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Susan Lucci on The View Wednesday. I hope she gives Barbra Walters a dirty look and says Brian Frons is not a cryer. :D

I wouldnt be surprised if Barbara's scared ass decides not to show up tomorrow

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SOD 20th Anniversary tribute.

amctwenty01th.jpgvspacer.gifFrom the start, these multi-generational characters were integrated into every story and, because of this, the new soap attracted viewers of all ages. "I wanted the show to be very contemporary, to make the men as important as the women," Agnes Nixon says in explanation of the show's popularity. "We started out with the Phillip/Chuck/ Tara triangle, but I

amctwenty02.jpgdidn't start out saying I was going to catch the young people. Yet that's what happened at colleges."

amctwenty03.jpgThis may well have been ALL MY CHILDREN'S twenty- fifth anniversary had Procter & Gamble put Agnes Nixon's serial on the air when they first optioned it in 1965. But it wasn't until 1969, after Agnes had proven herself by bringing ANOTHER WORLD out of its slump and creating ABC's hugely successful ONE LIFE TO LIVE, that she risked repeated rejection and gave the bible to ABC. The network was delighted with her concept of "The great and the least, the weak and the strong, in joy and in sorrow, in hope and in fear, in tragedy and triumph, you are all my children." Finally, on January 5, 1970, the residents of Pine Valley came to life.

Agnes did much of the original casting herself, anxious to put reliable people in those initial roles. To her credit, after twenty years, five original cast members remain — Ray McDonnell (Joe Martin), Mary Fickett (Ruth Martin), Frances Heflin (Mona Kane), Ruth Warrick (Phoebe Wallingford), and Susan Lucci (Erica Kane). (Viewers had seen glimpses of this last character when Agnes introduced ANOTHER WORLD'S Erica-based Rachel, according to AMC publicist Alyce Serrano.)

In the beginning, the studio was make shift, lacking soundproofing. Ruth Warrick (Phoebe) has said that often actors were so weary of retakes due to noise, they tried to convince producers that taxi horns and banging garbage-can lids added realism. They got nowhere. In addition, convenience was nil, as makeup and dressing rooms were on the second floor and bath rooms were in the basement.

Living under these conditions were two families: the very wealthy Tylers — Charles and Phoebe, the classic buttinsky; their children, Ann and Lincoln; and Chuck, Charles's grandson. The Tyler women were spoiled and manipulative, needing to be knocked down a few notches by the men in the family. The middle-class Martins represented precisely the opposite: diehard morality. And the lessons in humanity taught by Grandma Kate Martin are now passed on by Joe and Ruth.

"Those early days were marvelous because it was a half-hour show," remembers Mary Pickett, who plays Ruth. "We actually put in a tremendous amount of time with rehearsals, and being a pivotal character made for a very long day. But everybody was in it to make it work. We felt like a repertory company."

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Of course, in the beginning, there was also the invincible Erica Kane (ten-time Emmy-nominee Susan Lucci). Escapade after adventure, she went through the longest series of men on soaps (Jeff Martin, Jason Maxwell, Phillip Brent, Chuck Tyler,Nick Davis, Tom Cudahy, Brandon Kingsley, Kent Bogard, Lars Bogard, Mike Roy [whom Susan says was Erica's all-time love], Adam Chandler, Jeremy Hunter, Travis Montgomery, Dave Gillis and Jackson Montgomery), and slowly matured from a self-centered brat who couldn't give or accept love, to a caring mother. Each man had an impact on Erica and what she is today is a compilation of these changes.

"I grew up on this show in a lot of ways," says Susan. "I remember very clearly how much I admired, and still do, Mary Fickett, Fran Heflin, Ruth Warrick and Ray McDon nell, and how much I learned from them." Like all the other veterans she works with, Susan swears she never envisioned her self staying with AMC as long as she did. "I didn't think I'd be here longer than my first contract. Three years seemed an eternity to me. But every time it came to renew, I loved it here. And Erica is one of the best parts written for a woman, anywhere."

