By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
Every soap opera needs a leading man. But perhaps because Ridge Forrester seems to have been at the center of most plots since The Bold and the Beautiful debuted more than 25 years ago, he seems more like a Master of the Universe than just a plain leading man.
Born handsome and rich, the son of Eric and Stephanie Forrester (Massimo Marone, an old lover of Stephanie’s, is Ridge’s biological father) Ridge has always had everything he wanted. His father Eric is head of Forrester Creations, a leading couture house, and he himself is the fashion house’s leading designer.
Ridge’s problem has always been women. Is it just because he is so attractive? It seems that he’s always involved with two women at a time, whether it’s Valley Girl Brooke and the late Caroline Spencer (his late first wife) or Brooke and Taylor, another wife of his. Taylor, a beautiful psychiatrist, seemed to at least understand Ridge. His attraction to Brooke, to whom he has been married three times, seems more physical, and the two certainly have had quite the tumultuous romance over the years.
Ridge was played by Ronn Moss from the role’s inception to 2012, when Moss suddenly left. Ridge and Brooke broke up over the thinnest of pretexts (Ridge found a text message from Brooke’s former lover Deacon) and Ridge went to live in Paris. During that year, Stephanie suffered from cancer, and later died of the disease. Ridge, a huge momma’s boy, didn’t even return for his mother’s funeral.
When Ridge did return at the end of last year, he was played by Englishman Thorsten Kaye, a fan favorite from his days on One Life to Live and All My Children. Kaye is of course a very different kind of actor from Moss, who seemed to own the role. Kaye’s Ridge is more introspective, but with his own Continental style delivers a Ridge who is just as much the self-absorbed, immature jerk he’s always been. And as always, Kaye is a treat to watch.
Thus when the new Ridge returned, he seemed to be the perfect man, suddenly very soft and tender, especially sympathetic toward Brooke’s sister Katie. Katie’s husband Bill had fallen in love with and run off with Brooke. Bill and Ridge hate one another. Ridge seemed to be Katie’s knight in shining armor and the two made off together, even after Ridge initially almost married Brooke. Right now, the two are having an idyllic romance and indeed Kaye and Heather Tom, who plays Katie, are probably the best acted couple in soapdom.
So it was a brilliant stroke when B&B shattered the image of the new perfect Ridge and had him make some moves at Forrester Creations that showed how arrogant and spoiled he could be. He tried to have photographer Oliver fired and brother Rick ousted from his position as president of the company. Both moves failed.
Eric offered him the presidency of the company should he and Katie break up. But arrogant and wanting his way as always, Ridge refused. Will Ridge Forrester be able to keep his new love Katie, and continue to have it all as B&B’s Master of the Universe?