Alexa Havins as Babe Carey
|All My Children character|
|Portrayed by||Alexa Havins (2003–07, 2011)
Amanda Baker (2007–09)
|First appearance||October 13, 2003|
|Last appearance||September 21, 2011|
|Created by||Megan McTavish|
|Introduced by||Julie Hanan Carruthers|
|One Life to Live|
|Residence||Pine Valley, Pennsylvania|
Amanda Baker as Babe Carey
Arabella "Babe" Carey Chandler is a fictional character from the American daytime drama All My Children. She was originally portrayed by actress Alexa Havins, from October 13, 2003 to October 8, 2007, and then by actress Amanda Baker from October 8, 2007 to October 31, 2008. The character was killed off on the October 23, 2008 episode of the show, after suffering injuries during a series of tornadoes. In September 2011, Babe (Havins) briefly returned to Pine Valley as an apparition appearing to JR.
Though originally scripted as age 19 in 2003, in a star-crossed romance with character JR Chandler, Babe's birth date was later set by the series as April 10, 1983, upon the character's death. The writers often had the character referred to as "Baby Doll" by her mother, Krystal Carey (Bobbie Eakes), and occasionally as "Bella" when speaking to Kevin Buchanan (Dan Gauthier) on One Life to Live. In addition, the series displayed significant comparisons between her and legendary character Dixie Cooney.
Havins moved to New York City to study at the prestigious Circle in the Square Theatre School. She soon returned to the west coast, and in a short amount of time, in Los Angeles, California, acquired lead roles in four feature films and booked several television guest-starring spots, including Reno 911!. Her noted ambition resulted in an ABC contract in New York City, after her return there, signing on in the role of character Babe Carey Chandler on All My Children.
Casting and character creation
In a January 20, 2004 interview with magazine Soap Opera Weekly, Havins briefly described her audition and how she secured the role: "I missed the first round of auditions, and the casting director called my manager and said, 'How come I think this girl's perfect?' And she said, 'Because Alexa can play trash with her eyes closed' (laughs)."
The character was originally designed as a bad girl the audience could hate, but was later presented as a "flawed good girl". Havins preferred the character to be "driven" and said her "all-time favorite Babe moments" are when the character was being spunky. "I love when she's pumped and she's like a cheerleader, seeing the good in everything," she said. Of Babe's darker moments, Havins stated, "My favorite moment of Babe down — just emotionally beat up and dragged through the dirt — would probably be the moment at the river with Krystal," the moment Babe is told her baby has died. "...I loved when Little Adam almost drowned [in the pool]. There was this vulnerable side of her that hadn't come out for a while," she said. "And I loved playing that because that was a range of emotions between loving your child, being scared to death, hating your husband for not being responsible, etc. There was not one set way of thought or feeling in those scenes."
While with the series, Havins was often put in feature stories. When asked in 2006 by Soap Opera Weekly if difficult to be in "such constant" heavy stories, she stated, "We laugh at our scheduling producer because she always feels bad. She's like, 'I don't mean to kill you, but you dabble.' I do. I am in every set, which is great. It's fun, but it's exhausting. Right now, I'm like, "Sleep!"
In early 2007, rumors circulated that Havins would not be renewing her contract as Babe Carey once it expired later in the year. After her husband and All My Children co-star at the time, Justin Bruening, exited the show, the rumors gained momentum.
James Harmon Brown and Barbara Esensten, new head writers of the series, were reluctant to state whether or not Havins would be departing the soap opera. In their interview with TV Guide, the two remained ambiguous about the matter, though hinting at a recast. Barbara Esensten commented:
It’s out there that we will probably lose her, and it certainly isn’t our choice. However, we’re still writing the show as if she’s not leaving. If we should have to recast Babe, we’ll help the actor take over the part by writing specifically for the new actor like what we did with the Greenlee recast. We saw some little things in Sabine Singh (Greenlee), so we wrote for her accordingly, but you get into real trouble when you completely change the character for a recast. Luckily, Jim and I don’t have any trouble separating the actor from a character because the latter is really paramount in our eyes.
