Victoria Lord
Victoria Lord
Erika Slezak as Viki
One Life to Live
Portrayed by Gillian Spencer (1968-71)
Joanne Dorian (1971)
Erika Slezak (1971-2012)
Christine Jones
(1981, temp)
Judith Barcroft
(1986, temp)
Amanda Davies
(2003, flashback)
Created by Agnes Nixon
Duration 1968—2012
First appearance July 15, 1968
Last appearance January 13, 2012
Family Lord
Gender Female
Alias Niki Smith, Tommy, Jean Randolph, Princess, Tori, Victor Lord
Date of birth August 14, 1946 (1946-08-14) (age 71)
Occupation Publisher of The Banner
Co-owner of Lord Enterprises
Member of Llanview Hospital board of directors
Residence Llanfair
(1177 Regency Drive)
Llanview, Pennsylvania

Victoria "Viki" Lord (previously Gordon, Riley, Burke, Buchanan, Carpenter, Davidson and Banks) is a fictional character from the original ABC soap opera, One Life to Live. The role was originated by Gillian Spencer on July 15, 1968. However, Erika Slezak is the most well known for her portrayal. Slezak began playing Viki on March 17, 1971. Viki was created by scriptwriter and creator Agnes Nixon as one of One Life to Live's original characters. She made her debut in the show's first episode on July 15, 1968, and has remained for over forty years, making her the longest running original character and the only character from the premiere episode still present on the series.


Viki is the oldest daughter of Victor Lord, the owner of the Llanview newspaper, The Banner, and his socialite wife, Eugenia. She had a younger sister, Meredith Lord; and was later revealed to have three brothers, Tony Lord; Todd Manning and Victor Lord, Jr. and a half sister, Tina Lord. She is the mother of Megan Gordon; Natalie Buchanan; Jessica Brennan; Kevin Buchanan; and Joey Buchanan. She has been married multiple times, to Roger Gordon; Joe Riley (the birth father of Kevin and Joey); Steven Burke; Clint Buchanan; Sloane Carpenter; Ben Davidson; and Charlie Banks.

She is also best known for being the long time frenemy of Dorian Lord. The two's enmity began due to a misunderstanding about her status as a doctor at Llanview Hospital. Dorian thought that Viki had voted along with the board to terminate her, but it was later revealed that she had cast the sole vote against Dorian's termination.

As much as they fought and argued over the years, they could also team up against the common enemy. Just ask Echo DiSavoy who was absolutely no match against the formidable duo.

Though neither one would ever admit it, they were a lot alike in a lot of ways. Dorian and Viki could be venomous toward one another, but deep inside, the two women truly did love one another, after a fashion. Viki and Dorian would usually end up trapped in a room together, where neither could break out, and they would usually have some heated discussions which usually cleared the air.

Viki is also very well known for her battling of DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) over the course of the show's run, having six personalities, most notably, party girl Niki Smith; Jean Randolph, the cold gatekeeper; Princess, a seven year old little girl; Tommy, the angry 15 year old boy who wanted to protect Princess, Tori, who wanted the truth to be known about what had happened to Viki, and also an alter of her father, Victor Lord, who had been revealed to have had sexually abused his older daughter (because of what he had done, Viki, who used to be a real daddy's girl, now has nothing but sheer contempt for what he had done to her).

All the personalities are now merged into her main psyche, although most notably, Niki and Jean had come out on occasion, to either help or hinder Viki.



