Lance Prentiss, wealthy eligible bachelor and co-owner of Prentiss Industries, lived in an estate not far from Genoa City on Lake Geneva with his mother, Vanessa.
Lance was intrigued by Genoa City concert pianist, Leslie Brooks, but because Leslie was married to Brad Eliot, the two were just friends. Leslie would often spot Lance in the audience as she toured the world performing, and he would meet her afterward for dinner. Lance finally revealed to Leslie that he was in love with her. But although their marriage was occasionally rocky, Leslie demurred, saying her heart belonged to Brad.
So Leslie set Lance up with her younger sister, Lorie, who unlike the sedate and serious Leslie, was a headstrong novelist. After being lavishly romanced by Lance with intimate dinners all around the country and the world, Lorie gave in to his charms. Lorie, however, was confused by Lance's estate. There were locked rooms that Lorie had never seen, and she never understood why she kept finding scarves monogrammed with the initial "V."
Eventually when things began to get serious between them, Lance explained that his mother Vanessa lived at the estate, and was a recluse who wore a veil over the lower part of her face. The veil hid the scars incurred years ago when she had rescued Lance from a fire which had been accidentally started by his younger brother Lucas. Vanessa had been peering through peepholes in the walls of the mansion for years, and had observed Lance with Lorie and other women before her, including her sister Leslie.
Vanessa was displeased by Lance's involvement with Lorie, whom she viewed as she did all young women in Lance's life, as a potential threat to her having her son all to herself. Lance and Lorie were married on the spur of the moment during a trip to Lake Tahoe, and Lorie moved in with Lance and Vanessa. Although Vanessa was always gracious in front of Lance, she was spiteful to Lorie when he was not around. Not easily dissuaded, Lorie attempted to build a relationship with Vanessa and even suggested that Vanessa have plastic surgery to remove her scars. But Vanessa lied, and told her that she had a heart condition which had made plastic surgery too risky.
While Lance and Lorie were honeymooning, Vanessa invited Leslie to visit her. Vanessa let Leslie know that she would have preferred the more refined Leslie for her son, but Leslie defended Lorie. Leslie pointed out that Lorie was really a good person who had even scrapped her second novel, In my Sister's Shadow, in deference to Leslie, because it told the story of Leslie's recent nervous breakdown. Vanessa hired a private detective who discovered that Lorie's book had not been scrapped, but instead it had just been published. During one of their many altercations, Lorie told Vanessa that she had learned that Vanessa had no heart condition and accused her not being scarred at all. To which Vanessa lifted her veil and revealed her horribly scarred face. Lorie then accused her of only refusing plastic surgery to hang onto Lance. Vanessa countered that she would tell Lance of Lorie's new book, if that accusation ever got back to Lance.
Vanessa plotted that while Lance was out of town on business, she would shoot Lorie and claim that she had mistaken her for an intruder. But when he returned unexpectedly, it turned out to be Lance that Vanessa shot twice instead. Lorie realized what had happened and made a deal with the horrified Vanessa that Lorie would take the blame for the shooting if Vanessa would move out. But although Lance later forgave Lorie for shooting him, he forbade Vanessa from moving out.
Lorie tracked down Lance's brother, Lucas, in Hong Kong and persuaded him to return home, hoping the diversion would stop Vanessa's obsession with Lance. Lucas had disappeared shortly after the fire, once he knew that his mother would survive, because he felt guilty for causing the fire and her disfigurement. Vanessa welcomed Lucas home with open arms and gratitude to Lorie. Vanessa assured Lucas that she had never held him responsible, and he was able to convince her to finally have the plastic surgery that removed her scars.
Leslie's father, Stuart, found out that Lorie's book had been published. He berated Lorie, then broke the news to Leslie who was devastated and swore that she would never forgive Lorie. Leslie, later while on a concert tour, found herself hounded by reporters anxiously seeking the tawdry details about her nervous breakdown and time spent in a sanitarium. Leslie became so upset that she nearly suffered a second breakdown. When Lance heard what his wife had done, he lashed out at Lorie, and then flew to Denver to meet Leslie to give her emotional support. Leslie had decided to cancel the remainder of her tour, but with Lance there at her side, she went on to her next concert. But when Leslie surveyed the audience, imagining them all knowing about her past, she froze, and then ran off the stage. Lance comforted Leslie, and they returned to her hotel suite, where they ended up making love. The following morning, Leslie felt so guilty that she encouraged Lance to patch things up with Lorie. They kissed goodbye, and Lorie witnessed it. Thinking that Lance was now committed to Leslie, Lorie immediately went on the road to promote her new book.