Havins leaving the series was confirmed when, on September 4, 2007, Soap Opera Digest reported that actress Amanda Baker would be stepping into the role following Havins's departure. Havins portrayed Babe Carey for four years, but decided to leave to pursue other acting opportunities. To her fans, she left a message of appreciation and content:
I just filmed my final scene as Arabella 'Babe' Carey on All My Children. Sitting in my dressing room, I have taken a moment to reflect on the past four years of my life both professionally and personally. What an incredible experience it has been! Not only have I gained life-long friendships with the cast, crew, and you — the viewers; I found my amazing husband. I couldn't have asked for a more rewarding experience, but now it's time to say goodbye. What a bitter-sweet moment. I am really excited for this next chapter in my life, but will miss you all dearly. Thank you for your unwavering love and support. I wish you all the blessing in the world! Take care.
Following Havins's departure, viewers were adamant in their feelings that Babe should not have been recast; the views ranged from the decision having been made too soon, to recasting Babe having been unnecessary, to sentiment that only Havins is Babe. Voices expressing their discontent but also relaying their willingness to give the recast a chance were also present.
Baker, the character's recast, acknowledged the challenge of taking over a prominent character. She said she had studied scenes of Havins as Babe, and that she was focused on her portrayal as the character. Before landing the role, Baker was screen tested with actors who often interact with the character (Jacob Young who portrays JR Chandler and Bobbie Eakes, portrayer of the character's mother, Krystal). A few days after her audition, she received a phone call informing her that she had won the part. Baker said that she was treated with a warm welcome from the rest of the cast and Havins herself, and that this has made her feel at home while on set.
Baker described working with Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin) and Eakes as a fun but somewhat intimidating experience. "They are naturals at it!" she stated. She said that Eakes helped her feel more comfortable during her first few weeks as Babe, and to get a better understanding of the character. "She came up to me the first day we worked together and offered to go over lines together and help me with anything I needed. She is a sweetheart," said Baker. Baker revealed that in her spare time in between takes as the character, she managed to find something to keep entertained by. "It seems like there is always something to do when you have down time on the set," she said. "I either run lines with the other actors or hang out in the hair and makeup room. I love those ladies!" Adding to Baker's enjoyment on the set was Young. "He is always cracking jokes!" stated Baker.
After a year as Babe, Baker voiced that her time as the character had been "awesome!" once she "got [there] and got settled". "I always wanted to live in New York City, so that was a dream come true!" She added that "New York has so much culture" and she had been able to grow as a person and actor. "It's good that you can be given a script and learn 40 pages and feel comfortable with that. You get to know so much about the character that you don't question things, you just do it instantaneously," she said.
When asked if it was difficult to take on a role that "so many fans" associate with another actress, Baker stated, "It was. I fortunately had the opportunity to work with her on her last day, which was my first day." Baker said that it "was kind of bittersweet, but when you go into a character who has been established by another actor, it's hard to take on". "You want everybody to love you but a lot of people don't like change. In time, though, people get used to it," she said.
Baker explained how Babe had grown since her portrayal of the character. "I think that she has become a lot more responsible," stated Baker. "She's definitely made some changes within herself, become more mature. At one point in time, especially with JR, a lot of her choices were careless and she thought too much with her heart."
After Brown and Esensten were fired as writers of the series, new head writer Charles Pratt, Jr. ultimately decided to kill Babe off. In an interview with Soap Opera Digest before her final episodes aired, Baker stated, "Going out with a bang is definitely better than going out with a whimper, and I'm going out with a bang!"
Off screen, in San Diego, Babe is working as a waitress in a restaurant on a ship at the docks. She meets and marries rich boy JR Chandler after just three weeks of knowing him. Her story in the soap opera starts with their arrival in Pine Valley. JR reunites with his wealthy family and his stepfather, Tad Martin, announcing that he has a new girlfriend. That night, Babe (yet unknown to everyone in Pine Valley) attends a party and becomes very drunk and has sex with JR's stepbrother, Jamie. The next day, JR introduces Babe to his family as his new wife. Jamie is shocked to see that the same unnamed women that took his virginity is his sister-in-law. But Jamie vows to keep their night a secret. However, JR's father, Adam, does not like Babe and plans to separate JR and Babe.
Weeks later, Babe discovers that she is pregnant. Jamie finally admits to JR that he slept with Babe, bringing doubt over who is the baby's father. JR confronts Babe, but when she claims that Jamie had come on to her, JR cuts Jamie out of his life. When Babe discovers that she is 9 weeks into her pregnancy, it eliminates the possibility of Jamie being the father.
