Michael E. Knight as Tad Martin
|All My Children character|
|Duration||1973–86, 1988–90, 1992–2011, 2013—|
|Created by||Agnes Nixon|
|One Life to Live|
|Aliases||Thaddeus James Gardner
Thaddeus "Tad" James Martin is a fictional character from the American daytime drama All My Children. Tad is portrayed by actor Michael E. Knight. Knight has portrayed the role on and off from 1982 until the series finale in 2011. Tad represents the good on the show All My Children, often butting heads with "villains" like Adam Chandler. He is perhaps the best male friend to Erica Kane. His relationship with Dixie Cooney made them a favorite of fans, reaching supercouple status. Under secrecy, Knight returned for the first season finale of Prospect Park's version of All My Children on September 2, 2013.
Knight has won three Daytime Emmys for his portrayal of Tad Martin. He won the Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Younger Actor twice in 1986 and 1987, and won the Supporting Actor trophy in 2001. He is one of the very few actors to be nominated in younger, supporting, and lead actor categories, all while portraying the same character.
- 1 Character history
- 1.1 Tad's childhood
- 1.2 Tad the Cad
- 1.3 Tad and Dixie
- 1.4 Return and reunion with Dixie
- 1.5 Third marriage to Dixie
- 1.6 Death of Dixie and the aftermath
- 1.7 Diana Henry
- 1.8 The Return and "Death" of Dixie
- 1.9 Tad and Krystal Carey
- 1.10 2008: A year of surprises and changes
- 1.11 Divorce and Damon
- 1.12 Reunion with Dixie and undercover work
- 2 See also
- 3 References
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (October 2011)|
Thaddeus Gardner is written into All My Children as being born on September 1, 1963, the son of Ray and Opal Gardner. When he was ten years old, Tad was abandoned in a park in Pine Valley by Ray. He was found by Jeff Martin and his girlfriend, Mary. They were unable to adopt Tad without his birth parents. Upon Mary's unexpected death, Jeff gave Tad to his parents, Joe and Ruth Martin. Tad was taken into the Martin home. Ray came back and tried to "sell" Tad to the Martins for $15,000. Joe refused. Angry, Ray raped Ruth. When Ray was sent to prison for the crime, Tad was formally adopted by the Martins at the age of fifteen, changing his name from Tad Gardner to Tad Martin.
Despite the loving Martin home, Tad was a rebellious teenager. He developed a close relationship with his adoptive grandmother, Kate Martin. But despite this, he still chose to make trouble. He stole the Martins' car and ran away from home for two years.
Tad the Cad
Tad returned to Pine Valley in 1982, as a 20-year-old street smart con artist. He started to develop the suave persona that earned him the nickname "Tad the Cad". He dated several women whom he seduced and then dumped and sometimes would even be caught in the act, at least once by his parents and later in Erica Kane's bedroom with one of Olga Swenson's models which would cost them both their modeling careers.
He began dating Liza Colby (who had been a bitter rival of his biological sister Jenny Gardner), and it was Tad who took Liza's virginity. He then began to have a simultaneous affair with her mother, Marian Colby. Because of Tad's deflowering of Liza, she became obsessed with him for years.
In 1984, Tad was paid to date Dottie Thornton by her mother, Edna Thornton Ferguson. During this time, he met and fell in love with Hillary Wilson, the stepdaughter of town matriarch Phoebe Tyler. Dottie found out about Tad's love for Hillary and got pregnant in an attempt to keep him. When Tad hold Hillary about the pregnancy, she encouraged him to do the right thing and stand by Dottie - and thus, ended their relationship. She nearly reconsidered when Jenny was killed in a jetski explosion, and Hillary reached out to Tad to help him cope with the tragedy. But Tad reluctantly married Dottie, not knowing that Dottie had miscarried and kept it a secret.
Attempting to move on, Hillary captured the attention of Tad's best friend Bob Georgia. Tad soon discovered Dottie's pregnancy deception, while Bob learned he was terminally ill. Though still in love with Tad, Hillary eventually said yes to Bob's marriage proposal. Bob soon discovered he was misdiagnosed, but fearing he would lose Hillary to Tad, he married her without revealing the truth.
