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J. R. Chandler
J.R. (Main).JPG
Jacob Young as J. R. Chandler
All My Children
Portrayed by Charlotte and Margaret Baughman (May 1989-July 1992)
Kevin Alexander (August 1992-June 1996)
Jesse McCartney (July 1998-August 2001)
Jonathan Bennett (November 2001-September 2002)
Andrew Ridings (October 2002-February 2003)
Jacob Young (2003-present)
Duration 1989-1996, 1998-2001, 2001-2003, 2003-present
First appearance July 3, 1989
Created by Agnes Nixson
Nickname(s) Junior
Aliases Adam Chandler, Jr.
Born July 3 1983 [1]
Age (26) 2-26-09
Occupation Chandler Enterprises Executive
Residence Pine Valley, Pennsylvania

Adam "J. R." Chandler, Jr. is a fictional character from the daytime drama All My Children. He is portrayed by actor Jacob Young. Since his teenage years, the character has been commonly known by the nickname "JR", a variation of the suffix "Jr." The series has altered the character's birth date since his creation, and he is currently scripted as having been born on July 3, 1983.[2] He is a member of the powerful and wealthy Chandler family. As the son of Adam Chandler and the great nephew of Palmer Cortlandt, JR binds the two longtime enemies to each other for life (as does his rarely-seen older cousin, Ross Chandler).

A top television anti-hero,[3] as well as one of its prominent bad boys,[4] JR is a varying combination of angst. The character has battled a drug problem during his teenage years, and has since strived to overcome his alcohol addiction. In addition, the series scripted his romantic life as tumultuous; his true love and ex-wife Babe Carey[3] is his lover and enemy before being killed due to injuries caused by a tornado.

A father to son Adam Chandler III, latest heir to the Chandler fortune, the writers characterized JR as consistently being someone his child can rely on. With loyalty important to him, he can be deadly if betrayed. His ruthlessness is characterized as a result of his difficult childhood. The writers incorporated a caring side to JR to gauge his resistance to the dark nature of his inner turmoil. The complexity of the character has contributed to JR being described as one of the most intriguing and tortured characters in daytime television.[3]


Character creation[]

Actor Jacob Young, who had been on The Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital prior to joining All My Children, stated that he had good instincts, but that he "was young and kind of doe-eyed to the world" then. It was not until the actor stepped into the All My Children role of JR Chandler that his acting range became more focused. He started to use tools he learned in classes and felt that his acting became more refined because of it. With his portrayal of JR, he explained how this factored in: "They twisted JR in a completely different direction," he stated. "They started off with JR not respecting his father and having a lot of elements of his mother in him. He was much more soft. Then they started toying with it and couldn't believe what was coming out of me. I'd always been the nice, honorable guy; I'd never been the character who was stirring the pot."[5]

JR's rich lifestyle was something that Young noted not being familiar with, stating that the JR persona did not come to him until he would put on the suit. "They put me in these nice designer suits, and I suddenly feel like a million bucks. Then I take that million-buck feeling and go a little sinister with it."[5]

One aspect of JR's personality are "devious tones" sometimes present in his dialogue. "When the character is in a good mood and has the upper hand, he has all these one-liners," Young relayed.[5] When working with former All My Children co-star Alexa Havins (ex-Babe Carey), Young would often shock Havins with the character's words. To make sure she was unaware of how he was going to deliver a crass line, he would keep it hidden [during rehearsal].[5] "You can break the wording down and make it a little more offensive," he cited. "And I try to nail that because that's what JR's supposed to do."[5]

The writers were looking for an actor who could truly radiate the essence of Adam Chandler's son, and felt that taking JR down the path of darkness would help with that. Young, the actor chosen as best suited for the part, detailed the transition: "They wanted it to be 'like father, like son,' so I watched David Canary's (Adam) mannerisms and delivery. I tried to mold those into my own, enough to where I could be his son. They started writing my dialogue like his. He has some one-liners that are pretty funny. David is as big a goofball as I am onset. He's like, 'Here's my boy!' We have a great dynamic together."[5]

Young's portrayal of JR propelled the character into one of the show's more popular characters, as well as one of its most hated.

