List of All My Children characters (1970s)

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A list of notable characters from the ABC soap opera All My Children who significantly impacted storylines and began their run from the years 1970 to 1979.

Phoebe Tyler[edit]

Phoebe Tyler
All My Children character
Portrayed by Ruth Warrick
Duration 1970–2005
First appearance January 5, 1970
Last appearance January 5, 2005
Created by Agnes Nixon
Other names Phoebe Wallingford
  • Socialite
  • Member of the Daughters of Fine Lineage
  • Member of the Pine Valley Historical Society
  • Overseer of fundraising efforts for the AIDS Hospice/Cindy Chandler Memorial
  • Columnist for Tempo magazine (She's Dear Aggy, the advice columnist)
Residence Wallingford Estate
Pine Valley, Pennsylvania

Phoebe Wallingford was portrayed by Ruth Warrick from 1970 until her death in 2005. Warrick was nominated twice for Emmy Awards, and received the Daytime Emmy Award for lifetime achievement for her portrayal of the character.[1]

Phoebe was a pillar of Pine Valley. Her family, the Englishes, were founders of the region. The leading socialite in the community, Phoebe prides herself on her family's ancestry, and is a member of the fictional "Daughters of Fine Lineage."

Phoebe is first married to Charles Tyler, Chief of Staff at Pine Valley Hospital. They have three children, Charles Jr. (Charles' son by his first wife, and thus, Phoebe's stepson at the time), Lincoln, and Anne. Charles Jr. and his wife are killed in a car wreck, leaving Phoebe and Charles to raise their grandson, Chuck. Chuck gives his grandmother plenty of grief with his involvement in one of the show's earliest love triangles between himself, his best friend Philip Brent, and the young Tara Martin. Lincoln becomes a prominent attorney and is first married to Amy Parker. After Amy's secret child from a prior relationship is eventually found out, she leaves Lincoln and Pine Valley.

Chuck later marries Donna Beck, a reformed prostitute whom Phoebe detests, calling her "that Donna creature;" and Carrie Sanders, whose father had been abusive to both his wives. He dates several other women in Pine Valley. He is the natural father of Donna's son Palmer John, conceived in an affair while she is married to Phoebe's friend, Palmer Cortlandt. Phoebe and Chuck have a very close bond throughout the show, and she considers him more of a son than a grandson.

Phoebe's son Lincoln is married to a set of twins, Kitty Shea Davis and Kelly Cole. Anne is married at first to a European nobleman, then to Nick Davis (the father of Amy's son), and, finally, to the attorney Paul Martin (who is involved with other women during the time of Ann's institutionalization).

Phoebe constantly meddles in the lives of her children and niece, much to the dismay of her husband Charles. Despite this, though, she always meant well. Charles, much more down-to-earth than his often snobby and overbearing wife, later turns to his secretary, Mona Kane, for comfort. This pushes Phoebe to begin drinking heavily, often making a spectacle of herself at public events. Her fondness for alcohol once led to a drunk driving arrest, as well as a drunken tumble down her staircase.

Phoebe and Charles eventually divorce, and she finds a new love in the form of Langley Wallingford. Langley claims to be a professor, but he has a checkered past as a con artist. He initially pursues Phoebe for her fortune, but eventually falls in love with her. Langley and Phoebe marry in June 1980. Their marriage is briefly strained in 1984 when Phoebe learns of her husband's past, but the two reconcile. They are blissfully happy until the arrival of another poser named Wade Matthews in 1986. Wade stages a series of events to break up Langley and Phoebe. Phoebe marries the much younger Wade in a drunken stupor. Wade unsuccessfully tries to murder Phoebe to inherit a sizable portion of her estate. He is later found out and imprisoned, and the marriage is annulled. Phoebe and Langley remarry and remain together until the latter's death in the early 2000s. Phoebe dies from natural causes in May 2005, with her niece, Brooke English, at her side. Her last words were "Langley is waiting for me."

Ruth Martin[edit]

Ruth Martin
All My Children character
Portrayed by Mary Fickett (1970–96, 2000)
Lee Meriwether (1996–99, 2002–03, 2007–10, 2011)
Duration 1970–2000, 2002–10, 2011
First appearance January 5, 1970
Last appearance September 23, 2011
Created by Agnes Nixon
Occupation Registered nurse
Residence Florida

Ruth Martin (maiden name Parker; previously Brent) is a fictional character from the ABC soap opera All My Children. She is a registered nurse and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. In the 1970s, she is raped by Ray Gardner, the biological father of her adopted son, Tad Martin.