Fellow cast members echo Susan's sentiment: James Mitchell (Palmer) and Richard Shoberg (Tom) attribute their tenure to the fans. Mary Fickett can only keep track of her years on the show because it's the same as her son's age. But most actors simply say they don't know where the time went. "People talk about being in this job like, 'My God, that's a long time,'" Julia Barr (Brooke) points out. "I'm not sure why they think it's a long time when people stay in jobs that they like for twenty-five years."

From the start, these multi-generational characters were integrated into every story and, because of this, the new soap attracted viewers of all ages. "I wanted the show to be very contemporary, to make the men as important as the women," Agnes Nixon says in explanation of the show's popularity. "We started out with the Phillip/Chuck/ Tara triangle, but I didn't start out saying I was going to catch the young people. Yet that's what happened at colleges."

While that original threesome of Tara Martin (Karen Lynn Gorney), and best friends Chuck Tyier (Jack Stauffer) and Phillip Brent (Richard Hatch), went through every conceivable device known to triangles — including presumed-death and a baby (Charlie Brent) — the show flour ished. Within four years of its debut, AMC had moved from number seventeen (out of eighteen) in the Nielsens, to number five and, in 1978, it hit number one. It's been close to the top ever since.

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When AMC went to an hour in 1977, the company was excited, but braced for change. "The cast was vast, things got scattered. It's easy to keep a show fresh when it's a half-hour," explains Ray Mc Donnell. "Your energy is up and the smaller cast works together more intensely. Today, you have two sets. You can work all day and still be surprised at what was going on at the other end," he continues. "[With the hour for mat,] they had to have many stories, so they brought in different families. And they finally were done with Phillip and Tara. So many people played them; I can't remember which one is which."

amctwenty08.jpgBut though the Phillip/ Tara/Chuck triangle was nearly played out, the show continued to highlight youthful love and, in the up coming years, other young lovers took their place. Most notable were the romances of Cliff Warner (Peter Bergman) and Nina Cortlandt (Taylor Miller), Jenny Gardner (Kim Delaney) and Greg Nelson (Laurence Lau), and today, David (Trent Bushey) and Melanie (Paige Turco). The former two couples' story lines also showcased unique, well-developed characters: Jenny's outrageous mama, Opal Gardner (played by Dorothy Lyman, who won two Emmys in 1982 and 1983 and, now, by Jill Larson) and Nina's manipulative father, Palmer Cortlandt. James Mitchell has vivid memories of those early scenes: "On my first day with Taylor Miller [Nina], I ran my hand down her back and down her legs and when she left the room, I picked up her scarf and inhaled very deeply. This stopped the next day, but they were trying to suggest an incestuous feeling, which wasn't a bad idea. It gave the actors something to go on, but it was never overt."

These stories were at the forefront of AMC's early-eighties heyday, when the show maintained a number-two spot in the Nielsens and introduced a steady stream of classic characters. "There was definitely something different happening," maintains Alan Dysert (Sean). "It was more of a phenomenon." 1980 saw the return of the popular Francesca James as Kelty Cole, the twin sister of the late, fragile Kitty Shea, one of daytime's first "dual role" stories. Though the character married Linc (Peter White) and they moved away, Emmy-winner James and White often show up at Christmas.

In 1980, the long-awaited marriage of Cliff and Nina was everything it promised — until Nina's night in front of the Cortlandt fireplace with the dashing Steve Jacobi (Dack Rambo) ended it. Three re-marriages were to follow. On the heels of Cliff and Nina came innocent Jenny and protective Greg. This couple's friendship with Jesse Hubbard (Darnell Williams, who won two Emmys for his performance) and Angie Baxter (Debbi Morgan, also an Emmy winner) opened the door for the creation of what may well be daytime's only black super couple. But AMC has always been commended for its treatment of ethnic characters not merely as tokens, but as fully integrated personalities.