In 1985, Tad suffered yet another major loss when his Grandma Kate died. But just as with Jenny, he kept Kate's spirit in his memory. He and Hillary then found out that Bob lied about his condition. Hillary ended her marriage, as well, paving the way for her reconciliation with Tad.
Tad and Hillary finally married in 1986, but their union quickly began to strain. Hillary discovered Tad had known the truth about con-artist Wade Matthew's evil intentions toward her stepmother, Phoebe, but had kept it secret under the threat of blackmail. Between the stress of this revelation and Hillary's focus on law school, Tad was easily wooed by the attention of lounge singer Skye Patterson (who would soon be revealed as Skye Chandler, Adam Chandler's estranged daughter). Their flirtation evolved into an affair, which Hillary quickly discovered. In spite of several attempts by Tad to gain her forgiveness, Hillary told Tad their marriage was over. With both their hearts broken and Tad's life in shambles, he left Pine Valley again to make a new start for himself - and stayed away for two years.
Portrayer Michael E. Knight was surprised at the reaction he got during the 'Tad the Cad' era. In 1984, he said "It's so weird. I'm playing a jerk. No one should like Tad Martin. But the letters I get...I feel like writing back and saying, 'Don't you see, people like that can only hurt you. You don't aspire to be like them."
Tad and Dixie
Tad returned in 1988. He began to have an affair with Barbara Montgomery. But it was quickly ended when he met the new maid of billionaire Adam Chandler, Dixie Cooney. Adam had hired Dixie, the niece of his bitter business rival Palmer Cortlandt with the ulterior motive of producing a son, an heir to the Chandler fortune. His affair with Dixie ruined his marriage with Brooke English. After that, Adam and Dixie married, with Dixie giving birth to their son, Adam Chandler Jr. (later known as JR). However, Dixie loved Tad, not Adam. Tad and Dixie began an affair behind Adam's back. When Adam found out, he committed Dixie to a mental institution and tried to take full custody of their son. Tad would rescue Dixie from the institution and help her win back custody of Junior. The couple finally married in 1989, but the marriage would not last long.
Tad's biological mother, Opal, returned to Pine Valley and helped Dixie's uncle Palmer break up the couple. They paid a woman to say she had slept with Tad. Dixie heard this and separated from Tad. Devastated at losing Dixie, Tad had an affair with Brooke, his old friend. Dixie found out about it. Dixie and Tad divorced for the first time.
Shortly thereafter, the evil pimp Billy Clyde Tuggle kidnapped Dixie in an effort to force her to marry him. Tad rescued Dixie, and the two realized they still loved each other and made plans to marry a second time. On their wedding day, Tad and Billy Clyde got into a fight. They both fell off a bridge into the river. Only Billy Clyde's body was found, and it was assumed that Tad had died as well. Tad's "death" rocked both Dixie and Brooke, who had just found out that despite thoughts that she would never have another child she was pregnant with Tad's child.
1992 finds Ted Orsini, of Orsini Vineyards - the spitting image of Tad - doing business in NYC with fairly new resident to Pine Valley, Dimitri Marick. Tad suffered from amnesia after the fall from the bridge, and ended up in Northern California. Looking for work, he meets vineyard owner Nola Orsini who believed Tad to be her own son, Ted, who was kidnapped when he was just a child. She took him in and taught him the family business which he ended up running. Dimitri invites "Ted" to Wildwind. Brooke sees him and discovers that he is really Tad - he didn't die after all. Brooke helps him to regain his memory and introduces him to his two year old son Jamie. Meeting up with Dixie again his feelings for her were coming back, but all three decide that he belongs with Brooke and their son. So in 1993, Brooke and Tad marry, with his love for Dixie still weighing strong. Eventually, Brooke realizes the marriage won't work and tells Tad to go back to Dixie and so they divorce. Tad and Dixie get back together and in 1994, they get married for the second time. Meanwhile, Nola shows up in town to tell Tad even though he wasn't Ted, she still loved him as her own son. She dies soon after of heart failure. After Tad and Dixie divorced due to an affair he had with Liza, he struck up a renewed friendship with Dixie's good friend Gloria Marsh. The relationship soon blossomed into a romantic one and they were almost married, and likely would have been were it not for the interference of Dimitri Marick, who soon seduced Gloria back into his life, and inadvertently caused Joe to have a heart attack the day of the wedding. His hold over Gloria increased when he was granted custody of his half brother, Edmund Grey's daughter Madeline following the plane crash that was thought to have killed his wife Maria Santos Grey at the time. Gloria defended Dimitri against Tad unwaveringly, which alienated her from nearly everyone in Pine Valley at the time, but her faith in him began to diminish after Edmund regained custody of Madeline. The final straw came when Tad and Edmund deceived Dimitri into confessing all of his misdeeds, and Gloria overheard the entire conversation. Enraged at his deception, Gloria left him. Later on, after apologizing to Tad for being so taken in by Dimitri's lies, Gloria left town to sort out her life.
