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Portrayer Andrea Howard
First Appearance August 3, 1984
Episode #005
Last appearance January 29, 1985
Episode #129
Departure Murdered by the Carnation Killer
Occupation Secretary
Family Bobby (off-screen brother)
Romances Mason Capwell
Residence 116 East Valley View
Apartment 4

Santa Barbara, CA
Episode count 38

Veronica Gayley was a fictional character who appeared on Santa Barbara from August 1984 to January 1985. She was portrayed by actress Andrea Howard.

Introduction
Veronica became Peter Flint's secretary when he was offered the job of assistant manager of the Capwell Hotel. Her appearances were very limited until, one day, Mason Capwell invited her to have dinner with him. Veronica agreed and when Augusta Lockridge barged in on their evening, Veronica called Lionel (Augusta's husband) to report back to him. Later, when Mason pushed Veronica to stay for the night, she secretly called Lionel again for advice. Lionel told her that the way to cool off Mason was to mention Lionel's name. That was all it took. Nevertheless, Mason confided to Veronica about his plan to get the Lockridge beachfront property as a present for his father. Veronica was Lionel's spy at Capwell Enterprises, however, so she warned him about Mason's devious plan.

Determined to get the Lockridge property, Mason planned to have a meeting with some bankers in the Presidential Suite of the Capwell Hotel and invited Veronica to take notes. When Veronica confided to Peter that she couldn't stand Mason, he trusted her enough to show her the secret two-way mirror in the Presidential Suite. Veronica told Lionel about Mason's meeting with the bankers and the two-way mirror, enabling him to spy on the conversations taking place in the Presidential Suite. Later, Peter instructed Veronica to lead Mason into certain discussions so that he could get something incriminating on tape. Alone with Veronica, Mason asked her to spy on Peter and talked about his father, comparing C.C. Capwell to Hitler, Ivan the Terrible and Attila the Hun. Peter believed that he had struck gold with these remarks on tape, but Veronica made it possible for Lionel to use the recording instead.

At the auction for the beachfront property, Lionel threatened Mason with the tape and lost the property anyway. Although Mason accused Veronica of recording their private conversation, he apologized as soon as he found a hidden microphone in the Presidential Suite. Peter also demanded to know from Veronica how Lionel had gotten the tape, but she played innocent. Not much later, Mason got into trouble when Lionel sent C.C. the tape for his birthday. C.C. was livid and invited Veronica to the mansion to find out if the recording was a forgery. Surprisingly, Veronica covered for Mason. This made Peter angry and it looked like he was going to fire her. Mason, however, was grateful to Veronica and ordered Peter to give her a raise and added responsibility. Meanwhile, we learned that Veronica's loyalty to Lionel stemmed from the fact that he had once saved her little brother, Bobby, in Africa.


Veronica, with Joe Perkins, as
she appeared in her first episode.

Getting to know Mason
Around this time, Peter was being blackmailed by Ginger Jones and using money from the Capwell real estate account to pay her off. A suspicious Mason turned to Veronica for information and she also helped him by giving him a copy of the key to Peter's apartment. During Veronica's subsequent vacation, she was briefly replaced by Amy Perkins. By the time Veronica was back, Eden Capwell had taken over Peter's office and instructed her to start a file on the recovery of the Amanda Lockridge and Lionel in particular. Naturally, Veronica reported back to Lionel about Eden's actions.

After Santana Andrade left town and his father disinherited him, a depressed Mason started spending time with Veronica again. One evening, the two were at the Presidential Suite when C.C. showed up to have a few words with his son. Veronica left, but then decided to watch father and son from behind the two-way mirror. C.C. and Mason had a bitter argument, and Mason even threatened his father with a bottle. This prompted Veronica to go back to the room. Realizing that Mason was actually a misunderstood man, she chose to stay with him against C.C.'s advice.

Lionel enlisted Veronica's help when it seemed like Peter Flint held the key to who killed Channing Capwell Jr. Mason was holding Peter at a private clinic by this time and when a desperate Peter called Veronica for help, she was unable to stay away. A doctor saw her in Peter's room and alerted Mason to the situation, but she kept Mason's trust by later admitting that she had seen Peter. Thanks to Veronica's information, Lionel was able to pay a visit to Peter to find out what he knew. When Lionel was later arrested for Channing's murder, Veronica visited him in jail to give him information and was caught by Mason. Lionel covered for Veronica by claiming she had just turned down his money to get the dirt on Mason. Although Veronica started to feel guilty for betraying Mason, their relationship was slowly becoming more serious.

The Carnation Killer
Visiting Peter at the hospital, Veronica softened towards him when he gave a little girl some flowers. She stopped by La Mesa for dinner but when Peter showed up there, she didn't feel very socialble and took off before he could see her. A waitress at La Mesa was murdered by the Carnation Killer that same night. With this killer in town, Veronica was understandably spooked when she found blood in her apartment. It belonged to Lionel, however, as he had recently been shot and was on the run from the police. He stayed with Veronica for a few days, so she was caught off-guard when Mason decided to move in with her. She covered by saying that her brother was staying with her but when Lionel returned to the apartment unexpectedly, a furious Mason finally learned about Veronica's betrayal. Not only did he break with her, he also fired her.

When Veronica brought Peter some files from the office, she mentioned seeing him at La Mesa on the night of the first murder. Peter (a.k.a. the Carnation Killer) decided to kill Veronica, but his first attempt was thwarted by his landlady. When Kelly Capwell told Veronica that Peter was one of the suspects in the killings, she started to consider the possibility. She called Mason to tell him what she knew, but he was too angry to listen and hung up on her. Before she got the chance to talk to Mason again, Peter showed up at her apartment and accused her of implying that he was the Carnation Killer. Veronica secretly recorded their conversation and was horrified when Peter gave her a white carnation. A few minutes later, she was dead. To make matters worse, Peter found Veronica's recording and used it to provide himself with an albi. It was a guilt-ridden Mason who found Veronica's body.

Click here to read an exclusive interview with Andrea Howard!

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