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|All My Children character|
|Duration||1979–89, 1995–96, 2010|
|Last appearance||April 20, 2010|
|Created by||Agnes Nixon|
Nina Cortlandt is a fictional character and one half of the Cliff and Nina supercouple on the long running ABC soap opera, All My Children. She has been most notably played by Taylor Miller who exited the role in 1996. Miller returned for a special cameo in 2010, following the death of her father Palmer Cortlandt.
Nina Cortlandt was her father’s daughter; not that she had much of a choice after her mother died in childbirth. For as long as she could remember, she suffered from many ailments, most notably diabetes. The pressure of her recent move to Pine Valley made her ignore her health. At a party thrown in honor of the Cortlandts at the Tyler Estate, Nina fainted as a result of appendicitis.
When Nina awoke, she saw the face of a handsome doctor, Cliff Warner. Cliff took a liking to Nina. They began dating, but Palmer did not approve of Cliff. Nina’s only concern came about when Cliff’s ex- Janice Rawlins approached her, bad mouthing Cliff. Janice was pregnant with Cliff’s child. The pressure began to affect Nina, and her health began to diminish again. Little did she know, Janice's presence was a plot put together by Palmer to keep the lovers apart.
Nina got cold feet after Cliff finally proposed to her. She had long blamed herself for her mother’s death in childbirth, and was fearful of having the same fate bestow her. Myra calmed Nina’s fears by secretly staging a séance with her late mother, Daisy Cortlandt. Daisy encouraged her daughter to follow her heart. But, Palmer had other plans. He informed Nina that she had been diagnosed with the early stages of blindness as a result of her diabetes. She did not want to be a burden to Cliff and broke up with him. In the meanwhile, she began to spend time with Palmer’s employee, Sean Cudahy. Sean and Nina were stuck in a bank robbery together. She passed out in a diabetic coma. Sean and Brooke English’s efforts helped to stop the robbery and keep Nina alive. Nina also became friends with the new stable hand, Monique Jonvil.
Nina learned that her condition was reversible with a non-invasive surgical technique. She traveled to Baltimore to have the laser surgery done. When she returned to Pine Valley, she accepted Cliff’s proposal. They married on the Cortlandt Manor grounds. New friends Brooke and Monique were amongst her bridal party.
But married bliss was not to be. Nurse Sybil Thorne revealed that when Cliff and Nina had broken up, she had gotten pregnant with his son. Nina moved back to Cortlandt Manor and filed for divorce from Cliff.
Nina refused to see the man who had broken her heart. Nina still loved Cliff, but she knew they had no chance at happiness as long as Sybil held their unborn child as a bargaining chip. Monique convinced Nina to give Cliff another chance. Nina found herself falling back into his arms. They planned to announce their reconciliation at a dinner party in Cortlandt Manor.
Sybil arrived to break up the party. After a heated argument with Nina, she went into labor. Cliff helped Sybil as she gave birth to Bobby Warner, their son.
Nina watched from the sidelines as Sybil fumbled with life as single mother. She went to Sybil intent on offering to adopt her child and provide him the life she could not. Sybil threatened Nina, telling her if she did not leave Cliff she would give the child away to a stranger. When Cliff got word, he was enraged and stormed out to Sybil’s apartment. That night, Sybil was found dead.
Nina watched as Cliff fought for his innocence in court. But, things were looking very bleak. Then, a surprise witness entered the court: Monique. Monique implicated Sean in Sybil’s murder. But, when the attorney asked her who she was, Monique made a startling revelation: she was Daisy Cortlandt, Nina’s mother. Palmer had forced Daisy out of Nina's life after catching her in an affair with another man. As a compromise, Daisy's mother Myra was kept on the house staff to keep an eye on Nina.
In prison, Sean implicated Palmer as the mastermind of the entire plot. He was paying off both he and Sybil to keep Nina and Cliff apart. Nina rejected her father, and hoped to finally build a relationship with the mother he had exiled from her life. But, when Palmer went missing in Center City, Nina realized she could not cut her father out of her life forever.
Palmer was found alive as an amnesiac. Nina hoped for his recovery. At the end of the year, Nina formally adopted Bobby, called off the divorce and reconciled with Cliff.
While her father was away on his honeymoon with the much younger Donna Beck, Nina got a frantic call from the Cortlandt Electronics Board of Directors. She used part of her trust fund to solve their fiscal problem. When Palmer returned he recognized his daughter’s acumen for business and gave her an executive position in his company. Cliff did not want Nina working the long hours necessary for the job. He felt like she was beginning to neglect Bobby.
Nina’s coworker Steve Jacobi did not seem to understand that Nina was a married woman. At her Anniversary party, he planted a kiss on her. As much as Nina wanted to keep her relationship with Steve strictly business, things spiraled out of control. She began to fantasize about Steve while making love to Cliff.
A storm hit Pine Valley while Steve and Nina were working at Cortlandt Manor. They were alone in the dark by the roaring fireplace. Nina succumbed to her innermost desires, sleeping with Steve. As much as she would want to forget her night of infidelity, she could not. They began an affair.
