In 1972, Lucas accidentally started a fire and ran away. Vanessa rescued Lance from the fire and scarred her face in the fire.
In 1976, the lower part of Vanessa's face was concealed with a veil to hide the scar. Embarrassed by her condition, Vanessa never ventured into public. She was strongly opposed to Lance's relationship with Lorie Brooks. Vanessa disliked Lorie from the start because Vanessa wanted Lance to pursue Lorie's sister, Leslie. Leslie met Lance first while on vacation in Paris. Vanessa began a long tenure of conspiring to get Lorie out of Lance's life in order to get Lance and Leslie together.
Pressured by Lorie to have cosmetic surgery, a resentful Vanessa unveiled her scars to Lorie. Vanessa later bought a revolver and planned to get even with Lorie after urging her to take off her veil and reveal her scar. Unaware that Vanessa was out to get her, Lorie convinced Vanessa to consult a plastic surgeon. After the death of Lorie's mother, Lorie started feeling closer to Vanessa and set out to find Vanessa's son, Lucas. Lorie found Lucas and brought him to Genoa City.
Vanessa was astonished to see her son for the first time in years and vetoed his plan to leave town. Vanessa was grateful to Lorie for bringing Lucas back into her life. Persuaded by Lucas, Vanessa underwent successful surgery for her scars. Vanessa was later shocked to learn that Lucas had married Leslie. After it was learned that Vanessa's disfiguring scars were a thing of the past, she went out in public for the first time without the veil. After feeling that Lance always seemed to side with Lorie, Vanessa plotted to shift their family company, Prentiss Industries, into Lucas' control behind Lance's back.
Vanessa later followed through with her plan. Lance was disappointed when Vanessa ousted him as the company boss while Vanessa told Lorie she wouldn't put Lance back in charge unless Lorie divorced him. Lance began spiraling out of control. Lorie finally gave into Vanessa's demands by pulling away from Lance which led to Lance leaving town.
In 1981, Vanessa learned she had two months to live after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. She kept quiet about her condition. Vanessa had kept mum for over two years about Lance being the father of Leslie's baby and Vanessa's Godson, Brooks Prentiss. She wrote in a journal that Lance had a son. When Lance returned to town with his fiancee, he ended his engagement and resumed his romance with Lorie. Vanessa then plotted to shove Lorie down a stairway. Vanessa changed her plan and lied to Lance saying Lorie was still involved with Lucas.
As a result, Lance pulled away from Lorie. Vanessa applauded when Lance turned to Leslie. As Vanessa's health deteriorated, she continued to plot against Lorie and then forged a venomous letter to herself signing Lorie's name to it. Vanessa later plunged to her death off a balcony after staging a fight with Lorie. As a result, Vanessa framed Lorie for Vanessa's murder. Robert Laurence served as Lorie's defense attorney during her trial for the murder of Vanessa.
- Brooks Prentiss (via Lance)