Have you seen those piercing blue eyes? When they're not flashing with anger, a glimpse of the troubled young man who was deeply wounded by the presumed death of his mother shows through. Like Babe, we could easily fall into the trap of thinking that a little tender loving care from us would fix him right up.[6]
Soaps In Depth magazine on JR being a love-to-hate fixture


Childhood and adolescent years[]

After wealthy tycoon Adam Chandler tries to keep his son away from a young Dixie Cooney, the child's mother, a custody battle ensues, which involves Tad Martin. The child's name is Adam Jr., and Tad, Dixie's true love, is willing to do anything to keep Adam Jr. in Dixie's care. Adam puts a plot into motion to gain sole rights to Junior; he "gaslights" Dixie, later having her committed to a mental institution. Tad soon figures out the devious plot and helps her escape. Tad and Dixie marry in December 1989.

After Tad is presumed dead, but later discovered alive, Adam sues for custody rights to Junior, which he wins. A man named Lee Hawkins kidnaps Junior and his half-sister, Hayley Vaughan. They eventually escape, and Tad and Dixie marry for a third time in 1999. This time, Adam tries to put a power play into motion. Tired of Tad's influence over Junior, Adam tries to ship him off to boarding school. Tad and Dixie are able to find out in time.

Jesse McCartney as child and early teen JR.

Junior, who adopts the nickname "JR" as a teenager, befriends Erica Kane's two daughters, Kendall Hart and Bianca Montgomery. The trio become very close throughout this time of their youth. JR forms a close bond with his stepbrother Jamie Martin, who is the son of Tad and Brooke English. These are calm years for JR Chandler. He enters high school and forms a band dubbed Dream Street. But like everything else in JR's life, the good times do not last.

Dixie becomes romantically involved with David Hayward, which helps to send JR out of control. He begins to hang around a tough crowd at school, and pays another classmate to write a term paper for him. He uses foul language, especially directed at his own mother. His anger and frustration leads him to start getting high on ecstasy. This later causes him to crash a car into a guardrail, which nearly kills him, Hayley, and her unborn child. He is sentenced to community service and counseling.

In 2002, he is dealt with another big blow, the biggest of his life: Dixie leaves him in the care of Tad while she leaves for Switzerland. Months later, she is killed in a car crash while carrying Tad's unborn baby girl. This leaves JR feeling alone in the world, and he clashes with all adult figures. Older now, he becomes closer to Kendall, despite the large gap in their ages. He happily brings Kendall to the Martin Christmas party, just to see the reactions that the couple will get. Eventually, both realize that they do not feel any long-lasting romantic feelings for each other and break off any notion of it.

JR meets and falls for a girl named Laurie Lewis, who seems to be cut from the same mold as him. But when she eventually kisses Jamie during their relationship and JR finds out about it, he is too stunned to do anything about the matter. Instead, he runs away and tells no one where he is going. After a few weeks, Adam finds out through PIs that JR is working on a cargo ship. JR wanted to get away from Pine Valley to clear his head and not have to deal with the problems he faced.

Start of adulthood with true love found[]

In October 2003, Tad and Adam, angry at each other for all of their battles over the years, nearly come to blows in the middle of the bar The Pit. Suddenly, JR appears, unannounced. Adam is happy to see that his son has returned, but soon changes his mind when he learns that JR has met, fallen in love with, and married a young woman after three weeks of knowing her, prior to his return to Pine Valley.

A 20-year-old JR (Jacob Young) and Babe (Alexa Havins).

The young woman, Babe Carey, already made her mark on Pine Valley just a night before, this unknown to JR and everyone else. Drunk, Babe had met JR's stepbrother, Jamie, and had taken his virginity, a secret shared only by Jamie and Babe.

JR reveals that he met Babe on a foggy night in San Diego. She was at the end of a dock crying. Believing that she would take her own life, JR began to talk to her. Babe, however, says that no matter how big her problems were, she would never have committed suicide. Thus begins the rocky storybook romance between JR and Babe. Adam tries to break them up several times, believing that Babe is only interested in the Chandler fortune, but fails. It is soon revealed that Babe is still married to a man by the name of Paul Cramer, and the marriage is valid.

