|Kendall Hart Slater|
|Alicia Minshew as Kendall Hart|
|All My Children and One Life to Live character|
|Portrayed by||Sarah Michelle Gellar (1993–95)
Alicia Minshew (2002–11, 2013—)
|Duration||1993–95, 2002–11, 2013—|
|First appearance||February 24, 1993|
|Created by||Megan McTavish|
|Introduced by||Felicia Minei Behr|
|Sarah Michelle Gellar as Kendall Hart|
Kendall Hart Slater (formerly Lang) is a fictional character from the American daytime drama All My Children. The character was portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar from 1993 to 1995, and by Alicia Minshew from 2002 until the show's series finale on September 23, 2011. On March 7, 2013 it was announced that Minshew will guest-star on the Prospect Park's continuation of All My Children.
The character is the biological daughter of Erica Kane, a product of a rape by Richard Fields on the night of Erica's 14th birthday. She was originally written as a complex villain, described as "the most terrible daughter on daytime", but was later reformed by the series. The writers scripted her as a heroine, though keeping devious aspects of the character intact. She is a passionate wife and mother, and is married to Zachary "Zach" Slater. She has a love-hate relationship with Greenlee Smythe, and has emerged as one of soap opera's most layered and popular characters.
Rapid aging 
Kendall has been the subject of Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome (SORAS), which caused the show's producers to "de-SORAS" her biological mother Erica Kane, portrayed by Susan Lucci. Lucci says that Erica was 15 when the show began in 1970. "I love playing her. I enjoyed playing her when she was a 15-year-old high school girl, the naughty girl in town, and I enjoy playing her now, when she's still the naughty girl, but she's broadened her area of operation to include the entire world," said Lucci. Erica being 15 in 1970 placed her birth year at 1955.
When Kendall first appears on the show in 1993, she is sixteen years old, portrayed by a then 16-year-old Sarah Michelle Gellar. This was despite the fact that Kendall was the result of Erica's rape at the age of 14 before the show began in 1970 (23 years earlier). Fans protested the age differences due to the changes making Erica and Kendall too young compared to Erica's original 1955 birth year. In response to this, the show's producers rapidly aged Kendall to 23, which moved Erica's birth year one year forward to 1956.
When Minshew took over the role in 2002, the character's birth year was changed to 1976; Erica's birth year was subsequently pushed even later than where it was before, to 1962. Originally stated in 1993 to have been born September 25, 1970, Kendall's birthday was revised to September 25, 1976 in 2002.
Casting and character portrayal 
Sarah Michelle Gellar 
For a couple of years, the producers of All My Children had been thinking about introducing a new character as a foil for Erica Kane, and were waiting for the right moment. The opportunity presented itself in 1993, just as Erica was enjoying her engagement to latest love Dimitri Marick, portrayed by Michael Nader. A casting call went out for a young actress to portray the part of Kendall Hart, Erica's long-lost daughter.
The show's producers were adamant about keeping the storyline a secret. During the casting process, the actresses were told that Kendall would be Erica's new assistant. "I didn't know when I auditioned for Kendall that she would turn out to be who she is," stated Gellar. "I had heard rumors, but everybody was denying it. Besides, I was scared enough at the thought of working with Susan," she said.
The number of teenage actors in New York auditioning for the role, which eventually went to Gellar, was abundant. Bearing a resemblance to Lucci, Gellar was complimented as having the acting talent and the "forceful personality" needed to go up against Lucci's experience; Kendall was supposed to be like a younger version of Erica.
"When they told me I was playing her, I was like, 'What? Daughter? Me?' I remember on my first day when I walked into the rehearsal hall, Susan and Michael were rehearsing a scene," said Gellar. "I was very nervous. I kept thinking, 'What if I'm really bad and they fire me?' I just snuck in the back and tried to blend in with the coffee machine, when all of a sudden, Susan said, 'Hold it, we need to stop for a minute.'" Gellar said that Lucci walked over to her and said, "Congratulations! I'm very glad you're here" and hugged her. "She put her arm around me and said, 'Don't worry, nobody bites.' And then she introduced me to everyone who was there. She really did help me and always made sure I was okay during my first couple of weeks when I was still unsettled. Both Susan and Michael made me feel comfortable," Gellar stated.
