Morgan Richards arrived in Springfield, in 1980, with her parents, Jennifer and Walter. A sweet teenager, Morgan was looking forward to her senior year at Springfield High when tragedy struck. On the way to town, the Richards’ car collided with Mike Bauer’s, killing Walter instantly. Though Morgan blamed Mike, she softened after being befriended by Mike’s mother, Bert. At Springfield High School, Morgan started dating Tim Werner, and was frequently exasperated by her mother’s rules. When her grades dropped, Jennifer got pre-med student, Kelly Nelson, to tutor her. Though Morgan initially hated Kelly, calling him "Mr. Perfect", soon she found herself attracted to him and, unknown to her, the feeling was mutual. However Kelly didn't want to hurt his friend, Tim, or his girlfriend, Hillary Bauer, so he backed out of the tutoring sessions, but didn’t say why. Hurt and confused, Morgan later confronted Kelly at Laurel Falls, where they confessed their love. However since neither one wanted to hurt Tim, they decided to put the incident behind them and go on with their lives. Complicating matters was Morgan’s “friend" Nola Reardon who wanted Kelly for herself and encouraged Morgan to cement her relationship with Tim by sleeping with him; Nola even bought Morgan birth control pills. Unfortunately, both Kelly and Jennifer found out about the pills. Though Kelly was calm and rational, Jennifer was furious! Needing to confide in Kelly, Morgan was dismayed to see him at Laurel Falls with Hillary Bauer and misconstruing the situation, she ran away to Chicago by stowing away in Ben McFarren's car.
However, when Ben was unexpectedly pulled over, Morgan was discovered and he was arrested for transporting a minor. Morgan, later, ran off again and quickly got a job working for a man named Duke Lafferty at his "nightclub." This would be a mistake that Morgan would soon regret. Duke was a man in his thirties, who thought young teenage girls, especially virgins, would make a good addition to his "nightclub" as "waitresses." Morgan, needing a job, begged Duke to let her work at his nightclub. Duke took one look at this sweet young virginal thing, named Morgan Richards and said "yeah, sure!" What Morgan did not realize at this time, was that Duke's "nightclub" was really nothing but a fancy bordello and that Duke was a pimp who was prostituting his young virginal waitresses.” Morgan only started to realize this when the men she was waitressing for were trying to get her to do things that her mom, Jennifer, would have blown her stack about. Fortunately, before too much longer, and before Morgan would have to compromise her virtue or her virginity, her mother soon arrived with Mike Bauer, Kelly and Tim to bring Morgan home. Though Morgan was defiant, at first, when a few of the patrons started to getting rough with her and her mom, Morgan decided that perhaps it was best to go home. Unfortunately, the two patrons who roughed up both Morgan and Jennifer started threatening Mike, Kelly and Tim and started to pick a fight with them. Soon after, Mike contacted the Chicago Police Department and they came and finally closed down Duke's "club" since it was, in reality, a prostitution ring. Morgan, who had up to this point been very unfriendly to Mike, because of the accident that killed her beloved father, was very thankful to Mike for saving her from Duke Lafferty, and Morgan would then start treating Mike as a father figure.