Leslie discovered that she was pregnant, but just as she was about to tell Lance that he was going to be a father, Lance told her that he was going to reconcile with Lori. Reeling from Lance's decision, Leslie went on to her next concert date in Seattle. Lucas followed, who by then had fallen in love with Leslie. After Leslie confessed that she was carrying Lance's child, Lucas sympathized and proposed. Leslie and Lucas declared that they would never tell Lance that the baby was his, and they were married. Leslie's mentor, Maestro Fautsch, let them live in his villa in Switzerland to keep the baby's birth date a secret. Leslie gave birth to a healthy baby boy, whom she named Brooks Lucas Prentiss.
Meanwhile, Vanessa, as part of her latest scheme to break up Lance and Lorie, invited Lucas to join Prentiss Industries. Once her baby had been born, Leslie offered Lucas his freedom, but Lucas wanted to stay married to her. They returned to Genoa City, and Lucas went to work with his mother. Vanessa had been transferring stock into Lucas' name until they were able to remove Lance as president, and Lucas took his place. Lucas felt guilty, and offered Lance the position of heading the European office in Paris. Lance refused, and he and Lorie moved from the estate to a penthouse in Genoa City. Before they left, Vanessa confided to Lorie that the only way Lance would be reinstated was if Lorie divorced him.
Lucas went to join Leslie and Brooks on her concert stop in Australia. But Lance was already there visiting Leslie. Lucas spotted them together having dinner, and assumed they were in love again. But Lance had actually been telling Leslie that he intended to commit to Lorie and accept Lucas' job offer in Paris. So when Lance later accepted the Paris job, Lucas rescinded it and offered him a job heading up their dangerous Santa Domingo office instead.
Although Leslie appreciated the support that Lucas gave her, she realized that she didn't really love him, and they divorced. Lance convinced Leslie and Brooks to live at the penthouse with him and Lorie. But after an upsetting confrontation with Lorie, who correctly guessed that Lance was really Brooks' father, Leslie suffered another nervous breakdown, lost her memory again, and disappeared, leaving Brooks behind.
As Lance became more and more depressed without his work, Lorie decided to get him to divorce her so that Vanessa would let him come back to Prentiss Industries. Lance and Lorie ended up divorced, and Vanessa gave Lance the European division office to run from Paris.
Leslie returned to Genoa City months later as "Pricilla" and met Lorie, but did not recognize her. Lorie and Lucas told Leslie who she was and who they were, but Leslie became confused and overwhelmed. Lorie worried that Leslie would soon regain her memory and demand custody of Brooks. But Leslie explained that she couldn't be a proper mother to a child she did not remember, and she gave full custody of Brooks to Lorie.
As Leslie was about to leave town, she encountered Maestro Fautsch who persuaded her to play for him. Leslie was amazed as classical music flowed from her fingertips. When she realized how truly gifted she was, she decided to stay in Genoa City. After falling and hitting her head, Leslie regained her memory and recalled her love for Lance and that he was the father of her son. Leslie filed for custody of Brooks, but lost him to Lorie because she was the only mother he had ever known. Vanessa suggested to Leslie that she and Lance unite to gain custody, but Leslie didn't want Lance to know that he was Brooks' father.
Meanwhile, Lorie had given her Prentiss Industries proxies to Victor Newman, who was interested in taking control of the profitable company. When Lorie later asked for them back, Victor assured her that he had burned them.
When Vanessa learned that she was dying from a terminal illness, she masterminded a vicious plot to frame Lorie for her own murder. Vanessa typed a blackmail note on Lorie's typewriter, and left it behind while she lured Lorie to the penthouse balcony. Vanessa then jumped off as a horrified Lorie looked on. Lorie hired attorney Robert Laurence who defended her for the murder of Vanessa. The blackmail note was read in court and it revealed that Lorie had known that Brooks was Lance's son. Lance was shocked, and that ended their relationship. In the end, young Brooks took the stand and testified that he had seen Vanessa typing the blackmail note on Lorie's typewriter with gloves on, and Lance found a prescription bottle that led him to discover that Vanessa was dying. With that and Leslie's testimony that Vanessa indeed hated Lorie, Lorie's version of what had happened was believed, and Lorie regained her freedom. In the end, when Lance discovered that Brooks was his son, he rejected both Lorie and Leslie for keeping it from him.
During the trial, Victor used Lorie's proxies to seize control of Prentiss. Lorie was unable to convince Lance that she had had nothing to do with it, and that Victor was a cheat. Then when Brooks refused to have anything to do with Lance, he returned to Paris alone, and was never seen onscreen again.
Victor claimed that he had taken over Prentiss for Lorie's sake, and to teach Lance a lesson. Victor hired Lorie to write a biography of him to change his image, which led to them seeing each other romantically. Victor proposed to Lorie with a huge engagement ring, and she accepted. Before the ceremony, as a show of good faith, Victor handed Lorie a wedding gift of the papers that would give her Prentiss Industries. But Lorie stood Victor up at the altar. Victor found a letter from her with his engagement ring, informing him that she had what she wanted, and that wasn't marrying him. As Lorie left town to be with Lance, she announced to Lucas that she had won control of Prentiss Industries from Victor and was returning the company to Lance.