With the paternity situation almost resolved, Babe reveals another secret: her marriage to JR is invalid, because she is still married to Paul Cramer from the nearby town of Llanview (from another ABC soap opera, One Life to Live). Tad tracks down Babe's mother, Krystal, in Texas. After hearing Babe is married to an extremely wealthy man and is pregnant, a proud Krystal, who has not seen her daughter in years, decides to travel to Pine Valley to make sure that Babe's happiness is not jeopardized. Babe is happy to see her mother and confides in her that she still has doubts of JR being the baby's father and that she is still legally married to Paul Cramer.
JR demands a DNA test be conducted, so Babe calls up Paul and promises him money if he will make sure the test proves that JR is the father and allow the annulment to go through. Babe and Krystal are able to get Paul drunk and send him away. Paul is angry and vows revenge on Babe. When Tad finds out about Babe's marriage to Paul, he wants to tell JR, but Krystal is able to seduce him and keep him quiet. Although looking forward to the birth of her child, Babe has to face her next obstacle: Adam and his accomplice, Mary Smythe, are plotting to get Babe out of JR's life as soon as the child is born. JR finds out about his father's scheming and cuts him out of his life as he did to Jamie; at the same time he renews his friendship with his brother, Jamie, and asks him to be the baby's godfather.
Babe strikes up a friendship with Bianca Montgomery during December 2003. They grow close and become best friends. At a cabin, while a storm goes on outside, Babe helps Bianca give birth to her baby daughter, Miranda Mona Montgomery. Bianca falls unconscious and Babe leaves to go get help. She breaks into Dr. David Hayward's cabin and calls Paul at Llanview Hospital for help. The day before (on One Life to Live), Paul helped his sister, Kelly, give birth to a baby boy, but the baby died right after birth. Kelly, believing a baby would be the only thing that could save her marriage, begged her brother to get her a child. Paul helps Babe get back to the cabin, where he delivers her son by the fireplace.
Paul seizes this opportunity to give his sister a baby in a storyline that becomes known as the baby switch. He drugs Babe, puts her in a helicopter, and stages a helicopter crash near a river in the forest. When Babe awakens, Paul tells her that the helicopter crashed and her baby is dead. She loses consciousness again. When Adam Chandler and JR arrive at the scene and threaten Paul, should anything bad have happened to their heir, Paul twists his story around and tells them that it was Bianca's baby that fell into the river and that Babe's child survived. JR's family is elated that Babe's baby is alive, but Bianca's family is devastated by the news. In Llanview, Paul gives Kelly Babe's son (later known as Adam Chandler III, then Little Adam, and currently AJ), telling her that the boy's mother was a poor homeless woman who did not want a baby.
Later on, Babe finds out that the baby she thought was her own is really Miranda Montgomery, Bianca's baby who was thought to have died in the storm. Babe is so distraught over the reveal that her son has been the one to die in the storm that, with convincing by Krystal, she decides to keep the baby. But she eventually discovers her son to be alive, and that JR is indeed the biological father of the little boy. When the truth is finally revealed, it causes a severe rift in Babe and Bianca's friendship, although Bianca is more distant than hostile toward Babe. Babe's romantic relationship with JR also ends.
Babe and Josh Madden's relationship gets off to a rocky start during a hot summer night in July 2005. They become fast friends after Josh helps Babe get back Jamie's car from a few drunken, violent frat boys at a roadside bar. They bond on the beach and share stories of their past and become close.
As time goes by, Babe feels increasingly guilty of holding Jamie back from his dream of becoming a doctor. Due to the terms of his aunt Phoebe's will, Jamie will have to leave Babe (now his fiancee') to acquire his inheritance. According to the terms of the will, Jamie will have to be the one to end the relationship; it has to be his choice to have nothing to do with Babe. Babe hatches a scheme with Josh to convince Jamie that she and Josh are lovers. Jamie does not believe her and is heartbroken that Babe would not accept his word of Phoebe's will not being important to him if he has to give up Babe. Babe and Jamie end their romance due to her scheme.
Josh and Babe become close friends. On October 31, 2005, Josh tells Babe that he cannot deny it anymore: he is falling for her, and he wants her to be happy and to enjoy her life and not worry about JR or Jamie anymore. During this talk, they share a kiss. Babe is taken aback by Josh's declaration. Although she is flattered, she tells him she simply is not ready to be in another romantic relationship. Babe later becomes romantically involved with JR again, however, which later leads to a murder attempt made on her by JR when JR has an extreme mental breakdown.