Baby switch and the subsequent distrust[]

For the full Baby Switch story, see Pine Valley Pennsylvania: Disasters and major events

In 2004, the producers of All My Children and One Life to Live decide to do a crossover storyline. Babe finds herself pregnant, and does not know if the father is JR or Jamie. She soon finds herself in the middle of a thunderstorm with an equally pregnant Bianca. Babe and Bianca's babies are eventually switched by Paul Cramer, with one child presumed dead and the other given to a couple. Once the baby switch is over, JR and Babe are hostile enemies, and JR's relationship with his brother and Bianca is over as well, all due to their (with the exception of Bianca's) betrayal and lies during the ordeal.

JR and Babe divorce, a situation brought on by the "Baby Switch" storyline, which leaves them connected only by their son, Adam Chandler III (later nicknamed Little Adam). JR faces a time of his Aunt Di Henry pretending to be his mother "back from the dead", which takes a toll on his psyche as much as his real mother having died did. Later, a drunk JR gets behind the wheel of his car, where Babe tries to keep him from driving. She is unsuccessful, and a speeding JR hits Amanda Dillon. Babe shocks JR when she confesses to driving the car, protecting him from jail. This endears Babe to JR, and the two slowly grow closer. JR, not fully trusting Babe, continues to test her loyalty and Babe passes every test. JR finally confesses his love for Babe. By this time, Babe has genuinely fallen for JR again and tells him so. They go through more ups and downs, and when JR's mother (actual mother) is revealed to be alive, having purposely "stayed dead", JR temporarily loses his sanity and sets up a trap to murder Babe, in what he believes will save his son from Babe causing that kind of pain to the child.

Kendall gets caught in JR's trap instead, and when Babe learns that JR tried to kill her, she hesitantly tells the police. JR is arrested and put in jail. He remains bitter at everyone, especially Babe. He feels Babe betrayed their love. When Adam refuses to pay his bail, JR believes he is all alone. His Uncle Stuart pays his bail and the two go on a tour of Pine Valley. JR learns that throughout all his troubles, Babe and Jamie still love him, while Dixie blames herself for JR's problems. JR decides to be a man about it. He confesses to Babe about setting the trap for her and how he hurt Kendall instead, endangering her unborn baby. Babe is skeptical at the new JR, but he is willing to go to prison for his sins. Just when it appears that JR will be sent to prison for ten years, Babe, urged by Dixie, tells the courtroom that she lied about JR's actions. It is all a mistake. JR is in shock, but Babe stands by him. Even when Kendall awakes from her coma and tries to testify that JR confessed to her while she was unconscious, it is not enough. JR is set free, while various citizens of Pine Valley vow to take revenge on the couple. JR and Babe set out to make their relationship work, despite the hatred of people in town.

Cheating and a serial killer[]

JR soon finds out that life will not be simple now that he is a free man. Kendall, Erica Kane (Kendall's mother), Ryan Lavery (ex-lover and friend to Kendall), and Zach Slater (Kendall's husband) make life difficult for him and Babe. Babe grows close to a man named Josh Madden]]. Frustrated by JR's murder attempt on her and all of their problems, Babe has a one-night stand with Josh, and later continues an emotional affair with him. David Hayward, Babe's father, who plans the Chandler family downfall, learns of this and reveals the affair.

At first, JR refuses to believe the allegations. Josh, due to a request by Babe, even denies it. Later, however, Josh admits to JR that he had sex with Babe. Days later, when Babe tells him that it is true, JR goes off the deep end again. He goes to Josh's hotel room while Josh is out, drinks the entire bar and becomes very drunk. Despite the efforts of Bianca, JR has revenge on his mind. When Bianca and Erica refuse to let him leave through the door in order to hurt someone, he goes for the second option and jumps through a window, crashing to the patio below, resulting in him being knocked unconscious.

Josh finds him bleeding to death. Initially conflicted whether to save JR, he decides to help him and is able to save his life. When he returns to Babe with JR's blood on him, she immediately thinks that JR tried to hurt him. When Josh tells her that it is JR's blood, she completely changes her opinion and rushes to JR's side at the hospital. During JR's recovery, he says that he hates Babe. She betrayed his trust and their love. In pain because of a broken pelvis, he voices that he is an addict and demands to be taken off of pain medication. He refuses to forgive Babe, but is able to grow close to Jamie again.

