Dylan Michael Harper is a fictional character, a central character and one of the main protagonists in the long-running DRtv/ONtv Harpers Falls franchise. He is played by Greg Rikaart, best known for his role of Kevin Fisher on Young and Restless, who has played him from the very beginning of the series in 2008.
Greg, Greg Vaughan (who plays his uncle, Jason) and Eden Riegel (who plays Dylan's beloved twin sister, Sheila; are the only original three cast members from the beginning of the show who currently play their original roles to this day.
"When I first joined," Greg said, "I played him as this free-spirited and tragically romantic young man, who was very sensitive. Now, he has become the unifying center for the family. Although he is still very sensitive and caring, he is also very much a strong character, learned from his family. He is now the clear de facto head of the family."
Sheila's twin brotherEdit
Born in Boston, Dylan is a true son of New England. He has lived in the Boston area (with a few breaks) most of his life. He grew up a member of the Harper family, one of the most powerful and storied families in all of Boston and New England. Dylan's parents (or so was thought at that time), Michael and Shelby, helped instill in him a mix of pride and love.
Of his grandparents, he had been closest to his paternal grandparents, given that he had grown up on the Harper Estate. Despite this, he still treasured the visits by his mother's parents, George Whitehead and Lynne Whitehead Corwin.
His Grandma Violet was always there for him to listen, and for him to be her favorite soup sampler. (He also learned how to make soup from his grandmother, and his soups are the talk around Louisburg Square) He would also spend a lot of his time talking about everything (whether it was business, political or otherwise) with his wise grandfather, Richard.
To Dylan, his grandpa was his sounding board, anything he did, he wanted to make sure that it was worthy of a Harper to do. He takes being a Harper seriously and cherishes the traditions and the name Harper.
Years after his grandpa's death, his cousin, Audra Harper had filled that capacity and he cherishes her advice as much as he had his grandfather's, although her advice often came from a more worldly approach, because of her upbringing in Europe. Above all else, family means the world to him.
Dylan is also perhaps one of the most wealthiest individuals in the entire New England area, with a net worth of almost three billion dollars to his credit. Mainly due to his being bequeathed by many various wills over the years, and his masterful way of handling money, makes him pretty well versed, financially.
In a lot of ways, Dylan is a positive mix of BOTH the Harper and Whitehead blood lines. He's a strong and very prideful person, much like the Harper side of the family; and also very sensitive and free-spirited like his birth mother's bloodline, the Whiteheads. He is very close to his family, and is proud of being who he is.
A very liberal young man, Dylan is also gay, which comes as no surprise in the Harper family, but there are those who are outside of the main family who don't like that idea. But those people are usually in the minority. It's mainly that because Dylan is a Harper, a name well known in Boston society, he is more scrutinized by others.
Dylan's closest friend is Barry VanAnderman. The two had been close friends ever since they were in Pre-Kindergarten as children, and although they went to different boarding schools, they still retained their closeness.
In perhaps one of life's most bitter ironies, Dylan had been accepted at Choate-Rosemary Hall School, where Barry went, but that was scuttled by Shelby, who wanted her son to stay close by, and eventually convinced Michael to have Dylan go to school at the family boarding school, Harper Academy. It wasn't the first time that Shelby had interfered in something relating to Dylan, and it wouldn't be the last.
An avid student of law, Dylan attended the highly competitive Harvard Law School. His strengths were in corporate law, which serves him well as he is the lawyer for his family's company (besides his duties of being the current co-CEO of Harper Industries).
He will sometimes quote some of his knowledge that he had gleaned from his contracts law professor, Professor Charles Kingsfield. (This is a bow to the movie and TV series, The Paper Chase, both of which was also set in Boston.) In turn, Kingsfield praised Dylan for his undeniable work ethic (which he gained from both sides of his family) and his uncanny attention to even the most minute of details.
Dylan had worked at many jobs most of his life, including helping run the Harper Industries office in London, a job offer that had infuriated Shelby, causing her to lose contact with the family, and eventually led to her death.
Despite his free-spirited nature, Dylan has had more than his share of pain, trial and torment. The most notable was the loss of his long time spouse, Alex Corwin, which was the worst trauma he had endured.
However, his current relationship with Barry has been a real bone of contention of late, especially with the troublemaking antics of his twin cousins' classmate, Bethany Arthur. Bethany had a flunky of her's tap into his cousin, Jennifer Harper's phone to get his number, wherein she left some vicious texts, namely calling him a slut.
