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All My Children's Matthew Cowles Has Passed Away!

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Heartbreaking and sad news to report this Memorial Day weekend! Reports are surfacing that none other than All My Children’s Matthew Cowles, who played the one and only Billy Clyde Tuggle passed away on Thursday, May 22nd.

According to manager, Tsu Tsu Stanton, Cowles was surrounded by his family – his wife The Good Wife’s Christine Baranski, and their two daughters by his side.  Cowles was 69 years old.

Tsu Tsu Stanton tweeted the news, “#Matthew Cowles passed away on 5/22. I had the pleasure of being his manager. He was a very gifted and kind man who loved life and everyone.”

Broadway World posted an item on the actors passing citing: “Cowles was born in 1944 and his career spanned both the stage and screen. His Broadway roles include Malcolm (1966), The Time of Your Life (1969), and Sweet Bird of Youth (1975).  His movie credits include The Juror (1996), American Loser (2007), Shutter Island (2010), and many more.  His most recent short film, Family on Board (2014), is currently in post-production.”  Matthew had numerous television credits but none more memorable than Pine Valley’s pimp, Billy Clyde Tuggle!

Matthew reprised his role of Billy Clyde last summer as part of Prospect Park’s online revival of the series.  AMC executive producer, Ginger Smith was instrumental in getting Matthew back to the soap opera.  On-Air On-Soaps had the first exclusive interview with Cowles upon his return, which now would turn out to be the final time we would chat.

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Matthew’s former AMC co-star Cady McClain (Ex-Dixie, now Y&R’s Kelly) tweeted on his passing today,  “So sad. What a lovely man… I adored working with him last year. So kind.”

On-Air On-Soaps sends our thoughts and prayers to Matthew’s family, and we are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the most talented actors ever to appear on soaps.   Share your thoughts below!

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andrew hass
andrew hass

My condolences are with his family.Plus i’m glad that his fans were able to watch him at least one more time on the All My Children reboot.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Same here…he was one of my favorites!!!

Terry
Terry

I agree enjoyed seeing him on the reprise AMC. Rest in Peace.

Lin
Lin

I feel the same way. And Billy Clyde, though he still had the same personality, was a kinder gentler Billy. My deepest sympathy to his family. He will never be forgotten as long as anyone who watched AMC is still kicking around. Rest in peace.
I did not hear that he was sick. Gone way too soon.

davlestev1
davlestev1

R.I.P. Matthew. Prayers for Christine Baranski and their children. Great entertainer.

Kat
Kat

I loved Billy Clyde and never knew he was married to Christine. She’s one of my favorite actresses. Could we see Mary Anne Thorpe with Billy Clyde Tuggle? Nope but that’s why they are called actors.

Harry
Harry

Christine appeared with her husband on a few episodes of AMC. They were hilarious together.

Harry
Harry

Oh no, no, no! I love this actor, think he’s brilliant. I always said that Billy Clyde Tuggell was the best villain in soap opera history. He even wrote his own dialogue. I don’t have he words–this is just too sad.

Patricio
Patricio

I agree 100% percent Harry! I wanted to write something but couldn’t have said it better!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

There will never be another colorful fun villian like Billy Clyde Tuggles…Mathew Cowles was one of the top greatest actors in daytime ever and one of my top all time favorite soap actor/characters!!!

Margie
Margie

ITA.
What a brilliant portrayal.
:(.

Wendy
Wendy

I know how you feel . I’m still in shock . Matthew was such the opposite of billy Clyde. I watched him on AMC many years ago when I first began watching soaps . I was just a kid then, but mathew’s billy clyde , left quite an impression !! My heart goes out to his wife and daughters and every fan out there who loved him!!!

David
David

An unforgettable soap villain. Sympathy to Christine and family

su0000
su0000

Matthew Cowles / Billy Clyde Tuggle AMC is a soap opera legend!
His villain performances has stayed with all the AMC fans for decades!
He made a mark that will always forever be ..