In fact, ALL MY CHILDREN has always taken pride in its realism. Seldom does it depart from the conflicts inherent in the human psyche to chase after cheap thrills garnered from bizarre stories of mass murder and espionage. (However, Jean Le Clerc — Jeremy — confesses to liking the action stories — "How many love scenes can you do in front of a fireplace?" he asks.) "The last one that was difficult was

amctwenty09.jpgwhen they decided to split up Natalie and Jeremy using this whole Marissa/Trevor routine," says Kate Collins (Natalie). "It just wasn't good storytelling. And I saw them ruin Natalie and Jeremy. It'll take years to get that back. Well, maybe not years. It's Pine Valley."

The few detours AMC has taken — for example, the twisted tale of Silver Kane (Claire Beckman) and Dr. Damon Lazarre (Charles Keating) — have been quickly rerouted in favor of a return to stories that highlight AMC's strengths: romance, is sues of social value and family relation ships. "I think the show has branched out in terms of what it deals with. It's less provincial than it used to be," acknowledges Julia Barr. "There's still part of that be cause that's what AMC is, but except for trying to keep up with what's happening with the times, the overall look is still a provincial gathering of people and family. That's always been the focus and still is."

Because its focus is people ("The plots come out of characters rather than earth quakes and Hurricane Hugo," Nixon maintains), ALL MY CHILDREN has been known for providing social awareness, dealing head-on with such issues as lesbi nism, legal abortion, AIDS, rape, drug abuse, child abuse, wife abuse, alcohol abuse, mental health, daytime's first face lift, Vietnam and peace activism. In fact, Mary Fickett remembers the shock she felt when Agnes Nixon called to tell her that she had won the Emmy for her anti-war speech.

amctwenty10.jpg"It was a beautifully written speech," Mary recalls. "But it was long and there was a lot of preparation to get to that emotional pitch. Kay Campbell, who played Kate, my mother-in-law, was very close to me — she became like a substitute mother when I lost my own. She was pretty choked up and called me Mary by mistake; we had to stop the tape and start again. To this day, I remember that she was ready to kill herself because she was so afraid she'd ruined it for me."

AMC writers have also never missed an opportunity to deliver a simple and timely message. An encapsulation of black history was part of the 1989 Martin Luther King Day episode; on the 1989 Fourth of July show, children were warned not to play with fireworks. And following the tragic death of Laura Cudahy by a drunk driver, Tom and Brooke became members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and explored organ donation. "We re ceived a lot of positive comment on that material, not for the death, but for how it was handled," says Dick Shoberg. "It was a big shock to us and it was difficult material. I have two boys. In some ways, that made it easier to relate to, but it also made it personally more difficult to live with."

For Agnes Nixon, the child-abuse story was the hardest to deal with and yet one of her favorites. "It took me three years to face the fact that it needed to be done," she recalls, explaining that she'd always assumed that abusers were criminal, not sick. The story involved a well-to-do woman, who had been psychologically abused and was now a physical abuser. "By the end of the story, the audience felt sympathy for the abuser even though they didn't like what she was doing. Local stations ran ribbons with hot-line numbers and the message was that helpful, not punitive mea sures would be taken if you called. Hot lines across the country said it was incredible how many people called in."

Stories like this have kept viewers tuned in. And because AMC's ratings have al ways been steady, there has never been the need for the wild plot swings that some soaps have found necessary to improve a show (often under the leadership of new writers). Complete families have not been eradicated to allow a new clan to become the focus of the show. Rather, the Martins and the Tyiers still carry weight in Pine Valley and the veterans who play these parts have not been relegated to an eternity of coffee-pouring. They still have distinct personalities and, at times, stories. Indeed, the history of AMC is so prevalent that youngsters of the early years have now become characters in their own right, ready to carry on the saga, including Tad (Michael E. Knight), Joey (Michael Brainard) and Emily Ann (Liz Vassey).

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These characters offer potential for new stories rich in history. For example, Emily Ann's struggle with the knowledge that her natural parents are pimp Billy Clyde Tuggle and ex-prostitute Estelle LaTour and that her adopted mother, Donna (Candice Early) was a hooker. "It's funny," says Vasili Bogazianos (ex-Benny). "It takes a week to get through a day, soap time, but in a period of six months, a kid ages ten years. It's like a negative-universe thing."