After the horrible ordeal was over, Kelly and Morgan were more in love than ever but decided to keep their feelings a secret because they didn't want to hurt Tim. In February 1981, Duke Lafferty, wanting revenge on Morgan and Mike for ruining his life, escaped from prison and headed to Springfield where (after a failed attempt on MIke's life) he headed for the Reardon Boarding House and fled with Morgan. Duke took Morgan to an abandoned farmhouse where, for several days, he held her hostage and threaten to kill her. Fortunately, for Morgan, Bea and Nola told the authorities what happened and were able to point them in the direction where she saw Duke flee with Morgan. Eventually, Mike Bauer, Lt. Wyatt, Kelly and Tim reached the farmhouse just as Duke was about to rape Morgan. After this, Morgan was even more in love with Kelly, but couldn’t show it, because she was still seeing Tim. Unfortunately, Tim had returned to alcohol and, suspecting the truth, drunkenly confronted Morgan. After the prom, the pair was involved in an accident that left Morgan in a short coma and Tim was sent to rehab. Shortly after Morgan awakened, she and Kelly learned that Nola was pregnant with Kelly's child. Unfortunately for Nola, her honest mother, Bea, knew that Kelly was in no condition to sleep with her that night and confronted her daughter. Their conversation was overheard by Kelly. Shocked that Nola, whom he considered a friend, could be so manipulative, Kelly wrote her off. At the same time, Tim returned from rehab and gave Kelly and Morgan his blessing to be together. Later, in August 1981, Kelly and Morgan married in a beautiful ceremony at Laurel Falls. It was that night that Morgan would finally lose her virginity to her husband.
Unfortunately, Morgan would learn that real life rarely had fairy tale endings. While on their honeymoon in 1981, a Spanish photographer's photo of Morgan wound up on the cover of Nu/Vue magazine, and in early 1982, a New York agent offered her a modeling contract. Assured that she would be able to combine a modeling career with a satisfactory home life, Morgan signed the contract and rented a small apartment in New York, where she could stay when she had an assignment. Soon after, Morgan was mugged in the city but didn't tell Kelly because she was afraid he would forbid her to remain in New York to model. She did tell Josh Lewis, her business manager, who was obviously very attracted to her. Josh took advantage of every opportunity to track her down and spend time with her in the city. He became her confidant, and agreed that she shouldn't tell Kelly what had happened. Shortly thereafter, Morgan found herself with still another secret: Nu/Vue offered her a one-year contract to pose for its cover. They inserted a clause that allowed them to cancel if her appearance were altered during that time. That meant no pregnancy, so although Morgan had talked Kelly into starting a family - in fact, she talked of little else - she started taking birth control pills, while pretending to share Kelly's enthusiasm about having a baby. Later, Morgan had a week-long assignment in St. Croix, and Kelly got some time off from the hospital and flew down to surprise her.
Unfortunately, Kelly found her pills and blasted her for her deception. As far as he was concerned, Morgan's career won and he lost! Kelly flew back to Springfield, leaving Morgan distraught and despondent. Once more, Josh Lewis came to the rescue. Josh happened to be at the Springfield airport when Kelly returned. Putting two and two together, he took the first flight to St. Croix. Morgan welcomed a friendly face, and he tried to boost her spirits. Meanwhile, Kelly's friends convinced him that he had made a mistake by walking out without trying to work out their problems, so he flew back to St. Croix. When he arrived, he found out that Morgan and Josh had gone sailing. Alarmed when Morgan and Josh didn't return from their sailing trip, When Kelly saw that Josh had been with Morgan, he became enraged, and assuming they'd slept together, beat Josh senseless. Horrified, Morgan separated from Kelly. With her marriage in shambles, Morgan began an affair with Josh. However, Morgan didn't want to give up on her marriage just yet and decided to end the affair. Afterwards, the Nelsons decided to work on their marriage by going on a second honeymoon to Tenerife. Unfortunately, while they were there, Josh made an anonymous phone call to the paparazzi, with an anonymous" tip" about where Morgan was staying. The paparazzi followed Morgan to Tenerife, which greatly upset Kelly and he cut their honeymoon short and went back to Springfield. Hurt and angry, Morgan again fell prey to Josh's charms and the pair resumed their affair. In 1982, Kelly found out and demanded a divorce, which Morgan reluctantly gave. In May 1983, Morgan decided she wanted to resume her modeling career and left Springfield for New York. Her final goodbye to Kelly was a sad one.
Apparently, Morgan, as well as Jennifer, would break off all contact with Amanda, for in 1997, when Amanda learned that Brandon Spaulding, not Alan, was her biological father, the Richards were nowhere to be found.