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Michael Jonathan Harper is a fictional character on ONtv's Harpers Falls; Smythewood and Harpers Falls: New Beginnings. The role was originated by Rick Hearst, who had played the role from day one; but when he declined to renew his contract, the role was taken by former Bold and Beautiful star, Ronn Moss, who played him until the character's death from a heart attack.


Head of the familyEdit

The handsome Michael is the oldest son of Richard and Violet Harper as well as the fraternal twin brother of Michelle Harper. He was the former headmaster of Harper Academy, which is now run by the board of Trustees of Harper Industries.

He was always interested in working in education, which led to his going to Harvard University to get his English degree. During his years at Harvard, he met Shelby Whitehead; a student at Radcliffe in communications.

They hit it off well and began to date. However, they had sex before marriage, and Shelby gave birth to their first born, a son named Dylan. Meanwhile, while Shelby gave birth to Dylan (or so was thought), his twin sister, Michelle, had, at the same time, given birth to her daughter, Sheila, which makes the two cousins, twins, in a sense. (However, this was later disproven when Dylan and Sheila were revealed to be twin siblings, with Michelle as their mother.)

Growing up, Michael and Michelle had always been close. That trait was passed on to Dylan and to Michelle's daughter, Sheila. A family in-joke says that the two cousins are almost like twins themselves. It was later revealed that the two ARE twins, despite being from separate mothers, they were born on the same date, at the same time, and the same minute.

During a break in their relationship, Michael slept with businesswoman, Angela Mercier, and she gave birth to her daughter, Aileen. Aileen moved in with her father, but she and Shelby never really got along. Michael and Shelby got back together, and then they married. Not long after that, they had their second child, a daughter, Rosemary.

While Dylan proved himself to be the best parts of both of the Harper and Whitehead bloodlines, Aileen felt out of place, especially since she felt Shelby wasn't her real mother! (also, it was revealed that Aileen had no reason, rightly so, it turned out, to trust Shelby) This caused the two to have a tenuous relationship, but eventually became closer. A while later, they adopted Aileen's former friend, Hannah Anderson.

Michael and Shelby shared many years of happiness (although nobody really knew what deviousness Shelby was capable of); but the years stressed the two. Chief among that was an incident, which involved his sister, Michelle, when she sent Dylan and his late spouse Alex Corwin to London, to run the Harper Industries office there.

Shelby was irate with that idea, and she divorced Michael out of spite. She then returned to Pennsylvania, where she was murdered. He still maintains close ties with his ex-sister in law, Maureen Whitehead.

After her death, Michael had fallen for Wendy Schraederman, a woman who was an oil industry executive. She loved him and he loved her, but however, another woman, Natalya Ashton, briefly broke them up, and passed her baby off as Michael's. Michael, out of duty and a sense of honor, married her, but after discovering that he wasn't the father of Natalya's baby, he annulled the marriage, but he told Natalya that he understood. They remained friends until her tragic death.

Wendy came back into his life, and he realized that he truly loved her. They eventually married and then, soon after, sold the Harper Estate and moved into a townhouse on Boston's fashionable Louisburg Square. He also adopted Wendy's son by Dane Whitfield, Eric Whitfield. Dylan, Hannah and Rosemary love him as well, and accept him as their brother.

Michael is now a doting grandfather to Hannah's daughter, Maggie and A.J., Rosemary's son. He is also hoping for maybe an adopted grandchild from Dylan and whomever his new lover could well be (potentially Adam Mathison); and he is in love with Wendy. Michael considers himself happy. Dylan and Adam finally adopted twin children, Derek and Ashley Asbury, and now he has two more grandchildren to dote on.

Recently, Michael was stunned to learn that his long-dead father Richard is alive and well. However, he and Wendy are both suspicious. He remembered the day when Aileen and his father had a blistering argument and he dropped dead of a stroke. 

How this man could easily be his father is beyond him. Michael is investigating and he is beginning to be more and more sure that "Richard" is not what he seems.

It turned out that his suspicions were correct. The man was not his father, but an unwilling henchman of Erica's who was intent on killing Dylan so to make an end run around probate so Erica could steal the family fortune. However, he was thwarted and Erica was jailed. Dylan is safe, and Michael is angry with Erica and is not speaking to her.

In 2014, Michael suffered a massive heart attack while he was out in his townhouse back yard.  He later passed away at Massachusetts General Hospital, leaving a widow, his large family, and everyone who knew and loved him. A piece of him remains in his newly born daughter, Alexandra.

Months after his death, it was revealed that Michael was really Dylan's uncle. He adopted Dylan after he and his sister confronted Shelby when she tried to kidnap him. Michelle handed Dylan over so he could raise him.

To this day, Dylan still sees Michael as his father, and nothing will change that. Sheila even considered Michael her father as well, given that Joe Wainwright was never a father to her, and she looked up to him more as a role model.