Actor HistoryChristopher Norris
Episode Tenure: 1161-1499
Airdates: March 8, 1989 to July 10, 1990
Other NamesLaura Simmons (maiden name)
Lola Simmons (alias used at the fertility clinic)
Occupation• Former teacher (in Boston)
• Principal at Crestview High School
Relatives• Jamie Simmons (son; deceased)
Relationships• Michael Donnelly (lovers)
• Leo Mitchell (affair)
• Ethan Asher (married for five years; divorced)
Resided At302 Via Alicia, Santa Barbara [Pamela Conrad's former house]
Brief Character HistoryIntroduction
Laura's first scene saw her slapping Father Michael Donnelly at his chapel. Eight years before, she had been romantically involved with him in Boston and her son, Jamie, had been killed by Michael while was still serving as a policeman. Now living in Santa Barbara and happily married to the new DA, Ethan Asher, Laura wanted no one, not even her husband, to find out about her painful past. But since it was a small town, she couldn't avoid Michael forever and the two frequently ran into each other in public places. At C.C. Capwell's birthday party, Michael learned that Laura had never told her husband about Jamie. That same night, a renegade cop held Michael and Laura hostage at the chapel. It was Michael's bravery that saved them and he left the priesthood around this time.
Ethan, meanwhile, wanted to have children with his wife, but Laura wasn't ready to become a mother again. Instead, she became the high school principal at Crestview High School, where Emily DiNapoli was one of the students. When Laura and Michael got trapped in a records room together, she finally appeared to soften towards him and they even woke up holding hands. This didn't sit too well with Laura, however, and they were soon rescued by Ethan. She continued to be uneasy whenever Michael brought up the past, including the abortion she had considered years before. Then, on the anniversary of Jamie's death, Laura was knocked unconscious at the high school and wound up hospitalized. Ethan heard her saying Jamie's name in her sleep, which forced her to cover. Her attacker turned out to be a student, coincidentally also named Jamie. She confronted him but instead of pressing charges, she gave the kid a break and tried to make a difference in his life. Although Michael admired Laura for these actions, Ethan disapproved and it caused considerable tension in their marriage.
Leo Mitchell's murder
To prevent Ethan from finding out the truth, Michael and Laura drove all the way to Mexico and turned Leo over to the Federales. Since they had been gone all night, Ethan jumped to the conclusion that Michael and Laura were having an affair. A short time later, danger was imminent when Leo escaped from prison and returned to Santa Barbara on a foggy night. Everyone close to Michael went to look for him, including Laura, which led to her being confronted by Ethan at Michael's apartment. She told him about Michael being in danger and then went to the beach bar to find him. Leo Mitchell was subsequently shot and killed! His body was dragged into hiding by an unseen assailant, leaving everyone to assume that Leo was back in jail in Mexico. When Michael saw Laura at the beach bar a short while later, he figured that she too had heard the gunshot and they decided there was probably another explanation for it. Later, when Ethan requested a complete file on Leo, Laura removed any reference to Jamie before he got the chance to read it. She confessed to Michael that she was still in love with him, and they kissed again in an elevator.
The situation became more complicated when Bone, a surf kid, stepped forward as an eyewitness in the Leo Mitchell incident. Laura overheard him telling Ethan that he saw Michael at the beach that night. She promptly warned Michael to get out of town, but he refused and was held by a determined Ethan on suspicion of murder. Laura slipped a note to Michael, urging him to believe that she wasn't the killer. Michael's lawyer and friend, Julia Wainwright Capwell, urged Laura to finally tell Ethan about her past and she almost did, but Michael was released before that. After getting stranded with Michael due to fireworks on Fourth of July, Laura decided it was indeed time to tell Ethan about Jamie. However, she was stunned to learn that Ethan had known about her past ever since his involvement in the Leo Mitchell case!
When Laura went to see Michael to say goodbye, a distraught Ethan watched them through binoculars. Upon her return home, he confronted her but was willing to work things out. A short time later, Michael was brought in for questioning when Ethan thought he had found Leo's body. The possible discovery of the body caused Laura to disappear for a short while and when she returned, she had dirt on her clothes. She then got angry at Ethan's manipulations, which included getting Michael fired and leaking the story to the press. In an attempt to do something about the situation, Laura convinced Ethan to move back to Boston together. She tried to say goodbye to Michael again, but instead they gave into their passion and made love! Afterwards, Michael tried to convince Laura not to go back to Ethan. She refused, claiming that if she didn't, Ethan would try everything to prove that Michael had killed Leo. Later, knowing where his wife had been, Ethan changed his mind about Boston.