|No image available|
|Portrayed by:|| William Roerick|
|First appearance:|| April 4, 1980|
|Last appearance:|| December 12, 1995|
|Created by:||Douglas Marland|
|Family:|| Chamberlain family|
|Died:|| February 1996|
|Cause of death:|| Heart Attack|
|Occupation:|| Major stockholder at Spaulding |
- William Roerick (04/1980-12/1995)
Henry Chamberlain and his very beautiful, and very spoiled daughter, Vanessa Chamberlain moved to Springfield from Chicago in April 1980, mainly to start a joint business venture with Spaulding Enterprises. Vanessa had in the past been engaged to attorney Ross Marler (whose studies, a general Henry helped fund), but had broken up with him to marry a preppy boy whom Vanessa eventually divorced.
Upon arriving in town, Henry was pleasantly pleased to see Viola Stapleton , a retired teacher he met on a cruise shortly before. Pleased to know that Viola was living in Springfield, he asked her out on a date. When Vanessa told her father that Viola wasn't good enough for him, Henry ,surprisingly, since he appeared to dote on his daughter, didn't listen and for a while took Viola on some more dates behind Vanessa's back.
In 1981, an upset Henry rushed Vanessa to Cedars Hospital after finding her passed out in her apartment following a suicide attempt. Meanwhile, Henry became concerned that Alan, was trying to push the Chamberlains out of the company and so he hired private investigator Joe Bradley to investigate the mystery behind a diamond and ruby necklace that Rita Stapleton Bauer had recently received from an anonymous benefactor, Henry rightly suspected that this necklace was a gift from Alan because Alan had an affair with Rita, his wife's aunt! When, Joe investigated the jewelry store about this, he indeed learned that Alan had given Rita the necklace. Joe told Henry this and Henry blackmailed Alan into making a $2 million purchase for a company, Jocelyn Electronics that would be favorable for Henry and Vanessa.
Unfortunately, when Viola, Rita's mother, found out that someone had paid seedy Joe Bradley to find out about the affair, she was hugely disappointed when Henry admitted it was he and just so Henry could blackmail Alan.! Viola quickly told Henry that she never wanted to see him again, much to Henry's disappointment.
In 1982, Henry became livid at some costly mistakes that Alan's daughter, Amanda, had made at Spaulding and convinced fellow shareholder, Quint McCord to organize a stockholders' revolt against Amanda. Vanessa was not happy to see these two men bond. Soon after, Vanessa found an old letter indicating that Henry had an illegitimate son, Sean Ryan. When Vanessa investigated further, she found a picture of Sean and was shocked to see that he was none other than Quinton McCord! Vanessa confronted Quint and blackmailed him into giving her his stocks, but he later reclaimed them after threatening to reveal Vanessa and Henry's previous double-dealings against Alan with Jocelyn Electronics. Not long after, Quint's housekeeper, Violet Renfield revealed the story behind Sean Ryan to Quint's girlfriend, Nola. Violet and her husband, the late archaeology professor Archibald Renfield, had been friends of Sean's mother, Stephanie Ryan, who'd had an affair with Henry years earlier. When Stephanie died, she left Sean in the Renfield's care and Sean became Archibald's protégé. Then Archibald was fatally injured in a cave explosion, and Sean was implicated. To evade authorities and investigate Archibald's death on his own, Sean had assumed the name of Quinton McCord. Later, Nola confessed the story to a shocked Henry, who gladly accepted Quint as his son. When Quint was finally cleared of suspicion in Archibald Renfield's death, he proudly took the Chamberlain name and, at the gazebo where their romance began, he asked Nola to marry him. Henry threw an elaborate antebellum ball to celebrate their impending marriage, which included the infamous catfight between Nola and Vanessa when they showed up in the same dress.
