Camilla Virginia Abbott (previously Griswold and Wilkins) was a character on ONtv's Harpers Falls. She was originated by Ginna Carter, the daughter of the late Dixie Carter (ex-Denise Abbott), on the original series, playing it to the series' end.
When the show returned as HF: New Beginnings, and Ginna wasn't readily available to play her at that time, actress Nancy St. Alban took over the role on a recurring basis. Later on, when the character returned, Ginna agreed to reprise her role and plays her presently.
"I learned about HF from my mom," Ginna said, "and it was wonderful to get back into the acting gig again when I was asked to return. Albert so appreciated my Mom's work, especially on Designing Women (he LOVED Julia), and he also loved my turn on the show as, it turned out quite appropriately enough, Camilla Sugarbaker, Julia and Suzanne's niece. He chose the name, Camilla, for my character, and it works. It was a wonderful tribute to Mom, and I am so appreciative."
The Harper's main legal eagle Edit
Strong willed Camilla grew up in a law family. Her late parents William and Laura Abbott were government attorneys, and she was influenced by her beloved aunt, Denise Abbott. Because of their guiding hand, she would study anything to do with law.
When her parents died in a car accident, she lived with her paternal uncle Matthew (the same Matthew who was the father of the late Catherine Watkins Haller) and with his help, went to college at George Washington University, and she graduated with honors.
To this day, she didn't realize that her best friend, Catherine, was related to her, via the fact that her Uncle Matthew is her father.
In her first time in Boston, she met a man named Sean Griswold, a promising doctor. He attended medical school at Harvard, while Camilla was footing the bill by working many hours at a corporate law firm.
Meanwhile, Sean would cheat on Camilla whenever the whim would hit him, either with other female medical students, or when he started his practice, he would and did cheat on Camilla with his nurse or his secretary!
Finally, when she discovered Sean having an affair with a female patient, she had had enough. A furious Camilla threw him out, and he moved to the North Shore area of Boston, and Camilla began to move to Harpers Falls.
It was turned out that it was imperative that she move, because Denise Abbott had died. Thanks to the help of her uncle, Matt, who had told her that Denise had passed away in Washington, DC, when she was visiting, Camilla reopened her aunt's law firm, and it became her own.
She also served as a county prosecutor in Harpers Falls, for a time, enhancing her skills as an attorney.
After a stint in New York as an executive district attorney, even taking time out to get married to another attorney, John Wilkins, who was also a prosecutor (they met on her first day as EADA in Manhattan), she began to feel the ache of homesickness.
Camilla realized that she missed her family and friends in Boston, so she and John got jobs at the County prosecutor's office.
During a robbery gone wrong, John was killed, plunging Camilla into grief yet again. The lawyer is wanting justice for her dead husband, and is aiming her sights on whoever murdered her husband.
Also she discovered that she was the cousin of her late best friend, Catherine Watkins Haller, upon discovering the conniving that Allison Wentzel had committed against her own daughter and her granddaughter, Jacqueline Haller.
Camilla took Jacqueline to her heart, as did Lyla Ann Amherst, herself Camilla's cousin (thanks to some more conniving by Allison) and their aim is to make Allison pay for the crimes she did to the Abbotts.
Camilla recently decided to retain her maiden name of Abbott, to give the family some continuity. Although she is best remembered as Camilla Griswold, she prefers to be called Camilla Abbott now.
Since John's death, Camilla hasn't really seen the need to remarry. Her multi-specialty law practice keeps her very busy, and she also took on a new partner, Sheila McAllister, and they work well as a team.
She is often seen at major legal events in Boston, and during those times, she is on the arm of Robert Watkins, the step-father of her late cousin, Catherine.
Robert is pleased to be able to escort Camilla to places as it helps her maintain ties with the community and also it gladdens his heart to be able to be with someone who loved Catherine as much as he did.
She holds no animus towards her uncle Matthew, since he himself had been used by Allison for her own scheme. Meanwhile, Camilla still makes visits to Washington, where he lives.