Kendall made her All My Children debut on February 24, 1993, to an unsuspecting audience as Erica's new 22-year-old assistant. Eventually, the truth about the character's parentage was revealed. She was angry for being abandoned at birth – even though going through the pregnancy had resulted from a rape – and determined to exact revenge against Erica as payback.
Gellar admitted that Kendall was "the most terrible daughter" on daytime during her reign (during the character's first year on the show, she locked Bianca, her little sister, in a crypt and tried to seduce stepfather Dimitri – and when he turned her down, she had sex with the stable boy, after which she cried rape and then went to jail), but the actress refused to admit that the character was evil: "I chose to see Kendall as misunderstood, which was how, as an actress, I justified her actions. It was amazing, though, playing a psycho-looney."
At the time, the audience was bothered by the series having a 17-year-old actress portray a 23-year-old character. "I may not physically look 23, but then again, not all 23-year-olds look their age," said Gellar. "I think people should just forget about that. Age is a personal vision. Besides, I know that at 17, Sarah is more mature than Kendall at 23."
Gellar's stint on the show was successful. "Longtime fans of the soap saw her as the second coming of Erica." The more Gellar demonstrated that she could handle the work, the more the writers showcased her. She became a household name to the soap opera medium, and "[f]ans wrote to her to tell her she reminded them of Natalie Wood and people stopped her in the street." Gellar recalled the time she got into a cab and was greeted by the driver. "I had no idea who this guy was. It turns out his son was the doorman at my apartment building," she said.
Gellar won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1995 for the portrayal, but eventually left the role on July 3, 1995 to pursue other acting opportunities. She briefly returned to the series as part of the series finale week; her cameo was that of a mental patient who claimed she sees vampires and that she started seeing them "before they were trendy", and that was she Erica Kane's daughter. Both were nods to her role as Kendall and to her iconic role as Buffy Summers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Alicia Minshew 
The show waited six years before contemplating to recast Kendall. Minshew, like Gellar, was unaware that she was auditioning for the role of Erica's first born when the casting call came. "No, I honestly had no clue I was auditioning for the role of Kendall," she stated. "I had auditioned for several roles on All My Children several times and thank God Judy Wilson (All My Children casting director) called me up one day and said 'we are casting a part we think you would be excellent for,'" Minshew stated. "At the time, the role was being called 'Candy' because they were keeping it incognito... Wilson told me she wanted me to come in and just be my fun, sassy self, be strong, be sassy, do what you always do." Minshew screen tested with Josh Duhamel (ex-Leo du Pres), stating:
Love him, love him, love him. Wish I got a chance to work with him! Oh my God. I really think he helped me with my screen test because he was so present for me, so charming and so touchy-feely. He was right there for me. He gave me so much. I remember forgetting my lines and the two of us improvised a little bit, just played off of each other, until I figured out where I was. It was so real! I thanked him. I gave him a big kiss. I said, 'Thank you, you made my screen test so fun. I had such a good time, I forgot that I was trying to get a job.' They had a couple rounds of auditions. [The second time I went in,] we did the exact same scene. He said, 'All right, it's you again! We get to have some fun!' We already had a nice rapport going on, so I was excited. I was like, 'Whatever happens, this is fun.'
It was after the screen test with Duhamel that Minshew was told that the role was actually for Kendall Hart. "Judy pulled me into a room after my screen test and told me, 'I want you to know that the role is for Susan Lucci's daughter Kendall who was originally played by Sarah Michelle Gellar,'" said Minshew. "And then I got so nervous and thought I don't know if I can do this and Wilson said...that I had a pretty good shot at the role, to which I thought ehhhhh she's kissing my butt." Minshew. said, "I always tell people that I truly believe one of the reasons why I got this part was Josh...he made me feel so comfortable and I had so much fun playing with him and I was just able to let go, forget I was screen testing and just throw myself into the part...whatever I did was good and they liked me. I started 3 days after I screen tested.
