JILLIAN RYAN (nee Coleridge, previously Beaulac) was a character on the long-running soap opera, Ryan's Hope. She was played for the entire series run by the late Nancy Addison Altman.
Legal Eagle in love
Jillian, called Jill, is the daughter of the late Ed Coleridge and Bess Shelby (with whom he had an affair). She is the sister of Roger Coleridge (Ron Hale) and Faith Coleridge (Faith Catlin; Nancy Barrett; Catherine Hicks; Karen Morris-Gowdy) who were both doctors, along with their father; and the half-sister of Ben Shelby and Maggie Shelby.
Unlike the rest of her family, who were dedicated to the medical profession, she became an attorney. During her law school days, she had met and fell in love with Frank Ryan (Michael Hawkins; Andrew Robinson, Daniel Hugh-Kelly; Geoffrey Pierson; John Sanderford), the man who would invariably become the love of her life.
Sadly, though, Jill had to contend with the selfish Delia Reid Coleridge, who was married to Frank (and would have an affair with her brother, Roger). In the premiere episode, Frank announced that he was leaving Delia and to move on with Jill.
Frank was pushed down the stairs by an angry Delia. She would later do the same thing to Jill in the Ryan family's apartment. For a time, though, Jill and Frank would be apart by various outside influences, even and including Frank trying to make his marriage to the neurotic Delia work. She would attract the attention of Dr. Seneca Beaulac (John Gabriel), who had recently lost his wife, Dr. Nell Beaulac (Diana van der Vlis). The two would eventually marry.
It was clear that Seneca loved her, but he would get aggravated by Frank's constant appearances in her life. At first, he was thought to be the father of her son, Edmund (named after his grandfather, Ed Coleridge), but it was later revealed to be Frank's son. Sadly, Edmund died in a fire at their beach house.
While Jill was fighting with Seneca, Frank had been snared into an engagement with Rae Woodard (Louise Shaffer), the scheming widow of a media mogul. Frank broke off with her, as he still loved Jill and after her treachery was exposed. Frank and Jill were set to begin a life together.......only to be broken up again by the scheming Rae, when she brought back a woman named Charlotte Greer (Judith Chapman) who claimed that Frank had been her fiance back in Ireland.
Charlotte was a liar, she was the daughter of Neil and Una MacCurtain (Roy Poole; Kathleen Widdoes), a spiteful couple that had a feud with the Ryans for many years from their years in Ireland. Needless to say, all three were banished and sent back to Ireland.
Jill's family life would be thrown into disarray when her real mother, Bess Shelby (Gloria DeHaven) would appear after an absence of several years. She wasn't sure what to think of her, but she would bond with her mother and open her heart to her. She also included her half-sister, Maggie (Cali Timmins) and her half-brother, Ben (James Wlcek) in her life, as well as her other family, Roger and Faith.
Although distressed when Faith began an affair with Frank (her husband, Tom Desmond was dead), she and Frank still felt they were destined to be together. Finally, after fourteen years of wanting one another, Frank and Jill were married, to the joy of everyone.
Jill was also the mother of Mary (Frank was her father, named after his late sister, Mary); and served as a second mother to his son by Delia, John Reid Ryan (Jadrien Steele, Ash Adams).
She left Riverside to go to Australia with Maggie to be with their mother, Bess, after she was injured in a car accident; however, she returned to the family's joy when Frank began a run for Congress, but was now ready to become a congressman's wife. Finally, Jill achieved what she was looking for.