Ruth is the matriarch of the Martin family and, in a sense, the matriarchial character of All My Children itself. Along with her husband Joe Martin and her former stepdaughter-in-law Erica Kane, she is one of three original characters remaining since the series' premiere episode. The character was originated by Mary Fickett in the show's first episode on January 5, 1970. After 26 years Fickett left the role, only briefly returning for the year of 2000, and Ruth has been portrayed by Lee Meriwether since July 10, 1996.


Ruth is married to Ted Brent in 1970 when All My Children begins. She is a registered nurse at Pine Valley Hospital. Ruth and Ted have an adopted son named Philip Brent. Philip is actually Ruth's nephew, the son of Amy Tyler (Ruth's sister) and Nick Davis. Ruth is adamant about keeping Phillip's true paternity from him, but Nick Davis threatens to reveal the truth. After her first husband Ted Brent dies in a car accident, she begins dating her colleague Dr. Joe Martin, a widower. The two marry in 1972, blending their families. The Martins take in a young boy Thaddeus Gardner in 1973. Thaddeus (known as Tad) was abandoned by his abusive father, Ray Gardner, in a park. Ray shows up sometime later and demands money for his son. After the Martins adamantly refuse, Ray stalks Ruth and violently rapes her one night, leaving her in a coma.

In 1975, Joe begins to have feelings for a patient he is treating named Leora Sanders. During their separation, Ruth has an affair with David Thorton and the two become engaged at one point. Eventually, she and Joe reconcile. They conceive a son, Joseph Martin Jr. (now referred to as Jake), on Christmas Day 1979. Ruth and the entire Martin family grieve the loss of Kate Martin, Joe's mother, in 1985. In 1994, the Martin House is destroyed by a tornado. Tad is severely injured and almost dies. The whole town comes together and helps the Martins rebuild their house. In 1997, Joe suffers a heart attack and almost dies. Ruth is there to nurture Joe back to health. Throughout most of the 1990s and 2000s, Ruth becomes more of a supporting character and is only seen on holidays and special occasions. She often appears to support her sons Tad and Jake, and her grandson Charlie Brent. She maintains friendships with characters such as Mona Kane Tyler, Opal Cortlandt, and Marian Colby Chandler over the years. In the 1990s, she trains Julia Santos in Pine Valley Hospital's nursing program. In April 2008, she is confronted with a reminder of her rape, when Ray Gardner's brother, Robert, comes to her granddaughter Jenny's birthday party. In May 2008, Ruth and Joe attend Jesse and Angie Hubbard's wedding; Robert Gardner shows up and shoots Julia, Greg, and Tad. Ruth and Joe attempt to save Julia, but she dies as a result of her injuries. The Martins are devastated over Julia's death, but are thrilled to find out that Julia's foster child, Kathy Mershon, is actually their long lost granddaughter, Tad's daughter Kathy Martin.

After Stuart Chandler's murder in May 2009, Ruth, Tad, Jake, and Amanda attend his funeral. On December 3, 2009, Joe announces to Jake that he and Ruth are making plans to retire and are thinking of moving. This comes as a complete surprise to Jake, but Joe assures him that he and Ruth will always miss Pine Valley, but it is time for a change. In January 2010, Ruth and Joe retired and moved to Florida where Tara and Kelsey live. In April 2010, Ruth and Joe are devastated to hear that their dear friend Palmer Cortlandt died. At midnight, they along with other Pine Valley residents of past and present, light candles to honor him. Ruth briefly returns in June 2010 for her son Jake's vow renewal ceremony to Amanda Dillon.

Vietnam War protest

All My Children broke new ground and made history in 1971 when they had Ruth publicly protest the Vietnam War. This is a television first, and in 1973, Mary Fickett beame the first daytime television performer in television history to receive an Emmy Award for this storyline.

Recast and return

In 1996, Mary Fickett decided to retire from acting. She allowed her contract with All My Children to expire, expecting to be offered a recurring status (meaning she could appear occasionally, without a minimum amount of required appearances). Fans and soap opera publications were shocked when ABC announced that they recast the role with former Miss America winner Lee Meriwether that same year. This came as a shock, as Fickett was an original cast member who had played Ruth for 26 years. However, in 1999, negotiations between Meriwether's agents and the producers of All My Children broke down, and Meriwether was let go. In 2000, ABC asked Mary Fickett back to portray Ruth for the show's 30th anniversary episode. Fickett continued to play Ruth throughout most of 2000, but decided to permanently retire at the end of that year. Ruth did not appear on the show again for an entire year.

In 2002, the show's writers wanted to bring the character back to the canvas. ABC asked Lee Meriwether back to the show, as Mary Fickett declined an offer to stay with the show on a recurring basis. Meriwether portrayed Ruth from that point on. On September 8, 2011, Fickett died at age 83. All My Children was planned a special tribute to her in an episode that aired two days before the series finale.

