|Michael Gross as River Baldwin|
|The Young and the Restless|
|Portrayed by||Michael Gross|
|Current status||Former, recurring|
|First appearance||August 15, 2008|
|Last appearance||January 15, 2009|
|Created by||Maria Arena Bell|
|Introduced by||Maria Arena Bell|
|Full name||Lowell Robert Baldwin|
River Baldwin was a fictional character on The Young and the Restless, portrayed by Michael Gross.
Lowell was born in New Orleans, March 11,1939. He was Gloria Fisher's ex-flame and the father of Michael Baldwin. Lowell, a substance-abusing hippie, took off when he got drafted and because he was accused of terrorist activity. He moved to Canada and stayed on the run for 40 years, leaving Gloria to raise Michael without him. The discovery of his grandmother's diary, enabled Michael to find out more about his father, mostly that he was a no-good, substance-abusing hippie! With help from private investigator Paul Williams, Michael also found out that Lowell was still alive and had a warrant out on him for a murder that occurred during a robbery.
Paul had located a "River Baldwin" wanted for murder after setting up a bombing of a bank as a leader with the 60's activist group “The Weathermen”. He had the same social security number as Lowell, and was also born in New Orleans. Records also showed that a Gloria Simmons paid his bail. Gloria again lied in response to Michael's confrontation that Lowell used her, convinced her he was innocent and disappeared after she bailed him out, leaving her and baby Michael penniless. Paul also later discovered that a "Richard Gerick" had switched identities with Lowell in 1993 after Lowell, then a college professor in southern California was kicked out and then disappeared because he slept with a student. Michael began having second thoughts about finding his long lost father. Thinking he had found Lowell in the Ashland County lock-up, Michael was discouraged to find out that Lowell had switched identities with another petty criminal named Richard. The impostor did, however, tell Michael that his father spoke of him often and was a genius!
Lowell, who now called himself "River", was an acitivst and guru. His true identity was revealed by Gloria at Kevin Fisher and Jana Hawkes' wedding at the Ashram in Malibu, California, where he was the guru who performed the ceremony! He followed a bitter Michael back to Genoa City to try and make amends. Unfortunately, a jealous Jeffrey Bardwell turned him in on the old warrant and he was thrown in jail. It was then revealed that River had another child, Eden Gerick, who turned up on Michael's doorstep distraught! She was the daughter of River and a university graduate student. Lowell explained to Michael that when he was teaching in California he got a grad student pregnant and was fired from the university as a result. Eden's mother had a drug problem, disappeared after Eden was born and died. Lowell raised Eden to be self-sufficient in case he got caught, home-schooling her to be far advanced for her age.
He asked Michael to take her in, and Lauren convinced Michael they should give it a try, but Eden was sullen and belligerent. Attorney Dick Dentner, a former activist himself, saw Lowell as a hero and took his case with plans to "stick it to the man". Michael attempted to help, but Lowell was not interested. But when Lowell was about to be extradited back to Michigan, Michael acted as his lawyer and got his trial held in Genoa City. Lowell finally accepted Michael to defend him. Michael spent days pouring over four decades of files from the 1960’s trial of Lowell's cohorts. He found and met with a buddy of Lowell’s, Howie "Kite" Sullivan, who told him that he was with River the day of the bombing and that River was not responsible for the janitor who was killed. Howie said it was meant to be only a confetti bomb, but someone substituted a real one and River was only there to try to stop the protest.
Howie claimed he was an FBI informant who, when he refused to testify against Lowell, ended up doing time. Meanwhile Gloria located a note in the files where the prosecution had scrapped Howie's testimony because he refused to cut a deal which verified his story. Back at the jail, after a visit from Jeffrey that convinced him that going free was hopeless, Lowell took a capsule that would make him sick so he’d get taken to the hospital. He left a note for Michael and, with Eden causing a distraction, Lowell escaped out a second story window and hurt his ankle. Eden met Lowell at a warehouse, but he convinced her to stay with Michael to have a decent life. Not long after she left, the police surrounded the warehouse.
Michael arrived and talked Lowell into surrendering. As Michael worked on Lowell’s case, he found a photo of the activist group. Lowell identified all the members in it, including Gloria, for Michael to investigate. Michael was particularly interested in finding Lowell's former best friend Marshall Tenney. Michael suspected he was the one who substituted the real bomb, but he turned out to be deceased. Also among the old evidence was a tape of a witness named Tonya condemning Lowell as a violent ringleader--the voice undeniably Gloria’s. When Michael confronted her with it, Gloria broke down and admitted she was coerced into it by the police under threat of getting Michael taken away from her. When Michael told Lowell, he said he had known all along, understood the circumstances and forgave her long ago. Gloria walked in the visiting room and overheard. They cried and embraced. River was put on trial and found innocent after Gloria testified on his behalf. Michael later discovered that River was actually guilty of the crimes of which he was accused and tried to turn him in.
River went on the run again, leaving Eden in Genoa City with Michael.