Art in 1965
Art in 2005
|Portrayed by|| Chris Stewart (1965) |
Ned Schmidtke (2005)
|Episode||A Perfect Day|
Art Balducci was a rookie police officer in 1965, who fell in love with a woman named Cindy Mulvaney and attempted to help her and her two daughters Maura and Vivian Mulvaney escape from her abusive husband, another officer named Roger Mulvaney.
Art first crossed paths with the family when he and his partner arrived at their house, responding to a noise complaint from neighbours.
Art's partner was ready to leave immediately (possbily recognizing Roger as a fellow cop). Art, however, noticed a bruise on Cindy's face, and confronted Roger about it. Cindy quickly tried dismiss is having simply fallen and needing glasses, though Art knew better.
While Art's partner took Roger for a walk to calm him down, Maura said "daddy's gonna come back and make mommy cry again". Art showed the little girl a medallion he had of St. Michael, telling her he was the "patron saint of mommies", and gave it to her to put on her mother.
After the girls left for their bath, Art urged Cindy to take her girls and leave that night. Cindy, however, told him she had nowhere to go; her parents were dead, she was an only child, and had no friends. Art gave her the number for a makeshift shelter run by Nancy Walsh, telling her to call it if she needed a place to go.
Not long after Cindy and the girls fled to the shelter, Art went there to check in on her, figuring it would just be one time. There was more between the two than they realized at first, however, and Art soon found himself coming back everyday.
A few days after Cindy first arrived at the shelter Art took her, along with the girls, and Tiffany, a friend Cindy had made at the shelter, to the beach at the Jershey Shore. The day was a special one for all of them, letting them forget their troubles. Cindy would tell the girls it was "a perfect day".
After about two weeks, however, Art and Cindy's budding romance was interrupted when Roger tracked Cindy to the shelter and begged him to come home to him. Cindy, unsure what to do, said yes, but later that evening, took the girls to Art place and told him what had happened.
Art said they should all run away to the shore, where Roger wouldn't find them. Cindy, however, said that Art was too young to take on someone else's kids and wife. "Then be my wife," Art answered, asking her to marry him. He promised to love and protect her and the girls, the got on one knee and asked again formally. Maura asked if this meant her mother's name was "Mrs. Balducci" now, and Cindy accepted his proposal.
When Cindy asked what they should do about Roger, Art told her to stay there while he made sure Roger never bothered her again. Art and two other officers caught up with Roger and beat a warning into him to stay away from Cindy.
When Art returned home, however, Cindy and the girls were gone. They'd left a note they they'd gone home to get Vivian's cat Snowflake and would be back soon. Art raced over to the house but found it empty. He drove around for hours that night looking for them, then drove to the shore and walked the beach until dawn, but never found them. Art knew Roger had found them, though he never said a word.
Roger was killed in the line of duty a few months later. It was later suspected, but never proven, that Art, who knew Roger's beat, had something to do with it.
Art retired from the police force in the 1980's. "Good riddance", he'd later say. By 2005, he spent most of his days throwing back drinks at a local tavern. One day he recieved a surprise visit from Scotty Valens and Nick Vera. Vivian's remains had been discovered in the river after forty years. This had led to the now-grown Maura coming forward with the medallion her mother had given her when she left Maura at a church for her own safety back in 1965. The badge number on the back had led them to Art.
Art told them about the night he'd met Cindy and about giving her the medallion and the phone number, but left out anything that happened afterwards, probably to avoid being connected to Roger's death. Instead he told them he'd never heard from Cindy again after that night.
After Lilly Rush, Will Jeffries, and Maura viewed a home movie Tiffany had made at the beach, however, they realized Art knew more than he'd said. Vera and Jeffries questioned Art again and he revealed the whole story, as painful as it was, even years later. They deduced that Art may have been involved in Roger's death, though they chose to omit this from their report. Art, grateful and sad, told them if they ever found Cindy to tell her "she doesn't need to be afraid of him anymore. Art took care of it."
Cindy was found at the shore soon after, now living under the name "Cindy Balducci". After the truth finally came out about Vivian's death at Roger's hands, Art, Cindy, and Maura were reunited on the beach.