Minshew detailed her working relationship with Lucci as healthy: "She's just such a strong presence. For a little tiny lady, she's a beautifully strong presence. I've always known who she was. So I was like, 'Wow! That is really cool!' My first day on the show I worked with her. I said, 'Hi, I'm playing Kendall, and I think you're beautiful.' She warmed up to me immediately. We've had a great rapport. She's just... She has only been good to me."
When asked of her portrayal of the character, Minshew cited Kendall's complexity. "She is a hard character to play. When I first came to the show, I was a little off...I had never done daytime before, had never watched the show, so I was not familiar with Sarah Michelle's portrayal of Kendall... I was a newer actress and really, really green and it took me a while to delve into the character and find out who she really was and to make her more real and vulnerable."
As Minshew grew to understand the character, she became more connected to Kendall. Her acting improved with each newly discovered aspect. Years later, Minshew stated, "Now I feel like I love Kendall so much. She has become part of me. I find myself sticking up for her and defending her...the character means a lot to me on a personal level and it's nice to see the fans enjoying Kendall as much as I enjoy playing her."
Kendall Hart is raised in Florida by her adoptive parents, Bill and Alice Hart. They keep her adoption a secret from her until she overhears them talking about it. After hearing the news, Kendall begins a search that leads her to Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, where she becomes the personal assistant to Erica Kane, who is planning a wedding to Count Dimitri Marick. However, Erica's mother, Mona Kane Tyler, recalls a familiar birthmark on Kendall's neck and realizes that she may be the baby girl that Erica gave up when she was 14 years old. Erica was raped on her 14th birthday by movie actor Richard Fields in a trade so that he would act in a film that her father, Eric Kane, was directing. Mona begins to seek information about Kendall when she is visited by Nick Davis and shares her suspicions with him. Nick searches Kendall's room at Myrtle's boarding house and stations Hayley Vaughan there as a resident to investigate Kendall, but they are unable to find evidence that she is Erica's daughter. Meanwhile, Kendall reveals to Myrtle that Erica is her mother. Being jealous of the attention her half-sister Bianca Montgomery receives after a horse riding accident, Kendall reveals the truth to Erica. Initially, Erica welcomes the young woman into her life, but when Kendall resolves to find her birth father, Erica cuts her out of her life. Kendall is able to convince Dimitri to help her in her search. During the successful operation, Kendall develops a crush on Dimitri, and attempts to seduce him in December 1993. After he rejects her, Kendall instead has sex with a student from Hungary named Anton Lang, and claims that Dimitri raped her. An enraged Erica stabs Dimitri with a letter opener. At trial, Kendall states that Erica knowingly stabbed him because she was jealous that Dimitri wanted her romantically as well. Kendall tells the jury that the only thing she told Erica was that she had unprotected sex with Anton, and was scared that she was pregnant. When Richard Fields comes to town and attempts to rape Bianca, Kendall admits the truth and is sent to jail for perjury.
While imprisoned, Kendall is put into the same cell as fellow town pariah Janet Green, who has received experimental plastic surgery on her face. After both are released from jail, Kendall keeps quiet about knowing Janet is worming her way back into town with her new face under the name "Jane Cox". They develop a friendship, which lasts until Kendall witnesses what she believes to be Janet's death in May 1995. After getting engaged to Anton while still in jail, Kendall and Anton move into the hunting lodge at Wildwind. Anton makes Kendall promise that she will cease her plotting against Erica.
Discreetly, Kendall decides to write a tell-all book about Erica with Del Henry, a writer who initially propositioned the idea to her while she was still incarcerated. When Kendall's grandmother, Mona Kane Tyler, dies, Kendall is deeply affected and attempts to pay her respects, only to be angrily confronted by Erica, who mistakenly believes that Kendall is faking her grief and had merely come to crash the funeral. Despite Kendall's heartfelt confessions, Erica orders her to leave. Later, when visiting Mona's grave, Kendall gets into another argument with Dimitri, which climaxes when Kendall demands to know why he still protects Erica after she stabbed him. Kendall continues to work on the book with Del and they begin to form a friendship. Soon after, Kendall's involvement in the book is revealed and Anton throws her out of Wildwind.
