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All My Children’s Candace Earley Nolan Passes Away At 68

Photo: Young's Funeral Directors

She played Pine Valley’s Donna Beck for 18 years, and over the weekend the soap world also lost Candace Early Nolan.  The former daytime actress died last Thursday, January 31, 2019, after an 8-year struggle with Multiple Systems Atrophy.

Earley was on ABC’s All My Children from 1976 to 1992 and returned in both 1993 and 1995.  In story, Donna started out in Pine Valley as a prostitute.  She had romances with Dr. Chuck Tyler and then at one time, Palmer Cortlandt.  Candace also appeared on Broadway in Jesus Christ SuperstarGrease, and South Pacific, to name a few.

In her obit it mentions that while eating lunch at world-famous Sardi’s in New York, a Casting Director of ABC daytime television asked,  “Who is that attractive mid-western looking type across the room?”.  Shortly thereafter she was cast as “Donna” on AMC.

Check out this clip of Earley with Richard Van Vleet as Chuck Tyler in a scene from her time on AMC below.

Then, share your condolences and remembrances of Candace via the comment section below.

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Steve
Steve

I’d like to think she’s up there reminiscing with Ruth Warrick and James Mitchell.

Jimh
Jimh

We lost Candace Early from AMC…Carmen Duncan from AW…Kristopher St John from Y&R…and movie actress and soap star Julie Adams From Capitol all in the same week…what a horrible, sad and tragic week for us in the soap world…i first seen Julie in The 50s classic The Creature From The Black Lagoon!!!!

Shay
Shay

I was just about to mention Julie Adams, too, Jimh! She was fabulous on “Capitol” as the looney tunes, faux-agoraphobic Paula Denning! That character was almost gothic in the way she was sequestered in her darkened rooms with only her beloved harpsichord as a constant companion! I still remember laughing myself silly when she plowed down her psychiatrist in the parking deck in order to keep him from blowing the whistle to her senator husband Mark, regarding her fake condition…which would have allowed him to divorce her without guilt in order to marry his true love, Clarissa, aka Constance Towers (aka, Helena Cassadine!!!!) Such fun that show was! Ditto for AMC’s many tales of Pine Valley’s favorite hooker with a heart of gold, Donna Beck, whose mere presence drove Phoebe Tyler to the vapors….especially when her “bossman,” the incomparable Billy Clyde Tuggle, was involved! Oh, those were the politically incorrect days when just about anything and anyone was fair game in our fictional soap burgs! As for AW’s Carmen Duncan, she was a truly lovely Iris…classy with a real international flair! I grew up watching all three of these ladies, and although each one was vastly different in their respective roles, they all left indelible, unique impressions for their daytime audiences. So sad to see them leave us, but their memories will live on for all of those who had the privilege of enjoying their talents on a daily basis during some of soap operas’ best years.

Jimh
Jimh

I never watched Capitol but seen clips and wish i had…did watch AMC and Aw…Carmen grew on me as i first thought she was a miscast after watching Bev Mckinsey who was so irreplaceble in the role,,,but i did grow to love her as Iris-she was a beautiful classy lady…AMc had the most colorful characters in the 80s-i consider that its best decade and wiish those eps were on again!!!!

Shay
Shay

@Jimh…I consider the ‘80’s the best decade for soaps, period!!! It was a veritable banquet of both daytime and primetime dramas and there was no shortage of incredible women who occupied some of the best roles ever written for female soap characters, including the aforementioned ones. Capitol was a perfect product of the glamorous Reagan-era DC, yet it also managed to be offbeat and quite mysterious at times…I really enjoyed that stylistic blend and was livid when it was abruptly cancelled. (So did Sloane survive the firing squad???) In fact, I was so miffed I swore I wouldn’t watch its replacement “B&B!” Of course, my reticence immediately faded when I caught a glimpse of the Forrester brothers duo of Ridge and Thorne! Lol…As for Carmen Duncan, I had no issues with her as the Iris recast because I was not a McKinsey fan, per se, and, as such, readily accepted the actress and her exotic Aussie background….I particularly loved the elan and je ne sais quoi international stars brought to soaps, and to this day, I wish we still had the array of foreign characters that we did way back then….especially on GH! Port Charles always drew the best stars from around the globe!

