Johnny Fletcher, the child of Doctor Paul Fletcher and the wealthy Anne Benedict, was a child of two worlds. Raised by his father to have good hard working values, his grandfather, Henry Benedict, tried to instill a sense of superiority into the boy. After his mother’s death when he was still young, an impressionable Johnny became very close to his Aunt Jane, Paul’s sister. Unfortunately, Jane was a neurotic woman who poisoned Johnny’s mind against Paul’s new girlfriend, Robin Lang, and Jane wasn't the only one. In 1964, after Paul and Robin started seeing each other romantically and announced their engagement, Johnny's grandfather, Henry Benedict, started feeding Johnny ideas that he should protest his father's relationship with Robin. Henry’s reasoning for his was that he still resented Paul for the death of his daughter. Under his grandfather's influence, Johnny became quite the little tyrant.
Though Helene Benedict tried to convince her grandson to accept Paul and Robin's engagement, both Henry and Paul's half-sister, Jane kept indulging the boy. Buckling under the child's pressure, Robin called off her engagement to Paul and went to New York. George Hayes eventually tracked her down and innocently left her address with Jane while Paul went to fetch his lady love. Salivating at this golden opportunity to wreak more havoc, Jane called Robin and tipped her off that Paul was on his way, adding that she thought she did the right thing by leaving him. Robin eluded Paul, but he caught up with her and they married secretly in New York. The newlyweds led separated lives for a while until Robin accompanied Paul to a medical convention. When Jane called Paul's hotel to tell him that Johnny was having problems at school, the desk clerk told her that Paul was with "Mrs. Fletcher." Devastated Jane told Johnny that his daddy had lied to them and Johnny ran away. When he turned up later at the Children's Zoo, the boy not only rejected Paul and Robin, but added his aunt Jane to his list. Johnny stayed briefly with his grandparents in San Francisco and returned home to Paul at Helen's firm insistence. Determined to salvage both his marriage and his relationship with his son, Paul angrily ordered Jane out of his home and his life. Meanwhile, Johnny was so insolent to Robin that Paul reluctantly allowed him to go back to his grandparents for an extended stay. Not long after, Paul learned that Helene had been killed in a car accident.
By 1966, Paul and Robin had moved to the mid-western town of Springfield, so that Paul could accept the position of chief-of-staff at the Cedars Hospital. Johnny came to Springfield when he turned seventeen, but Paul felt Johnny was an anomaly to his family, an insufferably snobbish, preppy golf maven in the mold of his grandfather. Paul had trouble getting Johnny to see the wisdom of attending the public school, Springfield High for his senior year. Henry also had apparently kept up his overbearing attitude toward Robin and Paul's marriage and Johnny picked up on that. Life for the Fletchers was going to be rocky, to say the least, with Johnny in their new home in Springfield! Sulky, Johnny continued to act out until Robin suffered a miscarriage while cleaning his room. Feeling guilty, Johnny mended his ways and tried to be polite toward Robin, despite her resentment of him.
While in high school, Johnny became good friends with Peggy Scott.Bonding over their respective family situations, the pair fell in love and made plans to marry. So, in late 1967, when Johnny turned 19-years-old -- Johnny planned to marry Peggy. Johnny knew that once he turned 25-years-old, he stood to inherit $3 million from his wealthy grandfather. Desperate to marry Peggy, he asked his father and grandfather to advance him the money. Paul thought Johnny was much too young to marry and was relieved, and pleasantly surprised, when Henry said no to Johnny. Undeterred, the couple decided to marry anyway. When Peggy’s father learned of their plans, he got into an argument with Johnny that resulted in his having a massive heart attack and dying. Not long after her father’s death, Peggy’s mother died while being operated on by Ed Bauer. Deeply disturbed by the death of her parents, Peggy broke up with Johnny and embarked on a nursing career, like her best friend Leslie Bauer.
Soon after becoming a nurse, Peggy fell for a patient named Marty Dillman and, after becoming pregnant, married him. Angry, and on the rebound, Johnny married Dillman’s former lover, Tracey Delmar, Sara McIntyre’s niece. However, when Johnny learned that Tracey was actually a con woman named Charlotte Waring, he immediately had the marriage annulled. Unfortunately Peggy’s marriage wasn’t any better and, in a matter of months, she became convinced that Marty was having an affair. Blacking out one day, Peggy awoke to learn that Marty had been murdered. The prime suspect, she was arrested and put on trial, only being released so that she could give birth to a son whom she named William Bauer Dillman. Luckily it was discovered that Marty was killed by his criminal partner, and Peggy was released. A free woman, she and Johnny soon married with him adopting her son.
Unfortunately this marriage would fail also. Determined to live up to his father’s name, Johnny became obsessed with building his medical career and starting irrationally accusing Dr. Joe Werner of favoring the self-centered Dr. Dick Carey over him. Obsessed, Johnny worked himself to a point of mental and physical exhaustion and had to be hospitalized. When Claudia Dillman, the grandmother of Peggy's son, Billy, got wind of John's illness, she threatened to sue Peggy for custody of Billy. Happily, Claudia had an attack of conscience and backed off. John, however, never fully recovered. John left Peggy in hopes of finding himself and was never seen or heard from again. Abandoned and alone, Peggy was forced to obtain a divorce on grounds of desertion.