Babe fights to win back JR's trust, but when her bodyguard tells JR that she and Josh kissed on New Year's Eve, JR also finds out that they were at the Valley Inn with rock star Zarf/Zoe and immediately thinks that Babe and Josh are still seeing each other. He calls his lawyer to find out how to get full custody of Little Adam. Kendall tries to carry out her half of a plan she made with Josh, and tries to get her one-time friend JR to come to his senses and dump Babe (so that Josh can have her).

The Satin Slayer, a serial killer, had already targeted some of the women of Fusion Cosmetics: Erin Lavery, Simone Torres, and Danielle Frye (who was able to survive). The only women targeted afterwards are Kendall and Babe. Although it appears that the killer is connected to Babe by skipping over her to get to Kendall, he or she strikes the Chandler family. Poison is injected into a batch of peanut butter, which is used for pancakes. The pancakes are meant for Babe, but she decides not to eat them. Instead, Dixie is the one to consume the deadly food and dies in the hospital with Tad by her side.

JR is devastated and angry at the world, his mother taken from him yet again. He starts to carry out her final wish, but backtracks. While dying, she told him the truth — that Krystal (Babe's mother) is carrying Tad's baby and not Adam's. JR uses this for leverage against Babe. He catches Babe and Josh kissing in a shed, as Josh is preparing to leave Pine Valley. He then decides to continue with his divorce and custody case against Babe, despite having started to come back around to a reconciliation and Babe telling him that her kiss with Josh was just goodbye.

JR confronts Babe with the news about Tad and Krystal's baby, and forces her to choose: either she sign a document relinquishing her custody and all claims to Little Adam permanently or he will tell Adam the truth about Tad and Krystal's baby. Babe is devastated when JR voices that she should have died instead of Dixie. In the parking garage of Chandler Enterprises, Babe's bodyguard is killed and Babe is attacked by the Satin Slayer. JR is skeptical when he first hears the news, but breaks down when he realizes the truth. Babe is declared dead in the operating room.

It is later revealed that Babe is very much alive, that they (Josh and some of his family) slowed down her heart-rate, causing her to go into a coma and then moved her to Zach's casino, knowing that if the Satin Slayer were to consider her dead, she is safe from him. This is not told to JR, and Josh appears to skip town.

JR, angry and emotionally drained, breaks down in a park, where he finds Zarf/Zoe, who has been beaten badly by the Satin Slayer. Instead of helping Zoe or telling anyone, he leaves her in the park, raising the ire of Bianca. JR begins to help Tad, Jamie and Aidan Devane search for the Satin Slayer. It is finally revealed that the Satin Slayer is Alexander Cambias, Sr., Zach's biological father.

Other than the people that helped save and hide Babe, only Erica and Krystal know that she is alive. She does not want JR to know because of what his long-term reaction would be. JR continues to mourn the loss of his true love. However, Erica decides to tell JR the truth and goes to the Chandler mansion to tell him right away. Tad happens to be there when she does. The three of them rush to the casino. After trying to talk Josh out of his plan to help Babe run away with her son and leave JR for good, Erica finally confesses to him that she told JR that Babe is still alive. Angry, Josh quickly goes to Babe's room only to find JR there at her bedside trying to convince her that he is a changed man and will never hurt her again. JR, surprising Babe, thanks Josh for saving her from the Satin Slayer.

Krystal decides to tell her secret to Adam, which upsets him greatly. JR, having kept Krystal and Babe's secret, is then scorned by Adam. He declares that JR is no longer his son. JR vows to help Babe and Krystal, even hiring Jackson Montgomery as their lawyer in an insurance fraud charge that Adam laid on both. JR continues to struggle to win back Babe after she makes it clear that she does not want a romantic life with him anymore. She eventually convinces JR to go through with the divorce and share custody of Little Adam.

New and continued rivalries[]

After JR makes a play for Chandler Enterprises, his father despises him even more. Despite having the last name "Chandler", JR is cut off from his father. He tells his lawyers to stall the divorce from Babe as long as possible, to give himself a chance at reuniting with her.