The eldest child of domineering millionaire publisher Victor Lord (Ernest Graves), Victoria Lord, often nicknamed "Viki," (originally Spencer) has little time for romance when One Life to Live begins in 1968.[1] She clashes with reporter Joe Riley (Lee Patterson), but they soon fall in love; Victor disapproves and tries to keep them apart. Torn between pleasing her father and following her heart, Viki develops a wild alternate personality named "Niki Smith", who falls in love with Vinny Wolek (Antony Ponzini). Viki's illness — apparently caused by seeing her pregnant mother fall down the stairs as a child — is eventually treated, and she and Joe marry December 11, 1969.[2][3] Joe is presumed dead in a car accident in 1970, and a heartbroken Viki (Slezak onward) finds comfort with fellow reporter Steve Burke (Bernie Grant) in 1971. After Steve is put on trial and exonerated for the murder of Banner secretary Marcy Wade (Francesca James), he and Viki marry in 1972.[4] When a very-much alive Joe returns in-time for the nuptials, having survived his supposedly deadly car accident, Viki is forced to choose between two husbands. Viki initially stays married to Steve out of obligation, but ultimately divorces him in January 1974. That summer, Dr. Dorian Cramer (then Nancy Pinkerton) blames board member Viki for her suspension from Llanview Hospital, and a rivalry is born that will last decades. Viki and Joe remarry in a simple, New York City ceremony in September.[5][6] In 1975, Dorian becomes the private physician to Viki's father Victor, soon eloping with him.[7] Viki learns she has a half-brother, Tony Lord (George Reinholt), and Dorian plots to keep Victor's fortune for herself.[8] In 1976, Victor suffers a heart attack and dies after wife Dorian denies him medication, and in his wake Dorian wreaks havoc on the Lord family.[9] Viki and Joe have a son, Kevin Lord Riley, who is soon kidnapped by jealous sister-in-law Cathy Craig Lord (Jennifer Harmon), but is later returned.[10] In 1978, Viki takes in Tina Clayton (Andrea Evans), the sixteen-year-old daughter of college roommate and best friend Irene Manning Clayton (Kate McKeown), who is apparently dying of cancer.[11] Shortly after Irene dies, Viki goes on trial for the murder of her nemesis Marco Dane (Gerald Anthony), but she is later exonerated following confessional testimony by Karen Wolek (Judith Light).[12] Joe dies from a brain tumor in October 1979,[13] and Viki gives birth to their second son, Joe Riley, Jr., in January 1980.[14][15]


After a disastrous relationship with con man Ted Clayton,[16][17] who brainwashes and drugs her in an attempt to get his hands on her fortune, Viki marries newspaper editor Clint Buchanan (Clint Ritchie) in 1982; he adopts both of her sons.[18] Echo DiSavoy (Kim Zimmer), seeking revenge on Clint for her mother's murder, seduces him in 1983 to ruin his marriage, then fakes her own death and frames him for it. Clint is later exonerated after Echo is found alive, and he and Viki reunite.[19] Viki is shocked to discover in 1985 that her former ward Tina Clayton (Evans) is in fact her half-sister, daughter of Viki's father Victor and not Ted. Thanks to the machinations of Tina's boyfriend Mitch Laurence (Roscoe Born), Viki succumbs to the pressure and Niki Smith returns. Posing as Viki, Niki divorces Clint; Viki later overcomes her illness with the realization that it had actually been triggered by her witnessing Victor and Irene in bed many years before.[20] Clint and Viki remarry in 1986,[21] and Viki gives birth to their daughter Jessica Buchanan in September 1986. Jessica is kidnapped shortly after birth by Allison Perkins (Barbara Garrick), a disciple of Mitch Laurence; Jessica is soon returned unharmed in December, and Allison institutionalized. In 1988, Viki learns that she married and gave birth to a child in high school with high school sweetheart Roger Gordon (Larry Pine), but father Victor had her hypnotized to forget the occurrences. With Viki's memory restored in 1989, she annuls her 1960s off-screen marriage to Roger and initiates a relationship with daughter Megan Gordon (Jessica Tuck), an actress on the soap opera (within a soap opera), Fraternity Row. Megan and Viki initially spar, but ultimately get past their initial conflicts and become close.[22]


In 1990, Viki is elected mayor of Llanview,[23] but a shooting and subsequent stroke leaves her paralyzed and in a wheelchair;[24] Niki Smith emerges to aid a paralyzed Viki stand up and shoot Johnny Dee Hesser (Anthony Crivello) when he attacks Tina.[25] Viki recovers and later donates a kidney to daughter Megan suffering terminal lupus, but Megan dies, leaving Viki devastated.[26][27] Growing ever-distant from Clint, Viki engages an extramarital affair with Sloan Carpenter (Roy Thinnes); she and Clint divorce in 1994, and she marries Sloan. Sloan dies soon after from Hodgkin's lymphoma, just as the existence of a second child of Victor and Irene's is revealed.[28] Viki's stress reaches a critical point when Dorian (Robin Strasser onward) tells Viki a secret of which she thought Viki had been aware: the fact that Victor had sexually abused his daughter as a child. With this trauma being what had actually initiated Viki's dissociative identity disorder, she subsequently splinters into several personalities, one of which imprisons Dorian in a secret room below Llanfair. Dorian is eventually freed from her confinement, and Viki recovers after realizing she herself (more specifically, one of her alternate personalities) was the one who had smothered Victor to death in 1976.[29] In 1995, reviled town outcast Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) is proven to be Victor and Irene's illegitimate son; Viki and Todd eventually become close.[30] After a failed reconciliation attempt with Clint, Viki meets and falls in love with Ben Davidson (Mark Derwin),[31] who is eventually revealed to be the long-lost son of Asa Buchanan (Philip Carey) and Renée Divine Buchanan (Patricia Elliott). Ben's first wife, Skye Chandler (Robin Christopher), comes to town and tries in vain to keep Ben and Viki apart.[32]


