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Ross James Marler, Esq.

Actor History

Jerry ver Dorn (March 23, 1979 to June 2005 [contract]; June 2005 to October 11, 2005 [recurring])

Lewis Art (temporary replacement Spring 1993)


Birthday: May 18, 1948

Presumed dead (body never found) following a plane crash on April 5, 2006



Former Mayor of Springfield


Former Law professor at Springfield University

Former Springfield District Attorney

Former candidate for Senate

Former co-owner of WSPR-TV

Former President of Spaulding (very briefly)

Former partner in Los Tres Amigos


at time of death, Washington, D.C.

Marital Status

at time of death, Married (Blake Thorpe Marler) (m. 24 Dec 03)

Past Marriages

Carrie Todd (Divorced) (m. Feb 82; div. late 1982)

Blake Marler (Divorced) (13 Jun 94; div. Spring 98)


Emily (maiden name unknown) Marler (Mother; deceased)

Justin Marler (Brother)

Lainie Marler Bowden (Sister)

Ben Warren (Half-Brother; Deceased)

Samantha Marler (Niece)

Phillip Spaulding (Nephew)

Drew Jacobs (Niece)

Lizzie Spaulding (Great-niece)

Alan Cooper "Zach" Spaulding (Great-nephew)

James Spaulding (Great-nephew)

Emma Spencer Spaulding (great-niece)

Sarah Randall (great-great-niece)

Bernadette "Bunny" (Last name unknown) (Aunt; deceased)

Jackie Scott Marler (sister-in-law; deceased

Holly Lindsey Reade (mother-in-law)

Roger Thorpe (father-in-law; deceased)

Sebastian Hulce (brother-in-law)

Hart Jessup (brother-in-law; deceased)


Dinah Marler (with Vanessa)

Kevin Ross Marler (with Blake)

Jason Frederick Marler (with Blake)

Clarissa Marler (with Blake)

Flings & Affairs

Calla (maiden name unknown) (dated)

Vanessa Chamberlain (Engaged)

Ann Jeffers (dated)

Eve Stapleton (Dated)

Amanda Wexler Spaulding (Lovers)

Patricia "Trish" Lewis (Dated)

Karen Jensen (Dated)

Claire Ramsey (dated)

Patricia "Trish" Lewis (Dated)

Alexandra Spaulding (Lovers)

Calla Matthews (Engaged)

Dr. Eileen Lyndon (Dated)

Nadine Cooper (Lovers; deceased)

Holly Lindsey Reade (Engaged)

Suzanne Deveraux (Dated)

Blake Thorpe (Lovers)

India von Halkein (Lovers)

Anita Blackwell (Lovers)

Tory Granger (Affair)

Crimes Committed

Kept quiet about fugitive Johnny Bauer's whereabouts [1987]

Assaulted Pauly Hardman and falsely accused him of breaking into his office [March 14, 1994]

Falsely accused of being Pauly's accomplice and stealing money [May 20 to May 30, 1994]

Secretly leaked fateful information to a reporter of the Mirror to get charges dropped against Tangie Hill [May 4, 1995]

Kept quiet that Dinah had stolen charity money [May 4 to June 9, 1995]

Assaulted Roger Thorpe [Summer 1995]

Kept quiet about Dinah and Hart's schemes against Roger and helped them by arranging for Roger to stay in a sanatorium [July 1996]

Accidentally shot Blake Thorpe Marler [July 21, 1998]

Helped Michelle Bauer Santos escape the police [March 15, 2000]

Obstruction of a police investigation; Claimed to not have slept with Tory Granger. [February 2002]

Helped the fugitive Dinah hide from being arrested [July 28, 2004 to September 3, 2004]

Locked Blake in a jail cell to keep her from leaving town with her brother, Sebastian Hulce [October 15, 2004]

Brief Character History

Ross Marler, a native of Chicago, began his legal career in New York City where he had a very successful practice. Arriving in Springfield in March 1979 as an ambitious lawyer seeking a quick rise to the top, Ross's first case was to defend Roger Thorpe, who had been accused of raping his wife, Holly. Ross tried everything to keep Roger from being convicted, and might have won too if Roger hadn't been shot by Holly and faked his death before the jury came in. Shortly after, Ross's younger sister, Lainie, ended up crippled and unable to pursue her track star dreams after she was struck by a hit and run driver. Soon after, Ross (who considered Ben an enemy) would be on hand to save Ben's life when he was left dangling from an unfinished room in the Wexler estate, ready to fall to his death! Meanwhile, although Mike Bauer had offered to hire Ross as his new law partner (despite the nastiness of the Roger Thorpe rape trial earlier that year), Ross turned Mike down since he had far grander ambitions. He yearned for a high-profiled life in politics and saw Amanda Wexler's money as the perfect springboard. Of course, Amanda had feelings for someone else--Ben! With Lucille as his ally, he struck up a friendship with Amanda in hopes of diverting her attention away from Ben. At the same time, Ross was beginning to have feelings for Eve, Ben's soon to be ex-wife. Ross started to have second thoughts about working for the Wexler family when Ben was almost gassed to death in his cottage. Ross rightly suspected Lucille but kept his suspicions to himself.

At this time, Ross was once again dating Eve, with whom he felt he could be himself, without ambitions or pretensions getting in the way. He was soon knocked for a loop when Vanessa Chamberlain, his darkly beautiful ex-fiancee, came to Springfield. Vanessa and her doting father, Henry, were wealthy Chicago businesspeople in the process of joining forces with Spaulding Enterprises. Iron-willed and sensuous, Vanessa was every bit the lady in the boardroom and the animal in the bedroom. Years before, Ross had courted her for her wealth and connections, then fell deeply in love with her. But Vanessa had ditched Ross for a rich, drab preppy who was more comfortable in her world. Now she was divorced, and Ross once again came face-to-face with the woman who represented his darker and baser instincts. For old time's sake, they made love. Soon after, Vanessa came over to Ross's place again, this time wearing only a fur coat,

However this time, Ross did not take the bait that time because he didn't want to repeat his past mistake because Ross already was developing feelings for Eve Stapleton. Vanessa felt very frustrated this second attempt at seducing Ross had failed. Vanessa was further devastated when Henry informed her that Ross told him he didn't want any part of managing her financial holdings. To get Ross's attention, staged a suicide attempt. Unfortunately, Ross didn't get the call. Luckily, Vanessa was found by her father. Although the contents of Vanessa's stomach had been emptied, her doctors were worried she might not make it, as her pulse wais very faint. Fortunately, Vanessa's blood pressure finally stabilized and she made a full recovery. Later, pragmatic to the core, Ross told Lucille he'd picked up on Vanessa's attraction to her son-in-law and planned to use it to break up Amanda and Ben -- a move that pleased Lucille, who continued to hate Ben, and Ross himself, who wanted Amanda for her money. Ross soon stumbled upon more ammunition. He discovered that Amanda had secretly paid Carter Bowden to bankroll Ben's contract at the art gallery. When Ben politely rebuffed Vanessa, Ross relayed this information to her and she took the liberty of telling Ben. About this time, Clarence Bailey stepped down as District Attorney and Ross was appointed as his successor. Later, Ross won the case for the state when Jennifer confessed to Lucille's murder, but even he wasn't entirely convinced of her guilt and he worked with Mike to find out the truth. Fortunately, new evidence came forth that suggested that Lucille wasn't so innocent and a new trial was called in January 1981. During this trial, it was revealed that not only was Jennifer innocent, since Lucille fell on her letter opener while trying to stab Jennifer, but Jennifer was Amanda's biological mother.