However, Quint and Nola's wedding, in June 1983, did not go off without its share of wackiness and adventure. Bea (Nola's mom) wanted to make her wedding dress the only problem with this was that she couldn't sew. When Bea finally realized that she could not make the dress by herself, former hooker Lola Fontaine with Trixie and Mabel's help finished the dress. Plus, the Church where Quinton and Nola were planning on getting married burned down 1 week before the wedding. Luckily, Henry arranged for the gazebo on Quint's estate to be used instead. That same year came a shocking turn of events from Henry's past. When Nola's brother, Tony, developed a roll of film, he was curious about one picture which showed his father Tom (who had supposedly deserted the family 20 years earlier) on a fishing trip alongside several prominent men in Springfield: Bill Bauer, Brandon Spaulding, Henry Chamberlain and Henry's best friend, Oklahoma oilman, Harlan Billy "H.B." Lewis. The men were posing with a pretty young woman. On the eve of Quint and Nola's housewarming party, a messenger delivered a photograph to Henry. It was a picture of Annabelle Simms and her mother at Christmas time when Annabelle was a little girl. Henry took one look at the picture; saw Annabelle coming through the door and suddenly had a severe heart attack! While convalescing at Cedars hospital, Henry scribbled on a notepad the name of his old friend, H.B. Lewis. Soon the boisterous patriarch from Tulsa made his grand entrance into Springfield to give Henry the will to live. Then a frightening chain of events followed. After years of sobriety, Bill Bauer fell off the wagon and fell from a balcony to his death in Chicago; Annabelle's psychiatrist, Dr. Gwen Harding, was fatally strangled and H.B.'s son, Billy Lewis's car exploded, but luckily no one was in it. Finally, H.B. was shot and slightly wounded.
Terror began running rampant in Springfield! After several Springfield citizens were almost killed by a bomb but luckily saved by Ross, Henry, fearing for his friends and loved ones, finally admitted the truth behind the photograph. Unbeknownst to the Bauers and the Reardons, he and the other men had known one another through business connections. Some 20 years earlier, they had taken a fishing trip together to Lake Elizabeth, where they drunkenly but harmlessly caroused with a good-time girl named Annie. One night all the men, except for Tom Reardon, took Annie out on a boat. They dared her to strip down and jump into the lake, which she did. Later her body was found on the shore, with her head beat in! The jittery and embarrassed men took an oath of secrecy and swore never to discuss the incident. As attorneys, Mike Bauer and Ross investigated the events surrounding the photo. It finally came to light that Annie was indeed Annabelle's mother, and that the murderous culprit was none other than her dad, Eli Sims! When Eli learned about Annie's romp with the jolly fisherman, he assaulted her and left her to drown. Eli also shot and killed Tom Reardon and buried his body in an undisclosed location, and had been the one who had pushed Bill Bauer off the balcony. After a deranged Eli, who had tried to kill his own daughter, was apprehended and later killed by H.B., Tom Reardon's body would be found a couple of days later in his unmarked grave. Bea, who was dating Henry, was hurt that he had not revealed his connection to Tom earlier, but she was secure in the knowledge that Tom had not willfully deserted his family, as they had long believed and Bea would eventually forgive Henry.
Throughout the Eli Simms saga, Vanessa had become quite close to H.B.'s son, Billy, and after he returned to Springfield, after being presumed dead after the car explosion, she expressed her love for him and the pair made plans to marry to Henry and H.B.'s delight. Unfortunately, Billy had competition in the form of Alan who was interested in Vanessa for her business connections. So Alan tried to break up the couple by bringing Billy's ex-wife, Reva Shayne to town. Though Reva tried to claim that they were not legally divorced and demanded $ 5 million for a divorce, the divorce decree was found. By this time however, Vanessa was getting tired of waiting for Billy and was falling prey to Alan's charms. Determined to marry the woman he loved, Billy threw her over his shoulder in front of everyone at a gala in February 1984 and stated that no one would leave until she was his wife! Billy and Vanessa got married on the spot! Soon after, Vanessa gave birth to a son, Little Billy [Bill]. On the professional front, Henry found himself again under attack by one of Brandon's children, this time his daughter Alexandra, who was seeking more power in the company. Fortunately for Henry, Ross, who was made President of Spaulding, learned what Alex was up to and warned Henry. Meanwhile, Vanessa was obsessing over her new baby and started taking tranquilizers and soon became addicted. One day in February 1985, a dazed Vanessa started to drive with her car. Though Billy followed to stop her, Vanessa ran over a pregnant Reva and she lost her baby. It was then that Vanessa realized she had a problem. Because Reva didn't recognize the driver, Billy kept quiet to protect Vanessa. Though Vanessa would recover, Billy, for a time, would turn to alcohol and gambling after he lost Lewis Oil to Kyle Sampson.
