In 1978, Gretel Rae Cummings was working as Adam Brewster's assistant. Adam was a millionaire and was in love with Pat Ashley, Llanview's TV personality. Gretel knew that Adam had a secret, that he had epilepsy. Soon enough, Pat found out the truth and Adam and Pat were married. Gretel also knew that Adam was in a shady arms deal. She begged him to get out of it, but he refused. She couldn't take it with him anymore and quit her job. Brad Vernon, who had thought Gretel was attractive, asked her out to dinner. Brad tried to seduce Gretel, but she was too smart for that. Brad almost raped Gretel, but he didn't succeed.
Later, Dorian Lord became involved in Pat's talk show. Gretel knew that Dorian would keep the talk show all to her self and not give it back to Pat. Dorian had to give the show back, though, when Pat had Asa Buchanan as a guest. Shortly after, Gretel dated Herb Callison, Llanview's district attorney. Dorian lured Herb into going on a secret trip. Herb knew this would mean he would have to begin his affair with Dorian again. He also knew that if Gretel found out, they would have to break-up. They went to Paris together, but they just fought over Gretel the whole time. Herb flew back to Llanview, but he only found out that Gretel already knew about their secret trip. Gretel left Llanview heartbroken.
While away in San Francisco, she got a degree in psychology. Gretel decided while there she wanted to be called by her middle name, Rae, from now on. Rae became a well respected relationship counselor and became very wealthy. With her new found wealth, she went to Switzerland and met Daniel Faulkner. They soon married.
One day, in 1999, Daniel left on a business trip and he never returned. Rae soon searched for clues to his disappearance. Her search took her to Paris, where she found a diary and love letters that said he had an affair with a younger woman. Rae set off to find them, and her search led her to Llanview.
Not long after she arrived in Llanview she found the woman. Her name was Grace Monroe, and she was in a relationship with Kevin Buchanan. Mad at Grace for having an affair with her husband, Rae tried to ruin Grace's relationship with Kevin, but she realized that didn't work. So slowly and unnoticeably, she tried to lead Kevin to believe Grace was a horrible woman. Rae also continued to try to find her husband.
Rae wasn't looking for Daniel because she wanted him back; she was looking for him in the hope he could shed some light on the whereabouts of her long lost daughter. As it turned out, Rae had given birth to a baby girl out of wedlock and the infant had been taken from her. Rae was desperate to find the daughter she had never known. While in Llanview, Rae quickly became friends with John Sykes, who helped her in her search. Rae also encountered Grace Monroe, the beautiful younger woman who had once been Daniel's lover. Grace, however, had no information about Daniel to share with Rae.
After getting a new lead, Rae headed to Pine Valley to continue her search. Rae took a room at Myrtle Fargate's boarding house and revealed that she was looking for Daniel in the hope he could lead her to the daughter that had been taken from her at childbirth. This hit Myrtle hard as she had given up a baby girl for adoption years ago. Rae also teamed up with Tad and Dixie Martin in an effort to expose a shady lawyer involved in black market baby adoptions, but their sting operation uncovered nothing useful and Rae feared her search would never be successful.
Rae went to the Fannie Battle Home for Unwed Mothers and was surprised to find Myrtle there. Myrtle covered her real reasons for being there and both women learned that all birth records from the home had been written in a Bible. Unfortunately, the desk containing the Bible had been auctioned off. Myrtle and Rae returned home and Myrtle soon made the startling revelation that Rae was the daughter she had given up for adoption. After Rae's shock wore off, she and Myrtle shared a loving reunion and their close bond deepened.
Hoping the information contained in the Bible could lead her to her long-lost daughter, Rae set out to locate it. Rae's search took her to the town of Port Charles and with the help of her friend Tony Jones, Rae found the Bible she had been looking for. Unfortunately, Daniel had gotten there first and replaced the bible page with a note telling Rae to go back to Llanview. When she got back there, Daniel kept sending her messages sending her places to find her daughter, but her daughter was never there. When Rae finally came face to face with Daniel, Sykes arrested him and put him in jail.