Not long after, Ross met Spaulding employee Carrie Todd, who introduced Ross to jogging, health foods and spiritual well-being. Meeting this vibrant woman totally humanized Ross who started caring more about people and less about his career. Certain that she was the woman for him, Ross proposed to Carrie and finally confessed to Amanda that he had only used her for her money. At the same time, Diane Ballard forced Ross to take his nephew Phillip out of Alan Spaulding's will by threatening to reveal his manipulation of Amanda. But Ross wasn't the only person in town Diane was blackmailing and in September 1981, she ended up murdered! The suspects in the murder were numerous and included not only Ross but his brother Justin and sister-in=law, Jackie. Not long after, another suspect, private investigator Joe Bradley would also turn up dead. In November, several people involved in the case started to suspect that something was not right with Carrie, especially after Ross discovered the information regarding Sean Ryan (Quint Chamberlain) in her apartment (information that he knew came from Diane). Confronted, Carrie finally broke down and admitted she had indeed killed both Diane Ballard and Joe Bradley!

It was then that Carrie would admit the sordid tale: Years earlier, Carrie and Diane had worked at the Milwaukee firm of Laird & Sogard. While working there she'd fallen in love with a junior accountant named, Todd MacKenzie who was being pressured to "cook the books" by the firm's other employee--Diane. Carrie and Todd eloped and just as Carrie learned she was pregnant, Todd was driven to suicide over Diane's duplicitous scheme. Emotionally devastated, Carrie spent time in a mental institution, where she gave birth to a baby boy. Because of her unstable condition, she felt unfit to raise the child and unwillingly gave him up for adoption to a couple named Howard and Betty Long. According to Carrie, she had gone to Diane's apartment that fateful night to confront Diane about her blackmail attempt. Carrie had pushed Diane into the fireplace during a struggle and Diane struck her head and died.

After finding evidence to corroborate Carrie's story, namely the briefcase full of blackmail material which was found under Ross's bed, everyone was shocked when Carrie suddenly disappeared! Finally, Ross found her in Milwaukee after she had stopped by Jackie's father, Emmet Scott's house and hitting him up for $5000. Ross found her partying at a nightclub in Milwaukee and brought her back to Springfield for her trial. At the trial she revealed what happened the day of Joe Bradley's shooting. After she saw Joe leave Diane's cordoned off apartment, Carrie followed Joe to his hotel room in Clayton afraid that Joe might still use the information he had in Diane's briefcase to blackmail not only Ross, but many of Carrie's friends. When Joe was starting to reach for his gun, after threatening Carrie, Carrie grabbed the gun and then pointed it at Joe, telling him that she wanted him to go to the Springfield police department, now! Joe lunged at her and Carrie fired and killed him. After relating all of these events, Carrie was acquitted by the jury.

After being exonerated, Carrie and Ross married in a beautiful ceremony on Valentine's Day, 1982. After the wedding, they honeymooned in Seattle, WA, which is where Carrie's son, Todd, was living with his adoptive parents. In Seattle, Ross was able to find out that the Longs would be dining at the Seattle space needle restaurant and took Carrie there at the same time so she could get a glimpse of her son. After seeing Todd Jr. Carrie broke down and cried to Ross and then told him she was just happy to see Todd and didn't need to actually meet him. Later in the honeymoon, Carrie suddenly disappeared; she showed up a couple of days later, very confused and couldn't tell Ross where she'd been or what she had done. As they were getting ready to leave for Springfield, Carrie expressed her fear to Ross that she was being followed. Unbeknownst to everyone, there would soon be an explanation for Carrie's erratic behavior: she was suffering from split personality disorder. Carrie 1 was normal Carrie, Carrie 2 was Ross's worst nightmare-- a lying contemptuous slut, while Carrie 3 was a scared naive girl.

Mere months after her wedding, Carrie 2 would have one-night stands with Josh Lewis and the teenaged Ron Kennedy, leaving Carrie 1 totally shocked and Kennedy totally confused when a horrified Carrie rushed him out of the house. Later, Carrie 3 would make an appearance when both Kennedy and Ross get mad at her for unrelated reasons. Later, Carrie #2 let it "slip" to Ross that Justin had tried to seduce her. Though Justin denied it, Ross didn't believe him and after punching Justin stated that he never wanted to see him again. Meanwhile, although she told Ross she'd be working late at the office, Carrie arranged to meet Josh in his hotel suite! That evening, Floyd Parker overheard Carrie in the Springfield Towers asking for Josh's room and repeated it to Ross. Ross hightailed it to Josh's where he found Carrie in his bed. Though Carrie claimed not t know where she was, Ross wasn't buying it and branded her a liar. The following morning, Ross returned to the carriage house to see Carrie 2 shredding her wedding dress! Enraged, she attacked him with the scissors! During the struggle, Carrie 2 got the upper hand and was about to kill Ross when suddenly Carrie 1 emerged and stopped, thus saving his life. While she laid sobbing in Ross's arms, he promised that he'd get her help. In therapy with Dr. Sara McIntyre, it finally became apparent that Carrie was suffering from multiple personality disorder. Before leaving for England to obtain extensive therapy, Carrie called Jackie (who had refused to come back to town after learning about the affair) to explain her behavior and admit that there was no affair between her and Justin. Tragically, Jackie, while flying back home, would lose her life in a plane crash. Months later, Carrie would write Ross asking him to divorce her so he could go on with his life.

In 1983, Ross ran for reelection of the District Attorney's office and Trish Lewis helped him with his campaign by becoming his manager. Also lending support was newcomer Claire Ramsey by doing publicity at Cedars for him and she and Ross had some dates though they both weren't ready for a deep relationship. Meanwhile, after the Eli Sims case was closed, Ross concentrated on his campaign again and HB Lewis, who wanted him as his son-in-law, supported him financially. Meanwhile, Trish had left Alan after realizing that she was in love with Ross. As a result a jealous Alan got his revenge by drugging Ross and having pictures taken of him with a hooker named Karen Jensen. Karen then let a reporter in and once the news hit the morning edition of "The Springfield Journal." Ross's political career was in danger and Alan paid Jerry Dalton to run against Ross. Later Ed discovered the drug in Ross's bloodstream and told the press that Ross had been set. Unfortunately, Alan took drastic actions again by paying a corrupt cop to plant cocaine in Ross's car. As a result, Ross lost his D.A. position to Dalton and charges were pressed against him for drug possession.

