The role was originated by Jack Axelrod on April 27, 1987. Axelrod made his final appearance as Victor on October 20, 1989.
Victor is introduced in the spring of 1987 as the father of the late Evan Jerome, and rival to the late mob boss Angus McKay. When Angus' children, Duke Lavery and Camellia McKay, are acquitted for Evan's murder, Evan's widow, Veronica, puts a hit out on Camellia.
However, Victor calls off the hit and banishes Veronica to Europe. When his wife Anna is kidnapped by Grant Putnam, Duke is forced to turn to Victor for help. However, when Victor refuses, Victor's son Julian decides to help, despite his father's disapproval.
When Julian takes a bullet meant for Duke, a distraught Victor decides to hold Duke to the deathbed promise he made to Julian, to legitimize the mob. He doesn't want his daughter Olivia anywhere near the business and tries to keep her out of it. His mistress Dimitra told him that she heard rumors that Olivia was responsible for Julian's death. He confronted her about it and ended up having a heart attack. She withheld his pills, and only survived because Duke found him.
On September 21, 1988 Victor got proof on tape that Olivia ordered the hit on Julian. He begins to the road to recovery and tells Duke he releases him from trying to fulfill Julian's dream.Meanwhile, Victor's daughter, Olivia, arrives in Port Charles and immediately causes trouble when it is revealed that she put the hit out on Julian.
In October 1988, it is revealed that Victor and Julian agreed to fake his death to throw Olivia off. When Olivia is shot and left in a coma, Anna is the prime suspect. When Duke threatens to kill Julian unless he helps clear Anna's name, Victor is worried. However, it is soon revealed that the actual shooter is Victor's eldest and illegitimate son, Dino Antoinelli, with his longtime mistress, Dimitria
In the meantime, Victor becomes infatuated with Lucy Coe. He becomes her secret admirer, sending her flowers and love letters. Victor escapes prison and pledges his love for Lucy on the docks. When Lucy rejects Victor, he is so shocked that he swallows a heart shaped pendant, that he made especially for Lucy.
With help from Alan Quartermaine, Lucy dumps Victor's body in the lake. However, Victor's corpse washes ashore and is discovered by Anna's daughter, Robin, and her friend Rowdy on Halloween in 1989.
After Victor's death, it is revealed that Cheryl Stansbury gave birth to Julian's son, Lucas, and Victor arranged to have Cheryl think the boy is stillborn. In 1990, a man by the name of Eric "Edge" Jackson pretends to be Victor's grandson, Evan Jerome, Jr. to get his hands on Victor's diamonds. However, Edge's scheme is eventually exposed.
In 2013, it is revealed that Julian is alive and that Victor has another child, Ava Jerome, conceived through an affair with Delia Ryan Coleridge. It is stated that Dino died in prison. Ava and Julian are currently scheming to take back their father's territory from Sonny Corinthos.
↑The episode aired on October 31, 1988 established that Victor's birth year was 1928 due to him celebrating his 60th birthday. On October 25, 2013 however, Victor's date of birth is shown on Julian's PCPD file as November 18, 1939. This new birth year cannot be accurate however as in that same episode, in the same file, his daughter, Olivia's date of birth is shown as April 7, 1945. Assuming that his original birth year of 1928 still stands however, it is indeed possible that Olivia's now established birth year from the October 25, 2013 episode is indeed 1945.
↑In 2013, it is stated that Dino had died in prison.