Stephanie Douglas Forrester was the matriarch of the Forrester fashion dynasty and the mother of four children: Ridge, Thorne, Kristen, and Felicia. Stephanie was aware that her husband, Eric Forrester, was starting to look at other women. Stephanie suspected Margo Lynley, but found a bigger competitor in Beth Logan. In college, Eric dated Beth until Stephanie announced she was pregnant, prompting Eric to marry Stephanie. But Eric found Beth catering a party one night and reconnected with her. Stephanie decided against an affair with gigolo Clarke Garrison, whom Stephanie had hired to date Kristen. Stephanie also meddled in Ridge's love life after he had shown an interest in Beth's daughter, Brooke Logan.
Eric was dismayed by Stephanie's mysterious absences. One day he followed Stephanie and found her visiting a comatose, brain damaged young girl: it was Angela, the daughter that Stephanie had said died at birth. Stephanie and Eric grew closer once Eric got over his initial anger, but it turned out that the real Angela had died, so her doctor hired an actress to play Angela to keep getting money from the Forresters. "Angela" eventually escaped. Meanwhile, Thorne had married Caroline Spencer, but Ridge played a prank and snuck into tipsy Caroline's bed, where Caroline made love to Ridge, thinking he was Thorne. After overhearing a discussion about it, Thorne shot Ridge while under the influence of painkillers and alcohol. Stephanie lied to protect Thorne, telling the police she thought she shot a prowler.
When Eric was ready to leave Stephanie for Beth, Stephanie tracked down Stephen Logan, Beth's estranged husband. Stephanie provided an anonymous tip to Beth's daughters regarding Stephen's whereabouts, ultimately reuniting the Logan family. Stephanie also convinced Bill Spencer, Sr., who loved Stephanie, to give Stephen a job in Bill's overseas office. The Logans left for Paris, except Brooke, who gained an enemy in Stephanie by pursuing Ridge, then by accepting Eric's marriage proposal.
Stephanie stalled her divorce, but gave in as Brooke was about to deliver Eric's child, Rick Forrester. Stephanie was briefly intrigued by her young, handsome tennis instructor, Jake Maclaine. Caroline died of leukemia, but Caroline's doctor, Taylor Hayes, advised Stephanie against waiting for Eric. As Stephanie was leaving on a trip, she had a minor stroke that gave her amnesia, and she wandered out of the house without identification. Stephanie's car broke down in a dangerous part of Los Angeles, but she was taken in by the homeless Ruthanne Owens. Stephanie lived on the streets as "Liz" for months, even attracting the attention of homeless professor Adam Banks.Sally Spectra, who ran Spectra Fashions and made a habit of knocking off Forrester designs, had long tried to win Stephanie's respect and friendship, to no avail. But when Stephanie went missing, Sally circulated flyers in an attempt to find her. Adam saw one of Sally's flyers and sent Stephanie home to a family she couldn't remember. Stephanie's memory returned, but she pretended otherwise as a ploy to win back Eric and get rid of Brooke. Stephanie had the Forrester lab rigged with cameras, which caught Ridge and Brooke making love. But Stephanie showed a softer side to Ruthanne when she put Ruthanne up at the mansion and reunited Ruthanne with her long-lost family.
Eric moved on with nurse Sheila Carter after he divorced Brooke, who wanted to be with Ridge. Stephanie and Eric got over their animosity and renewed their friendship, giving Stephanie hope, though Stephanie began dating Taylor's father, Jack Hamilton. Jack hid the fact that he was being chased by criminals over gambling debts. Stephanie left Jack when the mobsters endangered Felicia. Jack casually dated Sally, but reconnected with Stephanie, so Sally lied that she was pregnant. Jack proposed to Sally, but soon Stephanie caught on and blasted Sally for her deception.Stephanie plotted with the Forresters to keep Brooke from gaining ownership of the wrinkle-free BeLieF formula, which Brooke had been hired to create. When Brooke discovered the ploy, Brooke and Stephanie slapped each other in a meeting where Brooke took control of Forrester Creations. Brooke hired Sheila as her liaison, and had Sheila kick Stephanie out of her office. Eric had started seeing Sheila's true colors, and stayed with Stephanie as he recovered from a vasectomy. Stephanie encountered Sally again when Spectra horned in on Forrester's tribute to the American Film Institute with Charlton Heston, and later when Stephanie attended Spectra's Grand Diva showing and was pulled up on stage with Sally.