Return and reunion with Dixie
In 1998, Adam Chandler needed Adam Jr. to come home and along with him came Dixie, who refused to have anything to do with Tad at first. Tad's mother Opal had married Dixie's uncle Palmer and when things started to sour in their marriage, Tad and Dixie got together to help them out. After tailing Palmer to New York City, they found themselves sharing a hotel room. Their true feelings for each other finally surfaced and they kissed. Needing time to think things out, they make a plan to meet at the top of the Statler Building if they each decided they really loved each other and want to be together. Separately, they each decided that is what they want. Tad sat waiting to see if she would show, but, while on her way to meet Tad, Dixie fell ill and was not able to make it. Tad believed she did not come because she had decided she did not care after all. In reality, Dixie cared so much for Tad that she did not want to burden him with her health problems - a failed kidney and then a weak heart. They remained apart which was tearing Tad up inside. He longed to be with Dixie again. With Liza's help, he soon learned about her condition and went to her. He stayed by her side, proving his undying love and once again proposing marriage to her. She accepted, and, in 1999, Tad and Dixie remarried; they were a happy family again.
Third marriage to Dixie
In 1999, Tad and Dixie married a third time and for a while things were perfect. In the mean time, Liza has married Adam and when they began having marital problems, Tad conspired with Liza to take over Chandler Enterprises. They succeeded. That spring, Dixie discovered she was pregnant. Knowing it could kill her, she decided to keep the pregnancy from Tad because she knew he would force her to terminate it. He did eventually find out and accepted her decision to carry the baby, but the baby was not to be when, that autumn, she miscarried anyway. Dixie, now feeling restless, takes a job working as an assistant for renowned cardiologist Dr. David Hayward at the hospital. Tad, knowing a cad when he sees one, became wary of Dr. Haywards need for Dixies assistance every hour of the day. Tad has the opportunity to meet David's lawyer Leslie Coulson. She turns out to be the little sister of one of Tad's old high school girlfriends. Leslie reveals to Tad that she had always had a crush on him. Soon, with Leslie's unrequited love for Tad and Davids obsession for Dixie, the happy reunion of Tad and Dixie began to crumble, once again. With a little help from Davids experimental drug, Libidizone, Leslie and Davids little plan worked liked a charm: At a party where David had dumped his sex drug into the punch, Leslie was able to lure Tad to bed. Although he couldn't recall sleeping with Leslie, it still accomplished its goal to put yet another wedge in the relationship of Tad and Dixie. Dixie grew closer to David not being aware of his involvement with the drug and what actually happened. When all was revealed Dixie left David and went back to Tad. Leslie went crazy and was sent away to a rest home. Later Tad brought Leslie back to town to help him get even with David but instead Leslie attacked Tad and Dixie in a disturbed state of mind and she almost killed Tad. Dixie, not understanding how Tad could have brought the menacing Leslie back into their lives for something as stupid as revenge lost her trust in Tad once more and they were divorced again in January 2002.