While most of his family are in approval of his relationship with Barry, others, Bethany most notably, are not. He was one of those who had finally convinced Jennifer to accept him and Barry. Her twin sister, Violet Harper had accepted it outright, and tends to live and let live..
He also shares a kinship with his brothers in-law, Sheila's husband, Allen Watkins and Anyssa's husband, Bryan. He is also close with his cousins, Shawn; Mark Harper; Joanna Niewoehner; her blood sister, Cara; and his youngest cousins, twins Jennifer and Violet Harper. Dylan also has a close bond with his great aunt India Delaney Hillman, whom he enjoys because of her fun-loving nature.
His closest relationship, however, is with Sheila. Due to the fact that their parents are fraternal twins amounts to the closeness that Dylan and Sheila have.
However, it was later revealed that Sheila and Dylan really ARE twins. Despite being born at different hospitals, their mothers gave birth at the same time on the same day. Dylan and Sheila's immense closeness came from their shared birth. They were constantly together. They had their meals and naps together; they played together, when one was hurting, the other one knew it. Later on, however, it was proven that Dylan and Sheila were not cousins, but were in fact siblings.
The twins' mother was Michelle (she gave birth to the twins long before she had ever married Joe Wainwright. Dylan is two minutes older than Sheila), but Shelby had attempted to kidnap Dylan, due to her hatred and jealousy of Michelle's being able to have children and she could not.
Michael found out about what Shelby had done from his father, Richard (not to mention Delphine Ridgeway and other members of the staff) and he and Michelle had a blistering confrontation with her about it. In fact, Michael was so disgusted with Shelby that he had been planning to end his engagement to her instantly for what she had done to his sister.
However, Michelle, to keep peace within the family, had felt that her brother needed a chance to love him. So, she allowed Dylan to stay with her brother, and he considered him his daddy. Michelle explained to everyone about the whole story, and that hasn't really changed the family dynamics at all. Despite the kind gesture, Shelby and Michelle were arch-enemies up to the former's death in Pennsylvania, and even thereafter, Michelle still has no liking for her late brother's first wife.
He is close friends with Anyssa's friends Courtney Harrison and his other adopted sister,Susie Lucas. He is also close with his new stepmother, Wendy Harper and her son, Eric, now his adopted brother. While Eric has moved to Florida to attend school, his new cousin, Shane Owens, the son of his new aunt, Vivienne VanCortlandt has been one of his best friends.
He has a special bond with Susie's adopted daughter, Ellen Lucas, kind of seeing her as a younger sister. Despite the fact that she is his third cousin (Dylan's second cousin, Alicia, was Ellen's birth mother), Ellen and Dylan are like close siblings and best friends.
She, like most in the family is protective of him.
The biggest change in his life was the move from Brockton to Boston proper. This came about due to the family selling the Harper Mansion to the academy to be used for classroom buildings.
When the family moved to Boston proper, (specifically, Beacon Hill) he moved into the old Atkinson townhouse on Mount Vernon Street on the south side of Louisburg Square. Almost directly on the other side of the Square on the Pinckney Street side of the square, lives his father and stepmother. And his neighbors are Barry's parents, Paul and Marie VanAnderman. Living with him besides Barry, is Sheila, Allen, Audra and Shawn.
At the Harper family Labor Day Picnic, Barry confessed that he and Dylan made better friends than lovers, which Dylan heartily agreed with. Barry, assisted by Jennifer, is currently talking with close family friend, Adam Mathison, who had suffered a triple blow of losing his mother, his adopted daughter and his spouse, Aaron Shinn, in a car accident, to come back to Boston, and is also promoting a match-up between his best friend and the recently widowed Adam. While both are taking it slow, both Dylan and Adam see a romance as possible. Not long after he returned to Boston, Adam moved into Dylan's townhouse.
While Dylan is very free-spirited, some have mistaken him as an airhead, and think that he is the weak link in the family. To those who have done that, it was a fatal error. He is fiercely and devotedly protected by his family, most notably his father, stepmother, siblings, and cousins. His most devoted protectors are his cousins Shawn and Audra; his brothers, Barry and Eric; and his sisters, Rose; Sheila; Anyssa; and their husbands. His second cousin, Roger Lambert and his former boyfriend, Matt Ackerman; as well as his niece in-law, Jacqueline Haller, are also very protective of him.
Besides the protection of them, he has his adoring husband, Adam to keep him safe.
