Sheridan Sturgess played by Kate Raison
Episodes 178 - 302
Sheridan Sturgess arrived in Westside looking for many things; power, her brother and a stake of the family business. Despite meeting a few of the E Street regulars in her first few days, Sheridan gave nothing away and an air of mystery quickly gathered around her. She impressed the youngsters with her fashion sense, the men were in awe of her beauty and she even came to the rescue when Paul Berry was looking for work. However when she failed to shed tears over her brother Michael’s disappearance in a boating accident, Alice began to question her motives for being in Westside.
It soon emerged that when her parents divorced Sheridan lived with her Mother in Europe, whilst Michael stayed with their father Sir Angus and inherited much of his wealth. Sheridan lived most of her life being bitter about this and returned to Westside to claim what was rightfully hers.
When Michael was presumed dead at sea, Sheridan saw this as her golden opportunity and went as far as organising his funeral before his body had even been found. Her brash attitude didn’t win her any friends and Michael’s girlfriend Lisa soon became her sworn enemy. However her plans were soon ruined when Michael turned up in Westside very much alive. He moved straight back in with Lisa and the sibling rivalry between Sheridan and her brother became obvious. She did her best to be at Sir Angus’ side in the hope that she would get a stake in the business and perhaps even rekindle some of the childhood she had lost. But things were not to be and after a family argument Sir Angus suffered a heart attack and died. Sheridan kept a vigil at his side and made it clear that she blamed Michael and Lisa for what had happened. However when in private she told Sir Angus she planned to take over his empire, and it was her words that forced him to take his final breath.
Throughout the drama Sheridan found herself an ally in Harley Brown. When she closed the Westside Advocate, she employed Harley as her personal assistant and much to the surprise of his friends he often stands by Sheridan’s side during battle. Their relationship soon turns physical but it’s very much on Sheridan’s terms, something which is obvious to everyone but Harley.
Sheridan continues to make enemies. Most notably with Lisa. Not only does Sheridan ensure that Lisa loses her job but she also does her best to see she loses Michael too. One of the many tricks she plays is to invite Michael’s former fiancée Fiona to town to stir things up between the pair. However Sheridan’s lower moments come when she takes over TV Station WTV8. With the power to air whatever she likes, Sheridan seeks out every opportunity and before long she has grieving Paul Berry live on air with a gun in his hand talking about how the police force have failed him. When things get heated and shots are fired, Sheridan orders Harley to continue filming and every piece of action is relayed live on WTV8. Whilst the residents of Westside look down on her, Sheridan revels in her own enjoyment with Harley by her side.
Sheridan’s hold over Harley takes a sinister turn when his father Bob is imprisoned after confessing to murder. Sheridan once again asks Harley to film the wicked events and Harley does so. The video footage is something that incriminates Bob even further – despite him actually being innocent of this crime. Sheridan eventually oversteps the mark and is arrested for contempt of court. She does not see this as a problem and conducts meetings and broadcasts from her police cell – this time with Lisa acting as her anchorwoman after wanting to prove herself to Michael. Once out of police custody Sheridan is placed in the hands of recently freed Bob, who orders her to take charge of the local basketball team – The Homeboys. Sheridan is horrified but actually finds her niche’ and shows her fun and vibrant side for a change.
Sheridan doesn’t find it hard knocking back Harley, who has begun to fall for her. He realises she has been using him and finds solace with some of her friends who in turn help him to find solace in drugs. After Harley takes a line of cocaine he suffers an overdose and falls into a coma. Despite his serious condition he shows signs of life and is recommended to a programme in America who may help him recover. However the treatment will cost money that Bob doesn’t have and despite from donations from all over the money is still not raised. Sheridan receives a visit from Harley’s doctor Virginia who reminds Sheridan that at one time Harley was her only friend in the world. Virginia’s words hit a nerve and Sheridan pays for Harley’s treatment and flights to New York. She also goes with him and stays until he is settled into the clinic.
When Sheridan returns to Westside a few changes have taken place. She sets eyes on Lisa’s ex-boyfriend Wheels who has moved back to town and has a shaky encounter with karate teacher Steven Richardson, who has just begun dating Virginia. As a favour to Virginia, Sheridan offers to baby-sit Claire for the evening. However when Claire sings a lullaby Sheridan is shaken and later that evening she experiences a dream in which she is running through a forest being chased by someone. Sheridan’s nervous state continues into the next day and she is so affected that she asks Claire how she knows the lullaby. Claire tells her that Steven taught her the lullaby, and when he walks in right on cue Sheridan seems to have come face to face with her nightmare.
