KRYSTLE GRANT JENNINGS CARRINGTON
Her story is straight out of a fairy tale. Krystle Jennings, a shy divorcee in her mid thirties, was a humble secretary in an oil field office, typing drilling reports and feeding a Xerox machine. Blake Carrington, extremely debonair, handsome and prosperous, was immediately taken with her exquisite face, soft smile, and gentle ways. She became Blake's personal secretary. Soon after, the search he had been on for most of his life was over. But Krystle, overwhelmed by his riches and lavish attentions, was not quite sure. Although she had abandoned the concept decades before, she came to realize Blake was indeed her Prince Charming. The slipper fit, and their wedding took place on May 24, 1980.
"Happily ever after" has had its ups and downs, but then love for each other has ultimately flourished. Knowing Krystle, it is hard to imagine how it could be otherwise. Good-natured and effervescent, she lights up every room she enters. Under Blake's loving support, she has blossomed to fulfill the promise other natural grace and ease. Her warmth, sincerity, and wit have endeared her to Blake's world. Perhaps her most outstanding feature is her ability to remain calm in a crisis, an as set required almost daily in the Carrington clan.
Krystle Grant was born of working-class parents in an Ohio town that she described to Blake as "smaller than your dining room." When her father died, he didn't leave his family two hundred dollars to bury him. (No wonder, then, that she was unworldly, especially in the Carrington world of high style, high society, high finance, and not-so-high morality.) Krystle married rising tennis star Samuel Mark Jennings (Mark) and they moved to nearby Dayton, Ohio.
Mark's tennis tournaments took him out of town for weeks at a time. He made a successful start professionally, but what had been "promise" soured quickly in the cutthroat arena of pro tennis. The defeat invaded their marriage. Mark's circuit sponsor suddenly dropped him after Mark double-faulted away a crucial match at La Costa. The failure netted another double fault—the end of his tennis career and the end of their marriage. Despite their mutual love for one another, Mark again took to the road, this time for a divorce in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Described as "basically a shut-up-and-keep-swimming kind of lady," Krystle took her sixty-words-a-minute typing skills and swam West. In an interview with Blake Carrington, he asked her what, aside from getting a job at the prestigious Denver- Carrington, was most important to her. Krystle answered, "Life. Living life to the fullest." That was the freestyle stroke that landed her the job that landed her the Prince.
Just prior to working for Blake, Krystle had an affair with Denver-Carrington oil-field geologist Matthew Blaisdel. A married man, Matthew left for a more lucrative job in the company's Middle East fields to help pay his wife Claudia's enormous sanatorium costs. Krystle knew he was married and had a daughter, but their attraction, their mutual loneliness, had launched the love affair. His departure seemed the only way to end it, and the guilt.
Krystle's marriage to Blake took place in his magnificent mansion. Last-minute preparations included Krystle's signing a premarital agreement presented by Blake's lawyer, Andrew Laird.
Their honeymoon to Hawaii, Tahiti, and Samoa had them basking in the sensual splendor of the tropics before a crisis at Denver-Carrington cut it short. Threatened by financial trouble with his interests overseas, Blake named Krystle to his corporate board and put all of his assets in her name. The expedient maneuver was intended to protect his net worth from his creditors, but it piqued Krystle's interest in his business dealings.
She knew how much of Blake was in his business and she wanted to share that. Blake, however, didn't want to involve her further in his business because he wanted Krystle to have his child.
Respecting his wishes, Krystle dived headlong into her new role as mistress of the manor. At first, she wished that Blake would send her to school, to "learn how to be rich and happy while a guest in his own home." What she didn't realize then was her capacity to learn all that and more. She knew nothing of French furniture, managing servants, or social etiquette (as Blake's daughter Fallen was only too happy to remind her), but her willingness to learn and the support of Blake led her to an understanding of finery and an ease with wealth.
An immediate rapport with Blake's son Steven softened the blow of Fallon's initial contempt. Even-headed about money, Krystle always believed that heart and hearth provided more comfort than bank accounts. Her first months at the mansion confirmed that belief. Krystle had always been a family person, but she had never encountered a family like this. The family had an abundance of everything, including, unfortunately, anger, jealousy, and resentment.