Death of Dixie and the aftermath
Shortly after the divorce, Dixie and Tad reunited once again and Dixie was soon pregnant. She wants to keep it secret knowing that there is no way now that Tad would allow her to risk her life once more carrying this baby. David secretly arranges for Dixie to stay at a special clinic in Switzerland where her heart and pregnancy can be monitored. Tad and JR (Dixie's son) are puzzled by Dixie's sudden disappearance. But Dixie stays in touch with David and eventually JR. Soon, when Dixie is close to her delivery date, and everything is going well health-wise, she decides to tell Tad everything and they make arrangements for him to be there for the birth of their long awaited daughter. With everything finally fitting into place and with their future looking brighter than ever before, Opal receives a phone call. As Tad settles onto the plane heading for Zurich, Opal who is at Brooke's house tells her the horrible news she has just received. With tears in her eyes, Brooke boards the plane to tell Tad that there has been a horrible accident. She wants Tad to get off the plane but he won't. She tells him that Dixie has been killed in an auto accident. The car has gone over a cliff and nothing is left - they couldn't even find her body. Tad is devastated to say the least. Stuck to his seat, unable to move from shock, Brooke buys a plane ticket and the two of them head for Switzerland. They go to Dixies apartment where they find that she had prepared a special evening. A framed baby sonogram sits on the table with the name 'Kate Martin' on it. They gather up Dixie's things and return home. Tad takes a long time to mourn the death of his beloved Dixie and their unborn daughter.
In 2003, Tad begins to emerge from his dark place when he enlists his investigator skills to help Brooke find out if Maria Santos Grey is still alive. The woman known as Maureen Gorman does indeed turn out to be Maria and now he must find out how she lost her memory and who could have saved her from the plane crash. When it is revealed that David Hawyard is involved big time, Tad and most of Pine Valley go after him. Seems David found Maria and gave her his experimental drugs to save her life then sent her away and gave her a new name to protect himself. When David is freed from the criminal charges filed against him, Tad is angry. He really wants to see David behind bars for good. Meanwhile, Tad dates a wacky therapist by the name of Lysistrata, but it remains a platonic relationship. Tad decides to start up his P.I. business again after Adam fires him from his position at Chandler Enterprises. Liza with her new venture with some of the young women of Pine Valley, Fusion, soon call on Tad the P.I for help. Getting to do a lot of research for Fusion he gets to know the girls there well and finds himself slightly smitten with the marketing director, Simone Torres whom Tad sums up as one hot tamale. The begin a mutually exclusive ‘booty call’ type relationship, all in fun and very hot. When JR returns home after running off to join the Merchant Marines after news of his mother's death, JR surprises everyone by presenting to them his new wife, Babe, a pretty blonde he met in port in San Diego. When Tad discovers that Babe seduced Jamie the very night she and JR returned to PV, Tad began an investigation on her. He located her mother, Krystal, and brought her back to PV with him. Tad had been helping Liza with her Adam problems and she was finding that her feelings for Tad were returning, and he was feeling some of the same in return. He was soon involved with both Simone and Liza. With Krystal Carey now in town and involved in the JR, Babe, Jamie triangle she started butting heads with Tad. But their fights always seemed to turn into hot passion. Now Tad was dividing his time between all three of these beautiful women. When Jamie calls him on how caddish that is, Tad breaks it off with all three, with Simone and Liza having had real feelings for him. His constant association with Krystal though makes her too hard to avoid. Tad and Krystal become a couple.
2004: Babe Chandler and Bianca Montgomery are both pregnant and they go into labor while stranded in a cabin in the woods. Bianca has a girl and Babe, a boy. Babe's ex-husband Paul Cramer, who flew his helicopter in to help, takes Babe's son, telling her Bianca's baby girl is hers and that Bianca's baby has died. Babe having been drugged and almost passed out believes this, for a while anyway. When she remembers that she did have a boy and that Bess must be Bianca’s baby Miranda, she and her momma decide to keep up the facade for the sake of JR who has fallen in love with who he believes is his daughter. When Tad suggests DNA tests after he suspects the baby might be Bianca's, Krystal switches the results. Tad is convinced and he asks Krystal to marry him. She is racked with guilt and keeps putting him off. When Tad finds out about the deception he is angry but decides to keep their secret but for only a little longer. To make matters worse, it is discovered that Tad’s arch rival, David Hayward, turns out to be Babe's biological father and he wants to bond with Babe and Krystal. When JR becomes mad at Babe and Jamie for their affair, JR gets sole custody of baby Bess. But that’s okay because Babe and Krystal have discovered that Babe's boy is still alive and living with Paul's sister Kelly and her husband in Llanview. Jamie and Babe come up with a plan to kidnap her baby back and they set out as fugitives, checking in with Tad and Krystal periodically. Tad, even though he has mixed feelings, arranges for them to get new IDs and gets them passports to get out of the United States.