After the tell-all book is dropped, Kendall fakes a suicide attempt in an effort to win Anton back. When this fails, she tells Anton that he is Dimitri's son, a revelation she does not know yet to be true. After Dimitri confirms this to Anton, he and Kendall elope as vengeance against their respective parents. She schemes with his mother, Corvina, to forge documents that would make Anton the heir to the Marick fortune instead of Dimitri. After the plan fails, Anton divorces Kendall because of her continual scheming.
Kendall then develops her relationship with Del and they fall in love. He helps Kendall to rebuild her life and mend her relationship with her adoptive mother, Alice Hart, after her adoptive father dies suddenly from heart complications. Together, Kendall and Del leave for Florida to take care of Alice, but not before Kendall makes peace with Erica.
|This section is outdated. (October 2012)|
In January 2002 Erica goes on trial for the murder of Frankie Stone, Bianca’s girlfriend. Needing someone to help incriminate her, Erica calls in an eager Kendall, who has amicably split from Del. She stays at the Pine Cone Motel across from Ryan Lavery. The two come to verbal blows often due to their strong-willed personalities, but eventually begin dating. After Erica's house is set on fire with Bianca still inside, Kendall is charged with arson. Ryan hires Trey Kenyon to represent her at trial, not knowing that Trey is the guilty party. Believing that Erica is framing her, Kendall becomes obsessed with the idea of exposing her mother, despite being engaged to Ryan. Ryan catches Kendall seducing Aidan Devane for information regarding Erica, and leaves town after ending his relationship with a devastated Kendall.
Needing something beyond her flirtation with Aidan, Kendall begins a cosmetics company along with Greenlee Smythe, Mia Saunders, and Simone Torres to compete with her mother's company, Enchantment. They name the company FUSION, and it has a rocky start, as Kendall and Greenlee have been enemies in the past. But the company eventually becomes a success.
Kendall begins dating the charming Michael Cambias, but ends things after sensing menace behind his charms. He attempts to rape both Kendall and Erica, but succeeds in raping her younger sister, Bianca. As Bianca is being raped, Kendall helps Erica through a panic attack involving the night she was raped and Kendall was conceived. This marks a cornerstone of their relationship. Police are unable to make a strong case against Cambias, and Kendall begins a convoluted plot against him when he is released from prison. After claiming she had married him in Las Vegas, Michael is murdered by an unknown assailant. Her relationship with Erica, which had grown stronger because of Erica's panic attack, is again strained because of the marriage to Michael, his murder, and the revelation that Bianca is pregnant with his child. Erica encourages her to get an abortion, and Bianca prepares to go through it with the help of her friend, Maggie Stone. At the clinic, Kendall tells her sister how much she admired her, and though Kendall does not give an opinion on the abortion, Bianca lets Kendall know that she has secretly decided to keep her baby.
So that no one will know that Bianca is carrying the child of a rapist, Kendall claims that she is pregnant with Michael’s child after marrying him (actually marrying Fusion chemist Boyd Larraby who stole Michael's identity) before he was murdered. A skeptical Greenlee begins investigating her friend, while Erica shuns her. Bianca, however, stands by her sister, as does a newly returned Ryan Lavery, who helps keep the secret. Kendall explains to Bianca that she is helping her and her baby because she sees the baby as herself since Kendall was also the product of rape.
Kendall is put on trial for Michael’s murder, and begins wearing padding underneath her clothes to keep up the ruse. Not understanding the level of trust Ryan has in Kendall, Greenlee reveals the fake pregnancy by ripping the dress off a testifying Kendall. Kendall is forced to reveal that she had faked her pregnancy to protect Bianca, who has killed Michael, though she doesn't remember. Realizing how much Kendall cares for Bianca, Erica becomes close to her daughter again, but Kendall's budding friendship with Greenlee is shattered.