Eric's teenaged niece, Jessica Forrester, came to stay with Stephanie and immediately took a liking to Forrester intern Dylan Shaw. After Stephanie found out Jessica and Dylan made love, Stephanie had Dylan arrested and charged with statutory rape, leading to a lengthy trial. Jessica and Dylan tried to run away, but after Dylan brought Jessica home, Stephanie got the charges dropped by telling the court that Dylan had acted responsibly. Once the truth about Sheila's criminal misdeeds in Genoa City came to light, Sheila rounded up the Forresters at gunpoint, but Brooke was willing to take the bullet Sheila wanted to put into Stephanie. Sheila attempted suicide and was institutionalized, and Stephanie worked with Sheila's nemesis, Lauren Fenmore, to keep Sheila from being paroled.
Sally had again resorted to stealing Forrester designs, so Eric romanced Sally to get her to pull them from the upcoming Spectra showing. Stephanie was hurt to see Eric coming on to Sally, but thrilled when she learned of Eric's successful plan. Stephanie confronted Sally about Eric's phony proposal, gloating as she smashed the glass in Sally's engagment ring.
Stephanie, who had been devastated when Taylor died in a plane crash, was disgusted when Taylor returned and explained she had married Prince Omar of Morocco while an amnesiac in his palace. But Stephanie was soon back to trying to replace Brooke in Ridge's life, even trapping Ridge and Taylor in an elevator. When a letter surfaced claiming Brooke had fixed a paternity test to say Ridge was the father of her daughter, Bridget, Stephanie ordered Brooke out of the country. Stephanie filed for custody of Rick and Bridget. To avenge Brooke, who had wandered away in an attack of "brief reactive psychosis," Sheila replaced Stephanie's calcium supplements with mercury, creating the impression that Stephanie was slowly losing her mind. Sheila taunted Stephanie in the hospital, but Stephanie bounced back after Sally and Brooke rallied behind her.
Eric and Lauren embarked on a brief affair, but Lauren backed off out of respect for Stephanie. Sally found a video of Eric and Lauren in bed and planted a still from it in the minister's Bible at Eric and Stephanie's wedding. Stephanie responded by shoving Lauren into the mud, and later into a pool. Stephanie got even with Sally by pushing her into Lake Como in Italy. Stephanie led the rescue effort in Greenland when Eric and Lauren's plane crashed there. Stephanie and Lauren teamed up with Maggie Warwick to gaslight Sheila after Sheila seduced Maggie's husband, James Warwick, and had his baby.
James left Sheila and became friends with Stephanie. Sheila violated parole by threatening to kill Stephanie's grandson, Thomas, and attempting to drown Stephanie in the Forrester pool. Sheila was arrested, but Sheila escaped and shot Stephanie in the shoulder. Rick's pregnant girlfriend, Amber Moore, rushed Sheila and saved Stephanie from being killed. Stephanie recovered and continued badgering Brooke, who was trying to lure Ridge away from Taylor. Stephanie and a lingerie-clad Brooke got into a public tussle on a bed as Brooke unveiled her sexy new "Brooke's Bedroom" line.
Stephanie lost it when her other son, Thorne, got involved with Brooke. Stephanie terrorized Brooke at the Big Bear cabin with a fire poker before punching her and trying to strangle her. But Thorne proposed to Brooke, and Stephanie had a stroke. In the hospital, Stephanie again tried to choke Brooke. The stroke made Eric reevaluate his feelings for Stephanie, and he remarried Stephanie at her bedside. Brooke tried to make inroads with the wheelchair-bound Stephanie by massaging Stephanie's feet. Brooke and Thorne's ex-wife, Macy Alexander, were battling over Thorne and got into a car accident, where Macy died in an explosion. Macy's mother, Sally, exposed Thorne's continuing involvement with Brooke at Macy's funeral, and Stephanie suffered a second stroke. Stephanie softened toward Brooke a bit when Brooke gave Stephanie a photo album documenting Stephanie's life.
