Paul’s heart still belonged to Meg. Making it worse was Meg’s insistence that her baby was Paul’s. Meg insisted on a DNA test which Paul agreed to. The stress of the situation became too much and Rosanna briefly slipped back into a coma. When she woke up, she realized she had to keep Paul with her at any cost and snuck into the DNA lab. Her greatest fear was realized: Paul was the father. Desperate to keep Paul, who she thought of as her lifeline, Rosanna changed the results. Unfortunately, things unraveled when Craig learned the truth. Unable to deal with the thought of Meg carrying Paul’s child, Craig almost drugged Meg in an effort to cause a miscarriage. The guilt of what he almost did caused him to come undone and he eventually revealed to Meg that he knew the truth. Meg quickly put the pieces together and realized that Rosanna must have altered the tests. She went to Paul who immediately ended things with Rosanna. In the heat of anger, Rosanna wished Craig had killed Meg’s baby, thus telling Paul what Craig had done. Paul angrily confronted Craig and, when she was trying to break the pair up, Meg fell and lost her baby. Though Rosanna begged Paul to forgive her, he turned his back on her. Blaming Craig and Rosanna for the loss of his son, Paul had Rosanna charged with altering the DNA test. Soon after, Rosanna told Paul that she wanted a quick divorce in the Caribbean, and the two boarded a plane. On the plane, Rosanna told Paul that they weren’t going to the Caribbean. She she was taking him to a private island to convince him that they belong together. However, Paul told the pilot that he would file kidnapping charges, and the pilot turned the plane around and headed back to Oakdale. Once the plane landed, Rosanna was met by the police, and taken in to be questioned by Margo. Faced with time in prison and a life without Paul, Rosanna slipped back into a coma.
By the following year, Rosanna was out of her coma and living on a co-op farm in Wisconsin. Needing to shed all of her baggage in Oakdale, Rosanna had told no one where she or even that she’d recovered from her coma. Then one day, she was shocked to run into Paul and his baby daughter, Eliza at the farm Rosanna reluctantly agreed to let Paul and Eliza stay with her at the cooperative farm for a few days. Unfortunately, Paul had stolen Eliza from her mother. Rosanna urged Paul to return Eliza to Meg, but Paul decided to go on the run after he learned that the police were closing in on him. Without a second thought, Rosanna went with him. After speaking with his mother, Paul did the right thing and returned Eliza to Meg. At this point, Rosanna decided to return to Oakdale as well.
Back in town, Rosanna was shocked to learn that not only was Carly in business with Craig—she was engaged to him! Meanwhile, without Rosanna's knowledge, Paul hacked into Craig's computer and transferred all of Craig's money into bank accounts in Rosanna's name. Craig blamed Rosanna for the theft, and Rosanna accepted responsibility to keep Paul from going to jail. Though intended to have Rosanna arrested, he backed off after Carly begged him not to. Meanwhile, while staying at Carly’s, Rosanna found several bottles of vodka hidden in the house. Already suspicious of Carly’s behavior, Rosanna confronted Carly about her drinking problem and agreed not to say anything to Craig until after the wedding. However, on the day of the wedding, Carly had a change of heart and decided that she needed to get help for her addiction. While Carly was gone, Rosanna found herself falling for Craig, especially when she saw how good he was with his son, Johnny. Though the feeling was mutual, there was a problem since Craig was still engaged to Carly. Rosanna’s feelings for Craig greatly troubled her, not only because of Carly but also because of Craig’s actions years earlier. When Carly returned from rehab, she realized the truth and blasted both Craig and Rosanna for their betrayal. Fortunately, it didn’t take Carly long to realize that she never loved Craig anyway and she forgave her sister. Though Rosanna agreed to marry Craig, when it came time to say her vows, Rosanna couldn’t go through with it. After a heart-to-heart with Craig about Carly and the car accident, Rosanna gained closure, and she decided to move to Germany alone.
Less than a year later, Rosanna returned to Oakdale for Carly and Jack's wedding. There she bonded with Craig. Rosanna informed a lonely Craig that she was staying in town and gently told him that if he stopped chasing after people to make sure they stay, they might stay on their own.