Meanwhile, gang leader Lujack was in prison for theft and after he heard a corrupt cop talking to someone about how Alan set Ross up, he informed Ross who later helped get Lujack free from prison. Meanwhile, Ross traced Karen down in Washington D.C. and forced her to confess him the truth about the set-up. Meanwhile Ross joined forces with Alan's sister Alexandra, to seek revenge on Alan. They blackmailed him with the knowledge that Alan was secretly holding the antidote for the Dreaming Death disease. Ross became Alex's closest confidant and always encouraged her never to give up on locating her son. Alex then made Ross president of Spaulding in gratitude of his efforts. Soon after, Ross located her son, who was Lujack. Later, Ross learned of Alex's plot to force Henry and Vanessa Chamberlain out of Spaulding in order to get more power. As a result, Ross left Alex and Spaulding and concentrated on his law practice. In 1985, Ross defended Lujack when he was accused of murdering Andy Ferris. Though Ross tried everything he could to get Lujack free, he was unsuccessful and Lujack was convicted, until it was discovered that Floyd Parker was the real murderer. Later that year, Ross defended Billy Lewis when Billy was charged for the murder of David Preston and attempted murder of Kyle Sampson. Luckily, Billy was freed after Suzette Saxon confessed.

Meanwhile, Ross found love with his old flame Calla Matthews, Lillian Raines's sister. Unknown to everyone, Calla had a dark secret—she had gotten a venereal disease from her ex-husband that made her sterile. When Ross learned the truth in 1986 he continued to stand by Calla. Calla dreamed of marrying Ross while she worked for Alexandra and this caused a temporary conflict as well since Alex hadn't forgiven Ross for leaving Spaulding. Calla was worried that dating Ross would hurt her job, but when she realized her personal life was more important to her than her career, she and Ross got engaged. At this time, Vanessa, whom Ross had had an affair with seventeen years earlier, dropped a bomb when she told him she had given birth to their daughter when she was only seventeen and had given their baby up for adoption. They decided to search together and for a while, they mistakenly believed that Calla's daughter, Jessie, was their daughter.

The search pushed Ross and Vanessa closer together and when Calla found out their daughter was orphan Dinah Morgan, she kept quiet for fear of losing Ross to Vanessa. After the orphaned Dinah Morgan and her friend Kelly-Anne Baker got in Cedars after a car accident and Kelly-Ann needed blood, Ross donated his blood and Nurse Molly Patterson thanked Ross and told him that a teenage girl with the same rare blood type also donated. At the same time, Calla discovered that Dinah had the same blood type as Ross. Fearing that she would lose Ross to Vanessa if he learned about Dinah, Calla deleted the records from Cedars' computers. Henry then received his first ransom note from the carneys Shelley and Joe Kowalski for Dinah but did not understand why he should pay a ransom for Dinah - a girl he knew nothing about. Shelley then delivered another note and this time referred to his "grand-daughter." Ross and Henry realized that Dinah was Vanessa's daughter. Henry and Ross went to Cedars to check the records but the records were gone, whereupon Calla confessed to what she did and why. Ross ran to Vanessa and told her that Dinah was their daughter. The ransom money was delivered but a cub scout stumbled onto the drop-off site and took the suitcase with the money. Joe and Shelley panicked and issued death threats. They ordered Vanessa to deliver $500,000 to Camp Cayuga. When Vanessa arrived, they took her captive and demanded $1,000,000. However, Ross wanted proof that they were alright, so Joe put Dinah on the phone and she said, "I'm fine. This isn't as scary as the Lake Monster." Ross understood the clue - they were at Camp Cayuga. Ross and the police rushed there and rescued the women. Though Dinah didn't like Vanessa or Ross at first, she eventually began to trust Ross and moved in with him.

Meanwhile, Ross angrily broke off his engagement to Calla and reunited with Vanessa in 1987. However, when she started working at the Spaulding foundation and flirted with Alan to get Ross jealous, Ross angrily realized that Vanessa was about to become the manipulator she once was and gave her the ultimatum to choose between her career and him., Vanessa chose her career and Ross left her.. Later, Ross helped Dinah's boyfriend, Cameron Stewart, when Cam was accused of drug possession. Ross and Dinah believed in his innocence but Cam took the blame anyway and was sentenced to perform 1,000 hours of social work. Later, Dinah and Cam broke up and Ross was dismayed when she started dating Alan-Michael, Alan's son. By the end of the year, Ross was happy to see Dinah and Vanessa bonding before Vanessa left town for a while.

In 1988, Ross helped Dinah and Cameron to arrest Cam's father George for drug dealing. Later, Josh was falsely accused of trying to kill his wife, Sonni Carrera, and hired Ross defend Josh him. In 1989, after Josh was cleared, Ross got involved with Nadine Cooper but that relationship ended when Nadine began to work as Alan's nurse after Alan became paralyzed, Ross and Nadine found out that they weren't meant for each other and broke up. Not long after, during Phillip and Blake's wedding, Phillip was shot. Not only that --but a very much alive Roger was suspected as the shooter! Although Roger himself was blamed for the shooting, he convinced a reluctant Ross of his innocence and so, to Holly's dismay, Ross helped him. Eventually, Alan was exposed as the shooter. Meanwhile, Holly wanted to buy the TV station WSPR from the Spauldings and, to get rid of Phillip as her competitor, she asked Ross for money and Ross helped her by buying 25% of WSPR shares for himself. Soon Ross would learn that Roger had bought the other half of WSPR but Ross had no choice but to accept Roger as partner and, in the process. Ross and Holly bonded and in 1990 they became engaged.

Meanwhile, Ross's niece Samantha, who was staying with Ross became engaged to an con named Dylan, Although Sam and Dylan finally ran away to get married on the island of St. Mary's in Georgia, Ross, Billy and Josh tracked them down and brought them back. Ross, thinking he had neglected Sam, had no choice but to contact Justin who decided to return. Meanwhile, Holly accepted Alex's offer to test Roger in Acapulco. Her job was to seduce Roger with a bodyguard to take pictures of them as well. Unfortunately, the bodyguard had a heart attack and Holly was left alone. Once Alex realized the plan had gone awry, she enlisted Ross's help. As Ross and Alex rushed to Acapulco, Roger and Holly were working through the demons of their past. Though Holly tried to convince Ross that she hated Roger, Ross was concerned that she was still emotionally connected to him and called the engagement off. About this time, Phillip was falsely accused of murdering Neil Everest and, although Ross did everything he could to help his nephew, Phillip was about to be changed anyway thanks to D.A. Leo Flynn and his assistant Lisa Dravecky. When Ross was about to step down as Phillip's lawyer since he felt his defense was too inhibited, Phillip apparently died in a car crash! But even though everyone was mourning for him, Ross wasn't entirely sure that Phillip was dead because of a "sign" Phillip sent him. It turned out Ross was right: Phillip had faked his death and shortly after he reappeared, Gary Swanson was exposed as the murderer.