In 1986, Vanessa visited her aunt Grace Cummings, who shared a secret with Vanessa. When Vanessa was seventeen, she became pregnant during her affair with Ross but kept quiet. During that summer, she told Henry she was going to Europe but went to see Grace. With Grace by her side, Vanessa gave birth to a daughter and gave her up for adoption. Now Grace told Vanessa that she may know her daughter's whereabouts and gave her an address in Springfield. But the parents were long dead and when Vanessa found a birthday-card of Calla and Gordon Matthews in their house, she told Ross (who was ironically involved with Calla) of their daughter after seventeen years. With Ross's help, Vanessa went searching for their daughter. Though they initially believed that Calla's daughter, Jessie Matthews, was their daughter, Calla found out it was orphan Dinah Morgan but kept quiet for fear of losing Ross to Vanessa. The adoptive-parents, however, turned out to be the sister and brother-in-law of Gordon Matthews. Meanwhile, Dinah was kidnapped by her foster circus family, Joe and Shelley, who demanded money from Vanessa when they learned that Vanessa was Dinah's mother and she was rich. When Vanessa arrived with the money at Stony Lake, Joe and Shelley also kidnapped her but Ross and the police rescued Dinah and Vanessa. Though Dinah bonded with both with Ross and Henry, she couldn't forgive Vanessa for a long time for abandoning her. Though she was now reunited with her daughter, Vanessa lost Billy in the process when he divorced her because of Dinah.
In 1989, Henry and the rest of Springfield was shocked by the return of the villainous Roger Thorpe. Although Henry tried to warn Alex about the things he'd read and heard about Roger years ago, Alex was seduced by Roger while they were on a business trip in Saudi Arabia. While Roger was seducing Alex, he also decided to get a foothold into Spaulding. So in early 1990, Roger set up a series of bogus poker games with Henry. When Henry lost, he handed over all his stock as collateral until he could pay off the debt, but Roger held on to the stock even after Henry got the cash. A devastated and deeply ashamed Henry planned to commit suicide, but luckily Billy and Vanessa barged in on him as Henry tied the noose around his neck and stopped him. That same year, Billy and Vanessa, to Henry's delight, made plans to remarry. Unfortunately, Billy, upon learning of Reva's "death", began drinking again and began an affair with Nadine Cooper. When Vanessa learned that Billy left her standing at the altar because he was in Cross Creek with Nadine, she broke the engagement while Billy married Nadine in 1991. Later, Vanessa seduced Billy again with Nadine seeing them in bed together but Billy again chose Nadine over Vanessa. That same year, Henry would be very proud when Vanessa was named Springfield's first female "Man of the Year."
In 1993, Henry found himself in a position of lying to protect Spaulding Enterprises. At that time, Roger and former jewel thief Jenna Bradshaw sued Spaulding Enterprises, claiming that Brandon Spaulding stole a valuable patent from Jenna's father who died penniless and unable to travel to England to claim his daughter. Knowing of Brandon's crime, Henry tried to protect the company by lying to Jenna and claiming that he was her father. This announcement shocked Jenna, who started to soften and genuinely care about Henry. However, Roger suspected that Henry was lying and informed Jenna of it. Disbelieving at first, when Henry couldn't tell her the color of her mother's eyes, she realized that she'd been lied to. Trying to soften the blow, Henry confessed that he'd known about the crime all along. He told her that when he learned what Brandon did, he did try to find her father, however, by then he was dead and his search for her and her mother failed. Touched, Jenna forgave Henry for his lie and the two remained very close. Later, evidence appeared that proved that, unbeknownst to Henry, Jenna's father had been paid off by Spaulding after all.
