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EXCLUSIVE: All My Children’s ‘Martin Family’ and Co-Stars Share Remembrances of Ray MacDonell

Photo: ABC

Daytime fans and those of the iconic All My Children were saddened to learn of the passing of the patriarch of the beloved ABC daytime drama series, when we shared the news of the death of Ray MacDonnell (Dr. Joe Martin) on Monday.

Since then, Michael Fairman TV has gathered together some remembrances from some of his nearest and dearest co-stars, in particular those who were part of Pine Valley’s Martin Family – Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad Martin), Ricky Paull Goldin (Ex-Jake Martin), Cady McClain (Ex-Dixie Martin), and Jill Larson (Ex-Opal Gardner), along with some sentiments from Ray’s longtime co-star, Julia Barr (Ex-Brooke English) and Vincent Irizarry (Ex-Dr. David Hayward), and Ray’s former AMC executive and supervising producer, Ginger Smith.

Courtesy/MacDonnellFamily

As well, earlier today, Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica Kane), who was an original cast member along with Ray, shared her remembrances via her Instagram, but said we could also share them with all of you here.  MacDonnell passed away at age 93.  Above he is pictured with his beloved dog, MacDuff.

 

Take a moment to read what each of Ray’s longtime co-stars had to say about this one-of-a-kind man below.

Photo: ABC

Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin)

Ray made me giggle like a little girl for 30 years. The man made me laugh from the very first time I worked with him and kept me laughing till I got old and gray.  He was a wonderful, wonderful man.  There’s never been someone more gracious.  To be his son on the show was really magic, and in fact, I started calling my real father “pop” because I called Ray “pop” on All My Children instead of “dad”.  Some of the best stuff I did with Ray was not when Tad was a bad boy, but when in fact when Tad was talking about his children to his TV father.  I remember this scene I did with Ray, when I broke into tears when Tad’s son left Pine Valley. Ray and I had built that relationship over 30 years.  He was very dear to me.

Photo: ABC

Cady McClain (Dixie Martin)

Ray was not only a terrific actor and a complete professional, but a man of integrity and honor.  I had the great privilege of learning from him and Mary Fickett.  They set the tone and standard. They expected the other actors to work as hard as they did and they didn’t tolerate foolishness, yet they appreciated good humor and a truthful effort.

Ray could be exceedingly wry and often had Michael Knight in stitches. When we were “The Martin Family” we really felt like a family – with Ray as our true patriarch.  He held us together with a personal strength and dignity that was unwavering.

This world needs more Ray MacDonnell and I am sorry to lose this one. He was a very special man. And he will be remembered by me as a crucial part of my time at All My Children. I’m so lucky to have been his daytime daughter-in-law for so many years.

Photo: ABC

Ricky Paul Goldin (Jake Martin)

Ray was always such a class act. He taught me the meaning of patience on set.  He was one of the most selfless and kind actors I ever had the pleasure of working with.  Those things don’t always go hand in hand, but in Ray’s case, they did.  I’ll miss you dad…

Photo: ABC

Jill Larson (Opal Gardner)

Ray was one of those quiet types that had much richness and wisdom to share.  I always enjoyed my opportunities to sit down with him and talk. He was, of course, one of the backbones of the show and always turned in a unique, authentic, sincere performance. We were so lucky to have had him for as long as we did.

Photo: JPI

Vincent Irizarry (David Hayward)

I could truly feel my heart sink yesterday afternoon when I heard the news of dear Ray’s passing. Not only was I so fortunate to work with him on my very first day on All My Children, along with Lee Meriwether, when they couldn’t have been more gracious and lovely, but then I also had the great privilege to work alongside him throughout my 14 years on AMC. Yes, our characters were in conflict with each other for most of those storylines, with Ray, of course, playing the upstanding and highly regarded Pine Valley citizen/Chief of Staff/family patriarch, Dr Joe Martin, which he couldn’t have been more perfectly cast to play throughout the entire run of the show, since all those same traits he mirrored just as perfectly in life as our upstanding, highly regarded, AMC patriarch and coworker).