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1983 welcomed the Chandler family to Pine Valley. This addition brought forth Adam Chandler — a man for Erica and an adversary for Palmer — and his wonderfully lovable twin, Stuart, both in the form of three-time Emmy-winner David Canary. A Pigeon Hollow boy made good, Adam Chandler represented history, in that his and Palmer's (aka Pete Cooney) families were feudally linked. The Chandlers stirred things up in Pine Valley and have been on the front burner ever since.

In 1985, AMC won its first Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Daytime Drama Series. It was an apt coincidental tribute to Kay Campbell, the woman who'd played the compassionate Grandma Kate for fifteen years until her death in May of that year. That part was not recast (nor was that of Charles Tyier, played by the late Hugh Franklin) and a tearful funeral was held for Kate, closing with Tad looking toward the heavens with a heartfelt, "Good-bye, Gran." Kate had never given up on Tad.

A year later, Michael E. Knight departed the show, after winning two Emmys for his role as the comedic anti-hero. Tad. Follow ing the on-screen death of his sister (Kirn Delaney had not given the show enough notice to write a suitable exit for the newly weds — according to Agnes, it was against their wishes, but with no other choice, that the writers penned Jenny's death), AMC set Tad up in a star-crossed romance of his own with Phoebe's stepdaughter, Hillary Wilson. When Knight left, AMC lost a great source of wit and the actor was welcomed back in 1988. Almost immediately, he was thrown into another romance with Palmer's niece, Dixie — one fraught with obstacles. Their chemistry results from the combination of Dixie's naïvete and Tad's new nobility. "He's more mature now," says Knight of his character. "He's somebody whose heart has grown; it's certainly in the right place. The humor is still there but there's more depth to him."

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Indeed, AMC does seem to be rallying for a return to humor with the comical pairing of Cecily (Rosa Nevin) and Nico (Maurice Benard), Sean's claustrophobia, the return of Tad and Opal, Trevor (James Kiberd). Palmer and Uli (Eugene Anthony), and Jack (Walt Willey). "They realize that this show has always had that humor and it went by the by for a while," believes Julia Barr. "Up until the past three months, people were saying that the humor was really missing. For a while, they had characters in situations where they really couldn't exercise any humor."

The period Barr refers to was one of great change at ALL MY CHILDREN. "[Executive Producer] Jackie Babbin left and story line decisions were not being made," She explains. "Jorn Winther [two-time producer] came in to a show that was not active. He got things going, and then we got a new producer with Steve Schenkel and then the writers' strike. I'm surprised that the show remained as intact as it did." "It can be frustrating," asserts Kate Collins. "When I started, it was difficult to work through the bad phases because I didn't know about phases. I didn't know that you worked through the bad phases and then it got better. All I saw was disaster. Currently. we're in a really exciting stage."

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Another Emmy in 1988 for Outstanding Writing did seem to indicate an upswing, but 1989 was probably one of ALL MY CHILDREN'S most tumultuous times. Emphasis on younger plot lines and questionable treatment of other stories meant exits for several of the show's stalwart actors, including Emmy-winner Kathleen Noone (Ellen Dalton since 1977), Mark LaMura (Mark Dalton since 1977), Robert Gentry (Ross Chandler since 1983), and Peter Bergman (Cliff Warner since 1979 and, who, on the day Soap Opera Digest was at the studio, visited with his new daughter, Claire). "People were sorry to see them go, but when some characters have been on for a long time... It's death to tell too many stories," Agnes says. "Kathleen said, 'If you don't have a big story for me, I think this is my time to try the coast.' I hope she'll come back some day."

Rather than bring on new characters unfamiliar to the audience, AMC has created a link with the past by introducing Eric Kane (Albert Stratton) and recasting wacky Opal Gardner. Now, the actors agree that the show has recaptured the exciting feel it once had. And Agnes says it's at a parallel with her grown children. She's there for them but they have their own lives; they tell her in which direction they should go.