Kendall begins dating Ryan again, who suggests that she forgive Greenlee. Kendall refuses and uses the controlling interest of Fusion she had inherited after Michael's death to treat her former friend unfairly. To even the playing field, Ryan gives Greenlee the shares of Cambias he has inherited from the deceased Alexander Cambias. He goes on to propose to Greenlee to help her out at Fusion, which causes an infuriated Kendall to lock her nemesis in a room to stop the marriage. Kendall attempts to marry Ryan herself, but he chooses Greenlee after realizing what Kendall has done.
To help Kendall be on equal footing at Fusion with Greenlee, Zach Slater offers to marry her and give her his shares of Cambias Industries. Over time, Zach and Kendall's relationship turns into deep romantic love and Kendall's friendship with Greenlee begins to mend. Eventually the two become so close that they consider themselves "sisters."
Kendall goes on to have two children. Her first, Spike Lavery, is born on May 31, 2006. He was originally supposed to be Greenlee's biological child and carried by surrogate mother Kendall. However, a power outage caused by Zach forces Kendall to use her own egg during the artificial insemination. She is almost killed when JR Chandler accidentally drops construction supplies on Kendall and her unborn son. Zach comes to consider Spike as his own son, though Kendall shares custody with Ryan and his wife Annie Lavery at the time.
Ian Slater is her son with Zach, and he is conceived during Kendall and Zach's second marriage, in February 2007, while the "Satin Slayer" terrorized Pine Valley. He is born severely premature on July 26, 2007.
ConFusion nightclub 
ABC executives decided to capitalize on Kendall's popularity by having the character ponder the idea of a nightclub, and then extend that to real-life events. The series detailed Kendall naming the club ConFusion. Though the "Fusion girls" are shown to love the idea, Babe Carey Chandler does not, for fear that another nearby bar will tempt her alcoholic husband (JR) and send him on yet another destructive path. Kendall goes through with the idea, however, and the nightclub opens its doors to a red carpet event on July 25, 2006. The event is the introduction of real-life pop star Rihanna as one of the show's musical guests. Following her appearance, real-life singer Mary J. Blige makes a cameo appearance at the club on July 28, 2006. Soon after the appearances, the club becomes one of the popular establishments for residents of the series.
The nightclub also manages to acquire several famous real-life reporters, who portray themselves while the residents of Pine Valley walk down the red carpet. Such reporters included Emily Frances (the main entertainment reporter for the WB11 Morning News), Taylor Race (of WPLJ/New York), and America's Next Top Model contestant Toccara Jones, among others, as one of the reporters in a scene where Rihanna walks through on her way to a performance inside of the club.
Of the nightclub ConFusion event, Taylor Race briefly described his Pine Valley town-experience with humor: "If you think you put a lot of time and effort into a bit or break on the radio, think again when it comes to TV – you spend 20 minutes in makeup, just to get the mic flag on TV!" he said, as he sipped his double half-caf, no-foam, extra hot, nonfat, 30% soy latte delivered by his assistant, Serge. "I picked up some serious TSL today in Pine Valley...and a nasty rash too. I'd love to spend more time chatting with you, but the Daytime Emmy people are on Line 7, and Lucci is requesting The Goo Goo Dolls on Line 9. I will tell you that this daytime drama stuff is great – you just make stuff up! Hold on – I'm going to stare at my cell phone for dramatic effect.... OK, that's a wrap! Lunch, everybody! Back on set at 3 pm!"
A few real-related products were presented by the employees of the club, including wheat grass plant (available at Target or online at Amazon.com), George Nelson Lamps (available at Target or online), Panasonic Flatscreen Television (available at Target or online), and Spiegelau Vino Grande Martini Glasses (available at Amazon.com).
In February 2008, executives decided to have Kendall write and sell a book that would also be available in real-life stores, coinciding the fictional and real-life launch dates.
