Mary Lansing (radio only, January 2, 1946 to November 29, 1946; June 2, 1947 to December 31, 1947)
Last known address in Selby Flats, CA
Single/Widowed (Frank Collins)
Ray Brandon/Roger Barton Sr (Divorced)
Susan McClain Collins (daughter-in-law)
Betty Ann Collins (granddaughter)
Roger Barton (Collins) Jr. (w/Ray)
Betty Collins (deceased) (w/Frank)
Michael Collins (deceased) (w/Frank)
Larry Lawrence (affair)
Confessed to killing her second husband, Frank Collins [Fall 1947; ruled an accident]
When Ray Brandon, whose real name was actually Roger Barton, was released from prison, began to confide in Rev. Dr. Charles Matthews and Charlotte Wilson, an attractive but somewhat world-weary young woman who lived in his apartment building. Ray had left behind a wife, Julie, and a son, Roger Jr. A shallow, self-involved woman, Julie had divorced her convict husband to marry the successful Frank Collins, who had adopted Roger Jr. as his own. Now that Roger Sr. was back in Los Angeles as Ray Brandon, Julie forbade him from making contact with his son, having told young Roger that his father was dead. Soon, Ray and Charlotte snuck in to see Roger speak at his high school graduation, and from a distance, Ray beamed upon seeing the son who had grown into such a fine young man.
However, Ray still could not fully enjoy his return to civilian life because he was consumed with the idea of killing Martin McClain, the man who had framed him for embezzlement sixteen years earlier. Now a wealthy corporate vice president, the snide and dispassionate Martin was a cold father to his motherless daughter, Susan. Ironically, Susan and Roger were attending the same college and soon became quite smitten with each other, not knowing, of course, the truth behind their fathers' enmity. Julie knew and she tried to put a stop to the romance without telling Roger the reason for her disapproval. Frank rallied at this wife for manipulating Roger, believing that the boy should get to know his real father without her interference.
At this time, a major catalyst surfaced in the form of Larry Lawrence, a fortune-hunting cad who had once been involved with Charlotte. Larry began to charm Claire McNeill, who had been married to his late brother, Tim, in hopes that she would divorce her successful doctor husband, Jonathan, and marry him. When Claire and Jonathan's marriage proved too strong for him to penetrate, Larry soon found a better opportunity in Julie after Frank was paralyzed in a car accident in which their children, Betty and Michael, were tragically killed. When Roger discovered the affair, he was horrified by Julie's callous neglect of Frank, the man he knew and loved as his father. One rainy night, Frank's wheelchair skidded on the muddy pavement, sending the helpless man over a rocky cliff to his death. Consumed with guilt, Julie hysterically confessed that she had killed Frank, but the crime was later ruled an accident.
Meanwhile, Ray was trying hard to get on with his life. When he finally confronted Martin with a gun, he couldn't bring himself to pull the trigger. Afterward, he ran to the Church of the Good Samaritan and made amends with the God he had once mocked and disavowed. Julie finally allowed Ray to have a relationship with Roger, but as father and son bonded, both realized Julie had only done it in the vain hope of reconciling with Ray. Soon after, Roger and Susan married and had a daughter named Betty Ann. Much to Susan's annoyance, Julie was an interfering mother-in-law, but when Julie saved little Betty Ann from a fire, all was forgiven. Roger and Susan left Los Angeles, and a terminally ill Martin confessed his embezzling crime to Dr. Matthews on his deathbed, exonerating Ray (who would become a successful attorney and marry Charlotte instead of remarrying Julie) at last. It is unclear what became of Julie, although it is assumed she is still living in Selby Flats, perhaps with occasional visits to her son Roger Jr. and the grandchild Betty Ann.