Harry
Harry

Oh How sad!!! I loved Donna Beck! I will never forget how Phoebe Tyler sputtered out,”That Donna BECK person!” Chuck looks a little bit like Harrison Ford.

Jeff
Jeff

Rest in Peace, Candace. You brought such a loving, vulnerable energy to “Donna” that endeared you to do many AMC fans.

Michael
Michael

First Iris (2.0), then Neil and now Donna Beck. Let’s hope deaths do come in threes, so that we don’t grieve another soap vet.

Jimh
Jimh

We did lose a 4th…Julie Adams ex Capitol!!!!

Boop
Boop

I didn’t watch All My Children that often; however, I remember Candace’s character of Donna. Her family and friends have my prayers.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I am stunned. I remember her well. Such a lovely woman. She did such a wonderful job as Donna. I loved the story of Donna and Chuck. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends.

Thank you Candice Earley for sharing your remarkable talent with all of us. May you rest in peace.

Lin
Lin

I was so sorry to hear of Candice’s passing and from such a horrible disease. I loved her in All My Children. I also saw her on Broadway in Grease shortly after she started on AMC. I loved her in that, too. I got her autograph after the show. I think I still have the playbill. My deepest sympathy to her family. My heart goes out to you.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I remember her…another familiar face gone that will live on in the archives of soap history. Sad news. Condolences to her family.

Sassy Duck
Sassy Duck

Rest in peace, beautiful Candace. You brought so much spunk, and grace to the role of Donna. My deepest condolences to your family, your All My Children family, and your friends. The soap world has lost another gifted actor.

Alan
Alan

ALL MY CHILDREN was my first soap and Donna Beck was the reason I got hooked. I couldn’t get enough of teenage hooker Donna, her pimp Tyrone, her pal Estelle LaTour, Estelle’s pimp Billy Clyde Tuggle, Maggie Flanagan, Lettie Jean, and the rest of the Locust Street gang.

Donna was the center of so much story on AMC: the Donna/Chuck/Tara triangle; Donna’s car getting hit by the train resulting in amnesia and Donna thinking she was a hooker again; Donna’s first pregnancy resulting in a stillborn child (I still remember Donna shopping for baby clothes while Dr. Clater told Chuck that there was no heartbeat); Donna marrying Palmer Cortlandt and on her honeymoon in Switzerland sleeping with Chuck in a cave after an avalanche which resulted in Donna getting pregnant and Palmer, believing he was sterile, paying a doctor to tell Donna the child had a birth defect so she would get an abortion (luckily, Chuck arrived in a nick of time to stop the procedure); Donna and Benny raising Emily Ann after Estelle died on the way to the hospital when they thought the tot had swallowed a safety pin; Donna being the key to solving the murder of Zach Grayson; Donna trying to protect a grown Emily Ann from the returned Billy Clyde Tuggle.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Alan, thanks a million for bringing us up to speed on Donna’s main storylines! I watched at the time, but my memory is spotty. I do remember Phoebe giving Donna a hard time. I do remember Billy Clyde excitedly talking about buying a new “macro-wave oven!” I remember Donna and Estelle talking about “Sea City” or “C City,” which — correct me if I’m wrong — I think initially was short for “Center City,” where the hooker trade was happening.

But I really appreciate your filling in the gaps for me. Candace Earley was a wonderful, appealing actress, and her loved ones, as well as her fans, mourn her loss…

Alan
Alan

I left out The Chateau fire that resulted in baby Johnny dying (Chuck’s son) and Donna believing a rag doll was her baby. Ultimately Phoebe helped Donna come to terms with her loss. I always thought that was a huge mistake to kill off the child because he was a next generation Tyler.