In 1991, after Leo Flynn stepped down as DA to step in for the recently deceased senator, Ross was re-appointed as DA and sold his shares of WSPR to Holly through Ed. Not long after, Suzanne Devereaux became Ross's secretary. They started dating until he and Detective A.C. Mallet discovered that Suzanne was really Wendy Sinclair, a woman paid by her lover, Roger, to spy on Ross because Roger feared that Ross would harm him in his new position. Disappointed, Ross fired a regretful Wendy. At the same time, Ross and Mallet suspected that Roger murdered Jean Weatherill because Roger had conspired with Jean against Daniel, who had become Holly's fiancé. Wendy, before she left town in January 1992, blamed Roger for Jean's murder and Ross and Mallet refused to listen to Sam, who suspected Daniel as Jean's murderer. However it turned out that Sam was right--the real killer was indeed Daniel. Just as Ross found Daniel's bloody nameplate of Daniel, Daniel had run off with Holly to get married. Daniel ended up holding Holly hostage. Roger escaped prison to rescue Holly, Ross followed him. Roger then dressed as a priest but Daniel overpowered him and forced Holly to tie him up. When the real priest was about to perform the ceremony, Roger got free with a knife and Ross turned off the stream, whereupon Roger fought with Daniel but Holly accidentally knocked him out instead of Daniel. When Daniel was about to kill Holly and himself, Ross distracted Daniel and Roger shot and killed him. Though Roger was the hero, Ross told Holly that it was Roger who had brought Jean to town in the first place in order to break her and Daniel up.

Holly turned to Ross and they began dating again although, on Ross's part, it was strictly platonic while Holly mistakenly assumed it was more. With Holly's encouragement, Ross considered running for senator against Leo. At this time, Blake started flirting with Ross by often appearing almost undressed and even naked in front of him. Although Ross was impressed, he thought Blake was working for Roger to sabotage his new campaign. In reality, Blake wanted revenge on Holly whom she blamed for losing Alan-Michael but she soon started to fell in love with Ross. Latter, Ross officially announced his run for the Senate at a street gala while Blake continued to flirt with him. One evening, Ross brought Blake home and she was finally able to seduce him during the city Blackout. Hoping to avoid a scandal, Ross refused to see Blake again and publicly dated Holly. However, he was unable to forget Blake and continued to sleep with her. Then one morning, after they decided it was the last time they would sleep with each other, a shocked Holly caught them in bed together. Since Ross seemed to regret what he had done, a disappointed Blake suddenly disappeared.

Days later, Ross realized his love for Blake and made up with her when she returned. He hired her as his PR manager but was still insecure in regards to his feelings for her. Meanwhile Roger wanted revenge on Ross because Ross refused to support his waterfront project and hired a detective to spy on Ross. Later, a reporter got photos of Ross and Blake kissing and after Gilly Grant bought the photos, they ended up on Roger's office. Blake lied to him that she was only spying on Ross. Unfortunately, a spiteful Holly told Roger the truth and after Roger showed up at Ross's house and found Blake with him. He attempted to fight with Ross until Blake stopped them and chose Ross over her father. However, Ross decided to stop seeing Blake until the end of the elections, when Roger threatened to expose the photos if Ross would either leave or not marry Blake. The next morning, the photos showed up on the National Inquisitor and, although Ross thought Roger was responsible for it, it was actually a spiteful Holly. Finally, Ross seemed to have lost the election but it was learned that Leo had used dirty tricks to sabotage Ross. As a result, Ross won the election and wanted to take Blake with him to Washington. Unfortunately, during his victory party, Ross met Roger in a car and Roger showed him a videotape of Blake breaking into Leo's office and stealing the evidence against Leo. So Roger demanded from Ross to either charge Blake and charge himself as her accomplice as DA or to go to Washington to be his pawn. Ross ultimately stepped down.

From that point on, Ross concentrated on private practice. Unfortunately, on the love front, Ross still wasn't ready for a real relationship with Blake and refused to move in with her. Later, Blake had to move in with Ross because her garage apartment was flooded. Although she was hoping this would cause their relationship to progress to the next level, to her disappointment, Ross wasn't ready for marriage. Frustrated that he wouldn't marry her, one day Blake went to the Bauer cabin after an argument with Ross. Realizing how much he missed her, Ross followed her in a rented limousine to ask her to marry him. Unfortunately, his chauffeur told him how he had driven Eleni Cooper to the cabin a few weeks earlier and how she had seen her husband Alan-Michael in bed with another woman. When Ross and the chauffeur arrived at the cabin, Alan-Michael, Eleni and Blake were already there and the chauffeur recognized Blake as the other woman. Although Ross was enraged, he soon forgave Blake.

In the meantime, a man named Pauly came back to Springfield after having been prosecuted by Ross for a bank robbery. Pauly did everything in his power to destroy Ross including putting the stolen money in the desk drawer. Nadine Cooper was wooed by Pauly and he was also able to get a job as an artist at Mindy's design studio. This was a great help in Pauly's plan to ruin Ross's life since So Pauly put the stolen bills in Melinda's place and took Ross's money. Ross and Blake at this point were blissfully unaware of what Pauly was up to and enjoyed each other. Later Ross's engagement party came to an abrupt end when Ross was arrested by Detective Cutter because of Pauly. Ross thought it was a joke at first until Detective Cutter started with the rights and Ed's smile disappeared. Roger offered Blake a trip to Europe if she left Ross but she refused to leave his side. Blake hid in a laundry cart because she missed Ross so madly, and they made love in his jail cell. Luckily Buzz, Nadine, and Blake were able to get Pauly to admit to Ross's innocence in regards to the stolen money while oss vowed to help Buzz. In 1994, Vanessa asked Ross to defend Billy who was accused of shooting Roger but since Roger was Blake's father, he refused. Later, Ross learned from Vanessa that Bridget Reardon and Hart Jessup were biological parents of her adoptive son, Peter. Though Vanessa asked him to represent her in her fight against Roger for Peter's custody, Ross felt the biological parents should have rights. In the end, the judge allowed Vanessa and Bridget to share custody. Afterwards, Ross and Blake married in a beautiful ceremony at the country club.

