Ross Chandler's very birth was the start of a vendetta. His father, Pete Cooney, left behind a young woman to go fight in the war. He did not realize that that woman, Lottie Chandler, was carrying his child. Soon after giving birth to Ross, a despondent Lottie killed herself. Lottie's younger brother, Adam, never forgave Pete for his desertion and as Adam amassed an empire of wealth and power, taught Ross to hate the man whom Pete would become -- multimillionaire and industrial giant Palmer Cortlandt.
Several decades later, when Palmer and Ross got to know each other, they were able to get along, to a degree. In 1984, Ross dated and married recent divorcee Ellen Dalton. His ex-wife, Cynthia, and her son Andrew moved into the Cortlandt mansion. Cynthia charmed Palmer into nuptials, but she and Ross had a one-nighter behind their spouses' backs. They were blackmailed by local sleaze Zack Grayson, and were suspects in his murder (Marian Colby was the real killer). Ross and Ellen's marriage was strained, but they managed to patch things up and were genuinely happy when they adopted teenage Julie Rand in 1986.
Unfortunately, as is usually the case, trouble loomed. Ellen's ex-husband, Mark Dalton, was heavily addicted to cocaine and she spent most of her time helping him get back on the road to recovery. Ross was jealous and his pride was wounded. His eye turned to the sexy Natalie Marlowe, who just happened to be his father's private nurse. They began a torrid affair. One night, Julie discovered them kissing and wrote it down in her diary. Adam found her diary entry and began blackmailing Ross. More and more people found out and the walls began to close in. One night, Ross muttered her name in his sleep. Ellen heard him, packed her bags, and left the mansion. Ross' obsession with Natalie only gained a more dangerous edge. Outraged after she accepted Palmer's marriage proposal, he barged into her room one night and raped her. She took him to court, but he insisted their sex was consensual. Due to her wild past and their affair, he was likely to be exonerated of any blame, until Julie, who had heard Natalie's screams and fled town soon after, returned to force Ross to confess. Ross was sent to prison, realized the horror of what he'd done, and repented. He managed to mend fences with most of his loved ones, but left town on company business, likely realizing there was nothing remaining for him in Pine Valley. He has rarely been mentioned since.