Patrick
Patrick

^^^ per Jamesj75. ABSOLUTELY thank you for the recall

the delight of Donna… I always loved the wrong side of the track FLIGHT
PLAN

Candace Earley MADE it, showed up, and REELED

dang it tho… ALL these shows back in our day… were just loaded to the gills with TALENT… bar none.. FULL CAST

individual stand out.. she was awarded right outa the gate

Alan
Alan

I think Center City was where the hooker trade was located (and maybe Foxy’s, the bar where Opal forced Jenny to work to support the two of them). Sea City was where Jesse and Angie got married after they ran away with baby Frankie when they kidnapped him following Les Baxter forcing Angie to give the baby up for adoption.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Awesome! Thanks for the further details, Alan!

Shay
Shay

@James….Hearing “Billy Clyde” talk about anything was a sheer delight and laugh riot! I don’t think any soap character ever revelled in his own unrecognized ignorance as much as Mr. Tuggle did wiith his multi-mispronunciations and delusions of grandeur!!!! (Not to mention, his total lack of style which he seemed to think was fashion at its finest! I still remember that plumed fedora!) Perhaps my favorite thing was how Billy always referred to his car as “The Clydemobile!” Haha…It took a truly talented actor to make such a trashy reprobate as BCT so amusing…and Matthew Cowles did just that! IAlthough I have to admit I was totally taken aback when I discovered he was related to the Drexel dynasty…)

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Awesome to see your reply, Shay! Glad you also liked Billy Clyde… I think many of us want some humor in our soaps — and in our daily lives! — and Matthew Cowles surely delivered! Thanks for reminding me about the fedora! I didn’t know about the Drexel dynasty connection (or the Drexel dynasty itself). Sadly, he and Candace Earley both have passed… I enjoyed the work of both actors. Take care, Friend!

Shay
Shay

Thank you, James! So good to hear from you! How could one NOT like Billy Clyde??? He was such a unique, memorable character with the knack to make any situation comical—-intentionally—-or otherwise! (I clearly recall an occasion when an agitated Mr. Tuggle was recovering from serious surgery whilst bellowing about “busticating his stiches!”) And to think it took a self-admitted black sheep of a blueblood family to play a whitetrash procurer with such absolute authenticity! Lol…Matthew Cowles indeed delivered his offbeat best in bringing to life some of the most bizarre creatures ever to inhabit daytime….he was also hysterically funny as Loving’s unlovably lovesick hillbilly, “Eban Japes,” who burst into Corinth to track down his erstwhile common law wife, “Lottie Bird!” Again, this extremely versatile actor’s wardrobe was unforgettable…manky overalls and a seriously mangy chapeau!!!! In the case of Cowles’ colorful characters, clothes really didn’t make the man, but they certainly were icing on the cake when it came to his outre’ portrayals! P.S. By the way, kudos to your latest Sonny comments….I read them with great relish, but didn’t get the chance to return back to the appropriate thread to echo them. No matter…between CeeCee and you, I think the subject was covered quite capably! Later, my friend!

jaybird369
jaybird369

Shay…girl…I remember BOTH AMC’S Billy Clyde Tuggle and Loving’s Eban Japes…HAPPILY AND TOTALLY!!!!! Also…BOTH Billy Clyde and Eban used to brighten my day with their LOL-filled antics. Most of all, if I remember correctly, Matthew Cowles was quite the popular and beloved star on the Broadway stage. In an interview years ago, Matthew said that he felt most at home on the Broadway stage. Memories.

Have a good one, Shay.

Shay
Shay

Hello to you, Jaybird! It’s always nice to share fan-favorite recollections of soap operas past and I’d have to say that those regarding Matthew Cowles and his crazy cast of characters are a true testament to his immense talent. To think that even decades after those performances in his two ABC soap roles he’s left behind such an indelible impression on us is quite remarkable! Those brilliant onscreen moments with Billy Clyde and Eban seem like just yesterday…I also vaguely recall one of the actor’s primetime appearances on a Law and Order episode when he played another really out-there type of guy called “Lemonhead!” As Mr. Tuggle would have observed, such bizarre characters were Cowles’ “speciality!” (Don’t you just love it when a performer comes to their role so completely immersed that they even invent their own unique vocabulary????? Not to mention donning a wardrobe that heralds their arrival without saying a word!) There’s no doubt that Cowles was a very special thespian, so I’m not at all surprised he loved the Broadway stage…I’m just glad he shared his gifts with the soap world where his inimitable characters will forever live on in our collective memory. You have a great day, too, Jaybird…it’s always a delight to hear from you!

jaybird369
jaybird369

Thanks, Shay!!!!! Much, much appreciated.