Closer as friends over summer 2006, sexual tension between Babe and Josh becomes evident. Even though still married to JR, Babe starts to have romantic feelings for Josh and feels the need to be there for him when Dr. Greg Madden (the man he believes to be his father) goes missing. Babe supports Josh, talks him down, and tries to be there for him as a friend. When it is found that Greg Madden has died due to being buried alive underground for weeks, Babe sticks by Josh and seeks to help him through this. This enrages JR, causing more problems for their marriage. Due to the lack of communication, JR's murder attempt on her, their increased fighting, the Greg Madden murder mystery looming over their heads, and the search for Kate (JR's long-lost sister), JR and Babe begin shutting down on one another. This leads Babe to turn to Josh, confiding in him even more and spending more time with him.
Josh, reeled from the revelation of originally being Erica Kane's abortion, runs off to the private jet that Greg had owned. Babe runs after him to attempt to level his head and try to get him to see reason. Josh is too far gone and plays along in listening to Babe, telling her that he will stay in Pine Valley to hear Erica out. However, Josh sneaks off and starts the plane, kidnapping Babe and jetting off to an unknown destination. The plane runs out of fuel and crashes on a deserted island. Josh and Babe's families fear they are dead.
During their time on the island, Babe and Josh become closer than they were before. They sit by the fire, talk, share a kiss, and later snuggle together for warmth. Josh reveals to Babe that he loves her and wants to be with her. But Babe continues to insist that she wants to be with JR; if Josh cannot accept only her friendship, they will have to end their relationship. Josh reluctantly agrees. They are rescued by JR, Jamie, and Julia Santos.
On a business trip for Fusion Cosmetics, Babe and Josh meet with an outrageous rock star, Zarf, to try to get Zarf's song to use for a Fusion promotional campaign. After much drinking, Zarf finally agrees. Josh and Babe drink too many jello shooters while trying to convince Zarf to sign. Drunk, they take cold showers as a way to sober up, but it doesn't quite work, as they almost kiss. Instead of lingering on it, they move past it.
Babe's relationship with Josh continues to anger and frustrate JR, causing more tension between them. However, Babe refuses to end her relationship with Josh, instead telling JR that they are just friends and that JR should trust her. But as Babe begins to realize she is developing deeper romantic feelings for Josh than previously, she starts to distance herself from him. Though Babe and Josh reconnect on the night that Colby Chandler, JR's sister, is thought to be dead. Babe is struggling with coping with all that has happened that year. Feeling overwhelmed by JR's murder attempt on her, the Greg Madden murder, her feelings for Josh, and JR emotionally pushing her away, she gives into her passion for Josh and has sex with him. Despite this, she soon after chooses JR as the man she is romantically meant to be with.
After their exciting business meeting in August over the Fusion Cosmetics campaign, Zarf comes to P.V. searching for Babe after a grueling world tour. He wishes to get in contact with her to talk with her and catch up. When Babe arrives, she introduces Zarf to Bianca. Zarf falls in love with Bianca at first sight. As Babe and Zarf's relationship grows, they become closer and start working on the ConFusion campaign and after a strained talk with Bianca, an embarrassing over-the-top drag performance and an arrest by the Pine Valley Police Department, Zarf "comes out" to Babe and admits that he is transgender and that he is truly "Zoe" and a lesbian. Babe accepts her and it is exactly what Zoe needs. After this confession, their friendship continues to blossom.
Zoe is accused of killing the Fusion women and is considered the main suspect for the Fusion deaths by a serial killer. Babe doesn't believe this and provides Zoe with safety under her roof and fights back against those who try to harm Zoe, and helps her come out to everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone is accepting.
December 2006, Simone Torres is found dead on the floor of the Fusion office in a white dress with a ribbon and gardenias. Her death is concluded to be of natural causes and it is revealed that her heart stopped beating. A week later, Erin Lavery is found dead on the roof of the Fusion building with a white ribbon and gardenias attached to her hands. It is then decided by Derek Frye that there is a serial killer on the loose.
During January 2007, the killer attacks again, almost killing Danielle Frye and mistakenly taking Dixie Cooney as his victim in an attempt to kill Babe. The serial killer then targets Babe as his next victim by tying a white ribbon outside the gate of the Chandler Mansion.
After a brutal breakup with JR, due to JR being tired of Babe's affection for Josh, she is in the Chandler Enterprises parking garage with her bodyguard. After talking to Zoe, she and her bodyguard leave the parking lot, and the serial killer attacks. Babe finds her bodyguard lying dead on the ground and is quickly attacked by the Satin Slayer, who plunges a needle into her neck and poisons her with V-tach, a drug which causes ventricular tachycardia. She "dies" on February 12, 2007. The show features a double funeral for Dixie and Babe, but after the funeral, on February 16, 2007, Babe is shown waking up in what appears to be a hospital bed.