Nina continued her torrid affair with Steve. Cliff went by his apartment one day to speak to Nina only to hear the lovers in a passionate embrace. Cliff filed for a quickie divorce. This time the divorce was finalized. Nina continued her life with Steve, but it was obvious his interest was waning. Nina wanted to talk marriage, while Steve was content with his life now. All the while, Nina and Cliff found themselves in many arguments over Bobby’s welfare. This changed when Cliff believed that Nina had been killed in a helicopter crash. Cliff was ecstatic to learn Nina was alive. But, Cliff was now in a relationship with Devon Shepherd. Nina also knew she did not love Steve. She moved back in with her father at Cortlandt Manor. Devon stepped aside and left town.
Eventually, Nna and Cliff reconciled and were married for the second time by a justice of the peace.
Nina was mesmerized by the healing powers of a conman named Zach Grayson. Daisy tried to break Nina out of her trance. But, Nina’s mental state weakened. Zach drugged and raped Nina, while Cliff’s sister, Linda Warner, took photos. Zach planned to blackmail Nina with threats of showing Cliff the photos. Nina turned to her mother for help. Nina was shocked when Daisy was discovered in Zach’s apartment, standing over his dead body with a bloody knife.
In the duration of the trial, all of Zach’s misdeeds came to light. The strain of the trial on her mother, and the end of any future with Cliff weighed heavily on Nina’s psyche. Donna had served as a key witness for the duration of the trial. Nina began to displace all her aggression toward her father’s former wife. Even after Donna exonerated Daisy for Zach’s murder, Nina could not waive her intense feelings of hate towards her. At Donna’s wedding to Benny Sago, Nina came with a gun. She tried to shoot Donna, but luckily missed.
Nina finally broke from reality. She regressed to a state of adolescence, forgetting about her life as a mother and as Cliff’s wife. It tore Palmer apart having to put his daughter in an asylum, but at least it kept her away from Cliff. Their second marriage ended in divorce.
Nina tried to piece together her shattered life. She found solace in Benny’s arms. But Benny was still very much married to Donna. Nina was convinced she was in love. Before things got out of hand, Daisy and Nina left on a long cruise. When Nina returned to Pine Valley, she began dating Matt Connolly. The couple ran into Cliff on Martha’s Vineyard. Cliff’s new fiancée, Dr. Amy Stone, was delayed in her arrival. Nina decided to keep Cliff company until Amy’s train arrived. It was like no time had passed between the couple. When Nina saw Matt again, she knew their relationship was over.
Waiting for her train to take her back to Pine Valley, Nina was plagued with thoughts of Cliff. But, she was not about to break up an engagement. At that very moment, she heard her name being called. Cliff was running on the platform, professing his love. Matt had told him that Nina still loved him. Nina got off the train as soon as she could, and the couple reunited.
That Christmas, in front of family and friends, Nina and Cliff married for the third time at the Tavern on the Green in New York City.
Nina anxiously awaited Cliff’s return from a humanitarian mission in Hong Kong. But her world was turned upside down when news came that Cliff had gone to South America and was killed by rebels. Nina returned to Martha’s Vineyard to mourne her husband. Matt followed her, afraid that she would have another break from reality. Nina wanted to be alone, but Matt refused to leave. In her moment of weakness, Nina and Matt shared a night of passionate lovemaking. As Nina lay next to Matt, she realized she did not want to be alone. She proposed to Matt and they married the next morning.
Returning to Pine Valley, Nina got word that Cliff was alive. They had an emotional reunion where Cliff promised to never leave Nina again. Nina spent the night with Cliff. But, when Cliff learned about Nina’s marriage to Matt, he rejected her. He wanted nothing to do with Nina anymore. She turned to Matt, hoping he would take her back.
Nina found out she pregnant. She realized both Matt and Cliff could have been the child’s father. Still recovering from Cliff’s rejection, Nina told Matt the child was his. Matt got a new job in Chicago, and the Connolly’s left Pine Valley. Because Cluff had been declared dead, Nina's marriage to him was dissolved.
Nina returned to Pine Valley with a medical emergency. Her youngest son, Mikey Connolly, had fell ill with a mysterious disease. She could not trust anyone else’s diagnosis but Cliff’s. Cliff was able to save Mikey, but in the process he uncovered something that Nina had feared all along: Mikey was Cliff’s son, not Matt’s. Upon learning the truth, Matt returned to Chicago without Nina.
Nina and Cliff were drawn to each other again. Only, Cliff was now in a relationship with Angie Hubbard. When Nina admitted to Angie that she still loved Cliff, Angie stepped aside. Nina and Cliff married for the fourth and final time on the Cortlandt Manor grounds. The Warners then left for Denver to start their lives anew.
Trouble with Bobby, exit, and 2010 return
Nina arrived in Pine Valley for the Martin family housewarming. She had something important to talk about with her father, but decided to hold off after catching him in a heated argument with her mother.
Nina sent Bobby to live with Palmer. He had grown up to be quiet the handful. Nina hoped that Palmer could instill the discipline that he was lacking.
Upon learning that Bobby had impregnated Kesley Jefferson, Nina came back to Pine Valley. Palmer was ready to kick Bobby out of Cortlandt Manor. But Nina did not want Palmer to lose his relationship with his grandson because of one bad decision. Nina reminded Bobby how much she loved him, and that she would always support any decision he made.
Nina returned in 2010 to mourn the death of her father, Palmer.