Hope Bauer, the child of Mike and Julie Conrad Bauer, spent her childhood with a loving family who cherished and supported her. Following Hope's birth, Julie resumed her job as secretary to attorney George Hayes, while Mike worked slavishly to complete the law education which George had generously financed. Mike drove himself so hard that he became seriously ill with a viral infection. Instead of being sympathetic, Julie worried that Mike's illness would postpone the degree that would ensure her the privileged life of a lawyer's spouse. Meanwhile, Mike's mother, Bert, helped out by taking care of Hope, but she became so obsessed with the child that when Mike's father, Bill, finally returned from his business trip, she barely paid any attention to him. Hope had become Bert's entire world. Meanwhile, Julie became disillusioned in her marriage to a man who married her simply because he got her pregnant. Julie left, only to discover she was pregnant again! Trapped and becoming unhinged, Julie became so distraught that she had a miscarriage and tried to jump off the ledge outside her hospital room. The only good news in Mike's life, at this time, was his graduation from law school. At this time, Dr. Paul Fletcher advised the Bauers that Julie should be put into a mental institution, which the Bauers and the Conrads did do. In 1966, the Bauers got word that Julie had died of injuries that were possibly self-inflicted. With Bill's encouragement, Mike and Hope escaped Bert's dominance and relocated to Bay City, where they lived in a boarding house owned by Ellen Hastings, who acted as a mother figure to Hope.
In 1968, an 8-year-old Hope arrived in Springfield with Mike and become reacquainted with her family. Lonely, in 1969, Hope instantly bonded with her Aunt Leslie, who became a mother figure. Unfortunately, in 1970, Mike impulsively married Charlotte Waring who was anything but a mother figure! A selfish woman, Charlotte resented Mike's closeness with Hope and made her disinterest in Hope perfectly clear to everyone but Mike. Miserable with her "wicked stepmother", Hope confided in her best friend, Christy Rogers, and finally ran away in 1971 to a deserted cabin. Luckily, Mike found her and learning how Charlotte treated her, he bitterly wrote off his new wife. That same day, Charlotte suffered a miscarriage and a grief stricken Hope gave her blessing for the pair to reconcile. However, in 1972, when Mike learned how vindictive Charlotte was, he divorced her after Hope told him that she saw Charlotte in a romantic embrace with Dr. Dick Carey. In 1973, a teenaged Hope watched her father marry the love of his life, her beloved Aunt Leslie, and again moved to Bay City to a boarding school.
In 1975, Mike brought Hope home from Bay City University, where she'd been dating the married college professor, Alex McDaniels, and enrolled her in Springfield University. Resenting her father’s actions, their relationship was strained for a time. Soon after returning to town, Hope found herself attracted to the older Chad Richards, a singer at the nightclub "The Metro." Hope was nervous about bringing Chad home to meet her father or Leslie, thinking they would again disapprove of another man in her life. Then Chad started suffering from severe headaches that he and Hope just thought were migraines. Finally, around Christmas, Hope finally brought Chad home to meet her family. Both Leslie and Mike were shocked, especially considering that Leslie had dated Chad years earlier! For his daughter’s sake, Mike decided to keep and open mind and found that he did like Chad. His opinion would change however when shortly after New Year 1976, Chad unexpectedly went after Leslie! Luckily Mike saved her by fighting Chad off. Later, Dr. Emmet Scott and Dr. Tim Ryan discovered that Chad’s violent outbursts were caused by a brain tumor. Though it was operable, Cedars, at that time, didn't have the capabilities, and so Chad was forced to leave Hope and Springfield to get treatment in Los Angeles. With Chad gone, Hope had felt very gun shy about entering into another relationship, but Mike encouraged her to continue to seek love, again.
Soon, Hope would end up falling for her college friend, the worldly artist Ben McFarren. Unfortunately, Ben was someone else that Mike didn't approve of since Ben not only had painted a nude picture of Hope that she posed for, but he also had a criminal record. However, unbeknownst to Mike, Ben hadn't committed the robbery he went to prison for; he was covering for his brother, Jerry McFarren. Though Bert tried to counsel Mike to butt out, Mike wouldn't listen. Finally, soon after Leslie was killed, Ben approached Mike about looking into his case again. Ben also asked Mike to keep his investigation a secret from Hope. Mike's opinion of Ben changed, for the better, when Ben told Mike, in private that he had covered for his younger brother, Jerry. Ben asked Mike not to try to go after his brother, Jerry, and Mike agreed. Soon after, Jerry ended up owing a lot of money to loan sharks to cover his gambling and Ben Ben paid off Jerry's debt using money that he and Hope set aside for the future. When Hope found out that the money was missing, she went to Mike who urged his daughter to calm down and not break things off with Ben, but Hope refused to listen to her father, and went ahead and confronted Ben. When Ben wasn't forthcoming about the missing money, Hope broke things off with him. A little later, in the spring of 1977, when Hope found out through Ann Jeffers that it had been Jerry who Ben was covering for; Hope tried to get back with him. However, it was too late--Ben had already moved on. Ready to go away to New York to design school, Hope said a final goodbye to Ben.
