An obsessed psycho heiress, Kathy Dare is the jilted lover that shot Tony Stark, almost killing him. With the exception of Obidiah Stane, no other regular person has come closer to finishing off Tony Stark.
Dare inserted herself into Tony's life in issue #223, introducing herself as an admirer of his. She soon followed Tony to NY, where she "just happened" to run into him. Although they had hooked up, Tony wasn't serious about the young lady. But Kathy Dare was was deadly serious.
Kathy Dare was described by the press as an heiress, but little known. Of East Coast money, she grew up pampered and spoiled. Something readily evident in her behavior and desires. But something--her looks--made her attractive to Tony Stark, a man not normally known for putting up with divas.
Dare kept popping up whereever Tony went. She followed him to a charity event. After seeing Tony with another women, Dare slashed the tires on his limo. (Later, she would turn her rage on that other woman, Rae Locoste, tampering with the brakes on her car.)
With very little encouragement, Dare had become obsessed with the billionaire playboy. She began calling him repeatedly, and later embarrassed Tony at the racetrack. It was soon clear to everyone but Tony that she had a fatal attraction for the playboy.
And even though Tony was barely speaking to her, Kathy Dare soon began telling the press that she was Tony's fiancée. Her stalking continued, but Stark seemed more amused than worried, especially when she followed him to Rome, sneaking into his hotel room. But later, when she snuck onto the SE compound, telling the security forces that Tony had given her permission to go wherever she pleased, Tony took notice--he dumped her. Big mistake.
Dare convinced Tony's housekeeper to let her in to his home, where she waited for him to come home. She then surpirsed him, shooting him with a .38 caliber revolver in #242. As Tony lay there, shot and bleeding out, she kept talking to him as though nothing had happened. (The wound almost killed Stark. As it was, the damage left him paralyzed.)
Bert Hindel, a sleazy former Stark employee recently fired, acted as her lawyer. He used the trial to trash Stark, making up a battered-woman defense. But in the end, Dare's biography and mental history put her away.
She is described as an heiress, but little known. She is rumored to have been involved with other celebrities, most notably a rock star, whose Malibu beach house burned to the ground shortly after they broke up.
When she went on trial we found out about her disturbing childhood. She had a therapist from age 5 to age 18, from the New Jersey Mental Health Unit in Hoboken. Her wealthy parents raised her to get whatever she wanted. She was spoiled to say the least. She became obsessive, had a dark side. When her little brother refused to give her one of his Christmas presents (a stuffed animal), he was later found at the bottom of a cliff. Her doctors recommended permanent institutionalization, lawyers kept her out.
She was committed in #248, placed in the custody of the CA Board of Mental Health until such time as she would be competent to stand trial.
In #285, Dare's therapist got her a release to attend Tony's funeral, to help her "come to terms with her past." In #286, she blew her brains out, broken up about Tony's death. Apparently, she couldn’t live without him.