Since there were no charges to hold him on, Daniel had to be let free. He called Max Holden, Skye Chandler, John Sykes, Rae and Kevin to Crossroads Bar and told them he had a secret he would tell them, for a price. But he never got to reveal it because the hit man that had been after him found him and sprayed the room with bullets. Daniel was wounded and taken to the hospital. Rae followed him there and demanded he tell her who her daughter was. He stunned her by claiming her child had been a son and he was Max Holden. Rae left the room briefly and when she and John returned, Daniel was gone, never to be seen again.
With Renee's help, Rae got a sample of Max's blood and tested it, he was not her son. Then Sophia found a piece of paper lying on the ground near Grace Davidson's grave. She gave it to John Sykes and it turned out to be the missing Bible page, which revealed that Skye Chandler was Rae's daughter and she had been adopted by Althea and Adam Chandler. Rae's relationship with Skye was so bad that Rae decided it would be best if Skye never know the truth.
Unfortunately, Todd Manning had other plans. He found out the truth about Skye and announced at his non-wedding to Blair that Rae is Skye's mothers to get revenge on Skye. Skye did not take the news very well and called Adam to come to Llanview. Rae was there when Adam told Skye that Althea had adopted her and since he was away on a long business trip at the time, he hadn't learned about it until a few years ago. Skye was devastated and Rae decided the best thing to do was back off and give Skye some time to deal with the news. Skye and Rae eventually established a relationship.
Skye left Llanview to go to Port Charles to meet her birth father, Alan Quartermaine. Rae stayed on in Llanview. Allison Perkins, who had stolen Viki Davidson's daughter, Jessica, at four weeks of age and then later returned her, became a patient at St. Anne's. She convinced Rae she wanted Viki's forgiveness for her crime, and Rae believed her. Viki forgave Allison, and Rae signed an unconditional release form for Allison. In reality, Allison had not returned the right child. She had switched the baby with Roxanne Balsom's daughter Natalie. Natalie, the real "Jessica", appeared in Llanview, causing grief and turmoil among the Buchanan-Davidson family. Rae was filled with guilt for what she had unintentionally done.
Natalie turned out to be not-so-bad, and she eventually bonded with her mother, Viki. Rae's biggest problem then became a personal one: getting over John Sykes, who left Llanview for California. She began to show some interest in Hank Gannon, but there was little more than flirtation between the two.
In 2002, as punishment for faking his death, Asa Buchanan was forced to see court-appointed psychiatrist, Rae Cummings. It was unfortunate because when Rae was exposed as a fraud, she blackmailed Asa into marriage with some damaging information she'd taped in their sessions. Luckily for Asa, Rae soon tired of him (and his endless schemes to obtain a divorce) and she granted him his divorce.
Rae managed to obtain a genuine license to practice therapy. With no man in the picture and her relationship with Skye severed due to Skye's discovery that Rae had lied about Alan Quartermaine being her real father, Rae seemed to focus exclusively on her professional life. She pitched in at Llanview University's radio station and worked as a LPD profiler to catch the man who was stalking and killing various women. When Rae realized that the killer was Professor Stephen Haver, he held her prisoner. Repeatedly confusing her with the mother he had adored and despised, he made her dress in hippie clothes and sing with him before strangling her. He then set the room on fire and left. Llanview was deeply saddened by Rae's untimely demise. Several days later, Haver was in the midst of a standoff with the police. To his shock, Rae walked into the room! Speaking to him as his mother, she managed to distract him enough to help the cops subdue him.
Rae explained that she had managed to escape while believed dead. Bo put her in a safehouse until she was needed. While she was under police protection, Bo also contacted her old flame John Sykes, who was shaken to the core when he heard the news of her "death." They reunited, and after Rae said goodbye to Nora and Bo, she and John departed Llanview - at least for a while - to embark on a long, worldwide cruise.
In 2008, Rae was saddened to learn of the passing of her mother, Myrtle Fargate. Rae was in London and, for some reason, unable to return to Pine Valley for Myrtle's memorial service. She did, however, arrange to go to church at the same time so that she could be there in spirit.