To anyone who thinks they can get at Dylan, they would have a lot of people to fight to even try to get to him! However, some people have also made the mistake of crossing Dylan. While he may not look like he can get angry very often, he does, and his anger is VERY volatile, especially when he is defending someone he cares about.
Inside and outside of the family, he is well known for his methods of putting bad people in their place. His normally soft voice will become very steely and he is the undisputed master of the "Harper Glare", which he learned from his grandfather, Richard and his father, Michael (despite him being his uncle, Dylan always thought of Michael as his father, as he was the only father he knew).
Dylan's sisters, Sheila and Anyssa gave birth to their first children. Sheila, a lovely little girl named Catherine; and Anyssa gave birth to FOUR children, marking the first time that a multiple birth other than twins had occurred in the Harper family. Anyssa's children are named Sam; Courtney Sue; Ellie and Jolie.
Dylan hopes that someday, after their collective grief has passed, that he and Adam will be able to adopt a child. It is a dream of their whole family, with his devoted sisters Sheila and Anyssa looking for that to happen most of all, so their children can have a playmate. Both sisters think that should Adam and Dylan adopt a child, it will help them heal in wonderful ways, with Adam recovering from the loss of his first adopted child, and also have Dylan see and experience the joy that a child can bring to a family.
After a lot of decision making, Dylan and Adam finally went ahead with it, and adopted fraternal twins Derek Asbury Harper and Ashley Asbury Harper, who were four years old and are now twelve years old.
Also, Libby (now played by Suranne Jones) returned to town, and apologized to Dylan for her ordering of Alex's death, and to Sheila for her antics about her trying to steal Sheila Watkins Designs. She also assured Dylan that her war wasn't with him or the rest of his family, except for her sworn enemy, Erica.
However, once more, Dylan had been the victim of cruel fate. While he and his cousin, Mark Harper were walking back to their respective homes, a former boyfriend of his, Kip Waltham, who had cheated on Dylan mercilessly, wanted to come back in Dylan's life.
Dylan, rightly sensing that Kip had no morals and he was doing this with very brazen ulterior motives, turned him down and denounced him in the middle of Louisburg Square. Not taking rejection well, Kip took a gun and shot both Mark and Dylan. Mark was murdered in cold blood, while Dylan was merely grazed by the bullet. Kip had best watch out, Dylan is really angry now, and is out for blood!
Adam, sensing that he could have almost lost Dylan, in a similar manner that he lost his former spouse, Aaron Shinn, decided that it was time for him and Dylan to be a couple for good.
During a beautiful dinner for two, Adam popped the question to an awestruck Dylan. Dylan happily accepted and now he is slated to be Adam's husband. Being shot notwithstanding, Dylan is also preparing a wedding.
Weeks later, his dream came true, as he and Adam married in a delightful ceremony at Trinity Church in Boston's Copley Square area. Not only was Dylan married and Adam taking on the last name of Harper, but his closest friend, Barry, also took on the Harper name, after the family took him in when his dad moved to Washington to be with his wife, Barry's mother.
Dylan's close circle of friends also includes, besides Barry and Adam, Libby Atchison of all people! After a brief platonic dating relationship before he met Adam a year later, Dylan and Libby bonded, and are now the best of friends.
Both share a great love of all things UK (stemming from Dylan's long-time residency in London) and they have Jeremy Kyle marathons constantly. (Thanks to Dylan's connections in London, the man himself sends him DVDs of the shows every week without fail.)
Their get togethers (which are always on Friday evenings, and mainly consist of Dylan, Libby, Adam, Barry, Sheila, Allen, Audra, Shawn and their close circle of friends) are the talk of Louisburg Square and only enhace Dylan's abilities as a host.
Dylan also shares a bond with wealthy divorcee Philomena Balducci whom he (and the rest of the family as well) calls "Aunt Philo". She cooks a huge italian dinner for the denizens of Dylan's townhouse and that has also become the talk of the Square as well.
Her grandson, Sean Balducci has also become a member of his set, and the group has become a solid support system. The addition of Sean's now enlightened mother, Eileen, has also solidified the group and gives the group a needed confidante. He is also friends with Sean's brother Antonio Balducci and his sister, Maureen Balducci.
Happily, Dylan is excited to discover that his grandfather, Richard, is alive again. Richard is proud of how much Dylan has become a force to be reckoned with in the family. However, something is QUITE amiss about Dylan's grandfather!
He is more distant, which is not like Richard at all. At first, Dylan had no idea about it, but it is clear that something about "Richard" is NOT what it seems.
