Iris is the daughter of the late Mackenzie"Mac" Cory and Sylvie Kosloff, who had an affair in the late 1940's. Sylvie was in prison (her crime is unknown) when Iris was born, and she gave her three-week-old daughter to Eugenia Cory, Mac's wife, who named her Iris and raised the child as her own daughter, while allowing Mac to believe they had adopted the baby. When Iris was still a child, Eugenia died and Mac placed his daughter in a series of European boarding schools. As a result of this detachment, Iris developed a strong attachment to her father, craving his unconditional love and viewing any other woman in his life as a threat to her position. After graduating from boarding schools, Iris became a socialite and a full-fledged member of the Jet Set. It was during this period that Iris met, fell in love with and had a three-day affair with a merchant seaman named Alex Wheeler. Returning to New York after parting company with Alex, Iris discovered that she was pregnant. Horrified at what "Daddy" would think of her giving birth to an illegitimate child, Iris quickly married journalist Eliot Carrington, whom she had been dating, and passed her son - whom she named Dennis - off as his. The marriage was strained, however, and by 1972, Iris and Eliot were separated, with Eliot getting custody of Dennis while Iris returned to the jet set.
It was at this time that the Carringtons entered the lives of the people of Bay City. Eliot had hired Alice Matthews as Dennis' personal nurse. Neurotic Iris suspected that Eliot had romantic feelings for Alice (she was right) and set out to destroy any relationship they might have. When Dennis' heart condition worsened, Eliot took the boy to Bay City for treatment at Bay City General's cardiology unit. This crisis also brought Mac Cory to Bay City. Still determined to break up Alice and Eliot, Iris had Eliot's hotel suite bugged, but Eliot found out about it and had Iris arrested. Iris suffered a nervous breakdown when the police arrived at her door, and Eliot dropped the charges and placed her under psychiatric care. When Iris recovered, she granted Eliot a divorce and he left Bay City. Iris soon took up with Dr. Russ Matthews, Alice's brother, who had cared for Dennis in the hospital. Russ was genuinely attracted to Iris, and they eventually became engaged. Iris also became friendly with Russ' Aunt Liz, with whom she tried to fix up her father. Although they dated, Mac soon became attracted to another woman, Rachel Davis Frame, whom he eventually married. This relationship threw Iris into a tailspin, and she spent the next several years working tirelessly to break up their marriage.
Iris first tried bribing Rachel out of Mac's life. She then hired a gigolo to seduce Rachel, but the man had a conscience and confessed everything to Mac, who angrily disinherited Iris. Russ also turned on Iris, breaking their engagement. A distraught Iris attempted suicide, but was saved by Dr. Dave Gilchrist, whom she briefly dated. Later, Mac changed his mind about disinheriting Iris, but warned her that he would cut her out of his life if she didn't behave. Iris agreed, and set her romantic sights on architect Robert Delaney. Robert had been dating Clarice Hobson, who was pregnant with his child. Iris found out about the baby, quickly married Robert and warned Clarice that she would take the child if Robert ever learned it was his.
Despite her promise to behave, Iris returned to her old ways after learning that Mac and Rachel were expecting a child. While Mac was in New York ,Iris tried to get him back together with his ex-fiancée, Tracy DeWitt - a relationship Iris had earlier sabotaged. She failed, and when Rachel had a miscarriage, Mac disowned Iris after learning that Rachel had called her for help and was dismissed by Iris. Iris then stole a bust Rachel had sculpted of Mac, arguing that she wanted some trace of "Daddy" in her life. The bust was destroyed, however, when Robert learned the truth about Iris' manipulation of Clarice. Robert and Iris divorced.