Years before, Stephanie had forced teenaged Morgan DeWitt to abort Ridge's baby. Morgan came back and befriended Ridge's wife, Taylor, in a scheme to again carry Ridge's child. Morgan faked a series of e-mails between Ridge and Taylor to make it seem like Taylor gave Ridge "permission" to impregnate Morgan. After Taylor found out and Morgan lost the baby, Morgan kidnapped Taylor's daughter, Steffy Forrester, and imprisoned Taylor. Morgan escaped after Ridge resuced Taylor and Steffy, but showed up as a clown for a Forrester kiddie party. Morgan fell into the pool and Stephanie left her to drown, but later Morgan tried to drown Stephanie in her bathtub. Stephanie survived, and later mended fences with her daughter, Kristen, after Kristen got involved with the HIV-positive Antonio Dominguez.
Massimo Marone, an old flame of Stephanie's, came back to romance Stephanie, who wasn't interested. But when Ridge lost blood in an accident, it turned out that Ridge and Eric's blood types didn't match, and Massimo was revealed as Ridge's father. Stephanie hid the truth from Eric and Ridge. Meanwhile, Brooke, who couldn't have Ridge, had an affair with Deacon Sharpe, her daughter's husband. Stephanie was outraged, but later, Stephanie tried to help Brooke turn over a new leaf and even helped deliver baby Hope at the Big Bear cabin with Bridget.
Stephanie and Massimo saved Amber after Sheila kidnapped Amber to make way for Sheila's daughter, Erica Lovejoy. But when Taylor died in an altercation with Sheila, Stephanie was devastated, and the repercussions included Ridge considering a relationship with his "ex-sister," Bridget, which forced the issue of Ridge's paternity. Stephanie finally told Eric that Massimo was Ridge's father, and Eric walked out on her. Stephanie warned Jackie Marone to stay away from Eric, although Stephanie encouraged Jackie's son, Nick Marone, to be with Brooke, and arranged for Nick and Brooke to be stranded on an island together. After Sally and Stephanie, who had become friends, drowned their sorrows, a soused Sally gave Stephanie a sloppy haircut. For Christmas, Stephanie gave Sally a locket with both their pictures inside.
Stephanie and Brooke bonded briefly when Ridge was believed to be dead. Later, when Thorne defected to Spectra, Stephanie apologized for having always played favorites with Ridge. Stephanie worried when Ridge claimed he had seen Taylor, but Taylor was indeed alive, having been spirited away from the hospital by Prince Omar, who healed Taylor in his palace and held her prisoner. Stephanie paid off a doctor and faked a heart attack to manipulate Ridge into returning to Taylor. The ploy worked, but when Brooke uncovered it, the entire Forrester family turned their backs on Stephanie.
Stephanie was about to leave Los Angeles when she found papers in Eric's safe that said Stephanie was the true owner of Forrester Creations. When it came out that Eric had known about it for decades, Stephanie kneed Eric in the groin, fired him, and installed Thorne as president. Meanwhile, Bridget was hurt when Brooke moved on with Bridget's ex-husband, Nick. Stephanie responded by giving Brooke a gift-wrapped gun with which to shoot herself. Instead, Brooke fired at Stephanie, but missed. Stephanie was stunned when Eric remarried Brooke to keep her away from Nick. But Eric and Stephanie drew together and remarried for the sake of their daughter, Felicia, who had cancer. Felicia "died," but Stephanie secretly forced an unconscious Felicia to have chemotherapy against Felicia's wishes, and the treatment was successful.
After Ridge had a heart attack, Stephanie uncharacteristically encouraged Brooke to be with Ridge, even gifting Brooke with a 50% share in Forrester. When a furious Taylor accused Stephanie of having incestuous feelings toward Ridge, Stephanie slapped Taylor. Stephanie even tried to sabotage Brooke's wedding to Nick by putting a nude photo from Brooke's bedroom line on a billboard in plain view. But when a drunken Taylor accidentally killed Thorne's wife, Darla Einstein, while driving drunk, Stephanie made up with Taylor and helped convince her not to go to the police or confess to Thorne. Once the truth came out, Stephanie was almost charged with obstruction of justice until she produced a witness that testified that Darla had actually fallen into the path of Taylor's car.
