|Full Name:||Steven Bartholomew Rhoades|
|Born:||June 30, 1955|
|Occupation:||Bank Executive, Forest Ranger, Chauffeur, College Dean|
|Spouse(s):||Marcy D'Arcy (Ex-Wife)|
|Appeared on:||Married... with Children|
|Character played by:||David Garrison|
Steven "Steve" Bartholomew Rhoades was Marcy's first husband. Much like the name "Bundy" the creators chose the surname "Rhoades" after a professional wrestler, in this case "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes (whose real name, incidentally, is Virgil Runnels Jr.). He is a mortgage broker who seems unfazed by his lower position than Marcy at The Leading Bank of Chicago (when Marcy moves up to a high position at another bank, Kyoto National Bank, he gets promoted into her former job).
Steve initially condescends to the Bundys, but eventually becomes more like them. Marcy was initially attracted to him because of his self-centered nature. Although Steve, in general, respects his marriage such as when Al had told him about an attractive repairwoman, Steve at first asked him " You made me drop everything for this?!" When a chastened Al replies in the affirmative, Steve then lightens up and says "Thanks, Al!" and the two drink beer while leering at her together.Steve seemed to be a fairly demure and buttoned-down character, compared to Marcy and the Bundys, although he did show a dark side. As a banker, Steve took sadistic pleasure in humiliating people who bullied him in high school by making his former tormentors (many of whom were stuck in poor, dead-end jobs similar to Al's) grovel for bank loans, which he flatly refused (or because their credit scores were too low to qualify for the mortgage in the first place).
Steve was written out of the show in the middle of the fourth season; Garrison had decided he no longer wanted to be tied down to a weekly television series, preferring to avoid being typecast in one role, and devote more time to his first love: stage acting. He reached an agreement with the producers to buy out the remainder of his contract. In the final episode shot (though, confusingly, not the final episode aired) in which he was a regular character,
Steve becomes disenchanted with his and Marcy's lifestyle, and is increasingly interested in becoming an outdoorsman (a real-life interest of Garrison's). He then disappears, with the explanation that he left Marcy to become a forest ranger at Yosemite. Prior to disappearing he lost his job at the bank underwriting a loan for Al's "shoe hotline" project which fails, in an attempt to win a contest that whoever underwrote the most loans would win a free trip to Hawaii. He then got a job at an exotic pet shop, but grumbled to Al that he did not get to do his favorite part of the work - handling birds. However, Al, who has more serious problems of his own, tells Steve to grow up.Al's complaining to Steve that he should cut it out may have inspired Steve to run away and become a forest ranger. Steve would make a notable return in one episode when he was on the run from the law, for stealing the egg of an endangered species which was subject to inhumane lab tests (and thus jeopardizing his career as a forest ranger to do what was right). When Peg learns there is a large reward for handing over Steve to the FBI, Al stops her efforts, showing that he did value Steve as a genuine friend.
In later seasons, Garrison would reprise the Steve Rhoades character on four occasions, returning to guest star in individual episodes (with Steve having pursued other careers in the meantime), as he eventually returns to the show with a job as a chauffer. He eventually accepts that Marcy has remarried with Jefferson, although Marcy was angry with Steve for running off out of the blue. Steve's final appearance was where he installed as the dean of Trumaine University by the rich man he chauffered around. However, Steve's leadership is at odds with Bud, who is a student at the same university, and the two appear to end in an antagonistic relationship. This episode was intended to be the springboard for a spin-off series called Radio Free Trumaine, which would focus on Bud's life without the rest of the Bundys. Due to budget cuts, that series never got produced.
Steve frequently demonstrated David Garrison's own love of Gilbert & Sullivan, singing or humming excerpts from "The Mikado", "The Pirates of Penzance" and "HMS Pinafore" among others.