"The pendulum has swung many times," believes Mary Fickett. "We started as a story of multiple generations embracing each other, but I think as times changed and different producers came in, some felt that the emphasis should be all on the younger people. Certain of the essential elements were lost temporarily. It makes for a more dimensional, interesting program if emphasis is spread over a variety of ages. That's coming back now."

Edited by Paul Raven

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Thanks for sharing this.

It's interesting, reading this, as they mention Joey and Emily Ann as characters of the future, when both were gone by 1991 and Joey only returned with a name change and a bad recast. They also mention the Eric the clown story, which went on to become one of AMC's most hated tales.

Who was Dave Gillis again? I can't remember. I rarely hear him mentioned as one of Erica's "great loves."

Nice to hear some of the backstage anecdotes on the early days, and some comments from the actors. I'd never heard them before. Poor Kate Collins - she never got Jeremy/Natalie back.

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Dave Gillis aka Dave Andrews was played by Nicolas Coster in 88.

More from The Soap Opera Book

Phil Brent

Tara Martin

Chuck Tyler

Phil and Tara were childhood sweethearts, but Fate has continually interfered to keep them apart. Learning that his real father was Nick Davis, Phil developed amnesia and wandered off to New York. He later returned to find his true love about to marry Chuck, simply because she was angry and hurt about having been abandoned. Nick Davis stopped the wedding and Phil and Tara began their relationship anew.

But before the lovers could marry—before they could do anything but say their vows in an empty church—Phil was drafted and sent to Viet Nam. Tara then discovered that she was pregnant with Phil's child (little Phil). Phil was reported missing in action and, to give her child a father, Tara agreed to marry Chuck.

That marriage might have worked if Phil hadn't returned to find his true love married to another man. In time, Phil found out little Phil was his son and he and Tara made plans to marry. Tara divorced Chuck but once again Fate intervened. This time, little Phil, unable to cope with his parents' break-up, developed a psychosomatic illness—severe asthma attacks.

The wedding was once again postponed until the boy could accept Phil as his step- father, and until Tara could work through her guilt. Finally Tara came to realize that if she felt secure in marrying Phil, little Phil would come around. So far he hasn't. No one is seen as the villain in this triangle, since all are relatively good and decent people. Sympathies lie with Tara and Phil because of their "beautiful love," but the wealthy, handsome, idealistic Chuck has had his fair share of viewer sympathy as well. Most viewers would like to see him happy—but with someone else.

David Thornton

Ruth Martin

Joe Martin

Ruth and Joe Martin made the perfect, happy couple. For years they provided advice, a shoulder to cry on, and a helping hand to everyone in Pine Valley. But when David Thornton arrived in town, things changed. David felt drawn to Ruth: he admired her, respected her, and began to fall in love with her. Ruth was careful not to give David any encouragement even though she was equally charmed by him.

The romance might not have come to the surface were it not for two factors: Joe's busy schedule at the hospital (which led him to neglect his wife) and Joe's daughter's romance with Ruth's son (the Tara/Phil relationship). Joe blamed Ruth for destroying Tara's marriage to Chuck by telling Phil that he (not Chuck) was the father of little Phil. Ruth and Joe had many a bitter argument and Ruth turned to David for comfort and advice. David in turn confided in Ruth, telling her of the painful experiences that led him to forsake a career as a surgeon and work instead as a hospital aide.

Ruth tried to make a go of her marriage, but found herself becoming emotionally involved with the kind, gentle (and persistent) David. Joe learned what was going on and was very hurt by his wife's "friendship" with David. Then Ruth moved out of the Martin home in order to have time to think things over. Still Joe couldn't believe that Ruth could be in love with David, and thought that the relationship would end. It didn't seem that way until Joe had to have a dangerous emergency appendectomy. At that point Ruth realized that she loved Joe; David realized that she loved Joe; and everyone else realized that they had known it all along!