Joe Martin, Jackson Montgomery, Jeff Martin, Josh, Kendall Hart Slater, and Zach Slater all know that Babe is alive. At Josh's request, Joe and Jeff make it their mission to make everybody think that Babe is really dead. Babe suffers a heart attack and briefly slips into a coma after being poisoned by the Satin Slayer. She is secretly taken to a room at Zach's casino, where Josh takes care of her while she recovers from her attack. When she wakes up, Josh initially lies and tells her she is at the hospital. He does not tell her that her family and the rest of Pine Valley believes she is dead, and leads her to believe that JR does not care at all. Zoe mourns for her best friend. Bianca is devastated at the news of Babe's "death", and shows regret for not forgiving her when she had the chance. Later, with the revelation of Babe being alive and well, Bianca has her chance to do so, and finally and truly repairs their damaged friendship. After Bianca tells Zoe that Babe is still alive, Zoe is naturally happy as well. JR and Babe see each other for the first time since her presumed death and he asks her for forgiveness in how he has treated her in the past, but Babe feels that they are better left separated. Ironically enough, Babe's near-death finally earns her Kendall's forgiveness as well for the incident with Miranda. Kendall even stands up for Babe against Greenlee Smythe's attacks on her, lauding Babe's achievements at Fusion. Greenlee eventually drives Babe to quit, but she is forced to hire her back when it is discovered the music promotional campaign she has secured with Zoe is contingent on Babe's presence at the company. Even Erica shows some forgiveness towards Babe, thanking her for helping Kendall and keeping Fusion going after the accident with Spike.
Babe focuses on several projects, such as keeping Fusion running, working on acquiring her G.E.D., and helping Krystal with her new business venture of revamping the Roadside Bar, now titled The Comeback. She also becomes close to Jamie again. She is held up when a man thought to be Annie Lavery's brother, Richie Novak, comes to Krystal's bar looking to rob the place. A new guy named Wes, who shows an immediate attraction to her, is there to help her fend off the ex-convict. The robber is soon after discovered to be dead, and that he was not Annie Lavery's brother after all, but was rather a man her brother most likely hired to "play" the part of Richie. Due to their experience in the hold up together, Babe and Wes grow closer and she gives him a chance at a romantic relationship with her by going out on a date with him. While on the date, and after a few uncomfortable moments with JR, as well as advice to Amanda about being wary of JR, Babe agrees to another date with Wes. After more time spent with him, it is eventually revealed that he is Richie Novak.
A rift between Babe and Richie soon develops due to his deception. Richie tries to get Babe to give him another chance, but Babe is adamant that she does not need Richie in her life. During this time, JR and Babe see more of each other. At Krystal's bar, they bond over old times and other matters. Babe sees a side to JR that signals that he has matured more since they divorced. When JR needs a ride back to his home, Babe offers to take him. Once there, sexual tension between the two is evident. As Babe states that she should leave, JR goes in for a goodbye kiss to her cheek. The kiss leaves them in a more awkward state, and JR apologizes. However, their desire overtakes them as JR says that he misses kissing her. The two make love. While in bed, JR suggests that they marry again and is elated that he has "his" Babe back. Even with this obvious connection between the two still apparent, Babe tells JR that their recent love-making was just comfort sex, and that she is not in love with him anymore. He pretends that he is not hurt by this declaration of hers, but it is clear to Babe that he is. She promptly apologizes for hurting him and leaves.
JR begins drinking again and slips into depression. He is, however, able to recover from the relapse and reconcile with Babe. Months later, he and Babe are closer again, and are more about raising their son together while not being romantically intertwined with each other. But during a snowday with Babe and Little Adam, JR suggests to Babe that she keep the idea of them as lovers open for consideration. Having enjoyed her recent time with JR, Babe accepts his request. Still perplexed by Richie, she talks with him at times, her concern more directed at the fact that he has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. His sister, Annie, is thought to be the best candidate to be his donor, and Babe is determined to convince her to save him. But her efforts are revealed hopeless when test results show that Annie is not a good donor match for Richie after all. The revelation comes that someone else in Pine Valley is the perfect bone marrow match for Richie. With the help of her mother, Babe discovers that JR is the match. Feeling that he will not donate the bone marrow on his own due to his hate for Richie, she decides to entice JR during a runway where she wears a sexy red dress. Once she gets his attention, she propositions him with a game of strip poker. If she wins, he will have to save Richie's life. If JR wins, he can have anything he wants in regards to her. The deal is made, and JR and Babe play for the prize at Babe's home. Both half naked by the time the game nears an end, it is JR who wins. But he surprises Babe with the news that he already knew he was a match for Richie, and that he was already going to help him. Babe is intrigued by this new, softer side of JR, and JR mentions to Babe how they both want each other. They embrace, and the two make love.