Meanwhile, in 1994, Vanessa made plans to marry Billy again. Although he liked Billy, Henry was concerned that Vanessa would only get hurt again. Though Vanessa reassured her father that this time everything would work out, Henry's fears would end up being correct. That year, Billy started drinking again due to his hatred of Roger and he ended up going to jail for shooting him. Devastated by the end of her marriage, Vanessa left Springfield for a short time and, unbeknownst to everyone, and had a liberating affair with a much younger man. Later, that man, Matt Reardon, arrived in Springfield. Although Vanessa knew that she was in love with Matt, she wasn't ready to go public with their relationship yet. Matt got upset because Vanessa wouldn't acknowledge their relationship and decided to leave town. However, when Vanessa feared that Matt died in the 5th Street fire in January 1995, she was so ecstatic at seeing him that she kissed him in the middle of the street for all to see! Seeing that Matt was good for his daughter, Henry approved of the match. Meanwhile, Henry was deeply disappointed when his granddaughter, Dinah Marler, married the nefarious Roger in order to get her trust fund. Meanwhile, weeks later, Henry was very pleased to walk Vanessa down the aisle for her marriage to Matt.
Later that year, Henry went on an extended trip to San Francisco to visit Quint, who was, by now, divorced from Nola. Not long after, in early 1996, Vanessa would be devastated to learn that her beloved father had died of a heart attack.
Henry's final letter to his daughter. Received after his death:
"Vanessa, The bright sunshine of California woke me this morning, and my first thoughts were of you. You will forgive me, darling, won't you, if I wax a bit poetical? Here I am an old man, far away from you, who can't help but count his blessings. What a wonderful life I have. A better family no man could wish for. Marvelous friends, and more love than anyone has a right to call upon. If only my stocks and bonds could guarantee me all the time I want with the ones I love.
It makes me laugh to remember you as a teenager, wrinkling your nose in disgust when I would tell you money is only as good as the uses to which it's put. But now I think you share my feelings. Funny, I have traveled the world over and seen its glories, but no journey gives me more pleasure then the thought of coming home. And nothing tickles my fancy more than the tapioca pudding you make for me, and if you think this is a hint, you're right!
You were such a tiny one, the terrible day your mother died. I remember wondering how in the world I was going to do right by you. Somehow my darling, through God's grace, we have done right by each other. And now, I have the supreme joy of knowing that you have found real happiness of your own. You've found a man who loves you for what you are -- a woman capable of strength and endearing weakness. Knowing that you and Matt will share a lifetime gives me great peace.
Darling one, you know this, but I must say it again: I treasure your love. In the darkest times it has strengthened me. It has made my life immeasurably, truly rich. You are my pride and my joy."
Wealthy Chicago businessman Henry Chamberlain, the godfather of Alan Spaulding, was a silent partner and cofounder of Spaulding Enterprises. Knowing how Brandon Spaulding conducted his business affairs, Henry knew better than anyone how Brandon dealt with his opponents and knew where Brandon buried the bodies. Knowing how Brandon treated his children, Henry served as their greatest protector, but could also be their greatest foe. Though both Alan and Alexandra Spaulding separately tried to steal Henry's shares of the company, he continued to befriend them, understanding that they were only acting as their father taught them. Henry was very proud of his daughter and although he recognized that she had faults, he was confident that she'd mature into a generous and gracious woman. Though raised with money, he wasn't pretentious and never looked down on anyone. Willing to help those in need, he believed that all people should be treated fairly and with respect. Henry was a man who loved people and he felt as comfortable in the company of the lower class Reardons as he did with the powerful Spauldings.