Viki is diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, but survives after a mastectomy and chemotherapy.[33] She and Ben marry in November.[34] In 2001, a girl named Natalie Balsom (Melissa Archer) makes the startling claim that she is Viki and Clint's biological daughter, which is confirmed by a DNA test.[35] Mitch Laurence returns from the dead, divulging to Viki he drugged and raped her around the same time she and Clint conceived Jessica and had unknowingly become pregnant with fraternal twins, one fathered by Clint, Natalie, and the other fathered by Mitch, Jessica (Erin Torpey).[36] Unable to reconcile the revelation, Niki Smith emerges during the ordeal and plots to kill Ben in order to have her freedom, but when Ben is accidentally shot by Antonio Vega (Kamar de los Reyes), Viki returns. Ben is left comatose after the shooting. In 2003, Victor (William Stone Mahoney) is ostensibly revealed to be alive, claiming to have faked his death in 1976; however, shortly after he returns, Victor dies — but not before Viki and Todd confront him on ills inflicted to them in his wake.[29] In 2004, Viki is diagnosed with heart disease and eventually needs a heart transplant. Coincidentally, a comatose Ben dies just as Viki takes a turn for the worse, and his heart is transplanted into Viki, who recovers but must face widowhood once again.[37]

In 2007, Viki and Clint (Jerry verDorn) start dating again, but Dorian decides she wants Clint for herself and plots to break up the couple. Dorian's schemes succeed, and Clint ends things with Viki to start a new relationship with Dorian. Feeling humiliated and defeated, Viki leaves Llanview for a much-needed vacation and finds herself in Paris, Texas, where she tries to reinvent herself by waiting tables at a local diner. It is there that she meets patron Charlie Banks (Brian Kerwin), a recovering alcoholic, and the two begin seeing one another. Viki ultimately returns to Llanview once her family discovers her secret life, and Charlie's search for his estranged son Jared (John Brotherton) leads him there as well. Viki and Charlie resume their relationship, but break up when Viki discovers that Charlie had lied about the identity of his son in extenuating circumstances. In July 2008, Viki is involved in a car accident with Dorian; Viki's heart stops as a result of the crash, but Dorian manages to revive her. Reexamining her life, Viki reunites with Charlie, and they marry on August 4, 2009. Viki runs for mayor against Dorian and wins; she steps down, however, to help her family deal with the unexpected return of Mitch Laurence, who wreaks havoc on her daughters and murders Jared in the process.


Charlie, devastated over his son's death, quits his sobriety and began drinking, distancing himself from Viki, choosing instead to conspire with Dorian to kill Mitch. Though Dorian tries to stop him at the last minute, Charlie ends up accidentally shooting Jessica (Bree Williamson onward), who survives. Devastated by Charlie's actions, Viki asks him for a divorce, but they eventually reconcile. Viki and Charlie's marriage is further complicated by the return of Echo DiSavoy, a woman who almost destroyed her marriage to Clint in 1983. Echo begins insinuating herself into Charlie and Viki's marriage, much to Viki's dismay. When a paternity revealed Charlie not to be the father of Rex Balsom (John-Paul Lavoisier), a devastated Charlie turns to Echo for comfort. Dorian, who had suspicions about Echo and Charlie's dealings, forged a truce with Viki to uncover Charlie's misgivings. A devastated Viki finds out about Charlie's affair and definitively asks him for a divorce. After confronting Charlie and Echo, Viki goes to court to fight for custody of grandson Ryder Ford while his mother Jessica was ill with her multiple personality. A stressed Viki suffers a bout with multiple personalities on the stand, leading the judge against giving the child to Viki but instead to her son and daughter-in-law, Joey (Tom Degnan) and Aubrey Buchanan (Terri Conn).