So convinced that she, and anyone around Steven is in danger, Sheridan warns Virginia to steer clear of him. But with no evidence to support her claims Sheridan is left out in the cold whilst Steven staples himself as a popular member of the community. With the dreams continuing and anonymous phone calls being made to her office, Sheridan shares her fears with Wheels. She tells him that her dreams revolve around Becky Campbell – a girl whose name she does not recognise. Soon Michael and Lisa fear for Sheridan’s state of mind, and they seek help from Elly who suggests hypnosis. Whilst under hypnosis Sheridan reveals that Becky was her best friend whose house she used to visit with her Nanny – unbeknown to her parents. As Elly asks further questions it’s revealed that Sheridan witnessed Becky’s lifeless body being carried by a man with a black and white face – Steven Richardson.
With question’s being asked, Steven makes his way into Sheridan’s bedroom and with his face painted black and white he terrifies her. The affect he has on her is apparent the next morning when Sheridan is brighter than she has been in weeks and tells Michael and Lisa that she wants to invite Steven to dinner. They are shocked but follow Sheridan’s orders and within days Sheridan and Steven become an item. What follows is a relationship based on emotional abuse, as Steven strips Sheridan of her friends, her family and any sense of self she had. Confused and alone Sheridan takes an overdose in order to gain attention from Steven. But her plan fails her and although he comes to her aid, he simply stands by and watches her fade away – not even allowing her to call for an ambulance. When Lisa arrives at the house, Steven’s plans are ruined and Sheridan is taken to hospital for treatment.
Whilst in hospital Sheridan receives a visit from Wheels. He asks her what prompted her to take so many pills. She is close to revealing how sad she is with Steven, but at the crucial moment Steven appears and orders Wheels out of the hospital room. Sheridan returns home with Steven but her state of mind is put in jeopardy once more when Steven breaks the news that Michael has been found dead – after a hit and run. Alongside his body was Virginia – also murdered. Lisa soon arrives and pleads with Sheridan to see the truth – Michael and Virginia were murdered by Steven. However Sheridan refuses to believe her and does her best to get her old life back. She steps back into her power suits and heads to work. When she returns home the tables have turned and it is Steven who is the weak one, waiting for her to come home. As she cradles him, Sheridan once again had flashbacks to Becky’s birthday. She sees the man beckon her towards him and notices the ring on his finger displaying the initials ‘SR’. As she looks down at Steven in her arms she notices his ring and finally realises that Steven was indeed the man she thought him to be – her nightmare.
Biding her time, Sheridan puts a front on and remains united with Steven at Michael’s funeral. Afterwards she confronts him with his childhood doll – which has the same black and white painted face as Steven’s alter ego ‘Mr Bad’. With Sheridan acting as his mother, Steven is reduced to a whimpering wreck and confesses that he killed Michael, Virginia and Becky. Sheridan leaves the house and tells Steven to stay where he is. She runs to Wheels and tells him about Steven’s confession. Unable to watch her walk into danger, Wheels goes to the police and fills them in. They swoop on Steven and take him into custody.
Steven begs to see Sheridan and she agrees to have one final talk with him, in order to get a confession on tape for the police. She is allowed into his cell and approaches Steven with extreme braveness. But always one step ahead, Steven grabs Sheridan by the neck, removes her wire and escorts her out of the police station. Before they reach the exit Sgt Harrison threatens Steven with a gun, and shockingly shoots Sheridan to the floor. As Steven escapes, Sheridan arises and removes her bullet-proof vest – it has all been a set up in order to secure Steven’s custody. He is captured and admitted to a secure unit.
With Steven away Sheridan sets about getting her life back on track, starting with Wheels. After months of dancing around each other they begin a relationship. For Sheridan it’s a strange feeling realising she cares about someone for reasons other than money or power. Unfortunately her happiness is short-lived when Steven escapes from the secure unit and has Sheridan fearing for her life. Within days Sheridan starts to experiences flashes. She begins to see Steven in disguise, in a new town and finally murdering a young woman. The police are reluctant to believe her but when news reaches Westside of Steven’s new identity and a young woman being murdered, they soon look to Sheridan for answers. Before long she is seeking help from Thelma, a psychic who helps her get in touch with Steven. The pair have a mental connection and play dangerous mind games with each other – one of which leads to Sheridan being knocked unconscious.
Despite a police guard outside her house, Steven manages to break in and spends days living in the attic with Sheridan and Wheels living downstairs. One night Wheels wakes up after he hears a noise from upstairs. He investigates and finds evidence that Steven has been living under the same roof. Before he can alert anyone, Steven appears and knocks him unconscious. He then traps Sheridan and threatens to kill her if she makes a noise. It’s all just part of Steven’s game to keep controlling Sheridan’s life and he once again makes his escape before he can be captured.