Richie is able to secretly abstract JR's bone marrow, while setting JR up to look as though he was out all night with a hooker the day he went missing. A drugged-up JR, unaware that his bone marrow has been stolen, insists to his family and Babe that he was drugged and he knows Richie did this to him. Initially Krystal is the only one to believe JR, but Babe later finds out that JR is telling the truth about Richie and apologizes to him. She sees Richie pay the hooker that was with JR the night Richie stole his bone marrow. Babe punches out the hooker. She goes on a mission to find out what other stuff Richie has done to JR or anyone else. During this mission, JR saves Babe from being raped by some guys when she goes undercover as a prostitute to clear JR's name and find out what crimes Richie did. Trina decides to tell the truth about Richie and her part in framing JR when Richie stole his bone marrow. JR promises Trina some money to get out of prostituting and go somewhere Richie is not due to fear that Richie will kill her since she told JR what Richie did. With Richie finally gone, JR and Babe come happily together again.
After Richie's death, Fusion is at a height of excellence. During this time Babe and Amanda, who have renewed their friendship, develop a "secret project" which they think Kendall and Greenlee will approve, since Fusion is doing so well. The project turns out to be a fragrance designed for working women. Kendall refuses to support it, but Amanda offers to use part of her fortune to finance the fragrance. Kendall insults Babe for the working girl perfume being modeled after her, and this is when Amanda decides to call the perfume "Bella". Kendall and Greenlee let Amanda and Babe do the project on their own, and the perfume has high buzz. Amanda and Babe get into a little argument about which woman should be the promotional figure for Bella, in which Babe and Amanda want themselves on it. They ask Kendall, who could not care less, who then chooses Amanda. Amanda takes it as a compliment before Kendall says how the "slutty" look should appeal. Amanda organizes a launch party which goes well, except for Taylor Thompson killing Randi Morgan's pimp in the bathroom hallway. Things are working wonderfully, and JR and Babe decide to use Bella to launch her career, and they decide they should take over the company. They also begin to plan their next wedding and decide to have a second child. However, Adam has a plan of his own with the assistance of Peter Cortlandt who taints the Bella perfume at the launch party. Colby gets sick, but no one notices that it is due to the perfume. Greenlee later gets sick, but calls it the flu. When a wedding party arrives at P.V. Hospital, Angie Hubbard says that it is a toxin in Bella that is causing the sickness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration then shuts Fusion Cosmetics temporarily down. While Adam is encouraging lawsuits against Fusion, Babe resigns and tells the company to blame the Bella scandal on her. She also admits that she and JR were planning to take over. She had an ulterior motive, as she and JR are planning to move to San Diego anyway. However, they have to come back when Adam has the subpoenaed to the Bella trial. JR and Babe do not make it to the trial, as they are caught up in a series of tornadoes that strike Pine Valley. Babe sacrifices herself to keep Little Adam from dying, making her internal and external bleeding worse. While in the hospital, she asks JR to marry her. They cannot find a minister as Babe is running out of time before she loses her life, but they exchange vows, regardless, alone in the hospital's chapel. They kiss and declare that they made each other better people and that they love each other from the deepest parts of their souls; that their love will never stop, no matter what. After a light hug, Babe dies in JR's arms.
Babe reappears on June 4 and 29, 2009 as a ghost to both David Hayward and JR. She appears to David, telling him that her death was not his fault and he apologizes to her for not being there during her childhood. She vanishes and leaves Marissa Tasker, her fraternal twin sister, in her place, telling him that he still has a daughter left in the world. She appears to JR on June 29 when he visits her gravesite, asking himself how he can ever live without her; he calls her by her true name, Arabella.
Babe appears one last time on September 21, 2011 as an apparition to JR. She tries to help JR get through the rough time in his life as he has lost his house, his company, and his son. Her attempt to save JR fails when JR realizes that she is still dead and not really back.