Tad wanted to tell Bianca the truth, but Krystal and David, who turned out to be Babe’s father, begged him not to. Bianca lay in a coma after an altercation with JR. Erica knew that being reunited with Miranda was the only way save Bianca. She, Tad, and Adam confronted JR with the truth. After Tad took Bess from JR’s arms, JR told Tad that he no longer had a father.
Liza contacted Tad after she found Jamie and Babe hiding in New Orleans. Adam and JR’s thugs were closing in. Juan Pablo offered to help Tad get the couple out of the country. But, they were too late. The authorities took the young couple into custody. Tad was facing accessory charges for the kidnapping of Adam Chandler, III. Krystal made a plea-bargain and took full responsibility of the crimes. Tad and Krystal spent her last night before prison together. After Edmund was murdered, his son, Sam Grey, began acting out. Sam was biologically Tad’s grandnephew. Sam wanted to learn more about his biological family, so he moved in with the Martins. At the same time, Tad discovered Julia Keefer hiding in Wildwind. She had escaped Witness Protection to confront the crime lord who killed her husband. Julia and Sam reunited in Tad’s attic. Tad was in for the shock of his life when Di Kirby, the Chandler nanny, was revealed to be Dixie. Di told Tad she did not want to come back to Pine Valley because she lost Kate and was not sure if she wanted to reunite with Tad. Tad turned to Krystal. He proposed to her, but it was clear he had feelings for Di. Di somehow reunited Tad’s broken family. At a memorial service for Kate, Krystal came with shocking news. Di was not Dixie, rather an inmate she had met in prison. Di maintained her identity, even taking a DNA test. Tad continued to believe Di, ending his engagement with Krystal. Di was somehow linked to the crime lord, The Dragon, who wanted Julia dead. Di left Stuart a note to be given to JR only if she did not come back. Tad convinced Stuart to give him the letter. Tad found Di and Julia standing over The Dragon, Garret William’s, dead body. After making sure Di was safe, Tad revealed he knew the truth: Di was not Dixie, but her younger sister. Di’s deception further estranged JR and Tad. But on Christmas Eve 2005, Di slipped away to visit a very much alive Dixie in Vienna.
The Return and "Death" of Dixie
Tad tried to push Di away for all the pain she caused, but he could not. He had fallen in love with Di too. They made plans to marry. Their romance came to a halt when Tad came face to face with a very much alive Dixie at David's cabin. Tad was overjoyed to see the woman he loved, alive. Di admitted she had known Dixie was alive the entire time. For Tad, that was Di's last chance. Dixie told Tad that Kate was alive. Thinking she was dying after the accident, she signed Kate away to Greg believing Tad did not want to be a father. Tad rejected Dixie for her selfish decision. Dejected, Tad turned to Krystal. They slept together. Tad began the search for his lost daughter. David falsified medical documents making it appear that Emma McDermott was Kate. Tad knew he had to get to the source of the problem. He kidnapped Greg and buried him alive. He was going to dig him after he revealed the location of his daughter. But Greg never broke. He died when his coffin caved in. Dixie and Zach Slater went to trial for Greg's murder. On the witness stand, Tad tried to incriminate Dixie. In front of his sons, he berated their mother for abandoning them. Dixie was shocked to see Tad's true feelings come out. Livia was able to discredit his testimony and there was a mistrial. Tad revealed to Dixie it was all his ploy to stop the investigation into Greg’s murder because he had committed the crime. Dixie and Tad finally began to make peace and he forgave her for all she done. The family began to reunite and at Christmas, Tad and Dixie finally had a wonderful holiday with their sons. Tad realized how much he still loved his ex-wife and Dixie clearly loved Tad. They began to plan a future together once again, but a tragic turn of events happen instead; on January 30, 2007, Dixie had a plate of poisoned pancakes meant for her daughter in law Babe and she began to have pains in her heart. She immediately collapsed of a massive heart attack and despite prompt medical attention she died on the operating room table with Tad at her side. Her last words were to Tad: Together Forever.
