Generations was a soap opera that aired on the NBC television network from 1989-1991. It focused on the lives of two families who were interlinked in the Chicago area. The show was created by Sally Sussman Morina. The series was unique in that one of the two main families of the show was african american.
Ruth Potter Marshall (Joan Pringle) and Rebecca Gardner Whitmore (Patricia Crowley; Dorothy Lyman) were old friends, due to the former's mother, Vivian Potter (Lynn Hamilton) being the housekeeper and nanny for Rebecca's children, JD, Laura (Gail Ramsey) and Stephanie, known as Sam (Kelly Rutherford). Vivian had worked for Rebecca's parents, and stayed on with Rebecca and her family until she had been let go after she had lost her inheritance due to her scheming husband, Peter (Ron Harper), whom she divorced after it was revealed that he had stolen her inheritance. Rebecca also had a sister named Jessica (Barbara Rhoades; Linda Gibboney), who was an actress. In a coma was Rebecca's father, Hugh (Jack Betts) who recognized his daughter, Jessica, by watching her show.
Rebecca's oldest daughter, Laura, was married to an advertising executive named Trevor McCallum (Andrew Masset) whom she later divorced because he had cheated on her numerous times. Trevor and Laura had a daughter named Monique (Nancy Sorel) who was married to photographer Jason Craig (Anthony Addabbo) who later inherited a fortune which made him a murder target.
Ruth was married to Henry Marshall (Taurean Blacque; James Reynolds) who opened a moderately successful chain of ice cream parlors all over the Chicago area. With Ruth's urging, Henry enlisted the help of businessman Martin Jackson (Rick Fitts) to help sell Marshall's Ice Cream all over the country. This successful venture allowed the Marshalls to buy the former Whitmore mansion.
Ruth and Henry had three children. Chantal (Sharon Brown; Debbi Morgan) a praticing attorney; Adam (Kristoff St. John) a college student who also worked for Hale Hotels; and Jacqueline Rhymes, a housewife and mother. Martin was married to troublesome Doreen Jackson (Jonelle Allen) a recovering drug addict. After she and Martin divorced, she took up with Adam and they had a child named Danielle. After that relationship broke up, she set her sights on her doctor, Dr. Daniel Reubens (Richard Rountree), which infuriated his daughter, Maya Davis (Vivica A. Fox) which caused her and Doreen to have a memorable catfight.
Many well-established actors had roles on this show. Most notable are Jonelle Allen; Taurean Blacque; Joan Pringle; Patricia Crowley; Vivica A. Fox; Gail Ramsey; Lynn Hamilton; Debbi Morgan; Kristoff St. John; Richard Rountree; Dorothy Lyman and Barbara Rhoades.
Generations replaced Win, Lose Or Draw