Wendy Joanne Schneider (nee Schraederman; previously Harper) is a character on ONtv's Harpers Falls. She began as a character on the cancelled show, Smythewood, and transferred to Harpers Falls: New Beginnings. She was originally played by Kassie DePaiva, best known for her role of Blair Manning on One Life to Live and General Hospital, who played her on Smythewood. However, when Kassie moved on to another show and wasn't able to play the role, actress Jill Larson, who had played Marie Sanborne on the first incarnation of HF, stepped into the role. When Jill left the role after not wanting to renew her contract, actress Gillian Wright, best known for her role of Jean Slater on the show EastEnders, took over the role and plays her.
The Harper matriarchEdit
Born into wealth and a member of a powerful family although that family is more into oil and energy and doesn't quite possess the reach of the Harpers or Smythes, Wendy Schraederman and her sister, Vivienne radiate a grace and dignity not often found in oil families. (Wendy's uncle Lucas owned a textile mill, but was also involved in oil)
Wendy had lived in Smythewood, Pennsylvania, with her family for most of her life. Besides Vivienne, she had another sister, named Margaux, who had passed away some years ago.
Some years ago, Wendy had had a relationship with one Dane Whitfield, a former federal attorney, which produced her son, Eric Whitfield. However, she knew that Dane was a loose cannon, and could end up injuring her.
To protect her family and those she loved, she faked her own death for many years, and had her son live with his Aunt Vivienne and her son, Shane Owens.
Meanwhile, Dane, always a womanizer and quite abusive as well, would eventually impregnate a young woman named Julia Madison, and she gave birth to a child, Nicky. Fortunately, Dane had not seen his son, because he had been killed by Julia in self-defense when he prepared to attack her again.
Wendy stayed away for several years until she reappeared after hearing about Dane's death. After being able to recouperate from her self-imposed exile, she met and fell in love with Michael Harper, a newcomer to Smythewood from Boston. They briefly broke up when a woman named Natalya Ashton had taken to him, and tried to pin her former boyfriend's baby on him.
Some months later, Wendy thought she had lost Michael for good, when she heard that Natalya had married him, and she gave birth to her son, Christopher Dylan.
However, a remorseful Natalya revealed that the baby wasn't Michael's, then she annulled the marriage and moved back to New York State, where she was from.
Wendy returned to Michael's life and are still together. They married soon after they moved from Brockton to Boston.
Natalya eventually went to California; and then began a career as a talk show host in New York, where she had been killed in a car-pedestrian accident.
It was revealed that a former boyfriend of hers, Brad Diederick, from New York was Christopher's father, and he (now involved with Natalya's sister, Sarah Ashton) is raising the child (as he is his sole birth parent) in a town called Riverview, Montana.
Wendy had always gotten along well with Michael's children, and they clearly love her as much as they had loved their late mother, Shelby. She is close to her stepson, Dylan and she helped him mourn the loss of his lover, Alex Corwin and is 1000% behind him and his new relationship with Barry VanAnderman.
Even though Dylan and Barry are no longer together, and he is trying to be matched up with recent widower, Adam Mathison, whom Wendy knows from her days in Smythewood, the motherly Wendy is still firmly behind her stepson and will work to assure his happiness comes first, much like Shelby herself did (although Wendy does it sincerely, unlike the selfish way Shelby had done so).
She also gets along beautifully with her adopted daughters, Rose Harper Wilson; her sister Hannah Harper Atchley, whom was thought to have been killed, but was later revealed to be alive. She also has a lovely bond with their children, A.J. and Maggie Harper Atchley. She is pleased to get to know Maggie's adopted daughter (and the first Harper great-grandchild), Celestina Atchley.
Wendy had never met Michael's father, Richard and she was astonished to find the great man alive and well. At first, she got along with him beautifully, but not long after he appeared again, Wendy had begun to get suspicious. Especially after Michael had told her how he died in the first place. He had died of a stroke years ago, and this man turning up like this out of the blue was more than a mite suspicious.
Both Michael and Wendy are looking into this, and are more than worried than ever that something could spell doom, especially for Dylan. Wendy has vowed to make anyone pay for whomever would hurt her beloved stepson, and she will make sure of it, if it is proven that "Richard" is NOT who he says he is!
Wendy is jubilant that her stepchildren have given her grandchildren to love. She adores her two grandsons, A.J Wilson (Rosemary's son) and Derek Harper (Dylan's son); and her two granddaughters, Maggie Harper Atchley (Hannah's daughter) and Ashley Asbury Harper (Dylan's daughter).
She celebrated when Dylan and his spouse, Adam, adopted Derek and Ashley, who are twins. She hopes someday that Eric can provide her with a grandchild, but she knows that will come in time, however, she is blessed to have four grandchildren by her stepchildren, so she is happy.
Sadly, though, in 2014, her beloved Michael passed away due to a massive heart attack. Although she does date periodically, mainly for appearances, she doesn't ever plan to remarry. She has a family and is as much a Harper as anyone.
After she finally had Michael's things taken away and sold, she moved in with her beloved stepson, Dylan to his townhouse. The Harper's former townhouse is now used as a second home for his adopted niece, Susie Lucas and her daughter, Ellen for when they make visits to Boston from their home in Somerset.
Also, to Wendy and Vivienne's surprise, Julia Dannon, the daughter of their other sister, Margaux, is now living in Boston, and is a high powered businesswoman. She has been accepted into the Harper family and she is well loved.
Surprising everyone in the room at the Atchley Mansion, Wendy announced to everyone that she is pregnant and the child was her late husband's. The family rallied around Wendy, and being most helpful are her stepchildren. She gave birth to a daughter, Alexandra Natalya, named after Dylan's former husband, Alex Corwin and Michael's second wife, Natalya Ashton.
Recently, she discovered that Dylan was adopted by Michael to be raised by him, after his first wife, Shelby, tried to kidnap him from his real mother, Michael's twin, Michelle.
This also revealed that her niece, Sheila Harper Watkins, is also Dylan's twin sister. After a bit of shock, Wendy realized that Dylan and Sheila were as much a part of her as anything. She accepted the twins as her own. She and their mother, Michelle, are good friends.
Although she proves that she can raise a child as a single mother (after all, she did that with Eric), she is thrilled that her large family helps her out often.
However, she never thought romance would return after Michael's death. It would, thanks to Michelle and her twins. They matched her up with Craig Schneider, and they went out on a lovely dinner date. Then Craig, who hadn't been involved with anyone since he divorced his harridan of a wife, surprised Wendy with an engagement ring.
During a large engagement party at Dylan's house, Wendy announced that she and Craig bought a townhouse next door to Aaron Harper and his former wife, Marta Srinivasen. They were pleased. However, marring the celebration was a blistering argument which saw the end of her step-daughter, Rose Harper's marriage.
A couple months later, Wendy and Craig married, solidifying her ties to Dylan and Sheila, and their family dynamics are still the same as ever.