During this time, JR's new baby stepsister, Jenny Carey, is born to Tad and Krystal. After Adam uses Janet Dillon to help kidnap the baby, JR works with Tad, Aidan, Jamie, and Amanda to find her. JR and Amanda, who grew up together, but had a falling out years before, have a one-night stand. During the investigation, they continue to clash, but at the same time find themselves attracted to each other.

When JR and Amanda are kidnapped, it is later revealed that JR set it up to hurt his father. JR's plan comes down around him as he finds out that the men he hired have actually locked him and Amanda in the cellar. When he is rescued by his father thanks to a loan from Zach Slater, he realizes that he has been set up by Zack, who sought revenge for JR's part in Kendall's accident. JR tries to make amends for his past actions to his father, vowing that he is not going to change his name to Martin. He quits Chandler Enterprises and gives his stocks to his father and tells Amanda that he is now broke.

His next business venture involves Ava Benton, half-sister of Lily Montgomery, identical in features but not twins. Some time later, JR has a one-night stand with Babe. Afterwards, she tells him that she is not in love with him anymore. JR is left emotionally broken, and is drawn back to his alcohol problem. He is soon set up by Richie Novak, newest Pine Valley bad boy and Babe's latest love interest, to look as though he has killed Zach Slater, who is missing. JR, having been drunk the night Zach was last seen and without an alibi, as he does not remember the night clearly, is put in jail. Weeks later, he finally remembers. When he finds out that Adam had evidence that could have freed him of the murder charges, but did not present it, he cuts Adam out of his life.

He moves on by staying sober and reconnecting with Babe and being the best father that he can to his son. Closer to Babe than he has been in months, he asks her to keep in mind that they can be happy together in a romance with each other. Babe agrees to consider this as they continue to bond as friends. JR is aware that Richie, now ex-love interest to Babe, is trying to win her back. He warns Richie to stay away from her, and Richie warns JR that he cannot be threatened. The two vow to keep the other out of Babe's life.

On January 22, 2008, Krystal asks JR to go back to Adam and find information about his half-sister, Tad and Dixie's daughter Kate. JR does, but soon discovers Adam to have been keeping tabs on him. JR focuses most of his attention on Babe afterwards. Knowing that Richie has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant, Babe strikes up a deal with JR, as she has just found out that he is the perfect bone marrow match for him. The deal is game of strip poker. If Babe wins, JR will save Richie's life. If JR wins, he can do as he will with Babe, his intention to have her as his lover again. Babe loses, with both of them half naked. But she is surprised when JR confesses that he already knew, before she told him, that he is a bone marrow match for Richie. He says that he had already planned to donate. Babe is touched by this, and JR remarks how they both like games, that this is why he did not tell her right away; he wanted to be close to her like this. The two make love.

Richie discovers JR to be his match as well. Feeling that JR will not be his donor due to their rivalry, he hires thugs to grab JR so that he can have JR's bone marrow for sure. JR is also set up to appear to have lied to Babe about his intentions. This goes on as JR and Babe continue their night of passion. JR is diagnosed with Hepatitis A not long afterwards due to Richie having stolen his bone marrow. Not too long after that, Babe realizes the truth that Richie set up JR.

On June 3, 2008, JR finds that his half-sister Kate is Kathy, who was the adopted daughter of Julia Santos. He later saves Babe from being raped by some guys when she goes undercover as a prostitute to clear JR's name and find out what crimes Richie did. Trina decides to tell the truth about Richie and her part in framing JR when Richie stole his bone marrow. JR promises Trina some money to get out of prostituting and go somewhere Richie is not due to fear that Richie will kill her for her betrayal. Richie schemes with his sister, Annie Lavery, to kill Greenlee Smythe (a favor for Annie), but due to his own selfish needs he instead kidnaps Babe and tells her that he is in love with her. Babe is disgusted by his actions, and is some time later rescued by Kendall and Greenlee; they knock Richie out and tie him up. A little while afterwards, Richie is freed by Annie while Kendall and Greenlee are distracted, but Annie later kills him out of frustration. His death sparks a murder mystery.

Official death of Babe[]

JR and Babe become closer and reunite romantically. JR deals with Colby's drinking/alcohol problem, just like him and his sisters Hayley and Skye Chandler Quartermaine. JR takes Colby to an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting, but it does not work.