Bianca and Babe friendship
Bianca Montgomery and Babe's friendship became popular with viewers while both characters were pregnant. The relationship was described as a "beautiful friendship" by Soap Opera Digest. Within the series, when the two give birth to their children on the same night (Bianca to Miranda and Babe to Little Adam), their bond further endeared them to the audience. Of the birth scenes, actress Eden Riegel, Bianca's portrayer, stated, "I had done so much research. I read books [like] What to Expect When You're Expecting. I watched the TLC series A Baby Story. It felt like I watched hundreds of episodes! As soon as I got home I'd be watching women give birth on TV." Riegel added that one of her makeup artists was pregnant and invited her to go along to a Lamaze class. She sat in a room "full of pregnant Upper West Siders" and practiced breathing exercises.
Havins prepared for the birth scenes beforehand as well. "I got books and spoke to my mom," she said. "Everyone that had a child I was picking their brain, and there were some really great things online that helped." Havins stated, "And for some reason I have always watched Maternity Ward on TLC and just to see it firsthand was great. I wanted it to be no makeup, no lip gloss...I wanted to make it [look] real."
In early 2004, there were viewers who believed Bianca to be secretly in love with Babe and hoped Bianca and Babe's relationship would become sexually intimate; this was witnessed by fansites for the pairing, emails being sent to the ABC studio and message board postings. AfterEllen.com, a website that focuses on the portrayal of lesbians and bisexual women in the media, eventually took notice and briefly commented:
|“||...fueled in part by a late summer episode showing Bianca and Babe in bed together (a ruse to trap Babe's husband), which spawned a whole new subset of fans rooting for a Bianca-Babe pairing.||”|
Baby switch reveal
By late 2004, viewers largely found the Bianca and Babe friendship unappealing. This was specifically due to Babe knowingly keeping Bianca from her own child. Babe is initially unaware that her child has been switched with Bianca's and that Bianca's child, the one she is caring for, is still alive and not dead as she has been told. However, once convinced by Krystal to keep Bianca's child as her own in order to save JR from heartbreak, she does as advised. Due to her guilt, she goes as far as to name Bianca godmother of the child. Infuriated by these events, viewers longed for Bianca to discover the truth. On December 7, 2004, this request was given to fans. Described as "Babe's long-overdue confessional" and beginning of redemption, she confesses to Bianca the truth about their children.
Havins and Riegel described what went into taping the moment Bianca discovers that her child is alive and Babe's deception. "It was crazy!" said Riegel of the "grueling" day. "It was insane, in fact. [Havins] and I were on the set from 9 a.m. to like 7:30 at night, just the two of us." Havins agreed and relayed, "It was so intense to tape. It was a long, long day, a 12-hour tape day." They were warned by All My Children executives that the episode would be "especially" demanding. "I don't think they've ever handed that much material to just two actresses before, so they wanted us to be prepared," said Riegel. "It was the most dialogue I've ever had in my entire life. To the point where several weeks before they gave me the script, our producer, Julie [Hanan Carruthers], sat us down and said to us, 'This is just so important.'," added Havins. "And she turned to me and said, 'We're almost nervous because it's so much material. If it's too much, let us know.' It was that dialogue-heavy."
Riegel found humor in the situation and said, "Unfortunately, we only got the script like three days ahead of time! But hey! We're old pros." When asked if they were intimidated by the challenge of the reveal scenes, Riegel asserted that she "wasn't scared at all," and clarified that it "was a good challenge" and "one of those things where it's like, 'This is what I do. This is what I love.'" She said, "To have all that material and to be there in the moment ... I didn't want to be in any other place." She found it exciting. Having waited for the moment "for a long time," it turned out to be "a big pay-off". She added:
But I was a little nervous because this was definitely a very, very special episode. That was the biggest challenge to me; I was going in there knowing, 'This is the moment.' I kept having to make myself laugh and leave set and play with my friends in the hair and makeup room and just sort of try to view the day as though it was just an average taping day because the last thing those scenes needed from my character's perspective was that sense of gravity, that feeling of, 'This is so important.' Because it was not a big deal for my character — she had no idea what was coming.
