Thaddeus "Tad" Martin first arrived in Pine Valley in 1973, when he was hospitalized after being pushed out of a moving car by his father, the evil Ray Gardner. Dr. Joe Martin's son Dr. Jeff Martin and his wife Mary took an interest in the boy and made plans to adopt him, but, sadly, Mary was killed before the adoption could take place, and Jeff left town. Tad stayed with Joe and Ruth, who adopted him in 1978.
Tad had problems growing up, including smoking marijuana, and ran away from home in 1981. He returned two years later and went to work for his biological mother, Opal Gardner, at the Glamorama. There he met and began an affair with Marian Colby, while simultaneously romancing her daughter Liza. Liza was also the arch-enemy of Tad's sister, Jenny, who was later tragically killed in a boating mishap.
In 1984, Edna Thornton paid Tad to date her daughter, Dottie, and when she became pregnant, he married her. This briefly prevented him from marrying his (at the time) true love, Hillary, daughter of Langley Wallingford. It was during these times with Liza, Hillary and Dottie that he fully earned his nickname "Tad the Cad".
In 1989, he met the woman who may indeed be his soulmate, Dixie Cooney. He rescued her from Laurel Hill Sanitarium, where her husband, Adam Chandler, had had her committed in order to gain custody of their son, Adam Jr. They were married, but their happiness was short-lived, as Dixie's uncle Palmer Cortlandt schemed to break them up. It worked, and Tad had a brief affair with Brooke English, resulting in son Jamie. Tad went missing for two years. following a struggle on a bridge with arch-villain (and my personal favorite character - ed.) Billy Clyde Tuggle. In 1992, Tad returned to Pine Valley an amnesiac, believing himself to be vineyard heir Ted Orsini. The real Ted eventually showed up, and after much turmoil Ted went away and Tad remembered his real identity. But Dixie, in the meantime, had wed two times n his absence, so he turned to Brooke and they were married. Tad and Dixie couldn't stay away from one another, though, and found their way back together and married once more.
In 1995, when Tad went after the position of station manager of WRCW, he was reunited with old flame Liza Colby. Liza slowly drove Dixie away from Tad, intending to take her place in his life, but Tad had other plans. He began dating, and was briefly engaged to, nurse Gloria Marsh, but she turned to Dimitri, then Adam, and eventually left Pine Valley for good.
Tad teamed up with Edmund Gray in 1997 to rescue Edmund's daughter Maddie, kidnapped by Dimitri. Dixie returned to Pine Valley in 1998, and she and Tad worked together to help Opal through her troubles with husband Palmer. Dixie eventually decided that she could forgive Tad, and they made a pact to meet, a la An Affair to Remember, on a NYC rooftop if they both wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Tad was crushed when Dixie didn't show, not knowing that she was prevented from doing so by a health crisis.
Fearing she would die, Dixie didn't confide her heart problems to Tad, and the two of them spent months thinking that the other didn't want the relationship. During this time, Tad discovered he had a half-brother, Adrian Sword, the product of a brief affair Opal had had with Adrian's father during her marriage to Ray. After a bit of a bad start, Tad and Adrian eventually came to respect and even like each other. Liza finally made sure Tad found out about Dixie's condition, and he took her away to NYC where he professed his undying love. She accepted his proposal, and the two were married for the third time in May of 1999.
Tad and Liza teamed up again, this time platonically, to run Chandler Enterprises, which Liza had succeeded in wresting from Adam. They had plans to build the Col-Mar Tower, but it came crashing at their feet, almost literally, after Adam sabotaged the construction site. Torn between his desire to see the Chandler Enterprise plan through and his pledge to Dixie to work there only through the autumn of 2000, Tad suddenly had a new problem - his brother Jake was lost in Chechnya. During this family crisis, we see more and more that Tad is sloughing off the "Tad The Cad" image and trying to find his way proudly to wear the Martin mantle of morality and maturity.