Many may not be aware of the delicious fact that he also had a wicked, yet subtle, sense of humor, one he would take great, though quiet pleasure, in zinging others with when they would least expect it, just as he did with me right before a scene we were about to shoot, the two of us being directed to stand right beside each other at the scene’s onset. (Admittedly, I’m embarrassed to say, It was during a period when I began to gain a little more weight than I should have during my run on the show… Yes, shame… shame… shame). Just as the stage manager was about to count down to begin the scene for the cast and crew, Ray, with arms crossed, first looking ahead in preparation for our c

ue to begin the scene, casually turned to look at me with this understated, yet somewhat devious smile, (which I, in turn of course, curiously returned), before he shifted his sights downward to my stomach, gently reaching over and tapping it a several measured times, before simply saying, “Playing the villain has been good to you.”

At that very moment the stage manager began her count, “5…4…3…2…1…” Yes, the scene began for everyone, but NOT for me, because, as much as I tried, desperately so, to hold it all in, I JUST LOST IT! Cracking up uncontrollably, I turned to him and said, “I can’t believe you just did that at that very moment! Bravo, and f*** you! Even he couldn’t help but laugh a little harder with me in that moment, knowing he got me good! Honestly, I still can’t help but laugh, or at least smile, even today, every time I think of that wonderful exchange between us.

Believe me, the three things that ultimately occurred for me, all beginning with that encounter are: 1) Obviously, it took me a little longer to gain my composure in order to tape that scene at hand, (which, of course, we ultimately did). 2). It appropriately inspired me, (along with another, even more embarrassing encounter on the show between me and the wardrobe dept. just before shooting a love scene), to lose 20 pounds in the following 2 months. And 3). It gave me a permanent reminder, no less even to this day, of how much I appreciate the man I was blessed to work with, and how wonderful it was to experience the many other truly precious moments like that which I’ll remember till my own days are done whenever I’m reminded of him… Moments like these are such stuff that make up the uniqueness of our own lives via the encounters with other’s and their own uniqueness in nature and experience, which I personally hold so dear.

Dear, so dear… Just like our onetime, and forever remembered, Mr. Ray MacDonnell…  RIP, dear Ray… #4evergr8ful…

Photo: ABC

Julia Barr (Brooke English)

He was such a ‘mench’!!  I loved working with him!!  He was a kind man with a ‘twinkle’ in his eye!!

Photo: FilmMagic

Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) took to her Instagram account earlier on Tuesday and shared the following on Ray’s passing:

Wonderful RAY MACDONNELL! Yesterday afternoon, my lovely friend Jill Larson (AMC’s fabulous “Opal”) called to share the very sad news that beloved RAY had passed away. He was truly our AMC patriarch—and filled our studio with warmth and professionalism—and his delicious sense of humor—there were times during scenes that I couldn’t dare make eye contact with him—just a look from his eyes with that ever-present gleam—would dissolve us into peals of laughter. Thank you so much, Ray, for gracing our show on-screen and off—with your great presence!  My heartfelt sympathy to beautiful Pat and your family—RIP, RAY

Photo: ABC

Ginger Smith (Executive Producer, Prospect Park reboot, and Supervising Producer, ABC )

God, there was no one like Ray … smart, funny, creative, and kind. I still remember the day he said he would work with me on the Prospect Park reboot  — one of my best days. All of us who worked with him … really were blessed.

So, what did you think about the sentiments shared by Joe’s former co-stars? What do you remember most about Ray as Pine Valley’s Dr. Joe Martin? Comment below.

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Mary
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Mary

He was a fine actor. Not the showy type, but he was 100% solid. I enjoyed watching him on TV.

Jimh
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Jimh

before AMC he was Phil Capice for many years on Edge Of Night!

Violet Lemm
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Violet Lemm

Jimh, That was my favorite role. I was very young then and thought he was the handsomest man there was, even more so than the ones that played Mike Carr.

