Martha Byrne

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Martha Byrne
Byrne on the ATWT farewell event in Hilversum (The Netherlands) in 2012
Born Mary Martha Byrne
(1969-12-23) December 23, 1969 (age 45)
Ridgewood, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer, television writer
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Michael McMahon (1994–present)
Children 3

Mary Martha Byrne (born December 23, 1969) is an American actress, singer and television writer. She played the role of Lily Walsh Snyder on the soap opera As the World Turns from 1985 to 1989, then again from 1993 to 2008; as well as, from 2000 to 2003, Lily's twin sister, Rose D'Angelo. Byrne has also appeared in other stage, television and movie roles, including the title role in the 1983 film Anna to the Infinite Power


Featured roles[edit]

Byrne began acting at a young age when she joined the cast of the Broadway musical Annie, where she played the role of July.

She was a featured actor on a number of prime time episodic television programs, including Kate and Allie, Murder, She Wrote, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Jake and the Fatman, In the Heat of the Night, and Hearts are Wild. Byrne also appeared in several television movies, with featured roles in When the Cradle Falls and Pink Lightning.

Byrne's best known film role was as the title character in the 1983 film Anna to the Infinite Power. In 2010 she provided the commentary for the film's DVD release.

Daytime television[edit]

Byrne is best known for her role on the CBS Daytime soap opera As the World Turns, portraying Lily Walsh Snyder. She took over the role in May 1985 at age 15, taking over from 13-year-old Lucy Deakins.

Byrne soon became part of a "supercouple" when then-Head Writer Douglas Marland paired Lily, a "poor little rich girl", with hard-luck farmhand Holden Snyder, played by Jon Hensley.

In 1987, Byrne was involved in controversy when she taped Lily's first love scene months before her own 18th birthday. Lily lost her virginity to the character of Dusty Donovan; to add to the controversy, actor Brian Bloom, who was playing Dusty, was even younger than Byrne. This provoked controversy (as teenage characters are generally portrayed by actors who are a few years older, and therefore of consenting age).

Byrne left the show in October 1989, and Heather Rattray assumed the role of Lily. Byrne then returned in April 1993.

From 2000 until 2003, Byrne assumed a double role when she played Lily's long-lost twin, Rose D'Angelo who was created by Hogan Sheffer.

Byrne left As the World Turns again in April 2008. The show's executive producer Christopher Goutman stated, "We made Martha an incredibly generous offer in hopes that she would remain a valuable member of the ATWT cast. Unfortunately, Martha has decided to leave despite our best efforts to keep her."[1] Byrne later asserted that the contract negotiations fell through because As the World Turns refused to guarantee her the same number of episodes to appear in that she appeared in 2007. She added that a casting call was made for her successor during her contract negotiations, which fueled her drive to leave. Byrne's last airdate on the show was April 22, 2008; her successor, Noelle Beck, appeared in the role of Lily from May 2008 until the series' end in 2010.

Byrne was hired as a script writer by Bradley Bell for The Bold and the Beautiful in early 2009.

On June 17, 2009 she began appearing on the soap opera General Hospital as Andrea Floyd, the wife of Port Charles' mayor Garrett Floyd. She exited the role on September 9 of the same year.


Byrne is also a singer. She contributed a Christmas medley to the 1994 RCA release, A Soap Opera Christmas. She released her self-titled album Martha Byrne in 1996.

She has also released a second album, Woman Thing Music. Byrne again was the subject of controversy, as the sponsor of the second album was Philip Morris. The CD could only be purchased in conjunction with the purchase of cigarettes, or at one of the "Woman Music Thing" concerts that Philip Morris sponsored. Byrne eventually withdrew endorsement from the music label, as she did not want to be associated with a product that could encourage underage smoking.

In 2006 Byrne released a third album, The Other Side.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Byrne is a ten-time Daytime Emmy Award-nominee, winning Outstanding Younger Actress in 1987, Outstanding Lead Actress in 2001, and Outstanding Performer in a New Approaches Drama Series in 2015.

Personal life[edit]

Byrne has been married since 1994 to Michael McMahon, a former undercover officer in the New York City Police Department.[2] She grew up in Waldwick, New Jersey[3] and lives in nearby Ridgewood.[4]

Their first child, Michael Terrence McMahon, was born on May 29, 1998. An episode of the TLC series A Baby Story chronicled her second pregnancy and the birth of her son, Maxwell Vincent McMahon, on September 3, 2002. Their third child and first daughter, Annmarie, was born June 12, 2006.


Year Title Role Other notes
1982 The Eyes of the Amaryllis Jenny Reade
Drop-Out Father Elizabeth McCall
1983 Anna to the Infinite Power Anna Hart
The Hamptons Miranda 1 episode
1984 He's Fired, She's Hired Emily Grier
1985 As the World Turns Lily Walsh Snyder 1985–1989, 1993–2008
The Beniker Gang Molly Stamwick aka Dear Lola, or How to Start Your Own Family
Kate & Allie Carter Lowe 1 episode
1986 As the World Turns: 30th Anniversary Lily
1989 In the Heat of the Night Lizbeth Hagen
1990 Jake and the Fatman Melanie Wilkerson
The Young Riders Vera Collins 2 episode
Doogie Howser, M.D. Sasha Larkin 1 episode
Over My Dead Body Julie Talmadge 1 episode
1991 Bob Hope & Friends: Making New Memories Herself
Murder, She Wrote Sarah Lapp 1 episode
Silk Stalkings Erica Dietz 1 episode
Pink Lightning Jill
1992 Parker Lewis Can't Lose Erin
1997 The Marksmen Alison Wells
When the Cradle Falls Donna McDermott
2001 The 28th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Herself
Mergers & Acquisitions Iowa
2004 Living It Up! With Ali and Jack Herself March 17, 2004
2006 SoapTalk Herself May 8, 2006, April 5, 2006
Life After Tomorrow Herself
2009 General Hospital Andrea Floyd June 17–September 9, 2009[5]
2014 Crisis[6] Marie Wirth 1 episode


Year Title Role Other notes
2009 The Bold and the Beautiful script writer 3 episodes


Year Title Role Other notes
2009 Bye Bye Sally executive producer


  1. ^ "Martha Byrne Exits As the World Turns". Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  2. ^ "VOWS; Martha Byrne and Michael McMahon", The New York Times, November 27, 1994
  3. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "In Paramus, a showbiz boot camp", The Record (Bergen County), March 5, 2011. Accessed December 20, 2013. "It was a different world in 1977, when a 9-year-old from Waldwick named Martha Byrne embarked on a big adventure in New York City. One of 700 hopefuls who went to an open call for the Broadway musical "Annie," Byrne landed the part of an orphan — and went on to a successful showbiz career."
  4. ^ Staff. "'Empire’s Got Talent': Bergen native Martha Byrne holds one night only event",, November 8, 2011. Accessed December 20, 2013. "Waldwick native and Ridgewood resident Martha Byrne held an 'Empire’s Got Talent' event last night in New York City."
  5. ^ "General Hospital Comings & Goings. (NEW.) - General Hospital Comings & Goings". Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  6. ^ Newcomb, Roger. "NEWS: Deidre Hall Stresses Vision Care; Martha Byrne Joins CRISIS; Howard Overby to B&B; Joyce Jacobs & Jon Mercedes Have Passed Away". We Love Soaps. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 

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