Those first months also plagued her with doubts about Blake himself. Krystle wondered whether she had reached too high, that perhaps she belonged with the more mortal Matthew, who had returned to Denver. She narrowly resisted resuming the affair, but when Matthew resigned from Denver-Carrington to strike out on his own and critically needed money, Krystle did pawn an emerald necklace Blake had given her to bail him out.
There was a series of problems in the family, and pressure from Blake to have a child (which she felt was premature until things settled down) mounted. Krystle, not normally deceptive, took birth control pills, feeling uncomfortable and lost in what was beginning to seem like a double life. When a drunken Blake violently confronted her about the pills, Krystle decided to leave to sort things out. However, when she learned of Blake's trial for manslaughter in the death of Steven's former lover, Ted Dinard, Krystle dutifully returned to his side. A board meeting at Denver-Carrington was called in an attempt to unseat Blake. Krystle, as Executive Vice President, attended in Blake's absence. Her staunch defense of Blake was delivered with a rhetorical brilliance that surpassed even her. She successfully postponed any action by the board until Blake's return. Krystle got her first flavor of power.
In 1981 an elated Krystle conceived her first child, but a tragic accident while horseback riding resulted in an emotionally devastating miscarriage. Her suspicions that Blake's former wife Alexis, had deliberately caused it, created a deep-seated hatred for Alexis that evoked violence from her otherwise gentle nature.
After the miscarriage, Krystle remained in a state of depression. Blake hired Dr. Nick Toscanni to treat her. Toscanni quickly fell in love with her, but despite problems in her marriage, Krystle resisted him.
Her troubles were far from over. In 1982, she tried to take a gun away from the mentally unstable Claudia Blaisdel and it went off. Claudia was hit in the side of the head. Police investigators learned of Krystle's past affair with Claudia's husband, Matthew and interpreted it as a motive for Krystle to shoot Claudia. Under suspicion of attempted murder, Krystle was unnerved and helpless until Claudia finally vindicated her by confessing that she had pulled the trigger herself.
Later that year, Krystle was shocked to learn that her divorce from Mark Jennings was merely a piece of paper he purchased in a Mexican bar with her marriage to Blake invalid, Krystle left the turmoil of their relationship to think things over at Fallon's nearby hotel, La Mirage. Blake's emotional self-sufficiency, Alexis' continual interference, and the myriad chaos of Carrington alliances and vendettas gave her a lot to think about. Her confusion was compounded by Mark's being hired as the tennis pro at La Mirage. Krystle wrestled with her past love with Mark, but she proceeded with a legal divorce.
While Krystle and Blake were still estranged, Alexis seized the moment and, at Steven Carrington's cabin, offered her one million dollars to leave Blake for good. Krystle was outraged. When she tried to leave, she found the door bolted shut and the cabin in flames. The two women were nearly killed before they were rescued by Mark Jennings.
When Krystle's divorce from Mark became final, Krystle decided she needed a change in her life. In 1983 she joined Denver-Carrington as head of Public Relations. Energetic, quick, personable, Krystle succeeded brilliantly in the job, and it gave her a new sense of confidence. It also gave her a chance to get to know Blake all over again, and they remarried the same year.
In 1984, Krystle conceived again and Blake celebrated her pregnancy by giving her a sable coat, a diamond bracelet, and a new car and chauffeur. The money for these gifts, however, spent so freely as a matter of habit, may be desperately needed by the Carringtons But even if the Carrington fortune is lost, Krystle is a woman who wants her husband more than anything else, for richer or for poorer.
It pleases Krystle to at long last share the frustrations and challenges of Blake's life. She still greets each day with bright eyed vitality and a zest for living. Her goodness and concern for others are stabilizing factors in the Carrington family, ones that have earned her the admiration and respect of all. Krystle Carrington is a tender, loving, feminine woman - a passionate romantic living the life of every girl's dream, but bringing to it common sense, compassion, and cachet. She is truly a beautiful human being.