Tad and Krystal Carey
Tad grew close to Jim and Linda Mershon's adopted daughter, Kathy. Julia was uncomfortable when Kathy asked Tad to be her new father. Kathy helped Tad cope with his loss. Krystal revealed the child she was pregnant with was Tad's and not Adam's. Adam reacted by kicking his wife out of Chandler Mansion. Krystal and Tad's baby was named Jenny Colby Martin, after Tad's late sister. Days after Jenny's birth, Janet kidnapped her from the neonatal ward. It was revealed Adam had influenced Janet to escape the mental ward. Adam intended on selling Jenny on the black market. Luckily, Janet came to her senses and returned Jenny to her parents. Adam refused to relent in his influence over Krystal’s life. Wanting to protect Jenny from Adam, Tad asked her to marry him. They entered a marriage of convenience on December 26, 2007.
2008: A year of surprises and changes
Various people from Tad's past came back to Pine Valley. Joe asked Dr. Angie Hubbard to come back and consult with him on a case. Jesse and Angie's son, Frank Hubbard, had become ill after ingesting a toxin in the Pine Valley woods. The ordeal brought someone surprising out of hiding: Jesse, who had never died. A crime lord, called "the Papel", had threatened to hurt his family wrongfully, thinking Jesse was in the possession of a rare uncut diamond.
Krystal staged it so Angie and Jesse would see each other again. Seeing that Angie caused Jesse to let down his guard and let Tad help him. Robert Gardner came to town. Robert was Ray's brother and Tad's uncle. Tad wanted nothing to do with Robert. However, he somehow charmed his way with Opal and Krystal.
Robert was, in fact, the Papel. He showed his true colors at Jesse and Angie's wedding. He shot and killed Julia; Tad also got caught in the line of fire, fell into a coma, and was visited by Dixie's spirit. Dixie and Tad lived their lives together as if her accident in Switzerland never happened. Tad wanted to stay with Dixie in heaven, but she implored him to wake up because someone in Pine Valley needed him.
Adam revealed Kathy was actually Kate. Tad gave up on his life of danger, leaving his P.I. firm to focus on his new relationship with the daughter he had longed for so long. Kathy had a hard time adjusting to life with the Martins, especially with Krystal.
When another tornado blew through Pine Valley, Tad was haunted by the occurrences of his past. David made his way back to town the same night. Babe had suffered fatal injuries in the disaster. David blamed Babe's death on JR's family. Tad was told Jamie and Jeff were reported missing in the Congo. Tad decided to go and investigate the situation himself. What he did not know was that the news was part of David’s plot to break up the Martins. While Tad was away, David drugged and seduced Krystal.
Divorce and Damon
After learning about Krystal's affair with David, he threw Krystal out and won full custody of Jenny on January 13, 2009. Soon afterward, Krystal filed for divorce from Tad and Tad signed the divorce papers. He then began working for Ryan Lavery doing an undercover investigation of Dr. Sinclair. In February 2009, Tad and Krystal settled their divorce right before Tad's friend, Greenlee, was killed in a tragic accident.
In May 2009, he got shot by Jesse because Jesse thought Tad was the murderer who killed Stuart. He soon begins to regain his memories from the night of the shooting, seeing Annie, Kendall, and Emma in his visions the night of Stuart's death. His stepson JR has cancer. Meanwhile, Tad takes in the young, troubled Damon Miller. He learns that Damon is the son of Hillary Wilson, his ex-wife. Tad, Jesse, and Angie eventually come to the conclusion that Damon could be Tad's son, which Tad then confesses to Krystal and confides to Opal. On March 17, 2010, Tad receives the DNA results confirming that Damon is indeed his son. Tad wanted to confront Hillary, but she was not in her hotel room and did not she answer her phone. Paul Miller, Damon's step-father, came to town to take Damon home, but Tad refused to allow that because of how Paul had treated Damon. Damon eventually overhears his paternity, at the park, while Liza is arguing with Colby, which prompts Damon to run off in rage. Tad catches up with him at the hospital the next day and tries to explain why he didn't tell him, but Damon doesn't want to have anything to do with him.
Reunion with Dixie and undercover work
Tad and his family are unaware that Dixie is alive. On March 8, 2011, Tad legally married Cara Martin, so that she would not be deported. On September 22, 2011, Tad and Dixie get engaged again, despite still being married to Cara.
In May 2013, Tad was revealed to be out on the field on a case. In September 2013, Jesse contacts Tad for help regarding Russian criminal Yuri Koslov, leaving the implication that Tad may be returning to Pine Valley in the immediate future.
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