Steven’s next move is to kidnap Lisa. He holds her captive in a freezer in the local shopping centre and lures Sheridan and Wheels there to save her. Once Lisa is found alive, Sheridan realises that Steven will always play a huge part of her life unless she gets rid of him. She decides that she herself will kill him. Playing their final mind game she invites Steven to meet her on her territory – the WTV8 studios. She goes alone and tells Wheels not to inform the police. However with George and Max on his trail, Wheels has no choice but to inform them of Sheridan and Steven’s meeting. As they arrive at the studios Steven has hold of Sheridan. He lets her go and whilst George and Max handcuff him he taunts Sheridan. He tells her she’ll never be rid of him as they have a connection; he says wherever she goes he will find her. As he walks towards the exit Sheridan calls his name and shoots him.
As Steven is taken to hospital in a critical condition, Sheridan is taken into custody. Nobody can believe what she has done and she tries to make them see that Steven being dead is the only way she’ll ever be free of him. Despite character references and pleas of self defence, Sheridan is kept in custody and is told she will be moved into remand whilst awaiting trial. Campaigns start, friends pitch in but there is nothing that can be done – Sheridan will not be granted bail and will serve time for attempted murder. Knowing that she’ll be in jail for a long time Sheridan tells Wheels to leave her. She says she doesn’t love him and calls their relationship a bit of fun. Sheridan admits to George that she is doing it to save him, so that Wheels doesn’t have to lead a life waiting for her to be freed. George sees the side of Sheridan that has grown over the past few months – the side that is capable of loving someone more that she loves herself.
As Sheridan is transferred from Westside police station to remand Wheels arrives; guns in hand and tells Sheridan she is coming with him. They are going on the run. They lock up George and Max and head off into the night with a radio, arms and Sheridan’s jag!
A search party is soon put together and rewards for the two are announced. Heading the lynch mob is Ed Farrell – ex police officer and father of Westside constable Sam. Ed doesn’t care about justice or circumstances, all he wants is Sheridan and Wheels – dead or alive. It doesn’t take Sheridan long to adapt to life on the run. She and Wheels manage to find shelter, food and even friends in two country boys Pete and Pete, and their three-legged dog Daryl. Whilst on the run and in immense danger Sheridan and Wheels’ love grows for one another and much to their shock Sheridan finds out she is pregnant. Back in Westside Wheels best mate Joey Valentine has taken to the airwaves as Dr Rock, and he uses his radio programme to contact Sheridan and Wheels in emergency situations. Wanting to get the baby checked out Wheels drives Sheridan to a local medical centre. Whilst he is waiting outside he is captured by Ed and his gang. Sheridan emerges from the medical centre just in time to see Wheels, Daryl and the jag be escorted away by the lynch mob. Never one to give up, Sheridan tracks down Wheels and busts him out of Ed’s make shift jail. Ensuring that they have a head start, she destroys the tyres of the lynch mobs vehicles and she, Wheels and Daryl drive back on the open road. The euphoria of their escape wears off pretty quickly when Joey warns them that Ed wants them both captured and will stop at nothing to see that is happens. Sheridan and Wheels decide to give themselves in, but agree to do so only if George is there to meet them. Ed agrees to their plan and Sheridan and Wheels pack up their things and head towards the finish line. Unbeknown to them George has been told nothing of the plan, and Ed and his gang are lining the streets armed and dangerous. Joey unfolds the scan and puts pleas across the airways to get the pair to turn around, however as the drama is unfolding Sheridan and Wheels are arguing over a cassette! As they near their destination Sheridan becomes unsure if they are doing the right thing, and they decide that they would rather spend whatever time they have left together then apart. Before Ed can fire any shots Sheridan and Wheels turn around and head back to their hideout.
Desperate to be united the pair decide to get married, and with the help of Joey’s radio programme Bob conducts their wedding ceremony over the airwaves with Daryl acting as Wheels’ best man!
Wedded bliss soon runs out and the reality of their situation again dawns on Sheridan who becomes worried for her unborn child. In a final attempt to save her Wheels heads to Westside and secretly meets George. He asks him to change his statement and to say that Wheels was the one who pulled the trigger on Steven. He says he will do the time if it means Sheridan and their baby can be free. Wheels returns to Sheridan and the pair take cover in their hideout. Outside Ed and his gang have arrived and waste no time in firing shots at the cabin. They blow it to bits and rush in to recover the bodies of Sheridan and Wheels. However what they find are Pete and Pete – who have come to collect Daryl. As Ed is arrested, George and Max inspect the damage and Max questions where on earth Sheridan and Wheels could be. As George looks wistfully into the distance, the glorious sights of The Maldives appear and Sheridan and Wheels are found basking under the sun. They are happy, in love and raise a toast to ‘George Sullivan – the last of the good guys’.
One can only hope they lived happily ever after. Occasionally we are reminded of the wicked woman that walked into Westside and it’s astounding how Sheridan Sturgess went from a figure of hate to someone the audience adored. One of the most legendary characters ever to grace E Street.