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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

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

Chrishell Stause and Her ‘Selling Sunset’ Boss Jason Oppenheim Make Relationship Instagram Official

There’s a new man in soap veteran and Selling Sunset star, Chrishell Stause’s life.  And it is … none other than her boss at the Oppenheim Group, a real estate company, in Los Angeles which is at the epicenter of the Netflix reality series.

Stause who is also a real estate agent at the firm, made her relationship with Jason Oppenheim Instagram official when she posted a pic of the two of them while the cast of Selling Sunset were in Italy.

Oppenheim told PEOPLE: “Chrishell and I became close friends and it has developed into an amazing relationship. I care about her deeply and we are very happy together.”

Previously Stause was married to This is Us star, Justin Hartley and following their divorce, was briefly dating Dancing with the Stars pro dancer, Keo Motsepe.

So, what do you think of the love connection between Chrishell and Jason? Comment below.

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All My Children

Kelly Ripa’s First Book On the Way in 2022

Former All My Children star, now co-host of Live with Kelly and Ryan and a successful executive producer in her own right, Kelly Ripa, will add writer to her list of credits.

New this week is that Ripa is sharing a look at her real-life in a book, that will be released next spring in April of 2022.

According to the intel, the book entitled Live Wire will feature sharp, funny, and honest collection of real-life stories from Ripa, showing the many dimensions and crackling wit of the beloved daytime talk show host.

As soap fans know, Ripa has been married to Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo, AMC) and the two share three children together.

The loglines for the release share: “In Live Wire, Kelly shows what really makes her tick. As a professional, as a wife, as a daughter and as a mother, she brings a hard-earned wisdom and an eye for the absurdity of life to every minute of every day. It is her relatability in all of these roles that has earned her fans worldwide and millions of followers on social media. Whether recounting how she and Mark really met, the level of chauvinism she experienced on set, how Jersey Pride follows her wherever she goes, and many, many moments of utter mortification (whence she proves that you cannot, in fact, die of embarrassment) Kelly always tells it like it is. Ms. Ripa takes no prisoners.
Surprising, at times savage, a little shameless and always with humor… Live Wire shows Kelly as she really is offscreen—a very wise woman who has something to say.”

So intrigued to read Kelly’s book when it is released next year? Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Stars and Eileen Davidson On New Episode of Virtual Game Show “Soap Opera Know-It-All”

Imagine being in the hot seat and having some of your soap opera favorites trying to stump you with trivia, while trying to best your competition.  Well, that’s what four contestants faced as they battled it out in the ultimate soap trivia game, Soap Opera Know-It-All.

The Michael Fairman Channel just released its fifth episode of its season, where in round one of the game play, stars from the beloved All My Children served up the questions including: Cady McClain (Ex-Dixie), Jill Larson (Ex-Opal), Lindsay Korman-Hartley (Ex-Cara), Vincent Irizarry (Ex-David) and Jacob Young (Ex-Y&R).  In addition, the former cast members from Pine Valley also try to stump viewers at home with some additional character-related questions.

Later in the episode, there is a very special appearance by Eileen Davidson (Y&R, Ex-Days, Santa Barbara and B&B).  It is Eileen who reveals and asks the final question of the game to determine the eventual winner.

For this edition, host Michael Fairman welcomed longtime soap fans: Michael Cochran, Sean McKinley, and Robert Davis along with returning champion, David Bursky for this soap deep-dive competition.

Photo: MFTV, Inc.

Trivia questions from the following daytime and primetime soaps were put to the players during the game: All My Children, As the World Turns, Dark Shadows, General Hospital, Knots Landing, Sunset Beach, Days of our Lives, Dynasty, Edge of Night, One Life to Live, Port Charles and The Young and the Restless.

As the series moves through its now back-half of the season, the winning contestant must defeat the competition for the right to move on to the next episode to face three more challengers all in pursuit of the “Know-It-All” title with special soap-related prizes along the way.

Watch the episode below and make sure to subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel for more interviews, music and more.

Now let us know, did you get most of the answers correct? Which question stumped you all the way? Comment below.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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