Stephanie got into an argument with Jackie that ended with Jackie falling over a railing. To avenge his mother, Nick held Stephanie over the same railing, but Stephanie got hold of a gun and fired just above Nick's head as a warning. Stephanie questioned her angry, controlling behavior and went into therapy with Taylor, where they uncovered Stephanie's childhood abuse at the hands of her father. Because Stephanie's mother, Ann Douglas, always denied the abuse, Stephanie had told her family Ann was dead. Taylor encouraged Stephanie to confront Ann in Chicago. With Eric at her side, Stephanie called Ann on the carpet, but Ann accused Stephanie of exaggerating her father's discipline. Stephanie washed her hands of her mother and was stunned when Eric brought Ann out to Los Angeles with Stephanie's sister, Pam Douglas. Ann admitted she didn't stop the abuse because she was afraid of her husband, but Stephanie wasn't able to forgive Ann until Thorne's little daughter, Alexandria, included Ann in the family Christmas carols.
Nick took over Forrester, so when Stephanie found out Jackie had once turned tricks to feed Nick, Stephanie presented one of Jackie's former clients at a Forrester fashion show to undermine Nick. Eric started a new company, which Brooke, Ridge, and Stephanie supported, leading Stephanie to sheepishly admit that she did love Brooke. But Stephanie clashed with Ann, who demanded her own condo, and with Pam, who had her eye on Eric. When Shane McGrath, the witness at Taylor's trial, killed himself in front of Ridge, Stephanie helped Ridge cover the incident and put the blame on Nick, who was arrested. Brooke found out that Stephanie was protecting Ridge, who had racked up a criminal record covering for the then-teenaged Rick, who had shot Grant Chambers. Stephanie choked Brooke with a phone cord and held Brooke at Big Bear with a shotgun to keep Brooke from calling the police before she finally relented.
After Brooke's two younger children, Hope and R.J., were accidentally left alone all night and set fire to the living room, Child Protective Services were brought in, and Stephanie helped Ridge take the children away from Brooke. Stephanie recruited Andy Johnson to distract Brooke from the custody case, even telling him where to find Brooke's spare house key. But Stephanie was horrified when Andy let himself in and raped Brooke. Donna Logan, Brooke's sister, wanted to get back at Stephanie by seducing Thorne. Donna got Thorne down the aisle, but Brooke's other sister, Katie Logan, stopped the wedding by telling Thorne that Donna didn't love him. Nick offered to sell Forrester back to Eric if Eric divorced Stephanie, so Eric complied, and soon took up with Donna himself. Nick threatened to kill Stephanie if Stephanie ever hurt Brooke again. Brooke's father, Stephen Logan, almost threw Stephanie off a hotel balcony trying to avenge Brooke. But after a fashion show, Stephanie was shot. Many were accused, and Stephen was arrested, but Brooke's brother, Storm Logan, had pulled the trigger. Stephanie found out and told Donna she'd send Storm to jail unless Donna left Eric, but Stephanie couldn't go through with it. Eric had a heart attack and went into a coma after he was poisoned by Pam. Stephanie and Donna accused each other, but the culprit was Pam, who was only trying to weaken Eric so he would be sexually undesirable to Donna. Pam had gone off her medication for bipolar disorder and was on a mission to make up for not protecting Stephanie from their father as children, going so far as trying to kill Donna.
Rick tormented Ridge by dating Ridge's daughters, Steffy and Phoebe. Stephanie demanded Rick's arrest after Phoebe died in a car crash while Rick was driving. Eric tired of Stephanie's negativity and fired her, but Nick offered Stephanie a position at Jackie M. Stephanie was surprised to see how well she worked with her former enemies. Stephanie slammed the Logans in a venomous webcast. But when Bill Spencer, Jr. tried to blackmail Eric for control of Forrester, Stephanie recorded the conversation and turned the blackmail around on Bill. Stephanie had mini-stroke that she tried to hide from her friends at Jackie M.
Ann arrived for a visit and announced she was dying of pancreatic cancer. Pam and Stephanie butted heads over Ann's refusal to be hospitalized when Ann had an episode and Pam called an ambulance. But later Stephanie and Pam broke Ann out of her hospital room and took her to her favorite spot, Paradise Cove. Ann died peacefully after making amends with both her daughters.