Mona Kane[edit]

Mona Kane
All My Children character
Portrayed by Frances Heflin
Duration 1970–94
First appearance 1970
Last appearance 1994
Created by Agnes Nixon
Occupation Administrative Assistant
Residence Pine Valley, Pennsylvania

Mona Kane Tyler, also called Mona Kane, was an original fictional character on the long-running American daytime drama All My Children. Mona was portrayed by Frances Heflin from the first episode in 1970 to the actress' death in 1994.

Mona was the hard-working mother of Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) and secretary to Dr. Charles Tyler (Hugh Franklin), whom she later married. Her relationship with Charles caused a big rift between her and the intrusive Phoebe Tyler (Ruth Warrick), Charles' wife before her. Mona always defended Erica, who always made questionable choices where her life was concerned. She was also best friends with Myrtle Fargate and doted upon her granddaughters, Kendall and Bianca. In fact, Bianca had gained her sweetness from her grandmother. Mona died in her sleep, and, in a scene forever remembered in Pine Valley; Erica broke down and threw herself on the coffin of her mother.

Myrtle Fargate[edit]

Myrtle Fargate
All My Children character
Portrayed by Eileen Herlie
Duration 1976–2008
First appearance 1976
Last appearance December 19, 2008
Created by Agnes Nixon
Other names Mrs. Lucy Carpenter
Occupation Owner of The Boutique (retired)
Landlord of Fargate Boarding House
Residence Fargate Boarding House,
Pine Valley, Pennsylvania

Myrtle Fargate (maiden name Lum) is a fictional character on the American daytime drama All My Children, as portrayed by Eileen Herlie from 1976 to the actress' death. Even though Herlie died on October 8, her last episode aired on June 23, 2008. On December 19, 2008, Myrtle was remembered for 32 years on the series.

Pre-Pine Valley days

During her years in the carnival, Myrtle began dating Marcello Angelini, an acrobat of the Angelini Brothers, from Naples. The two were in love and wanted to marry, but Marcello's brother had arranged for him to marry another woman from a circus family in Italy. By the time that she found out that she was pregnant with Rae Cummings, he had already married. She gave the baby up for adoption and sometime later Marcello died after doing a dangerous stunt and his brother failed to catch him.

Arriving in Pine Valley

Myrtle Lum comes to Pine Valley, Pennsylvania as a former carny and a somewhat partner-in-crime to Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, as she is trying to break up her son, Lincoln's, marriage to Kitty Shea. She is to pose as her mother, Mrs. Lucy Carpenter. However, a real bond of affection blooms between Kitty and Myrtle. Naturally, the scheme fails, and Phoebe is defeated again. Kitty is dying of a brain disease, and Myrtle and Lincoln vow to make her last months happy ones. They do, and Kitty dies at peace. Myrtle meets a man named Nigel Fargate and eventually marries him, away from Pine Valley. When Nigel dies, Myrtle returns to Pine Valley.

She owns the Boutique, a clothing store that is owned by Lincoln's late sister, Ann Tyler, and also owns a boarding house in Pine Valley. She is best friends with Phoebe's former rival, Mona Kane Tyler, and when Mona dies, she becomes the surrogate mother to Erica Kane (to Myrtle's mind and heart, Erica is her girl). She is also the surrogate grandmother to Erica's children, Kendall Hart, Josh Madden and Bianca Montgomery (Bianca once stayed at Myrtle's boarding house, where she was raped by Michael Cambias). She functions in a great-grandmotherly capacity to Miranda Montgomery, Spike Lavery and Ian Slater as well, Kendall and Bianca's children. As such, she is often considered a member of the Kane-Montgomery family. She also functions as a mother figure to Zach Slater, Kendall's husband, when he needs some clarity in his life. Her last scene on June 23, 2008 is of her giving Zach advice at his Cambias office. The character's run ended on October 8, 2008. with the actress' passing due to pneumonia.

On December 18, 2008, Erica phones Zach with the news of Myrtle's passing. On December 19, those closest to Myrtle (Erica, Zach, Bianca and Opal) receive gifts that she had planned to give to them, and look back (along with Peter Cortlandt, Jesse Hubbard, Angie Hubbard, Frankie Hubbard, Kelly Tyler, Amanda Dillon, Ryan Lavery, Greenlee Smythe, and Jackson Montgomery) at their time with her in flashbacks as the town gathers for a memorial service at Zach's newly rebuilt casino. Zach names a room at the casino the "Fargate Carnival Room" in her honor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (2005-01-18). "All My Children's Ruth Warrick Dies at 88 - All My Children, Ruth Warrick". Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  2. ^ With Marcello Angelini; stated on-air on All My Children on February 23, 2000.

External links[edit]

Further reading