Condolences to all who love Matthew Cowles , he will never be forgotten ..

Omar
Omar

Sad news..Rest in peace..He was always riveting and a scene stealer over at AMC.

Cynthia
Cynthia

I am so sad to hear this! I loved him on AMC.

Lisa J.
Lisa J.

That makes me so sad. I liked him so very much and I will forever miss Billy Clyde. May he rest in peace.

KateA
KateA

Glad I got to see him perform again as Billy Clyde. Prospect Park did something right by bringing him back to AMC. He was wonderful as Billy Clyde.

Cheryl
Cheryl

So sad to hear. He was tremendous to watch, and I was thrilled to get to see him as Billy Clyde again. Condolences to his family.

Jan
Jan

What a shock to hear this news. On All My Children he was the character you loved despite his mean ways. He will be missed.

brendaking
brendaking

I am so sorry for your lost may god be with you a d your family your in my thoughts and prayers to

Brenda
Brenda

Such a talent loved him on All My Children glad to see him back on short lived return

Connie b.
Connie b.

So sorry on Matthews passing. He was excellent actor and character on AMC was much loved. Sincere sympathy to his family ……Billy Clyde, my goodness no one will ever forget him…RIP

vinman
vinman

RIP…Matthew Cowles….Billy Clyde Tuggle….may you rest in peace with the other greats from PineValley,Pa.

Victoria Pongratz
Victoria Pongratz

I am so sorry and offer my condolences ..I remember Billy Clyde way back on All My Children in the Dixie/Tad days …years ago..and then his return last year ..Rest in peace ..you were a great actor and person ..

rebecca1
rebecca1

I hadn’t watched All My Children in ages…and I mean years! But I do remember his character well. Very sad news…condolences.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

Rebecca, I hope you try and find the reboot online….he was just as good the second time around!

rebecca1
rebecca1

I’ll look…thanks!

M Baptiste
M Baptiste

Mr. Cowles’ sense of fun playing the role made him “non-traumatic” for viewers, even way back, when we got a less kinder-gentler Billy Clyde. An actor who brought craft to his role, this is how I remember him. God bless his family.

Linda M
Linda M

He was a joy to watch. So much talent. My heart goes out to his family.

Melissa Stott
Melissa Stott

May God be with his family during this difficult time! He was so talented!

Ricardo
Ricardo

I am very sad about this, Matthew was a wonderful actor and rip my friend. We will all miss you.

Cathy
Cathy

❤Him can first remember seeing so many years ago on All My Children. One of the best characters to be brought on RIP Billy Clyde deepest sympathy to his loving family!

Harry
Harry

I was so taken aback upon reading of his passing, that I was at a loss for words. I have regained my composure. Billy Clyde Tuggell has had a cult following ever since he left Pine Valley. Many of us started a ‘Bring Back Billy Clyde’ campaign. When Prospect brought him back, and I heard his Southern slurred speech sputtered forth while wearing that three piece white suit with the carnation boutonniere while carrying a cane, I am going to admit something–I chocked up a little. Yes, because when I was about 12 Billy Clyde triggered my imagination while invoking my sense of fear as well as tickling my funny bone. How many soap villains can make you shudder and laugh at the same time? This is only something I can confess to fellow soap fans because only they (you all) get it. This comes from a place which makes us remain steadfastly loyal to a soap despite the fact that it is letting us down in so many ways (see GH). I gave up on AMC about 7 years before it was cancelled because it had gotten so bad it almost seemed like self-sabotage (again, see GH). But when it was finally cancelled, I was sad because I knew I could never go home again.
Billy Clyde Tuggell represents the best of AMC–he was brilliantly nuanced, he contained literary allusions and he skillfully blended humor with his evil doings. How many soap villains can make you laugh and shudder at the same time? Finally, I think I cried upon seeing his visage on Prospect’s AMC, as well as reading about his passing here on Michael Fairman’s blog, because I think I always sensed that he was truly a good and sweet man on top of being really a damn brilliant actor. I guess I am just going to miss knowing that he was out there somewhere, ready to come back while wielding that cane.

