Bryan Romalotti and his wife were "con artists" when their children were growing up, and all did time for their crimes. Son Danny, not wanting to be a part of it, ran away from home as a teenager and ended up in Genoa City working as a waiter at Jonas's Restaurant with Paul Williams. His daughter Gina, (with shortened last name Roma), came to Genoa City after getting out of prison, wanting Danny's help to "go straight." For a long time Danny didn't trust her, but got her a job singing at Jonas's restaurant. Danny began his career as a teenage rock star doing concerts in Genoa City. He was often joined by sister Gina, and friends Tracy Abbott, Lauren Fenmore, and Amy Lewis, who sang with him when he performed on stage. When Jonas decided to move on, Gina bought the restaurant and renamed it Gina's Italian Restaurant.
Many years later Jill found a bum on a park bench, cleaned him up, named him Rex Sterling, and paid him to romance her nemesis Kay Chancellor. Rex was really Bryan Romalotti, the ex-con father of Danny and Gina. What started out as a trick, ended up a wonderful romance. Kay found out who he was, but loved him so, she didn't care. They were married, and Rex signed a pre-nuptial to show his trustworthiness. Rex brought a new youthfulness to Katherine as they spent a lot of time on his motorcycle and she'd sing to him "I'm gonna live until I die"!
Then Rex's former cellmate, Clint Radison, found a woman named Marge Catrooke working at a diner, who was a dead ringer for Kay. He and his cohorts Morey and Lil who went to work for Kay as houseman Robert and maid Shirley, trained Marge to pass for Kay, then held captive Kay and her "ditsy" maid Esther. Meanwhile Rex found himself increasingly baffled by his wife's unusual behavior. No longer able to tolerate her new eccentricities, and boorish behavior, Rex moved out and took up residence with Jill, who persuaded him to file for divorce from Katherine and marry her.
Marge sold Chancellor Industries, and now that Rex was gone Clint was now free to liquidate the rest of Kay's assets. But Kay's son Brock made a surprise return from his missions in India. Brock, with the help of Mitchell Sherman, discovered the ruse, and rescued Kay and Esther, who was pregnant by a one-night stand with Tiny the Plumber. Marge got to know Kay and also tried to help her to get away. Clint and his cohorts went to prison, but Marge was released as an innocent dupe, thanks to Katherine's intervention. Once Esther's baby was born, she was named Kate, after Esther's dear friend and employer Katherine.
Katherine was devastated to learn that during her absence Rex had married Jill. With her lawyer Mitchell's help, Katherine pointed out that the marriage wasn't legal because Marge - not Katherine - had signed the divorce papers. Katherine agreed to accept Rex's marriage to Jill, provided they wait six months before legally remarrying. During the waiting period, Jill began seeing her ex-husband, John Abbott. Complicating matters more was Rex's unusual romance with Leanna Love, whom he pursued while posing as a man named Roger. Katherine decided to blow everyone's cover by arranging a party where she took delight in watching Jill and Rex's love lives explode. Rex and Kay remarried after Rex pretended that he was dying from a heart attack. They would have lived happily ever after if it were not for Esther's poor choice in men.
Esther answered a personal ad in the paper and met con man Norman Peterson. In an effort to impress him she posed as lady of the manor, and Kay and Rex went along with it and dressed up as her servants. Norman coerced Esther into convincing Kay to include her in her will and marry him. Kay and Rex were suspicious, so they arranged a fake wedding. Then, not content to wait for Kay to die to be rich, Norman was caught by Rex breaking into the estate safe. Startled, Norman shot and killed Rex, leaving Kay devastated! Norman was arrested for murder and Esther has since been forgiven and named in Katherine's will.