In summer 2011 a man with the "original" face of her only known living brother, Todd (Howarth), returned to Llanview claiming to be the victim of eight years of imprisonment and torture at the hands of his mother and Viki's childhood friend, a back-from-the-dead Irene Manning (Barbara Rhoades). After medical tests revealed the "newer" Todd (Trevor St. John) and the "old" Todd (Howarth) to have identical DNA, Irene appeared to reveal the "two Todds" to be twins. The man who resembled Walker Laurence (St. John) and who has been living as Todd since 2003 was revealed actually have been born Victor Lord, Jr., brainwashed into believing that he is Todd by Irene. Meanwhile, Viki agrees in court to put up Clint in Llanfair for house arrest after he was convicted of various crimes in Llanview. Dorian and Viki ostensibly put an end to their feud of nearly four decades when Dorian leaves town to become an acting U.S. senator. Viki continues work at The Banner when Tina returns to town for the reading of the will of recently murdered Victor, Jr. After months of rehashing old feelings and living under the same roof, Clint and Viki too admit to their unresolved feelings and agreed to give a romantic relationship one more try.

At the original finale, a prison breakout leads Allison Perkins to shoot both Clint and Viki, but only after telling the two that Jessica was in fact Clint's daughter and not the daughter of Mitch Laurence. Clint sanctioned another paternity test and, in the presence of Jessica, Viki, and Natalie, revealed Allison's claim to be true. Following all the emotional revelations and tears, Clint again declares his undying love for Viki and asks her to marry him for a third time.

Upon the series resumption in April 2013, Viki accepts Clint's marriage proposal, and concurrently hires freelance journalist Jeffrey King (Corbin Bleu) to investigate the alleged congressional malfeasance of junior U.S. senator Dorian. Upon visiting niece Danielle Manning (Kelley Missal) in the hospital after overdosing on drugs and alcohol, she uncovers her brother Victor, Jr. to be alive. With her family newspaper in financial straits, The Banner focuses on growing the publication's online presence.


  1. ^ Template:Cite episode
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  3. ^ One Life to Live recap (1968-69). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on November 21, 2011.
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  6. ^ One Life to Live recap (1973-74). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on May 30, 2013.
  7. ^ Template:Cite episode
  8. ^ One Life to Live recap (1974-75, Part 2). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on May 30, 2013.
  9. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Anniversary
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  15. ^ One Life to Live recap (1979–80). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on May 30, 2013.
  16. ^ One Life to Live recap (1980–81, Part 2). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on May 30, 2013.
  17. ^ One Life to Live recap (1981–82, Part 2). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on May 30, 2013.
  18. ^ Template:Cite episode
  19. ^ One Life to Live recap (1983–84, Part 3). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on May 30, 2013.
  20. ^ Template:Cite episode
  21. ^ Template:Cite episode
  22. ^ One Life to Live recap (1989–90). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on May 30, 2013.
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  28. ^ One Life to Live recap (1994–95). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2013.
  29. ^ a b In recent years, One Life to Live plot twists have strongly suggested that Dorian was Victor's true murderer after all, as was suggested at Victor's initial death in 1976. In August 2007, Dorian makes the startling (and vague) claim to Viki that she had actually killed Victor, and that a man who appeared in 2003 claiming to be Victor was a fraud. Having planted a seed of doubt in Viki's mind, she refused to elaborate. On August 16, 2011, Dorian's husband David Vickers Buchanan (Tuc Watkins) mentions that an (albeit forged) entry from Irene Manning's diary cleared Dorian of Victor's murder. When David states that Dorian is innocent of the crime, she comments to herself, "... or so Viki chooses to believe."
  30. ^ One Life to Live recap (1995–96). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2013.
  31. ^ Template:Cite episode
  32. ^ Template:Cite episode
  33. ^ Template:Cite episode
  34. ^ One Life to Live recap (November 2000). ABC. Archived from the original on April 2, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2013.
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  36. ^ Template:Cite episode
  37. ^ Renee Michael. "All My Stories", April 19, 2011. Retrieved on June 29, 2013. 

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