Later.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Just a quick reply, Shay. Thanks for the further details about Cowles’ characters! I forgot about his work on Loving (I rarely watched that one). And thanks for the acknowledgment and backup on my recent conversation with CeeCee on Sonny. As you know, I can’t help myself… Best to you, Shay!

Shay
Shay

It’s always my pleasure, James! The undeserved adulation and highly-questionable hero status bestowed upon the character of Sonny Corinthos shall forever beggar belief for me. The fact that there are other good people who share my particular disdain for GH’s most inexplicable and disturbing decision to designate this man (and his close circle of associates) as the show’s so-called “moral center” is indeed refreshing and welcome. Quite frankly, it never ceases to amaze and grate upon me the audacious efforts in which this soap engages in its futile attempts to sanitize the career criminal’s not so fragrant past so as to present him as a current pillar of the Port Charles community. As you passionately observed in your own posts, you are not buying what GH is selling when it comes to Sonny Corinthos….Well, neither am I!!! Take care, my firend!

Caleb
Caleb

One of the absolute best.

Patrick
Patrick

TAKEN from @Wiki :

“…Former prostitute and adoptive mother of Emily Ann Sago Martin. Her relationship with Chuck Tyler antagonizes Chuck’s grandmother, Phoebe Tyler. Married to Chuck Tyler, Palmer Cortlandt, Benny Sago and Chuck Tyler (again). Sister of Mitch Beck. She was romantically involved with Tom Cudahy and Ross Chandler. ”

Dag! didn’t she have it all. UBER HOTTED OUT Richard Van Vleet @Chuck Tyler !!! he was simply one of thee BEST. AND ??? Tom Cudahy AND Ross Chandler … what a girl, what a woman, what a chanteuse.

“…Earley’s portrayal proved popular with viewers, and won an award for Most Exciting New Actress in the first annual Soapies held in 1977 (these awards are now known as the Soap Opera Digest Awards). Over time, the character of Donna grew into a mature woman with a gift for singing. Earley was written out of the show in 1992. ”

she was such a captivating presence; she parlayed this role 15 PLUS Years. her first scenes @AMC show her beaten bloodied and in a coma at Pine Valley Hospital.. whodathunk

Good for her

Good Job Candace

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

i remember her as Donna. That was a character I like on AMC. So sad to hear of Candace’s passing. Rest In Peace, Candace.

Adam
Adam

Bless her heart, glad she passed over and is no longer in pain.

They really do come in threes don’t they?

Becky Smith
Becky Smith

I am so very sorry to hear of Candice’s passing! I totally remember this scene from AMC! Candice brought such a sweet vulnerability to the role of Donna Beck! My sincere and deepest sympathy to Candice’s family and friends and the entire AMC family!

boes
boes

I loved Donna. Candace was such an important part of AMC’s early years, an actor and character I missed when she left the show. Those were glorious days, when the Tylers were still part of the show….

Far too young,

DMR
DMR

Oh, I remember Donna, that set, and Chuck! He was so handsome! 68 is young today. God bless and Rest In Peace! Sad news.

jaybird369
jaybird369

I was very saddened to hear about Candace Earley Nolan passing away. My ALL-TIME FAVORITE AMC storyline featuring Donna was Donna and Natalie’s friendship. To me, Donna and Natalie’s friendship was WONDERFULLY TIMELESS!!!!! Yes.

Later.

Sherrie
Sherrie

God Bless Candace! She brought every afternoon an hour of friendship, kindness, humor & determination! She was a wonderful addition to the AMC cast! May you Rest In Peace dearest Candace & my deepest sympathy to your family!

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Watch the clips below from the All My Children reunion below.  Then, let us know what you thought of it via the comment section below.

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Courtesy/ABC

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