Not long after, Dennis' heart problem flared up again, causing Iris a great deal of pain. Seeing her concern, Mac forgave her again, and soon after, Iris became involved with Brian Bancroft, Mac's corporate attorney. The two were married, and Iris continued her campaign to break up Mac and Rachel. She spread rumors of infidelity and paid the Cory servants to keep her informed of what was going on in Mac's house. She also found time to meddle in Dennis' life, however. Iris sabotaged her son's relationship with Eileen Simpson, a sweet girl whom Iris considered undesirable because of her working class background. She would later become horrifed when Dennis took up with Countess Elena de Pouglinac, a society friend who was Iris' age.
Iris' life changed dramatically in 1979. After Mac and Rachel had their daughter, Amanda, Mac unthinkingly referred to Amanda as his "first born," revealing to Iris that she had been adopted. This news sent Iris into an emotional tailspin. She disowned Mac - and even wished him dead at one point - and set out to find her real parents. When she finally found her real mother, Sylvie, a knock-off dress designer, Iris was appalled and swore to have nothing to do with her, but the two eventually became friends. At this same time, Iris was seduced by Sylvie's business associate, Kirk Laverty, a millionaire who wanted to take over Cory Publishing. Kirk convinced Iris to vote against Mac in the takeover bid, but the attempt failed. Kirk was later killed, and Iris was a major suspect. In an attempt to clear her name, Iris and her maid, Vivien, did some snooping and exposed the real killer. Iris then turned her attention back to Dennis, and tried to match him up with Cecile de Pouglinac, Elena's daughter. When Cecile proved to be more attracted to Jamie Frame - Dennis' best friend - Iris hired a writer to seduce Cecile away from Jamie so Dennis could have her. Cecile eventually learned of Iris' scheme and told Brian, who divorced Iris after realizing that she would never changed. Dennis moved to Houston, Texas to become an art buyer for a gallery. Iris followed him there and ran into her old flame, Alex Wheeler. At Alex's urging, Iris moved to Houston and married him, but he was killed on their wedding day. A devastated Iris left Houston and returned to the Jet Set.
Little is known of Iris' life from 1980 to 1988. It is know that she met Michael Hudson in France in 1985, and the two had an affair. In 1987, Iris received a letter from her mother, Sylvie, who was dying and wanted to clear her conscience. Sylvie confessed everything to Iris about the circumstances of her birth, including the fact that Mac Cory was her biological father. Armed with this knowledge, Iris returned to Bay City and set out to win her father's love once and for all. Setting up a phony company called Bennett Publishing, Iris began an attempt to take over Cory Publishing - her intention being to bring the company to the verge of destruction and then rush in and save it at the last minute. Her return to Bay City elated Mac and horrified Rachel, who hadn't forgotten all of Iris' earlier schemes. Iris carried on her charade until she was found out by Donna Hudson, who teamed up with Rachel to expose Iris as "The Chief." At Rachel's urging, Iris tearily confessed the whole plot to Mac, who bitterly disowned his daughter, telling her "You're dead to me, Iris. You're not my daughter anymore." When Iris learned a few weeks later that Mac had died without forgiving her, she was inconsolable.
Ironically, Mac's death forced Iris to grow up in many ways. She became friends with Rachel and accepted a job at Cory Publishing. Although her relationship with her family was never warm, she nevertheless remained a part of the family for the rest of her time in Bay City. She returned to scheming when Paulina Cantrell, another of Mac's illegitimate children, appeared in town. Iris fought tooth and nail to prevent Paulina from claiming Mac as her father, but eventually accepted her. Iris also forged a relationship with her long-estranged son, Dennis, and shared in his joy at the birth of his daughter, Sarah Matthews Wheeler.
When Rachel became engaged to Carl Hutchins, who had long been the Cory family's archenemy, Iris was outraged. She began a terrorism campaign designed to scare Carl away, but the plan backfired when Evan Frame, Iris' old ally in the Cory takeover, used her to get revenge on the family. Iris had planned to fire a gun loaded with blanks at Carl and Rachel's wedding, but Evan had real bullets put in the gun, and Iris shot Carl. After a trial - which Evan made sure Iris would lose - she was sentenced to eight years in prison. She is currently serving her sentence.