Ivy Winthrop Crane was the daughter of the Maine state governor. In her final year of high-school, she met a young lifeguard named Sam Bennett at the beach. Even though they were from completely different worlds, the two fell in love. They had a brief romantic relationship, even holding their own special private prom, before Sam went off to work on one of her father's fishing boats. While he was gone, she didn't hear from him, but she did meet another young man her age, Julian Crane. The two went out a lot, even becoming lovers, culminating with Julian asking her to marry him. She wrote Sam a letter issuing an ultimatum -- either he get in touch with her, or she would marry Julian. When she didn't hear back, she married Julian. That day she overheard a conversation between Julian and Alistair, in which she found out that her father and Alistair had 'arranged' the marriage (the Cranes wanted respectability, the Winthrops wanted money -- presumably they were broke), and that Julian had gone along with it, even though he was in love with someone else. She ran to Sam, and the two made love for their first and only time ever. Later, after being pressured by her father, Ivy returned to Julian. When she found out she was pregnant, she assumed the baby was Sam's. She has ignored everything in her life, including her other three children with Julian, for Ethan.
Ivy was content to be Julian's wife until she and Sam came back into each others lives in July of 1999. Since then, she has been chasing Sam relentlessly. When she learned that Dr. Eve Russell had been Julian's love before Julian and Eve's marriages, she used that information to blackmail Eve not only into keeping quiet about her obsession with Sam, but into helping her land Sam, and covering up Ethan's conception date so Sam wouldn't think it was possible that Ethan was his son.
Ivy's life came crashing down around her ears when her history as an adulterer was revealed at Ethan's engagement party. Not only that, but the whole world knows that she made her husband a cuckold and then passed off another man's child on him for over twenty-five years. Julian wants her out of his life...and so does Ethan! Julian has finally gotten the divorce he wanted, but Ethan has forgiven his mother...somewhat. Only problem is, a recent lightening storm has crippled Ivy, and a psychotic Theresa tried to finish the job by attacking her with a fire poker! In the hospital fighting for her life, Ivy can't wait to tell her son that his blushing bride is already married...to Julian Crane!
Even though Ivy managed to make sure Ethan found out that Theresa had wedded and bedded Julian, it wasn't enough to make Ethan drop her. He continued with plans for the upcoming wedding. Ivy continued to try to find a way to get her son to see the truth about Theresa, but he remained oblivious about her schemes. It wasn't until Ivy managed to get hard core proof of Theresa's pregnancy with Julian's baby that Ethan finally saw the light about his fiancée. He had promised Ivy that if Theresa continued to lie to him, he would break off their relationship. Ethan felt that he had given Theresa ample opportunity to be honest with him, but she kept lying to him, and he broke things off with her, and moved out of the Lopez-Fitzgerald home.
Ivy was overjoyed that her son was finally free of the woman who had lied and manipulated her way into his life. Unfortunately, Theresa has decided to punish Ivy for her role in Ethan learning the truth about her lies, and has decided to lay siege to the Crane fortune. Ivy is fighting for her position in Alistair's house right now, and has already informed the others of her plans to involve Alistair in stopping Theresa from claiming the Crane fortune. Theresa has managed to get herself moved into the mansion and declared the true Mrs. Crane, but as the mother of the Crane heir, Ivy still has some leeway in the home and the Crane dynasty. Theresa confessing to Julian's murder is just the latest of Ivy's schemes to get Theresa out of her son's life.
Ivy is still trying to save her son from Theresa, but her main goal right now is to break up Sam and Grace's marriage, and to destroy any chance the soulmates have at happiness. Luckily for her, she discovered that David, the man she hired to pretend to be Grace's husband, has fallen in love with Grace...and will do anything to keep her in his life. This got her over the fact that Theresa moved herself into the Crane mansion in an attempt to manipulate Ethan. She thought her life was over when Theresa kicked her out into a blizzard after hearing Rebecca and Ivy make disparaging remarks about her family, but was thrilled when Sam took her home with him.
Although Ivy had done horrible things to get into Sam's home, she soon became determined to be a better person for him. She tried to get close to his daughters, Kay and Jessica, and when Julian kicked Fox out of the mansion, she even convinced Sam to let Fox move in with them. Her good intentions are falling by the wayside since she learned that Theresa has once again been scheming to land Ethan, and she was horrified to realize that Theresa raped Ethan to impregnate herself with Ethan's child. Ivy did her best to keep Theresa from interfering in Ethan and Gwen's marriage, and was devastated when it was revealed that Jane, the only living child of Theresa's pregnancy, was Theresa's biological daughter.
Ivy and Sam became engaged, with Ivy remaining quiet about the fact that Sam was still legally married to Grace since David Hastings was an imposter. She soon became fixated on Kay's relationship with Fox, determined to break the two up since she didn't think Kay was right for Fox. She enlisted Valerie, who worked at Crane with Fox, to assist in breaking the two up by sabotaging Kay at work. Kay soon saw through her plan and confronted Ivy, warning her that if she continued on her current path she was going to tell Sam all about what Ivy did to his marriage to Grace.