Along with Woody King and Oliver Martin, Gwen was the daughter of cab driver Orby Jensen and his wife, Esther Kensington. Orby was an opportunist who was trying to make money off of the successes of his three children. After arriving in Salem Gwen began to date Eugene Bradford and later Larry Welch, but neither relationship lasted long. In 1983, Gwen was attacked by the Salem Slasher, but escaped, and when she returned to her apartment she found a raven's feather waiting for her. She later began a romantic relationship with Alex Marshall, and was sleeping with him when Roman was made to look like the killer.
After things were over between Gwen and Alex, Gwen began defending Anna DiMera in her quest to get back her designs, and also returned to her romantic relationship with Larry Welch. Although Larry swore he loved her, he was still married to Hope. Larry told Gwen that he was sick of Hope and her attitude, but that he had to stay married to her for the sake of his career. After fantasizing about herself being an old woman still waiting for Larry to leave his wife, Gwen broke off their relationship. Gwen renewed her friendship with Eugene Bradford, who had always been there for her. Even though it was just a platonic relationship, Calliope wasn't too happy with it.
To help Eugene and Bo bring down crooked businessman Maxwell Hathaway, Gwen feigns interest in him. She even searches his office one night while he's passed out on her couch. After Gwen found out that Communist scientist Victor Chorvat was Larry Welch's father, she leaked it to the papers. When Larry came back to her after Hope was presumed dead, Gwen confessed that it was she who leaked the information. Although Larry was furious, he swore he loved her. When Larry begged her to represent the Selejko children in a lawsuit against Tom Horton for their father's death, she reluctantly agreed. She denied his pleas to go to Europe with him, and when she heard him confess to accidentally killing Megan Hathaway in his sleep, she was absolutely shocked.
Gwen taped Larry's confession in case she ever needed it, but before long, she was starting to feel weak and listless. She was planning to take the tape to Chris Kositchek, when Larry suddenly confessed his role in Megan's death. Gwen swore to stand by him, and that he would keep his secret. Unfortunately, she then drank the glass of orange juice that Larry had tainted with arsenic, planning to kill her. When she came out of her coma, she told Larry that she just couldn't trust him, and that she was leaving Salem. But she swore that she would never tell anyone about the part he had played in Megan's death.