Actor HistoryLeigh J. McCloskey
Episode Tenure: 1160-1507
Airdates: March 8, 1989 to July 20, 1990
Relationships• Laura Asher (married)
• Gina Timmons (affair)
• Shannon Pressman (affair)
Brief Character HistoryWhen Ethan Asher first appeared, he was the new district attorney of Santa Barbara, replacing Julia Wainwright in that position. Everyone was shocked because Ethan was a dead ringer for Dr. Zack Kelton, a serial rapist who had terrorized the town before his death. For his part, Ethan was happily married to a woman named Laura and very much wanted to start a family, but Laura hesitated about this. Little did Ethan know that Laura had already been a mother and that Michael Donnelly, then a cop, accidentally killed her son Jamie during a shootout with criminal Leo Mitchell eight years before.
As the months passed, Ethan became suspicious of Michael and Laura and started to fear that the two of them were having an affair. When Leo Mitchell was killed at the local beach bar, Ethan tried to pin the crime on Michael out of jealousy. During the murder investigation, Laura finally told Ethan about her past with Jamie, only to learn that Ethan had known about it for some time now. Although Ethan and Michael suspected each other of Leo Mitchell's murder, the real culprit turned out to be none other than Laura! Since Laura had acted in self-defense, however, the matter was soon dropped.
Ethan's marriage to Laura was never the same after she confessed that she had slept with Michael recently. Ethan became attracted to Laura's best friend, Gina Timmons, and they had a brief affair. Desperate to keep her husband, Laura blackmailed herself and faked a pregnancy in order to win Ethan away from Gina. When those schemes failed, Laura plotted to kill Ethan and agreed to spend time in a sanitarium because it would make a good cover for her murder plot. One night, she cut the brake lines on Ethan's car. He got into a terrible accident but survived. As soon as Laura's plot was uncovered, she was sent to prison.
When Ethan was first introduced, not much was known about his past except that he was raised by a governor named Patrick Asher. Eventually, it was revealed that Ethan formed a brotherhood with fellow orphans Derek Griffin, Stephen Slade and Craig Hunt to find the killer of their childhood friend Cassandra Benedict, who had been adopted by the wealthy Capwells before her death. The four men investigated the Capwells, convinced that one of them was the killer.
At the same time, Ethan became involved with Shannon Pressman, his nurse after the car accident that nearly killed him. Ethan made Shannon realize that her imprisoned father, Frank Pressman, wasn't Cassandra's killer. Frank was released from prison, and Ethan and his friends became convinced that Mason Capwell was the true murderer. A vengeful Derek almost killed Mason, but Cassandra turned out to be alive and stopped him just in time. Ethan and the others were shocked to see that Cassandra wasn't dead after all. Derek was arrested and so was Ethan, for bribing a judge to obtain Derek's illegal release. After that, Ethan was soon forgotten.