After Steffy wrested control of Forrester from Bill by nearly seducing him, Steffy split the company's stock between Ridge, Eric, Stephanie, and Taylor. Stephanie felt compelled to leave Jackie M and return to Forrester. Eric let Stephanie stay at the Forrester mansion, where she encountered Donna's mother, Beth, who was suffering from the latter stages of Alzheimer's disease. Stephanie and Beth had an argument at the Forrester pool that resulted in Beth drowning after Stephanie walked away. Donna wanted Stephanie arrested, a conflict which ended Donna and Eric's marriage and sent Eric back to Stephanie. Stephen tried to avenge Beth by seducing Pam into going off her medication. Stephen put a gun in Pam's hand and pushed for Pam to shoot Stephanie, but Stephanie got the gun away from Pam and shot Stephen instead.
Stephanie fell while arguing with Brooke, and at the hospital, they discovered Stephanie had Stage IV lung cancer. Stephanie refused treatment and ordered Brooke not to tell the family, instead taking Brooke on quest to fulfill Stephanie's bucket list. Stephanie lost Ann's scarf on a roller coaster and followed Dayzee Leigh, who had found it, into Skid Row. Stephanie was so inspired by the destitute Dayzee's positive attitude that Stephanie accepted treatment for her cancer, vowed to help the homeless, and even made peace with Brooke. Stephanie bought the Insomnia Cafe from C.J. Garrison, renamed it Dayzee's, and gave it to Dayzee to run as a place that would provide jobs for the homeless.
Stephanie arranged an intervention to get Nick to stop smoking cigars after a spot was found on his lung. Stephanie's own cancer prognosis was still unpredictable, so when the possibility arose that Brooke might have had sex with Ridge's son, Thomas, on a deserted island while hopped up on psychedelic berries, Stephanie told Thomas she'd give him her 25% stake in Forrester if he said he actually did have sex with Brooke, which Stephanie knew would push Ridge back to Taylor. It worked, but at Taylor's wedding, Stephanie came clean, and Taylor turned her back on Stephanie. Stephanie tried to atone by making Taylor the trustee of Thomas' stock, which ultimately gave Taylor and her children controlling interest of the company. Brooke made Stephanie pay for destroying Brooke's marriage by goading Stephanie to sing to her in a piano bar.
Eric and Stephanie hit an impasse when Eric wanted to be intimate, but Stephanie declined, saying her cancer and old age made her feel unattractive. Eric and Jackie were tempted to revive their former relationship, but chose not to out of respect for Stephanie. When Dayzee's friend, Beverly, became an intern at Forrester and was falsely accused of stealing Forrester designs, Stephanie stepped in front of a Beverly's bus to apologize to Beverly. Stephanie met Beverly's fellow occupants at a home for young adults who have aged out of the foster care system, and admitted that she'd gotten pregnant and married Eric (not knowing she was carrying Massimo's child) to get away from her abusive father.
When Liam Cooper waffled between Steffy and Hope, Stephanie was on Steffy's side. As Eric was looking for a way to celebrate 50 years with Stephanie, Sally's old friend, Gladys Pope, arrived as a gardener who could also perform marriages, so Stephanie remarried Eric in an impromptu and very informal ceremony at the Forrester mansion. Stephanie's health seemed fine until a doctor's test revealed that her cancer had returned, leaving her only months to live. Eric vowed to stay by her side, and Stephanie began the daunting task of telling family, friends, and frenemies about her terminal diagnosis while delivering invitations to her "celebration of life" party.
Eric brought the group Celtic Woman to entertain Stephanie and the entire family, including Felicia and Kristen, although Ridge was a no-show to the party. After saying her goodbyes and retreating to the Big Bear cabin, Stephanie admitted to Brooke that she had told Ridge, who had walked out on Brooke in Europe, not to come because she didn't want him to see her deterioration. With Eric at an emergency business meeting, Stephanie became weaker and asked for Brooke's forgiveness, giving Brooke her engagement ring before dying in Brooke's arms.
One of Stephanie's final acts was to leave behind a DVD in which she stated she had found a loophole in Forrester's original Articles of Incorporation, and through it she nullified the transfer of her stock to Thomas and gave it to Eric. Stephanie also reinstalled Eric as CEO, lovingly telling him, "Don't mess it up." Thomas, who had been named interim CEO by Ridge in his absence, balked, and Stephanie's last wish further polarized the family against each other instead of bringing it together, as Stephanie had hoped. Taylor yelled at the portrait of Stephanie that Eric had hung over the Forrester fireplace, feeling Stephanie had betrayed her. But Stephanie appeared to respond when her portrait fell off the wall during Taylor's tirade.