rebecca1
rebecca1

wow! beautifully expressed heartfelt sentiments that once again shows how characters on TV, in film, literature and the like can effect our emotions and our lives.

you captured Billy Clyde’s essence while simultaneously paying tribute to the man who brought him to life…

janet
janet

Harry you said it so much better than I could have. I watched him and Donna, on AMC even watched him on AMC on line,I usually don’t like the villains but Billy was a treasure. He made you laugh even when he made you shudder. Rest in peace and our prayers for his family.Think of the talent that was in that house. between him and Christine Baranski .best to them and their daughters.

Margie
Margie

Well said.
I can’t thank Prospect Park enough for attempting to give the fans more time with our favorite characters. Billy was great, and Matthew was brilliant.

Antoinette Schneider
Antoinette Schneider

Loved him on all my children .

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I am so very sad to hear this news. His tremendous talent made Billy Clyde a classic, unforgettable character. Rest in peace Matthew. Know that you are loved by millions.

Trish
Trish

Deep love and Condolences to Christine and the girls. A good and kind man, a great actor and the most lovable villain who ever perpetrated evil in Pine Valley! So sorry for your loss, you are in my prayers.
Love, Trish

Shay
Shay

And with a tip of his feathered fedora, he took the classic “Clydemobile” on one last ride to the “Great Beyond…” Bye bye, BC….still unforgettable after all these years!

boes
boes

What a shame. Thank God for the PP reboot, if for nothing more than giving us the chance to see “Billy Clyde” one more time.
I knew he was married to Christine Baranski, but it was news to me that his first wife was Kathleen Dezina who played Estelle on AMC.
RIP .

Tricia
Tricia

Me too. No matter what he appeared in…he was always Billy Clyde Tuggle to me.

Karen
Karen

He was a great actor. Watched him for many years on “All My Children” and I was thrilled when he appeared on the online soap. I am so sorry for his loss to his family. Love watching his wife every week on “The Good Wife”. Such a talented family. May he rest in peace.

Judith Cottrill
Judith Cottrill

Billy Clyde Tuggle was my favorite soap character of all time. I was thrilled to see him back in the online version of AMC. Such a shock to hear of his passing. My sympathies to his wife and family and all who loved him.

Mo
Mo

What was his cause of death?

Don’t know him, but have enjoyed his wife’s acting. RIP

andrew hass
andrew hass

It was reported that his family was at his bedside when he died.So i’m thinking he was suffering from some kind of illness or something and his loved ones knew he was going to die soon.

sue
sue

One of those actors that you love to hate. He was one of the greats.

Gail Magid Swartz
Gail Magid Swartz

What a character actor, he was one of my favorites on All My Children. My sympathies to his wife, also a great actor, and his family and friends. I will miss him as I miss All My Children, but ALL good things must come to an end!

Rapids
Rapids

I am shocked and sad to hear of this news. I remember him from years afo on AMC, fabulous actor. Rest in peace.

Doyle Bowers
Doyle Bowers

Well I hate to hear it. I’m a big Billy Clyde Tuggle fan. I loved his character back in the day. You’ll be missed Billy Clyde. P.I.P. “PIMP IN PIECE”!!!!

Doris Corea
Doris Corea

My condolences to the family on his passing! I watched AMC for many years and all are near and dear to my heart!

Barbara Mobley-EL
Barbara Mobley-EL

I remember him from AMC back in the day and saw him in other shows.A talented actor gone to soon. My condolences to his family.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

I was devastated when I found out last night.
When I saw him at the premiere of the AMC & OLTL reboots, I was ecstatic! And a little sad, because it was obvious to me how frail he was. I did not know what was wrong, but I am forever grateful that he was able to reprise Billy Clyde and somewhat redeem him. He was horrible and lovable at the same time and oh how he mangled the English language to pieces.
Harry you said it well, for many of us share your sentiments. And Doyle…Pimp in Peace – I love it, and I think Billy/Matthew would too.