In 1979, an adult Hope returned to town and embarked on a career in interior design. After a brief relationship with Gordon Middleton, Hope finally came face to face with the infamous Alan Spaulding. By the time Hope met Alan, she had been informed by Mike exactly what kind of man Alan was. Hired to decorate Alan's villa on the island St. Lucia, the two instantly disliked one another. Working with Gordon in the renovation process, the pair became were puzzled to find an IV unit in the villa and even more baffled when Alan was secretive about it. Knowing that Alan was under suspicion for helping the villainous Roger Thorpe, the pair considered pursuing the mystery. Before they could pursue it though, Gordon learned that his brother had been seriously injured in a car accident, and he decided to go back to his family home far from Springfield. Later, while Hope traveled back to Springfield with Alan, the plane crashed in the Caribbean and the pair became marooned! They drifted atop the wreckage to a lonely island and throughout the next several weeks, Hope began to see Alan's sensitive side and the pair made love. After being rescued by Mike and Alan's wife Jackie, they continued their affair despite the fact that Jackie announced she was pregnant with Alan's child. After Jackie left Alan after she suffered a miscarriage, Hope and Alan were free and, despite her father's strenuous objections, the two married in February 1980.
Soon, Hope began to realize that perhaps Mike was right about Alan all along when she found out that his son, Phillip, was really Justin and Jackie Marler's child. Alan hadn't yet found out who Philip's birth parents were but Mike had and told Hope. Hope forced Alan to sign over his parental rights to Justin and Jackie and went as far as to leave their bedroom until Alan agreed to give custody of Philip to the Marlers. She told Alan that if he didn't sign the papers she'd leave him and he'd never see their unborn child. Hope never told Alan her reasons for wanting him to relinquish full custody of Philip, but it could have been her disenchantment with his lengths to secure custody in the first place. With a great deal of anger, Alan signed those "damn paper’s." Seeing how angry Alan was, Hope was scared to return to their bedroom. Later, in the summer of 1981, Hope overheard a conversation between Alan and Henry Chamberlain and learned that Alan had been having an affair with Ed's wife, Rita! Not wanting to admit that her father was right about Alan, Hope kept mum and was later involved in a car accident when she accidentally drove her car into a tree. While Hope was in Cedars, she blurted out that she knew about him and Rita! Alan then begged forgiveness and swore to her that he would change. Alan told Hope that he never loved another woman like he loved her. Touched by his sensitivity, and realizing that he was the first man she'd ever really loved, she agreed to give him another chance. Weeks later, Hope gave birth to a son, Alan-Michael.
Days later, when Diane Ballard and Joe Bradley were murdered, Alan was falsely accused of the crime, so Hope escaped with Alan and Alan-Michael to Tenerife until Mike and Lt. Wyatt caught them. Although Alan was exonerated of both murders, he had to confess his old cooperation with the presumed dead Roger Thorpe and went to prison in 1982. While Alan was in prison, Hope and Alan-Michael moved in with Hope's grandmother, Bert, while the mansion was rented out to Floyd Parker and his girlfriend, Lesley Ann Monroe. Later that year, when Alan was released, the Spauldings moved back in to the mansion. Unfortunately, Alan soon reverted back to his old self and coldly fired his daughter, Amanda, from Spaulding Enterprises! Unnerved at Alan's actions, Hope threw him out of their bedroom. In November, Hope was thrown for a loop when Alan hired Trish Lewis to redecorate the mansion. Though confused as to why he'd hire Trish to do something she did professionally, Hope suspected nothing. The next summer, just when she was ready to let Alan back into the bedroom, Hope overheard a conversation between Vanessa Chamberlain and Clay Tynan and learned something startling--Alan and Trish had been having an affair for months! After leaving Alan, she started dating Warren Andrews, against Bert and her Uncle Ed's advice. Unfortunately, the disaster of her marriage to Alan caused Hope to turn to the bottle for solace and she became an alcoholic, which was one reason why Warren ended up dumping her. Though Mike was in denial over Hope's alcoholism, Hope finally got help with the support of her Uncle Ed, a former alcoholic. After her recovery, Hope realized that she could never be in the same town with Alan and moved to New York with little Alan-Michael.
Unfortunately, Hope would apparently struggle with her battle with the bottle since an adult Alan-Michael would mention having seen his mother drunk in New York. In 1989, Hope disappointed Alan-Michael when she told him that she couldn't attend his wedding to Harley Cooper since Alan would be there. In, 1993, Ed mentioned that Hope was now living in Washington Dc near her father, Mike. However, the following year, Alan-Michael mentioned to his new love, Lucy Cooper, that he no longer had much contact with Hope since she spent most of her time in Europe. Later, after failing to contact Hope, Alan-Michael went to Ed confessed that Hope was in a clinic in Switzerland since she had fallen off the wagon again. According to Ed, Hope was ashamed and didn't want Alan-Michael to know about her problems because she didn't want him to see how weak she was. Later, in 1997, Mike mentioned that Hope was living in England.