Not long after, Ross, who was Spauldings' lawyer again, was shocked to learn from Alex that she, Vanessa and Blake were trustees of the assets of Alan, who was about to get out of prison soon. Alex asked Ross to keep the info for himself and Ross agreed since he was worried about Blake's safety. Although Blake soon learned the truth and was mad at Ross for his secrecy, she forgave him. Though Holly and Roger urged Blake to sign a paper to let Alan get his assets back, Ross and Blake agreed that Blake shouldn't sign since they didn't want to help Alan. However, nobody knew that Alan was out of prison for months and he finally revealed himself.. At this time, Ross decided to leave Spaulding to prevent being caught in Alan and Alex's power plays and he saw his chance after getting a job offer to represent a company in Brazil. However, he put his plans aside to help Ed who thought that he was the hit and run driver who had caused Dylan's blindness during a blackout weeks earlier. Around Christmas, to get Blake to comply to his wishes, Alan found a Ross look-a-like named Howie who stole $ 1 million from a Spaulding account while posing as Mr. Marler. Luckily, Ross and Blake got the videotape of the money transaction and were able to prove that this man wasn't Ross since he wasn't wearing his wedding ring and was chewing a chewing gum. Since Alex blamed him for everything, an angry Ross quit at Spaulding and posed himself as Howie. After Alan accidentally exposed his wrong doing, Ross, after Blake's arrival, forced him to give the money back or he would land in prison again. To Ross's delight, Ed then proved his innocence but, to his shock, Blake did finally sign the money over since she and Alex mistakenly thought that Alan was deadly ill.

In January 1995, Dinah returned to town and, while he let her move in with him and Blake. However, unlike Blake, Ross didn't realize that Dinah had changed and only used him for his money. She also had dropped out of school and after Blake informed Ross about it, Dinah told them that she did so because she had a doomed affair with one of her teachers. Soon, Ross at least realized that Dinah didn't know how to deal with money and stopped Vanessa from giving Dinah her $ 500,00 trust fund. Blake still saw trouble in Dinah and, one day, Ross caught her listening to one of Dinah's phone calls with a bug that she had got from Frank. Furious, Ross continued to defend Dinah and Blake had enough and moved out herself.

A shocked Ross suddenly had to deal with Dinah's growing relationship with Roger as well as with the fact that Dinah had debts of $ 50,000. Although Dinah tried to escape to Argentina, Ross stopped her by keeping her passport and considered selling his own house to pay for Dinah's debts. Later, Ross and Dinah attended the 5th street charity gala and finally made up with Blake but Blake forced him to force Dinah to move to Vanessa's. Meanwhile, as Dinah mysteriously solved her money problems, the $ 80,000 that was collected for the victims of the fire had disappeared. Buzz was blamed for stealing the money; Tangie Hill gave it back but refused to tell anyone her source. It was Roger and after Ross blamed him of stealing the money, Roger shocked him by telling him that Dinah was the culprit. To help Tangie to get out of prison, Ross leaked info to a reporter of the Mirror that Tangie had only been arrested because she didn't love Cutter as much as he loved her. Furious with Dinah, Ross gave her a lecture but decided to protect her from going to prison. In addition, he asked Vanessa for help in dealing with Dinah and forced her to work at Lewis Oil by hiding her passport so that she couldn't leave town.

After catching Dinah with Roger again, Ross had enough and gave Dinah her passport back and made her promise him to keep her distance from Roger. Later, after Dinah was apparently kidnapped by a criminal named Victor, Not long after, the family received Viktor's ransom demand, $ 2 million, and Matt Reardon convinced everyone that he would take the money to the location Viktor had mentioned. Matt rescued Dinah and Blake, she believed that Dinah had arranged her own kidnapping to get her trust funds. As a result, her and Ross's relationship began to suffer again since Ross again defended Dinah and refused to believe Blake's story even after Matt confirmed it. Ross wouldn't realize Dinah's schemes until Dinah lied to him that Matt had tried to seduce her. Regretting acting like a fool, Ross apologized to Blake and acted cold toward Dinah after giving her a lecture since he hoped she would grow up. Unfortunately, the opposite happened because Dinah turned to Roger again and they officially became a couple. Furious, Ross punched Roger and teamed up with Vanessa and Blake to break him and Dinah up. Unfortunately it didn't work and Dinah ended up marrying Roger.

Later, Amanda returned to town and Blake immediately became jealous. Ross reluctantly agreed to represent Amanda in her fight against Alex although he was tired of being in the middle of the Spaulding power plays. Amanda then tried many things to be near Ross and, one day, she showed up at his office wearing only a fur coat. But Ross turned her offer for lovemaking down and stated that he only wanted to be her friend. As 1996, wore on Blake, she became more and more jealous of Amanda which Ross didn't understand since he always remembered Amanda as a sweet person. Later, when Ross learned of Blake locking Amanda up in a building with no heat at the construction site, he went to the Bauer cabin to clear his head while Amanda followed him and they ended up kissing. Ross stopped her and, although Amanda tried to seduce him, a flattered Ross refused. At this moment, Matt arrived and told Ross that Blake had watched him and Amanda kissing. In addition, Ross was shocked to learn from Matt that Amanda had run an escort service in Malibu, with Matt being one of her gigolos. Matt also revealed that Amanda hadn't been locked up in the building the whole night but that she had freed herself and played the victim to get Ross's attention. Furious with Amanda, Ross told her that he wanted nothing more to do with her and he left home to make up with Blake. The next morning, Ross found Rick in his bathroom but he believed his and Blake's claims that they only had got drunk and that Rick spent the night at the couch. Meanwhile, Ross was happy to learn that Dinah considered divorcing Roger since Roger had stolen her trust fund and Ross wanted Roger to show his finances in court.

Although Roger was able to prevent this by "having a heart attack", Ross knew that Roger faked this attack with pills and after proving this with Ed's help, he forced Roger to show his finances. Unfortunately, at this moment, Dinah interrupted and announced to Ross's shock that she changed her mind and no longer wanted a divorce. Later, Ross learned that Blake was pregnant with twin boys. Not long after, Blake had tests completed which showed that the boys were identical. Later, Blake confessed to Ross that she and Rick had kissed in the night while drunk but Ross understood. Then, one day, Amanda told Ross that Rick was the father of one of the twins. Rick was able to convince him that Amanda was lying and Ross washed his hands of Amanda. Meanwhile, Roger was apparently going crazy and Ross arranged through the court to keep Roger in a sanatorium for 90 days, whereupon Ross was shocked to learn that Dinah and Hart had teamed up to make Roger seem crazy. After Roger was treated with shock therapy, he claimed to have amnesia and be a changed man. Ross didn't believe him and told the judge at the hearing that Roger was still crazy and should stay under arrest. However, Frank, who had discovered that Dinah and Hart were a couple, told the judge the whole truth and Roger got free. In November, Blake suddenly disappeared and when Ross and Rick traced her to the Bauer cabin, she went into labor and gave birth by a c-section to twins, which she named Jason Frederick (after Rick) and Kevin Ross (after Ross). Even though the twins turned out to not be identical, Ross still suspected nothing and believed Rick's claim that there was no explanation.