JAS
JAS

When an actor can arouse such hatred in you for the way he is portraying a character, well, then I must say that that is a VERY FINE ACTOR. He was the best. You could hate him and laugh at him at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him and when I found out (quite some time ago) that he was married to one of my favorite actresses of all time, Christine Baranski, then that just ‘sealed the deal’. RIP dear Matthew and know that you gave your best and it was even better than that!

Shay
Shay

Cowles also played a very memorable heartsick hillbilly on Loving!!! I’ll never forget his overall-clad Eban Japes on that hellbent mission to Corinth….to retrieve his ladylove, “Lottiebird!” Given his real-life blueblood heritage, it made his believability as both a white-trash villain and the over-the-top procurer, Billy Clyde, all the more remarkable!!!!!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

A remarkable man and a remarkable character he created in Billy Clyde. Indelible! My condolences to his wife Christine Baranski and his two daughters.

Sue Davidson
Sue Davidson

I really enjoyed al the evil you conjured up on All My children. You were my verybfavorite. My concolences to your wife and family. RIP for you shall be greatly missed!

Tony Polar
Tony Polar

He was memorable as Billy Clyde on ALL MY CHILDREN both on the abc-tv version and the short-lived Prospect Park horribly botched version.
It says in the article that Producer Ginger Smith was instrumental in getting Him to reprise his role for the on-line version. It’s a shame Ginger Smith didn’t have the common courtesy to tell the fans what in the world was going on with the On-line version by Prospect Park.
I am so sorry that he has passed, he was quite an interesting actor – but whenever I hear of anything reminding me of ALL MY CHILDREN, I get boiling mad at how the fans were never entitled to an explanation, no official statement, NOTHING – just empty promises from Ginger Smith saying that “many more faces will be returning” and absolutely NOTHING was delivered to the fans.

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8 Years To The Day Of All My Children & One Life to Live Being Canceled; Still Considered By Many Worst Move For Daytime

It’s hard to believe that 8 years ago today on April 14th, 2011, the soap world, its fans, and the cast members, learned of the heartbreaking news that ABC, in one swift move, decimated its daytime line-up when they announced the cancellations of long running series, All My Children (which would end at its 41st year), and One Life to Live (which would ends its run in its 43rd year).

At the time, ABC announced it would move to more lifestyle/entertainment series to replace these dramas.  In its place came The Chew and The Revolution, neither show is still on the air today.  Executives at that time pointed to research saying that times are changing and that their decision was “guided by extensive research into what today’s daytime viewers want,” and blame, in part, “the changing viewing patterns of the audience” for the axing of AMC and OLTL

Then ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons had joked to Deadline about the big announcement that he: “Pre-entered the witness protection program prior to today’s events.”  He added that “The demise of the two venerable soaps was actually a year in the making.  A year ago, we started to look at our projections where the ratings for the soaps would go.  When those projections came in pretty discouraging, the network began to aggressively develop replacement shows, 15 of them.  Four of the 15 were picked up to pilot: The Chew and The Revolution and two others, a talk show and a dating show. Originally, the idea was to cancel only one daytime drama.  The way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift.”  Of note is that when it went off the air, One Life to Live was in third place among its competitors in the ratings.

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The press release that came with the cancellations stated: “To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history both shows will conclude in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.”

Following the cancellations daytime reeled. The mainstream was sure it meant the endings of the soaps, period.  However, four shows illustrated that is not true at all.  For Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless all remain, and still whether they are up or down in their numbers/ratings, they remain relevant and important to the enduring daytime viewing audience.

Sadly, as with any shows, the end of ABC’s AMC and OLTL meant loss of jobs for so many working in front of the camera and behind the scenes. One Life was the last soap opera in production in New York at the time.  AMC was already being shot in LA to cut costs to save it.

