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All My Children

AMC's original beloved Ruth Martin, Mary Fickett has died!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

What unbelievable timing, and with such a heavy heart tonight, On-Air On-Soaps has learned of the passing of All My Children’s original heroine, and lead actress, Mary Fickett!  For over 26 years, Fickett played the role of beloved Nurse Ruth Martin.  Mary made a brief and final return to the series in 2000.  The role has since been played by Lee Meriwether.

At the height of the Vietnam War in the show’s 1972-73 season, Fickett delivered a touching monologue expressing her character’s doubts about the war and fears about her drafted son. Ruth’s speech resonated with millions of viewers across America with the same doubts and fears. It also won Fickett an Emmy in 1973, the first ever awarded to a performer in a daytime drama. With Ruth and her doctor husband as the drama’s tent-pole characters, All My Children became the top-rated daytime TV drama in 1978. Ray MacDonnell played the role of Dr. Joe Martin, Fickett’s TV husband.

Fickett “never really acted,” MacDonnell said in 2008. “She was just a wonderful human being and a delight to work with. She was very bright and always cheerful and inspired natural emotions in me and her fellow actors.”

According to Fredericksburg.com, “Mary Fickett, a New York actress whose career spanned 50 years of radio, television, stage and movies, died Thursday at her home in Callao, Virginia in Northumberland County. She was 83.”

All My Children is said to now be planning to dedicate the upcoming September 21st episode to Mary, two days before the show ends its network television run. What irony that as AMC winds down its incredible journey and legacy on daytime, that its original star passed away Thursday night before its conclusion.

On-Air On-Soaps thoughts and prayers are with Mary’s family, friends and longtime colleagues.

Now watch a vintage clip from AMC when Ruth and Joe deal with discovering the death of Grandma Kate Martin and much more.

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KESM
KESM

There was an article a few years ago, she was bedridden and living with her daughter. Someone asked for happy birthday wishes be sent to her and they would bring them to her daughter. I sent/posted mine. I hope she did receive them all ultimately.

This is something else that she passed away near the time her show is going dark. RIP Mary Fickett.

Robynne
Robynne

Very sad news…she has been missed on AMC for years (no offense to Lee Meriweather). I’m sure Fran Heflin gave her a big hug from all of us…

waitaminute
waitaminute

So sorry to hear this.Really loved her acting.RIP

CINDY CLARK
CINDY CLARK

I am so sorry but it seems all most karma that she has left this earth.I watched faithfully and just adored her.Thanks for letting us know an angle has gone to the angels.Wonderful actress so real being a nurse and her family so important to her.

ethel
ethel

omg!! she was just awesome in the role of ruth martin – my heart & prayers definitely go out to her family & loved ones……..

boes
boes

What a gift she gave us for almost 30 years.
She was an incredibly important part of AMC for me from the very first day. I don’t know why, but for some reason, that actress and that character always had a great appeal for me.

In Chicago, where I’d moved from Iowa in 1972, I actually got to meet her. A friend who worked at a department store, Carson Pierie Scott, called me at the bank I was working at to tell me that RUTH MARTIN was on her floor!! I got permission for an early lunch and ran right over there. She was as nice as I thought she’d be. How exciting it was to meet her, and such graciousness….

In all her interviews, she comes off as just about as nice as her character.

R.I.P. indeed.

William Joseph Reynolds
William Joseph Reynolds

Actress Mary Fickett, who twice appeared on ‘The Edge of Night,’ and was married to Edge long-time director Allen Fristoe, has died in Fredericksburg, Va., at the age of 83.
Mary Fickett’s passing now makes four of the most recently cancelled shows have suffered losses in their professional families. Days before the final airring of GL, Tom O’Rourke, aka Dr. Justin Marler, died. O’Rourke’s passing was ironic, as his character was the biological father of Phillip Spaulding, and days before GL’s final episode, the man who had raised Phillip, Alan Spaulding, died (played by Ron Raines). As we all know, on May 1, 2010, ATWT lost its matriarch Helen Wagner (Nancy), just weeks before taping its final show on June 23. Just a couple of weeks ago, longtime OLTL director David Pressman died at the age of 97, and, now, sadly, Mary Fickett, of AMC, has died. She was TWICE on the Edge of Night, and her third and most recent husband Allen Fristoe, was Edge’s director. He passed away a couple of years ago. My condolences to Mary’s family.

Brian Greene
Brian Greene

Rest in peace, Mary. We love you & Ruth very much!

lisa
lisa

Oh what sad news….Rip Mary and God speed.
Your good works on AMC will never be forgotten.

Candace
Candace

Sad news….as with Helen Wagner (ATWT) she didn’t make it until the end (of her show’s run).

Darcy
Darcy

I always liked Ruth my deepest condolences to her family.

Sandy
Sandy

Mary was as All My Children is, part of our family. She seemed like a sweet, genuine person. My deepest sympathy to your family Mary. May God grant them peace. Thank you for being a part of our lives for 30 years!

Sarah Van Diesel
Sarah Van Diesel

I am so sorry to read this. I grew up with this wonderful woman , watching her daily. She was like family. Rest In Peace Mary. We love you always!

All My Children

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.

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,

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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All My Children

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”

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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All My Children

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.

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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