In 1997, while driving to Rick and Abby Blume's engagement party with the twins, Blake had an accident. Blake and Jason were unhurt but Rick had to perform surgery on an injured Kevin at Cedars and had to tell Ross the whole truth: he had slept with Blake on that night and Kevin was his son! Shocked and furious, Ross wanted to divorce Blake despite all her pleas for forgiveness and moved out. Meanwhile, Ross decided to run as DA again and with help of Amanda's connections, he was re-elected on. At the victory party, Annie Dutton suddenly threw herself down the stairs and claimed that Reva had pushed her and caused her to lose her unborn child. As a result, Ross had no choice but to prosecute Reva for murder. During this time, Ross grew closer to Blake again and since Blake had enough of her lies, she made a fateful decision at the trial. Knowing of Annie's schemes, Blake announced in the courtroom that she had proof that Reva was innocent since Annie had herself artificially inseminated and had lost her baby days before in her fetus. In addition, Ross was shocked to learn that Annie had forced Blake (by blackmailing her about the twins' parentage) to break into Ross's office and bug Ross's phone in order to get secret information. Unfortunately, knowledge of Annie's deceit was not proof of Reva's innocence, as a furious Ross showed while cross-examining Blake but Josh rescued Reva by bringing Annie's doctor to testify. Days later, Ross told Blake he could forgive her if she would guarantee to never hurt him again. Unable to promise that, Blake went away for a while and when her purse was stolen and Ross had to identify a dead body in the morgue, he realized he loved her. Luckily, the dead body turned out to be the purse thief and when Blake returned, Ross totally forgave her and promised to always stand by her.

The Marler marriage seemed to be on track until Ross's long-forgotten half-brother Ben Warren arrived in town -- hell-bent on destroying Ross! Angry because Ross, who was a mentor to him years earlier, never told him that they had the same mother, When Ross stepped down as D.A. in 1998, in order to represent Abby Blume for the murder of her attacker, Roy Meechum, Ben's former client, Ben took the job as District Attorney. Not content to go after Ross professionally, he then went after Ross's wife. In the midst of Blake and Ben's cat and mouse games (of which Ross was partly suspicious of), Ross was in for a shock when Fletcher suddenly left town with Meg, thus abandoning Holly. Though Ross tried to help Holly locate her daughter, it was obvious that Fletcher was deep in hiding. The stress of losing her daughter, threw Holly into despair and she started drinking heavily, which didn't go unnoticed by those around her, including Ross. As Ross was becoming more and more suspicious of Blake's nervousness around Ben, he found himself losing control to the point that where when he learned that Blake was going to put a restraining order out on Ben, he told Ben he'd kill him if he hurt Blake. Things finally came to a head when Ben ended up seducing Blake. At the same time, Ross was returning a gun as evidence in a case when he learned from Vanessa that Ben bought back the pin Blake wanted at the auction. Worried for Blake, Ross rushed home, and walked in on Ben and Blake post-lovemaking. The scene and Blake's words made Ross think that Ben had just raped his wife! It was then that Ross pulled out the gun and, while trying to shoot Ben, shot Blake instead.

At the hospital, a grief-stricken Ross almost gave in to his rage and turned the gun on Ben, but luckily, was talked down by Hart Jessup. While dealing with the fallout of "the rape", Ross also had to deal with Rick, who had Kevin and Jason with him while Blake recovered and was planning on suing for full custody of Kevin. Not long after, Ross was pleasantly shocked to learn that Kevin was indeed his son and assured Rick that he wanted him to remain a part of Kevin's life. Meanwhile, although Blake initially claimed that Ben raped her, she later confessed to Ross that it was consensual. In denial, Ross refused to believe it, and thought that Ben was intimidating her to change her story. Not wanting to hurt Ross but insistent that he know the truth, Blake retrieved the tape of her and Ben (that contained her confession that it wasn't a rape) and told Ross to listen to it. Heartsick and bitter, Ross left and sued for custody of the boys. Although Blake tried to comfort him when Dinah suffered a miscarriage, it was clear that he wanted nothing to do with her. Although he promised an hysterical Holly that he'd be there for Blake, he told Blake that he'd already been there for her; he no longer loved her.

Meanwhile, desperate to get custody of her kids, Blake enlisted Ben's help and although they planned to kidnap the boys, Blake realized she couldn't do that to Ross. However, when an enraged Ross caught them, he refused to believe Blake's assertion that they weren't kidnapping the boys. Afraid, Blake ran off with the boys and, with help from Hart, hid out at a hotel. Although she had planned to run off to California with the boys, Hart convinced her to return to Ross with the children. Grateful for the return of his children, Ross agreed to drop the custody suit if Blake agreed to never see Ben again. Very soon after, Ross was devastated when Dinah was sent to the hospital for over-medicating herself and, despite his anger, he sought out Blake for comfort; that is until her saw her tending to Ben, who was the victim of a murder attempt. Though she and Ross briefly reconciled, it was obvious that he couldn't trust her and Blake left. After their breakup, Blake still had to deal with a custody fight for the boys, as well as Ross's new relationship with his lawyer, Anita Blackwell. Though Blake was in danger of losing her boys, Ben saved the day by having Ross admit in court that Blake was a good mother. After Ross's admission, the judge ruled that the boys should stay with their mother for now.

Afterwards, Ross moved into his own apartment where he got involved with India von Halkein in order to get his mind off Blake. In 1999, a series of events kept pushing Blake and Ross together. The first of which being a troubled Dinah's attempts to break up Hart's relationship with Cassie Layne. When Dinah's obsession with Hart led her to shoot him, Blake initially blamed Ross for not watching over Dinah and getting her professional help. Ross was then shocked when Vanessa told him that she had Dinah hidden away and refused to give her whereabouts. Although Ross warned her that she could be arrested for harboring a fugitive, Vanessa remained silent as both agonized over what to do about their daughter. In the midst of all this, it was revealed that Holly was the Nursery Rhyme Stalker. Although Blake tried to handle Holly's problems on her own, with Ben's help, when escaped from a mental hospital and kidnapped the children of Springfield, Blake pleaded with Ross to defend her mother. Meanwhile, Hart died, and although Ross longed to comfort Blake over the loss of her brother, he was warned against it by Ben. As Ross worked with Blake to help a mentally ill Holly, India noticed that, despite his protests, Ross still had unresolved feelings for Blake and ended their relationship. Though he and Blake had one last afternoon of passion, it wasn't enough and they divorced.