Still in 2019, if you venture on to social media, especially Twitter, you see fans constantly missing its stars and the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, wanting this wrong rectified.  Although Prospect Park tried to revive the show with their online versions, eventually after legal battles that went on for a few years, ABC now retains the right to these properties,

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The good news is that many favorites from AMC and OLTL have found success and been hired on other soap operas, bringing their followings with them, whether it be on-screen, or in the writing, producing, directing or crew departments.

So, do you think the loss of AMC and OLTL consolidated daytime and made the remaining shows stronger so they would not be touched or canceled?  Do you think ABC should try to mount a resurrected AMC and OLTL or an amalgamation of the two?  Do you remember where you were when you learned the two soaps were cancelled? Was this the worst misstep of all-time for daytime? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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George R. R. Martin’s “Leak” Of New Hulu Series WILD CARDS Featuring Eden Riegel, Thorsten Kaye. and Greg Rikkart

April Fool’s Day started off with a bang today when Eden Riegel (Ex-Bianca, AMC) posted a photo of herself with Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Greg Rikaart (Ex-Leo, DAYS)  in a very intriguing image.  See above pic!  As it turns out, it’s said to be from behind the scenes from some leaked footage of the upcoming Hulu series, Wild Cards.

The premise of Wild Cards is based on the sci-fi anthology series edited by George R. R, Martin, best known for writing the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels, on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based.  Riegel’s husband, Andrew Miller is the showrunner attached to the upcoming series.

On Martin’s website he teases the set-up of the “leaked” video clip:  “This was not supposed to go public.. Everybody (Well, everybody that has been paying attention knows that we are developing two Wild Cards as a series for Hulu  Andrew Miller has taken the reins as showrunner, a writing staff has been hired, and they have been hard at work for months.  What was NOT supposed to be known is how far they’ve come.  Not only have some scripts been finished, but the first show has gone into production and has been shooting.  That was supposed to be a deep dark secret, however.   We wanted to surprise the world. It’s hard to keep secrets in Hollyweird, however.  And now it appears that some of the rough footage has been leaked by person or persons unknown”

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Meanwhile, Riegel sent out a series of tweets: “Hooo boy…cat’s out of the bag! Fans, please don’t judge our show based on these leaked videos!! The effects are going to knock your socks off. And my costars, and , are doing the best work of their lives!”  That was followed by, T”hank you for the chance to work with you on your first foray into soaps! I am humbled and honored. We won’t let you down.” And then, “I’m probably not allowed to share this with all the NDAs I signed, but damnit I’m just so proud of the team!  think we are breaking new ground for soaps. So proud to work with you!”

Now below, check out the Wild Cards “leaked footage” and let us know if you think of the …. um … drama! Comment below.  And one more thing … Happy April Fool’s!

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WATCH: All My Children Reunion On Strahan & Sara

On Monday’s episode of ABC’s Strahan & Sara, the show welcomed several stars of the beloved All My Children for a reunion, of sorts. Joining hosts Michael Strahan and Sara Haines were Susan Lucci (Erica), Walt Willey (Jack), Cady McClain (Dixie), Jacob Young (JR) and Jill Larson (Opal).

While it was wonderful to see the stars from Pine Valley again, it was also a painful reminder that this network, ABC, canceled the show, and had put in its place – The Chew, and now Strahan & Sara – since canning the series.   In fact, as you will see on the clips below, many of the crew who work on this talk show were once the crew for All My Children.

During the segment, Susan Lucci was tested to see if she remembered all of Erica Kane’s wedded names.  Later, Walt Willey and Susan re-created the final scene of the ABC version of All My Children between Erica and Jack, where Jack walks out on her.  However, this time, they have Jack changing his mind and coming back to Erica and sealing their relationship with a kiss – a moment of closure that never happened (since the show moved to online via Prospect Park).

In addition, Cady McClain and Jacob Young re-created the infamous Dixie “dying from eating poison pancakes” scene, as JR watches his mother die, only this time she lives.

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It’s always great to see these veteran performers, but Strahan & Sara is trying to capture the soap viewers to put eyeballs on their show by bringing in talent from the show that sadly and wrongly went off the air.

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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