His parents, Michael and Wendy, are just as concerned, and their suspicions are closely being shared with Dylan. What none of them know (although they are beginning to suspect) is that "Richard Harper" is a man named Frank Wallace and he is a henchman of Erica. Erica has ordered him to murder Dylan. By succeeding in that, there would be a weakening in the Harpers, which Erica aims to exploit, by snatching the Harper fortune for herself.
Frank, however, has severe reservations about murdering Dylan, but he is being forced to, due to some blackmail by Erica, concerning his wife, Lenore. Needless to say, Frank failed to kill Dylan, infuriating Erica. Another one of Erica's henchmen murdered Lenore, after Frank told his wife the situation, and she revealed she knew all about the blackmail.
Dylan is safe, but the wicked Erica won't stop until he is dead. Due to this, the family has been taking fresh precautions to ensure Dylan's safety. However, no matter what happens, Dylan is protected by people who clearly adore him and not even the evil Erica can stand against the combined might of the Harpers.
When Michael, passed away due to a heart attack, Dylan was truly devastated. However, he now knew he had to take his place in the Harper heirarchy, as due to his father's will, he, along with Sheila, are now the co-CEO's of Harper Industries. He also knew that his stepmother needed him as well.
So he had Wendy move into his townhouse, which is good for her, so she is around her grandchildren. Dylan, in a lot of ways, sees Wendy as more of a mom to him than Shelby was. He bonded with her more than he had done with Shelby, and because of that, he loves Wendy and knows she needs him now that Michael is dead.
Despite his job as Co-CEO of Harper Industries, he is also still a practicing attorney.
Recently, Dylan and Adam have become fans of opera, thanks to a new family friend, Sharlyn Ames Washburn. One of the most up and coming singers is her son, Shane Washburn, a friend of Jamie Minzell. Adam, Dylan and Sheila went to the opera and were impressed with the newcomer. They became friends with Shane, giving him a good support system, along with Jamie and his boyfriend, AJ Crawford and Jamie's sister, Anngelique.
When his favorite cousin, Roger Lambert, was nearly left homeless, after his ex-boyfriend, Matt Ackerman left town, he didn't think twice about having him move in with the rest of his family in their large townhouse. To him, there is always room for one more.
He was thrilled when his stepmother, Wendy (whom he calls "Mom") gave birth to her daughter by Michael, Alexandra Natalya. He was in fact in the hospital room when his mom gave birth to Alexandra. Now, he, Barry, Eric, Sheila, Anyssa and Rose work hard at helping their mom (Wendy considers Sheila and Anyssa as her daughters as well) with their new sibling.
Dylan recently had a heart scare at a confrontation when Rhonda Whittenberg was confronted on the murder of his cousin, Jennifer. Rhonda sent his stress level up, and while he had no heart muscle damage, he was told by the Harper family's new doctor, Leslie Worthington-Steele, to take some bed rest for a couple of weeks.
He took her advice, and is currently recuperating at home with his family and friends making sure he is all right. However, that did not stop him from welcoming his aunt Marilyn Harper into his home after she sold her house.
Eventually, he recovered from his heart scare, with the help and loving support from his family and friends. Dylan is thrilled to be reunited with his old friend from his school days, Jeffrey Steele, III. The two had been friends ever since they were kids.
Because of his long time friendship, he was also friends with the woman who is now his personal doctor, Dr. Leslie Worthington-Steele. Despite her and Jeffrey's divorce, their friendship with Dylan is solid and secure. He also talks a great deal with one of his nearby neighbors, Stephanie Whittman. He and the family enjoy her company.
Recently, Dylan was pleased to hear that Hannah was alive after all (it had been a body double that had been killed) and that he and the rest of the family were witness to the next generation of the family when his niece, Maggie Harper Atchley brought in her new adopted daughter, Celestina Atchley.
With a new sense of realizing who he is, and him bonding with his new sisters, Sheila and Anyssa, as well as Eric, Rose, and Barry, it is clear that Dylan Harper has more than fulfilled the promise that his large family had hoped for. He truly IS a Harper, and woe be to anyone who says otherwise!
In the recent flashback stories which shows some of the highlights of the Harper family history, it was revealed that Shelby did not ever love Dylan, in fact, she out and out hated him. During one situation, she abused him physically and emotionally, which caused him to absolutely hate her on sight.
In fact, one of his grandmother, Violet's old friends, Lydia Westfeld, presented Dylan with a baby blanket and quilt that she had made when he and Sheila were born. The quilt means a lot to Dylan and now Derek has it in a position of honor on his bed.