Believing that their lovemaking meant nothing to Blake, Ross kept his feelings for her a secret and encouraged her independence. He also made a point to help Holly get her life back together again, with Holly calling Ross the best friend she's ever had. Although Holly encouraged Ross to give Blake another chance, it was clear that Ross believed that Blake had already moved on, a suspicion confirmed later when Blake told him that she was leaving town with another man, whom she later identified as her friend, Joe. While Blake was gone, Holly started getting chapters of a romance novel from an unknown novelist named Darlena LaCross. Not long after Ross helped Drew Jacobs (Ben's newly discovered daughter) in her attempt to adopt Max Nickerson, Ross was shocked when Ben was murdered! While at the scene, comforting Ben's newly discovered daughter, Drew Jacobs, Ross answered Ben's phone and was shocked to hear Blake on the other end! Shocked when she learned of Ben's death, Blake promised come to Ben's funeral. Although Blake hoped to sneak out unnoticed, she ended up being seen by Ross who was shocked to see that she was pregnant! When Ross assumed that the child was Joe's, Blake played along but stated that Joe left her. Ross offered to take care of her and her unborn child. Blake accepted the offer but her relationship with Holly became tense since she was jealous over Holly's supposed relationship with Ross. Sensing that the living arrangement wasn't working since he had feelings for both Holly and Blake, Ross made plans for an extended stay in Philadelphia, with Holly. After fielding questions from Ross about how their conversation ended up in Darlena LaCross's story, Blake maintained that she knew the author and then left Springfield with the twins.

Not long after, Ross came face to face with the man he believed was the father of Blake's baby and was shocked when Joe denied being the baby's father. Later, Holly discovered that Blake WAS Darlena LaCrosse and put two and two together and figured out that Blake was pregnant with Ross's child. Determined to learn the truth, Ross raced to the cabin where Blake was staying and learned that it was the truth: Ross was indeed the father. After he delivered his daughter, Clarissa (named for the heroine in Blake's book) Ross forgave Blake, pledged his love to her, and brought her home and by 2000, Blake and Ross were reunited, however, Ross was reluctant to remarry her again.Plus, there was still Ben's murder trial to worry about. When Michelle Bauer was arrested for Ben's murder, Ross agreed to defend her, earning Drew's wrath since she believed that Michelle was guilty. Despite his best efforts, Michelle was found guilty. Although Ross made plans to fight the verdict, Michelle's husband, ex-mobster Danny Santos, took matters into his own hands and arranged Michelle's jailbreak! Meanwhile, Blake was becoming increasingly infuriated with Ross's refusal to marry her. Going to extremes to change his mind, Blake decided to transform herself; however, when Ross arrived home to see a prim Blake presiding over tea and scones, he told her that he just wanted her to be herself and not a domestic goddess. As the year went on, Blake was still desperate to get Ross to marry her, even becoming an ordained minister so she could perform the ceremony herself. On Valentine's Day 2001, Ross discovered Blake's certificate of ministry and asked her about it. Although she tried to cover, she finally admitted her plan to marry them. Though Ross was amused by Blake's scheming, he realized something must change between them and still refused to marry her.

That summer, Ross found himself in a rut and suffering from a mid-life crisis. Feeling old and unfulfilled, he took Blake's advice and accepted a teaching position at Springfield University. There he'd meet a student named Tory Granger who reminded him an awful lot of a young Vanessa. Over the course of a few months, he found himself more and more attracted to her. Knowing that Blake was jealous of Tory, he tried to reassure her that Tory was innocent of any wrongdoing and was continually exasperated at Blake's manipulative attitude toward Tory. Finally Tory felt that she had to drop out of school. By this time, Ross's attraction to Tory had grown to intense levels and the two made love in January 2002. Ross immediately regretted it, told Tory it could never happen again and proposed to Blake. Tory however refused to let go of Ross and told Blake about the affair. Ross quickly denied the affair to Blake, who believed him. When Tory's fascination with Ross bordered on the obsessive, he had no choice but to have a restraining order against her. Unfortunately the restraining order didn't stop Tory, who kidnapped the Marler children and almost attacked Blake. Though Blake was sure that Tory was crazy, Ross kept insisting to everyone that she was simply misguided and was no threat. Trying to put the entire affair behind him, a guilt- ridden Ross confessed his indiscretion to Holly. Before he was able to confess the affair to Blake, the Marlers received word that Tory committed suicide.

Though there was no body, a suicide note and Tory's scarf and earring convinced everyone that she was dead--that is everyone but Blake who kept insisting that she was still alive. Partly relieved that the nightmare of Tory was over, yet feeling responsible for her suicide, Ross tried to put the matter behind him and get on with his life. Unfortunately his conscience kept gnawing at him until finally he decided he had to tell Blake about the affair. Unfortunately by the time he got to Blake, she'd already figured it out! Blake couldn't get over the fact that he continually lied to her and kicked him out of the house. Not giving up, Ross vowed that he'd win back Blake's trust. Within a few weeks, Blake's anger started to fade and it looked like there was hope for them. When Blake told Ross that she had to go away to accept a writing award, Ross encouraged her to go. After giving her space for a few weeks, Ross decided to surprise Blake, left the kids with Holly and traveled to Chicago.

Ross followed her and believing that Blake was in the shower, Ross starting drinking the champagne that he had sent to the room. After having only two glasses, Ross passed out in bed after seeing a woman who looked liked Blake. The following morning Ross woke up and found a note from Blake stating that it was over between them since he called out Tory's name in bed. The trouble was, Ross had no memory of making love to Blake. Unbeknownst to him the woman he saw in Blake's room was a very much alive Tory. A goodbye video was sent to him soon after. A comment Blake made caused him to speculate that she had not left of her own free will. Blake returned soon after claiming to have been held hostage by Tory at the docks. Though Ross didn't believe her, when he saw fake cobwebs in the room she claimed Tory had kept her in, he realized she was telling the truth. They began faking arguments in a sting to draw Tory out of hiding. Ross got Tory to meet him at the Bauer cabin and he got her crimes on tape. But the tape malfunctioned. Even worse, Tory found the tape recorder! She made him think she was going after Blake, then kidnapped him, drugged him, shot Blake and nearly drowned him in the carriage house bathtub before the police burst in to arrest her. Although she was gone from their lives, memories of her filled every room of the house.. Though Tory was out of their lives, Blake was still unsettled and unsure and turned down Ross' marriage proposal, preferring to live together for the time being.

On the professional front, in 2003, Ross provided legal advice to Holly when she was accused of being Reva's stalker and at the request of Phillip, represented Olivia Spencer when she was arrested for the crime. He also not only handled Ben Reade's case when he was accused of murder and told him about the inheritance he received from his late grandmother. Unfortunately, Ben was found to the killer after all and after committing suicide, his will stipulated that his money be given to Marina Cooper. Later that year, Ross was surprised when Danny Santos announced that he was running for mayor. Expecting Ross's support, Danny and Bill (his campaign manager) were surprised when he didn't give it. Later, Blake voiced what Ross had been thinking all along--it should be him running for mayor. Convinced by Blake to go after his lifelong dream of entering politics, Ross made plans to run against Danny. In preparation for the campaign, Blake and Ross decided to make their union official and married on Christmas Eve.

