Natalie Buchanan
Marcher x07
Melissa Archer as Natalie Buchanan
One Life to Live
Portrayed by Melissa Archer
Created by Lorraine Broderick
Christopher Whitesell
Duration 2001–2012
First appearance July 16, 2001
Last appearance January 13, 2012
Family Buchanan/Lord
Gender Female
Alias Natalie Balsom
Date of birth September 23, 1978 (1978-09-23) (age 38)
Occupation Forenscis Technician (LVPD)
Buchanan Enterprises Board member
Residence Llanfair
Llanview, Pennsylvania

Natalie Banks (née Buchanan; formerly Balsom, previously Laurence and Vega) is a fictional character from the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live played by Melissa Archer. Natalie first appeared onscreen on July 16, 2001. Archer remains with the series until the finale episode on January 13, 2012. The character's original birth date is September 23, 1986, when fraternal twin Jessica is born in that day's episode on-screen; her birth year was later revised to 1978.


Archer originally auditioned for the role of Jennifer Rappaport, which Jessica Morris went on to secure. Archer then auditioned for the role of Natalie. On the day of her audition, Archer over-slept and turned up late. The casting department failed to notice this due to the amount of people auditioning.[1]

In April 2010, a reporter for Soapnet praised Archer's portrayal of Natalie. They said that she made a "brilliant scene" in which Natalie launches into a tirade of abuse aimed at Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell), following her interference with her romantic relationship with John McBain (Michael Easton). The reporter empathised with Natalie because people often say "awful" things they will regret; but in their opinion, "Melissa brought it home".[2]


As fiery as her red hair, Natalie honed her scrappy sensibility raising herself in Atlantic City. Vulnerable and loving deep down, Natalie's softened with the discovery of her biological family. But when fighting for herself or her family, she is relentless.

ABC on Natalie[3]

On July 16, 2003, One Life to Live celebrated thirty-five years of broadcasting on ABC. Natalie's relationship with Cristian Vega (David Fumero) played a centric role in the anniversary celebrations. In the storyline the characters are shown deliberating over their wedding plans. While the characters "dream about what they want," a flashback sequence airs, consisting of weddings that previously featured in the series.[4]



Natalie Balsom appears in Llanview on July 16, 2001,[5] immediately befriending Jessica Buchanan[6] and ingratiating herself to the Buchanan family. She later makes the startling claim that she is in fact the biological daughter of Jessica's parents Clint Buchanan and Victoria Lord Davidson, which is confirmed by a DNA test. At first it is believed that when Allison Perkins had kidnapped the Buchanan baby in 1986, another child had been returned and had grown up to be Jessica. Jessica begins a tenuous relationship with Natalie's wild adoptive mother Roxy Balsom, whom Jessica believed to be her own biological mother, and with Roxy's son who Roxy thinks is her biological son but is not Rex.

Natalie's accomplice and lover Seth Anderson — an old friend of Cristian Vega's from Angel Square[7] who had crossed paths with Jessica in their youth[8] — had arrived in Llanview before Natalie in May 2001[7] with the task of getting close to Jessica and thus facilitating Natalie's own insinuation into the family. But Seth falls for Jessica, and is conflicted as Natalie's scheme erupts. Just as the new-found sisters begin to call a truce, Natalie discovers that Seth and Jessica are seeing each other, and she and Jessica are at odds again.

When a DNA test on Jessica later proves that she is also Viki's daughter, the real story comes out. Viki's enemy Mitch Laurence had secretly raped a drugged Viki around the same time she had conceived a child with Clint. Viki had unknowingly become pregnant with fraternal twins, one fathered by Clint (Natalie) and the other fathered by Mitch (Jessica). Dr. Walter Balsom, who had been one of religious leader Mitch's disciples, had taken Mitch's daughter during delivery, and Viki had never known that she had more than one child. Mitch, however, had wanted his daughter to grow up loved by Viki in the lap of luxury, and had sent Allison to kidnap Clint's child. They had replaced her with Mitch's daughter (who would become Jessica), and had given Clint's daughter (who would become Natalie) to Dr. Balsom and his wife Roxy.

After settling in town, Natalie meets Jessica's ex-boyfriend Cristian. Viki's alternate personality, Niki Smith, returns in 2002 and pushes Viki's husband, Ben Davidson, out of a window; he is left in a coma, and Niki makes sure Natalie takes the blame. Cristian is the only person to believe Natalie's protestations of innocence, and he takes it upon himself to find the real culprit. Cristian discovers that Niki has returned, and when Natalie is cleared they begin a relationship. She and Cristian marry in 2003.

Later that year, FBI agent John McBain arrives in Llanview; Cristian becomes involved in one of John's investigations and is soon kidnapped and later presumed dead. Despite his guilt over Cristian's death, John gets close to Natalie and they ultimately pursue a relationship. Cristian returns in 2004 with no memories, and is believed to be an impostor; he kills mobster Tico Santi and his memories return, but he makes John swear not to reveal his true identity to spare his family from watching him go to prison. In 2005, attorney Evangeline Williamson appeals his conviction — proving that he had been brainwashed into killing Tico — and Cristian is released. He reveals himself to his overjoyed mother, Carlotta; furious over the deception, Natalie ends her relationship with John and asks Cristian for a divorce. Over the course of 2006, however, Natalie reunites with John after working with him to prove her uncle Todd Manning innocent of the "murder" of Margaret Cochran, and helping him finger Spencer Truman as the man who killed John's father.


  1. ^ Amodeo-Pisano,, Christina. Melissa Archer - Actress Profile and Biography. (The New York Times Company). Retrieved on 26 January 2012.
  2. ^ One Life to Live: Week in Review for April 12, 2010. Soapnet. (The Walt Disney Company) (12 April 2010). Retrieved on 4 February 2012.
  3. ^ Natalie Banks played by Melissa Archer. One Life to Live. (American Broadcasting Company). Retrieved on 23 January 2012.
  4. ^ Havens, Candace (12 July 2003). Slezak reflects on over three decades of 'Life'. The Rochester Sentinel. (The Sentinel Corporation). Retrieved on 23 January 2012.
  5. ^ One Life to Live recap (7/16/01). (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on March 26, 2008. Retrieved on March 26, 2008.
  6. ^ One Life to Live recap (7/20/01) -
  7. ^ a b One Life to Live recap (May 2001) -
  8. ^ One Life to Live recap (7/3/01) -

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