Havins agreed with Riegel that the reveal scenes were exciting. "I'm always up for a challenge and I work best under pressure," she said. "My competitive side kicks in. So the thought that I maybe couldn't do it made me be like, 'Oh, yeah, I'm doin' it!' We put so much preparation into it." Justin Bruening (Jamie Martin) and Jacob Young (JR) were the only other cast members in the episode. "...I worked with a private coach, we worked on it together.... We put a lot of time into this episode," Havins stated. "We usually don't have that luxury, but this time we did; this took priority. And shooting it, too, we knew it was a big deal." She revealed that the producers and director were patient with them. "And if we felt we didn't like where a take went, usually they're like, 'No, it's fine, let's move on,' but this time they were like, 'Let's do it again. We loved that take, girls, but let's try something else,' and we'd go in a totally different direction." She said, "They took the time and they were as invested in this episode as [Riegel] and I were, so that was a really good feeling. We were all there, we were all in it together, and hopefully, the finished product shows it."
In 2006, Havins was asked if she felt that Babe had been redeemed since the baby switch. Havins replied, "More or less. That's not something that can be done overnight; it takes time. And I don't think it's necessarily acts, like one heroic act, that redeem someone." She clarified:
It's just showing change. She's very remorseful and there's regret with the whole situation. It's one thing if somebody didn't feel sorry for what they did, but she repented for her sins. Everyone has a past. Everyone makes mistakes. The only thing you can do is move on and try to be a better person from that point forward.
When Bianca forgives Babe in 2007 for keeping her child from her, there were viewers who still felt that it was due to Bianca being in love with Babe, and were upset that Bianca could not seem to resist any interaction with her. In a 2007 interview with TV Guide, Havins seemed perplexed that a significant number of viewers had still not forgiven Babe for the baby switch, and felt that the character had been redeeming herself.
- JR and Babe married for the first time in the summer of 2003; they remarried in June 2004, and divorced in February 2005. The couple remarried again in March 2006, and divorced yet again in April 2007.
- "PEOPLE Celebrates All My Children: 41 Years of Love, Lust & Life in Pine Valley!". People. September 2011 [Sep. 9 softcover, Sep. 27 hardcover]. pp. 128 pages.
- Date of birth seen on her gravestone: (04/10/1983 – 10/23/2008).
- P., Carol. "The tortured soul anti-hero". Total TV Online.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-05-23.
- "About the actors: Alexa Havins". Soapcentral.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-18.
- "Soap Star Stats: Alexa Havins (Babe, AMC)". Soap Opera Weekly. 2007.
- Brown, Erica (2005). "I've Got You, Babe". Soap Opera Digest.
- Brown, Erica (2006). "AMC's Babe in Boyland". Soap Opera Digest.
- Branco, Nelson. "The plot to save ‘All My Children’: New headwriters Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown dish on recasting Babe, Dixie’s death, and creating a diverse canvas". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2007-11-06.
- "Breaking News September 2007: AMC Confirms Havins' Exit, Names New Babe". Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on 2007-09-18. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- "Dear Friends". alexahavinsfanclub.com.
- "All My Children casts a new Babe". www.soaps.com. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- "What are your thoughts on AMC's decision to recast the role of Babe?". www.amcpages.com. Archived from the original on 28 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- "Fans react to AMC's recast of Babe". www.soaps.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
- "Breaking News -- AMC's HAVINS: "I'M HAPPY BABE WILL STILL BE AROUND"/AMC's NEW BABE SPEAKS OUT". Soap Opera Digest. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- Knight, Kristi (2007-11-02). "Soaps.com Interviews Amanda Baker (Part 2!)". soaps.com. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- Knight, Kristi (2008-09-22). "Soaps.com Chats with AMC's Amanda Baker!". soaps.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- "Amanda Baker exits Pine Valley in Grand Fashion". Soap Opera Digest. 2008.
- Lensch, Tonya (2004). "Best Friends and Babies". Soap Opera Digest.
- Yim, Lisa (2004-12-21). "Is All My Children's Bianca Still a Lesbian?". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- Levinsky, Mara (2004). "Shooting Stars. On December 7, AMC fans finally got the moment they had been waiting for: Courtesy of Babe's long-overdue confessional, Bianca discovered that her baby is alive! Here, actresses Alexa Havins (Babe) and Eden Riegel (Bianca) describe what went into taping the big moment". Soap Opera Digest.
- "Alexa Havins - Six Minutes, Six Questions". Soap Opera Digest. 2006.
- Coleridge, Daniel R. (2007-02-23). "All My Children's Alexa Havins Comes Back From the Dead". TV Guide.
- Official Alexa Havins website[dead link]
- Official Amanda Baker website
- Arabella "Babe" Carey - Soapcentral.com
- Official ABC page