In 2004, it became clear that many influential people would be backing Ross. That included the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, who decided to back Ross despite the fact that they initially offered their support to Danny. Not long after, Danny and Bill were surprised to learn that Ross had financial leverage over them since he was able to go around campaign restrictions by using money left over from his prior financial campaign. Things would get more complicated for Danny when Blake and Ross learned from a bartender at Towers that Danny's cousin, Tony, was involved in a scuffle with a mobster named Bruzzi. The next day the news hit the papers, giving Ross the opportunity to convince the mayor to support him instead of Danny, stating that having Danny as mayor could be detrimental to Springfield. Danny suspected that Ross was responsible for the news leak and when Ross stated that he felt Danny would hurt Springfield, Danny vowed to prove him wrong. On Election Day, Danny started out by gaining on Ross in the polls, bit as the day progressed, it looked as if he would lose to Ross. However, a sudden upswing in votes from 5th St. led to Danny's totally unexpected win. Immediately following the election, came an accusation that the votes were tampered with and a recount was ordered. Not long after, came allegations from the press that Danny used mob money to finance his campaign. Although Danny didn't confirm the allegations and no charges were filed against him, he quickly conceded the election to Ross.

Later that summer, Ross was shocked when he got a call from Dinah, who was still wanted in the U.S. for Hart's murder, asking about her former rival, Cassie. Though he would have been obligated to report the call to authorities, Ross kept the call a secret from everyone, including Blake. Not long after, Ross met Dinah face to face in Springfield. Although he urged her to turn herself in to the police, when D.A. Jeffrey O'Neill happened by, Ross hid his daughter who later took off. Not long after, a suspicious Jeffrey was able to trick Ross into revealing Dinah's whereabouts. Later, Dinah was arrested, after her heroic rescue of Cassie and her son, R.J., at the Jessup farm. Although Ross was anxious to protect his daughter, who he was convinced had changed; Blake made no secret of her desire for Dinah to be locked away for Hart's murder. Ross however, disagreed and pleaded with Cassie, as one parent to another, to go easy on Dinah, since, as the sole witness, it was Cassie's testimony that could free Dinah. Although Cassie initially refused, she eventually agreed not to testify and Dinah was set free. Shortly after, Blake learned startling news--Roger was dead. Not only that-- the man who delivered the news was apparently Blake's long lost brother, a mysterious man named Sebastian Hulce.

Although Blake immediately trusted Sebastian and bonded with him, Ross immediately distrusted him. When Sebastian invited Blake and Holly to go on a trip with him to celebrate Roger's life, Ross was dismayed when Blake accepted the offer. Fearing that Sebastian was dangerous, Ross locked Blake in a cell so she couldn't leave with them. Later, a still furious Blake shocked Ross when she informed him that she felt that Dinah was a threat to her family and got a restraining order against her. During the course of their argument, Blake demanded that Ross choose between her and Dinah and was crushed when Ross picked Dinah. In 2005, Holly finally returned with a startling revelation--Sebastian had held her prisoner in Santo Domingo in exchange for a cure to his fatal disease! A rattled Holly then informed them that Sebastian had died but refused to give any further details. Months later, a skittish Holly finally told Ross her secret--she accidentally killed Sebastian when she shoved him out of a helicopter. Understanding, Ross assured her that the death was self-defense and told her that she could count on him to support her.

In the meantime, Ross was becoming increasingly concerned about Dinah especially when he broke up a catfight between her and Cassie. Determined to protect Dinah from herself, Ross, Blake, Bill, and a visiting Matt staged an intervention to convince Dinah to leave town. Unfortunately, that only succeeded in alienating Dinah from everyone when she became convinced that their motivation was to protect Cassie. Later, Ross caught Dinah snooping around outside the Jessup farm. Although she claimed that Edmund had given her a job, Ross didn't believe her and decided to take desperate action. He lured Dinah to the airport with the false notion that Vanessa was flying in. But, at the airport, he revealed that he had Dinah judged incompetent and was forcing her to stay with Vanessa and leave Springfield for good! Though a pregnant Dinah tried to reason with her father, he was adamant and prepared to have her forcibly placed on the airplane., Edmund, who learned of Ross's plan from Blake, came to her rescue. The next day, Dinah was confronted by an angry Ross who questioned her relationship with Edmund, now married to Cassie. When Dinah insisted on staying, Ross warned her that if she didn't leave with him now or he would wash his hands of her. To Ross's dismay, Dinah chose Edmund. Dinah soon informed her shocked family that she was surrogate mother to Cassie and Edmund's baby! Though Vanessa returned to take Dinah back with her for the duration of her pregnancy, Cassie wasn't about to let that happen and instituted a restraining order against them.

Later, someone leaked to the press that the mayor had tried to have his grown daughter kidnapped. Although Ross suspected Edmund, it was actually Dinah. By spring's end, Dinah's rift with her father seemed to be healed when she was genuinely concerned when he confessed that he'd be undergoing surgery for persistent pain. Weeks later, Dinah told Ross about Edmund's role in Cassie losing Will. Appalled at the situation, Ross reprimanded her actions as well as her love for a man as devious as Edmund. Heartbroken at his harsh words, Dinah ran off in tears. A few months later, on the same day Dinah apparently gave birth to a baby girl, Ross received a videotaped message from an upset Dinah telling him that she was leaving town for good. Concerned for his daughter, Ross asked Jeffrey's help in finding her. A month later, Dinah, who in reality had miscarried her baby and was being held captive by Edmund, was rescued by a returned to town Mallet. After visiting a shaken Dinah at Cedars, Ross returned his focus to running the city of Springfield. That fall, he decided to run again for Congress. At years end, Ross accepted a last-minute appointment and resigned from his position as Springfield's Mayor. Since everything happened so quickly, he only had time to inform Dinah of this in a letter (that arrived on New Years Eve), and told her that he'd be in touch when he and the family got settled into their new home.

In 2006, Ross scheduled several meetings with Alan-Michael and that spring flew back to Springfield in order to meet with him. Unfortunately, the plane he and his assistant, Nicole Landers, was on crashed. According to the FAA there were no survivors and no bodies were recovered. Although it was suspected that Ross may have been having an affair Nikki, Jeffrey assured Blake that the rumors were just that: rumors. In honor of Ross, Blake decided to run for mayor of Springfield. As for the rumors regarding Ross's affair--they turned out to false. Apparently Nicole was a private investigator hired by Ross. This knowledge led Frank to suspect that perhaps Ross's death wasn't accidental. After snooping through Ross's suite at a resort at San Gabriel, Harley found Landers's business card and had something from the case file faxed to her by Nikki's partner. It was a picture of Phillip! Apparently, Ross must have learned that his nephew, who was presumed dead since late 2004, was alive and tried to find him to convince him to come home. Later, Rick confessed that Phillip learned that Ross was on his tail, and desperate to stay away hired a mechanic to sabotage Ross's plane so it wouldn't be able to take off--giving Phillip time to escape. Unfortunately, instead of waiting out the delay, Ross must have insisted on going up into the doomed plane. Also found in Ross's suite was a letter to Mallet--giving his blessing about his relationship with Dinah and asking him to take care of her.

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