Cindy in 1965
Cindy in 2005
|Portrayed by||Meredith Monroe (1965) |
Charlotte Stewart (2005)
|Episode||A Perfect Day|
Cynthia "Cindy" Mulvaney (later Cindy Balducci) was the mother of twin girls Maura and Vivian Mulvaney. She was also a piano player and waitress at a carhop restaurant. In 1965, after years of physical abuse at the hands of her husband, a police officer named Roger Mulvaney, she attempted to escape with the help of another officer, Art Balducci, but was unable to prevent the death of Vivian at Roger's hands.
Cindy's daughter's were only a few months old when Roger first hit her. Roger's job as a police officer made leaving him all but impossible; he had the resources to find her if she ever left him. He'd also threatened to kill the girls and make her watch if she ever tried.
Along with having no money or place to go, this meant Cindy had no choice but to stay. Though Roger would always apologize afterward and promise it wouldn't happen again, his abuse continued. When Roger broke Vivian's arm in two places one day, Cindy tried to get the doctor treating her, Dr. Greggs to take her away, but as child abuse wasn't a serious concern at the time, there was nothing he could do.
Sometime later, one of Roger's outbursts at home had made enough noise to cause neighbors to call the ploice and complain. One of the responding officers, Art Balducci gave Cindy a medallion of St. Michael and told her daughters it would keep their mother safe. He urged Cindy to take the girls and leave that night, giving her the number for a makeshift shelfter run by Nancy Walsh.
At the shelter, Cindy wouldn't talk to anyone except her girls, out of fear of Roger finding them, though she did become friends with a young woman named Tiffany. When Art visited the shelter one day to check in on her, an attraction soon developed between the two and Art found himself coming back everyday.
A few days after Cindy had first come to the shelter, Art took her, along with Maura, Vivian, and Tiffany to the beach at the Jersey Shore. It was happy time for all of them, with Cindy calling it "a perfect day".
After two weeks, however, their past came back to haunt them when Roger tracked them to the shelter and asked Cindy to come home to him. Thinking she had no choice she agreed, though after he left, Tiffany reminded her about Art, that she "had another choice".
Cindy took the girls and fled to Art's house. Art told her she should run away back to the shore where Roger would never find them. Cindy was resistant at first, thinking Art was too young to "take on someone else's kids, their wife". Art responded by asking her to marry him, promising to love and protect her and the girls. Cindy said yes.
When Art left to give Roger a warning to stay away from Cindy, Cindy and the girls unwisely went home to get Snowflake, Vivian's kitten. Unfortunately they ran into Roger, filled with rage from the beating Art and his friends had given him.
Forcing them into the car, Roger demanded to know if Cindy had "made it" with Art. When Cindy said no, Roger seemed relieved at first, until Vivian called her mother "Mrs. Balducci". Enraged, Roger drove them to a bridge when he held both girls over the edge. Cindy managed to pull Maura away but was unable to save Vivian and could only watch helplessly as Roger dropped her to her death in the river below.
Cindy and Maura managed to escape Roger again soon after. To keep Roger from ever finding Maura, Cindy left her at a church, giving her Art's medallion to keep her safe. Cindy would not see her daughter or Art again for forty years.
In 2005, Cindy was teaching piano out of her home at the shore, now living under the name Cindy Balducci, when Lilly Rush and Scotty Valens arrived at her door; the discovery of Vivian's remains at the bottom of the river had led them to her. She asked them to leave at first, still terrifed of Roger finding Maura, until she was told her husband was dead.
Cindy tearfully told them of Vivian's fate and why she'd been forced to give up Maura. Soon after she was reunited with Maura and Art.