An interesting twist was that David Thornton was forced to forsake his disguise and perform the emergency surgery on Joe. (No one else was around to save Joe's life!). Now that David is recognized as a doctor and received a job offer, he should feel secure enough to be able to do without Ruth. It seems their relationship was based on his needs all along. Viewer sympathy was split pretty evenly between Joe and David while the conflict lasted.

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Edited by Paul Raven

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Great details again. I think some felt that the end of the Joe/Ruth/David story was a copout - I wonder if they really had an idea of what putting Ruth in that type of story might have been, and if her going back to Joe might seem like an anticlimax.

I can't picture Coster and Susan Lucci together for some reason. How were they onscreen?

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Who was Dave Gillis again? I can't remember. I rarely hear him mentioned as one of Erica's "great loves."

Nice to hear some of the backstage anecdotes on the early days, and some comments from the actors. I'd never heard them before. Poor Kate Collins - she never got Jeremy/Natalie back.

Dave Gillis was the guy Travis hired to kidnap himself for the insurance money. He started "romancing" Erica while she was incognito working as a waitress in a diner. When she realized what Travis had done, she left him for good. I think Dave took her hostage (my memory isn't what it used to be). Dave was never really considered one of Erica's beaus imo.

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Wasn't this (at least partly) a writers strike story?

Yes, I think it was during the summer of 1988. From what I recall, Erica found out that Travis faked his kidnapping but didn't meet his accomplice, Dave. She left Pine Valley and went to work as a waitress wearing a really bad blond wig, taking baby Bianca with her. Dave knew who she was and introduced himself as Steven. He dated her briefly but I don't think they ever had sex. When Travis eventually found her, Dave took her hostage and there was a shootout.

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amc30.jpg

Who's Who of Characters and ActorsDr. Charles Tyler (Hugh Franklin): a good doctor, good man, and patriarch of the Tyler family; estranged husband to Phoebe; father to Line and Anne; grandfather to Chuck Tyler. He is romantically committed to secretary Mona Kane.

Phoebe Tyler (Ruth Warrick,): estranged wife to Charles; mother to Line and Anne; "grandmother" to Chuck; a ridiculously arrogant woman; a schemer. She believes her family to be far superior to anyone else's.

Lincoln ("Line") Tyler (Peter White): the good and upstanding lawyer in town; husband to Kitty; son to Phoebe and Charles; brother to Anne. He feels very protective toward his new bride and will do anything to make her happy.

Kitty Carpenter Tyler (Francesca James): wife to Lincoln Tyler; emotionally, at least, "daughter" to Mrs. Lum (alias "Lucy Carpenter"). She's been transformed from a neurotic girl to a sane and sensible young woman who is trying to better herself; still, a romantic innocent, always vulnerable.

Dr. Chuck Tyler (Richard Van Vieet): a good young doctor; grandson to Charles (only); ex-husband to Tara and psychological father to little Phil. He is an idealist with strong feelings of responsibility toward others (some of whom tend to take advantage of his good nature).

Kate Martin (Kay Campbell): the matriarch of the Martin family; a widow; mother to Joe and Paul; grandmother to Tara, Tad, and Elizabeth; great-grandmother to little Phil; a warm, understanding and generally non-interfering woman.

Paul Martin (William Mooney): a good lawyer; husband to Anne; father to newborn Elizabeth; son to Kate; a family man who tries hard to handle the problems. He and Anne have a "true love."

Anne Tyler Martin (Judith Barcroft): wife to Paul Martin; mother to newborn Elizabeth; daughter to Phoebe and Charles; sister to Line; a young woman of strong faith and stronger emotions. With the birth of her retarded daughter, she is becoming increasingly irrational.

Dr. Joe Martin (Ray McConnell): husband to Ruth; father to Tara and grandfather to little Phil; adoptive father to Tad; son to Kate; brother to Paul. He is a complicated and undemonstrative man; a good person, but perhaps too proud.

Nurse Ruth Martin (Mary Fickett): wife to Joe; adoptive mother to Phil and Tad; a person of strong family values who has had to come to terms with unexpected emotions, in herself and others.