JR teams up with his father, Adam, just like old times. This time their goal is to take down Fusion Cosmetics. What JR does not know is that Adam is really planning to ruin him in the process. Fusion Cosmetics is at a height of excellence and things are working wonderfully. Babe and JR decide to use "Bella" (a new perfume designed by Babe) to launch her career. They begin to plan their next wedding and decide to have a second child. However, Adam has a plan of his own with the assistance of Peter Cortlandt who taints the Bella perfume at the launch party. JR's sister Colby subsequently becomes sick, but no one really notices it is from the perfume. Greenlee later gets sick but calls it the flu. When a wedding party arrives at PV Hospital, Angie Hubbard says that it is a toxin in Bella that is causing the sickness. The FDA then shuts Fusion temporarily down. While Adam is encouraging lawsuits against Fusion, Babe resigns and tells the company to blame the Bella scandal on her. She also admits that she and JR were planning to take over. She has an ulterior motive, as her and JR are planning to move to San Diego anyway. However, they have to come back when Adam has the subpeonaed to the Bella trial. JR and Babe do not make it to the trial, as they are caught up in a series of tornadoes that strike Pine Valley. Babe sacrifices herself to keep Little Adam from dying, making her internal and external bleeding worse. While in the hospital, she asks JR to marry her. They cannot find a minister as Babe is running out of time before she loses her life, but they exchange vows, regardless, alone in the hospital's chapel. They kiss and declare that they made each other better people and that they love each other from the deepest parts of their souls; that their love will never stop, no matter what. After a light hug, Babe dies in JR's arms.

With Babe gone, JR decides to move to San Diego with Little Adam due to his grief. JR at first blames his father for Babe's death, but later takes it back. Krystal convinces him to stay in Pine Vally for a little while longer. David devises a plan to get JR to let his guard down so that if JR does, he will try to get custody of Little Adam. JR does not know that Amanda is involved in the plan to take him down. When he finds out, he is at first furious with her. Their friendship does not end completely, however. David seeks custody of Little Adam when he succeeds in making JR seem like an unfit father. JR fights him on this. Due to the judge at the custody hearing not being able to decide which of the two men Little Adam would be better off with, Jesse and Angie get temporary custody of him. JR eventually regains custody of Little Adam.

Marissa Tasker and cancer[]

In 2009, JR meets Babe's previously-unknown fraternal twin sister Marissa Tasker, and forms a deep friendship with her. His uncle Stuart is killed shortly thereafter. JR believes Annie killed him, and feels that his father is crazy for standing up for her.

JR finds himself slowly falling for Marissa. At first, he starts to spend more and more time with her because she resembles Babe in some ways; he even kisses her because he was thinking about Babe when he looked at Marissa. He soon comes to realize that Marissa is not Babe, and starts to fall for her because of who she is.

When Marissa is shot at the courtroom, JR spends lots of time at the hospital by her bedside. David approaches him with a deal: leave Marissa alone and David will back off of his pursuit to get full custody of Little Adam. JR is conflicted, but when Marissa finds out about David's plan she sadly forces JR out of her room.

JR wonders what Marissa could possibly like in him, but his cousin Scott Chandler assures him that she really does like him and that she wants to take their relationship to the next level, even though Scott likes Marissa as well. JR rejects David's offer to stay away from JR's son if JR stays away from Marissa, and he tells Marissa that he is falling in love with her.

When JR learns that he has a rare form of lymphoma, he initially decides not to tell Marissa, and instead confides in Tad. JR later does tell Marissa about the cancer, but has not told either his father or his sister Colby. He marries Marissa on October 21, 2009, and Adam and David disapprove.

See also[]

  • JR Chandler and Babe Carey
  • List of fictional anti-heroes


  1. Though born onscreen in 1989, J. R. was stated to be 25 in 2008.
  2. In 2006, JR celebrates his birthday with Babe and Little A; JR is stated to be age 25 in 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 P., Carol. "The tortured soul anti-hero". Total TV Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  4. TV Guide Interview, TV Guide (2005-03-22). Retrieved on 2007-12-18
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Lensch, Tonya (2005-04-19). "Jacob Young - Young Gun". Soap Opera Weekly. Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named

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