Mark W
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Mark W

Even when Ruth wasn’t on very much, they always found lots of unique ways to keep Ray busy and on the front burner. During the Proteus story, Ray was a delightful skipper in the Gilligan’s Island dream sequence for Greenlee with Leo as Gilligan, Erica of course as Ginger, Jake as the professor and Palmer and Vanessa as the Howells with Marj Dusay hysterically homicidal as Lovey.

Violet Lemm
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Violet Lemm

It was so heartwarming to read the sentiments from co-workers and friends of these dear men who have graced our TVs for so many years. Of course Stuart Damon from GH and Ray MacDonnell from AMC. I hoped they all let them know how much they were loved and appreciated while they were still alive. Life is shorter than we think and then it’s gone and we wish we’d said something sooner. These man being in my age group,force me to remember that.

All My Children

All My Children and ‘The Bay’ Star Eric Nelsen in the Cast of ‘Yellowstone’ Prequel ‘1883’

On Thursday, the full cast was announced for the highly-anticipated Yellowstone prequel that will bow on Paramount+ beginning on December 19th.

The Taylor Sheridan drama tells the tale of the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. It is a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land — Montana.

According to Deadline, in the cast is none other than The Bay’s Daytime Emmy-winner, Eric Nelsen (Daniel Garrett), who was also part of the cast of Prospect Park’s reboot of All My Children as AJ Chandler.

In 1883, look for Nelsen to take on the role of Ennis, a young, handsome cowboy who agrees to help escort a group of inexperienced men, women and children north to find a home.

The series also stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Faith Hill, Gratiela Brancusi, Sam Elliott, Stephanie Nur, and Tim McGraw to name but a few.

So, will you be checking out Eric in 1883? Comment below.

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All My Children

Prospect Park’s All My Children and One Life to Live Episodes Now Available on Apple TV

The online revivals of All My Children and One Life to Live which lasted one season in 2013 from Prospect Park’s Online Network are back!

Fans can now check out the reboots exclusively on Apple TV where all the episodes of the one and only season in its entirety.

The relaunched AMC and OLTL originally premiered on April 29, 2013, plagued with multiple issues with unions and a lawsuit with ABC, production was halted in September of that year.  

ABC now has the rights to both series and recently there has been hopes of an AMC primetime series in the works, “Pine Valley” getting a green light, but not much is known of its progress of late.

You can watch One Life to Live on Apple TV here, and check out episodes of All My Children on Apple TV here.

So, will you watch the reboot episodes of OLTL and AMC on Apple TV? Do you hope that somehow, someway the two soaps will come back on a streaming platform with brand new episodes from ABC? Comment below.

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All My Children

Mark Consuelos Exits ‘Riverdale’

Last night, All My Children alum, Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo Santos) made what appears to be his final appearance for now on CW’s soapy drama, Riverdale.

Consuelos departed Riverdale as a series regular on the season 5 finale, after coming on to the show in its second season in the role of villain, Hiram Lodge.

Riverdale executive producer and showrunner, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, shared with Deadline a statement on Consuelos contribution and run on the series: “From the moment Mark joined us, he was up for literally anything, a hundred percent committed to making Archie’s life a living hell. And what’s funny is, Mark couldn’t be more different from Hiram. A classy pro and the sweetest guy, always looking out for everyone. We wish Mark the best and hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Hiram Lodge.

Consuelos offered up these sentiments in a statement on his Riverdale exit: “First and foremost, I would like to thank Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for this incredible opportunity. Never before has playing a character that was so bad, felt so good. Huge thanks to the Riverdale fandom, to the brilliant crew and amazing cast, whom I consider dear friends and family.”

So, will you miss seeing Mark on Riverdale? Elsewhere, still no word on the “Pine Valley” reboot in which Mark and wife, Kelly Ripa, are two of the executive producers of that many All My Children fans were hoping would come to fruition. Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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