The book is credited as being written by the character. Publisher's Weekly said Kendall is "given a novelist's voice", and that the writers who produced the tie-in "[got] it right". The book, titled CHARM!, was released at a price of $15.99, and was successful; it became a bestseller not only within the series but in real life, with Publisher's Weekly adding:
The novel's conceit is that the book is Kendall Hart's roman à clef, written to set All My Children's town of Pine Valley on its ear. Kendall Hart's stand-in for this fiction (i.e., the fictional author Kendall's fictional avatar in the novel) is a sweet yet assertive young woman, Avery Wilkins, who runs her own New York–based cosmetics company, Flair, and is launching a new perfume—Charm!—that she hopes will put her on the map. When Avery first founded the company with financial backer Finn Adams, a softhearted smart man she later fell in love with, she never thought that he would die and leave his share of the company to his Paris Hilton–type daughter, Parker. Parker's drug and alcohol binging at late-night glitterati parties endanger the reputation of Flair and its new perfume, and a mysterious phone call to Avery from a manipulative woman claiming to be Avery's mother (a nod to Susan Lucci's character, Erica Kane) throws everything into a heady cloud of smoke. Romance aficionados will find Avery's two love affairs (with a dashing newsmagazine producer and a quick-witted yet sensitive billionaire, natch) intoxicating, but the denouement lacks punch—perhaps because soaps never have to come up with an ending.
See also 
- Fairman, Michael (7 March 2013). "Alicia Minshew Set For One Episode Return To All My Children! Will More Follow?". Michael Fairman On-Air On-Soaps. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Kathleen Tracy (2003). The Girl's Got Bite: The Original Unauthorized Guide to Buffy's World .... St. Martin's Press. p. 384. ISBN 0-312-31258-X.
- Article cites its top heroines during Satin Slayer storyline. Kendall one of its most beloved. "Shocking Death! We Reveal Which Of These Heroines Is Killed. "It's not pretend."". Soap Opera Digest. 2007.
- "Alicia Minshew: Queen of Harts". soaptownusa.com. 2002. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
- Susan Leigh Star (1995). The Cultures of Computing. Blackwell Publishing. p. 282. ISBN 0-631-19282-4.
- Spence, p. 109.
- Rothstein, Mervyn (September and October 1999). "Suddenly Susan". Cigar aficionado.
- In Lucci's 2005 Associated Press interview, she stated that Erica was age 15 when she began portraying. Erica. "Susan Lucci walks down marriage memory lane". Associated Press. May 6, 2005. Retrieved April 22, 20092.
- When All My Children debuted in 1970, Erica was 15 years old, putting her birth date at 1955. In 1993, this was retconned to 1956, as Erica was said to be 14 years old when she had daughter Kendall Hart, who was herself 23 at the time. In 2002, Kendall's birth date was established as 1976, putting Erica's birth year at 1962.
- Collymore, Terrie (May 24, 1994). "Sarah Michelle Gellar: Teen Queen". Soap Opera Digest.
- "Sarah Michelle Gellar Biography". movietome.com. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
- "Alicia Minshew". Soap Opera Digest. 2002.
- "Rihanna To Appear On 'All My Children'". Associated Press/CBS.com. June 23, 2006. Retrieved August 14, 2007.
- "Emily Frances". cw11.trb.com. Archived from the original on July 18, 2007. Retrieved August 14, 2007.
- "Taylor's Race For The Daytime Emmy". radioandrecords.com. 2006.
- Marsh, Lisa (June 23, 2006). "The Week in Fashion". Elle.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- "CHARM! By: Kendall Hart. Seen On The View February 5, 2008". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
- "CHARM! (Hardcover) By: Kendall Hart. She's been called every name in the book. Now, All My Childrens' Kendall Hart starts a new chapter in her life when she writes her own juicy page turner, Charm!". USA: ABC. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
- "Hardcover Bestsellers/Fiction by Daisy Maryles – Publishers Weekly, February 25, 2008". Publishers Weekly.