Dr. Jeff Martin (Robert Perault): son to Joe Martin; brother to Tara; a decent, idealistic doctor, much loved by family and friends. He left Pine Valley after the tragic death of his wife Mary—a temporary move, of course.

Tara Martin Brent (Karen Gorney): ex-wife to Chuck; and now (finally) wife to Phil; mother to little Phil; sister to Jeff; a good girl, emotionally confused and usually close to tears. She is torn between her "true love" and her son's happiness.

Phil Brent (Nick Benedict): husband to Tara; illegitimate son to Nick Davis and Amy (Ruth's long-departed sister), raised by Ruth Martin; Tara's "true love" and natural father to little Phil. Now that he has found his vocation (as a policeman) his main concern is in winning the love and respect of his son.

(Little) Phil Tyler (Brian Lema): a small boy with his share of health problems. He is the one person standing in the way of Phil and Tara's happiness (he thinks Chuck is daddy).

Erica Kane Brent (Susan Lucci): ex-wife to Phil; daughter to Mona Kane; a delightfully self-centered, scheming, and greedy young woman. She seems to have met her match in Nick Davis— all to the good, since her heart softens too when someone cares.

Mona Kane (Frances Heflin): a very good woman; long-suffering mother to Erica; friend, secretary, and romantic interest of Dr. Charles Tyler. As sweet as she is, she can be weak-willed.

Nick Davis (Lawrence Keith): a ne'er-do-well who has finally done very well (as owner of "The Chateau" restaurant); natural father to Phil; ex-husband to many; a well-meaning sort, but perhaps a bit worldier than most Pine Valley residents. He is currently involved (if that's the word) with Erica.

Clem Watson (Reuben Green): an experienced policeman, working with Phil Brent; a black man, recently divorced.

Dr. Frank Grant (John Danelle): a young black doctor; husband to Nancy; good friend to Chuck Tyler and perhaps a little more than that to Caroline. He is a good and earnest man who must come to terms with his wife's independent nature and career.

Nurse Caroline Murray (Pat Dixon): Frank Grant's friend, confidante and love interest. She is an idealist, but made of stronger stuff than Frank.

Dr. David Thornton (Paul Gleason): a surgeon who temporarily demoted himself to orderly after a painful stint in Viet Nam; an outsider who has experienced much of the world beyond Pine Valley. He is recovering from a disappointment in love, with Ruth Martin. Will he leave town?

Dr. Christina Karras (Robin Strosser): a pediatrician; an intelligent and straightforward woman— but strangely haunted by the past.

Danny Kennicott (Daren Kelly): a college student, in architecture; brother to the murdered Mary Kennicott Martin; a personable young man who lives in Kate Martin's house.

Brooke English (Julia Barr): a college student; niece to Phoebe and currently living with her. She is charming and clever when it comes to getting her own way.

Benny Sago (Larry Flieschman): Brooke's hoody boyfriend; a boor, a smart-aleck, and the bane of Phoebe's existence,

Tad Gardner (Matthew Anton): an orphan, adopted by Ruth and Joe Martin; a boy about 8 years old who is perceptive, charming and endearing.

Donna Beck (Candace Earley): seventeen-year-old prostitute who entered the story when she was admitted to Pine Valley Hospital as a patient; a mixed-up girl from a "bad home," now trying to go right. She is romantically interested in "Doc" Chuck Tyler, her legal guardian.

Mrs. Lum (Eileen Herlie): a former carnival performer with a weakness for booze and money (not necessarily in that order). She was hired by Phoebe to impersonate Kitty's mother, Lucy Carpenter, and get Kitty out of town; not a nice woman, but compared to Phoebe a saint

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Clem was killed off, wasn't he? I think I remember Soap Opera Digest criticizing this as another example of the stereotypes for black men on soaps.

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Those are very pretty - I hadn't seen some of those. I've heard that many didn't buy Hugo Napier as Mike Roy, but I do like the photo.

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I love +ha+ pic of Erica wi+h Mike. Had never seen +ha+ one before.

OK, you're going to have to stop posting here until you get a new keyboard. :wacko:

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