|As the World Turns character|
|First appearance||May 1993|
|Last appearance||September 15, 2010|
William "Will" Harold Ryan Munson is a fictional character on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns. He was portrayed by Jesse Soffer on recurring basis from September 2004 to March 2005, after which he got a contract as a regular. Soffer left the show on April 4, 2008 and made a brief return in July 2010.
Born to Oakdale police chief Hal Munson and noted fashion designer Barbara Ryan, Will's world came crashing down when as a pre-teen his parents divorced. His mother's subsequent nervous breakdown and criminal activity were traumatic experiences for the young Will, who was frequently shuffled back and forth between caregivers during the height of the drama.
Eventually custody of Will was restored to Barbara, despite objections that she was unfit. Will's older brother Paul felt in particular a need to "rescue" Will from Barbara's toxic influence. Barbara blamed her problems getting through to Paul on his fiancee, Rose D'Angelo. Caught in a tug-of-war between Barbara and the rest of his family, and convinced by Barbara that Rose was the only obstacle between him and his old happy life, Will took action. On the day Paul and Rose were to be married, Rose collapsed at the altar and died, a victim of poisoning. The 13-year-old Will eventually confessed to the crime, though he claimed his intent was not to kill Rose but rather make her sick enough that the wedding and Paul's relocation to Paris would be postponed or cancelled. Will was sent away to a state mental facility.
After being treated with some success, Will was released from the facility in late 2004, now a young man of 16. At first he had a difficult time re-adjusting to life in Oakdale, given that the victim's family still resided there and were not pleased at his presence, mostly her sister, Lily Snyder. Gradually however things got easier for Will, with the support of his brother Paul and his new wife Rosanna Cabot, and a strong social circle that included old friends Casey Hughes and Luke Snyder.
Will befriended Gwen Norbeck in 2005, and quickly learned that she was pregnant by his friend Casey. Casey refused to acknowledge the possibility that he was the father and accused Gwen of stalking him. Not willing to abandon Gwen in her time of need, Will stood up and claimed he was the father, despite the unhappiness this caused his parents and best friend. Will and Gwen stood alone, and he helped her through her difficult pregnancy. When it came to light that Gwen's baby had been switched with Will's nephew, Johnny Donovan, at birth, and that Gwen's baby had died, Will still supported her and they fell in love. Despite the continued opposition from Barbara and Hal, Will married Gwen in March 2006. The pair have survived numerous obstacles since.
Gwen discovered she was pregnant with Will's baby in August 2007. Unfortunately, she miscarried the baby. Alison Stewart offered to donate her eggs in order to help them conceive. Unfortunately, Gwen miscarried a second time. After the miscarriage, Barbara told Will and Gwen that a couple wanted to give up their unborn child for adoption. They had doubts because the biological parents wanted to remain anonymous, but eventually decided to go on with the plan. They didn't know that the couple was Sophie Duran and her boyfriend, Cole Norbeck. Barbara and Iris, Gwen's mother, had actually formulated the plan, compensating Cole to go along with it. Sophie was told that her baby would go to a couple who wanted to remain unknown as well. Upon Alison's discovery of the plan, she told Will and Gwen, who confronted Barbara and Iris. Barbara admitted that there was no other way for them to adopt, because of Will's mental history. Will told Sophie of the plan and cut ties with his mother. A week later, Sophie went into labor, and Gwen and Will helped her deliver a baby girl. Eventually, Sophie decided to let Gwen and Will adopt the baby, on the condition that Sophie be a part of her life.
Sophie signed away her rights to the baby, and Will and Gwen named her Hallie Jennifer Munson in honor of Will's father and sister. As Sophie became more and more emotionally involved in Hallie's life, Will and Gwen asked her to step away for a while; as a result, Sophie became depressed. Barbara became Hallie's caregiver when Will and Gwen were working; Sophie tried to visit Hallie, and Barbara harshly rebuffed her. Later that day, Sophie kidnapped Hallie, and Gwen and Will went to the police as soon as they discovered what had happened, well aware that it was Sophie who had taken the baby. Aaron, a friend of Sophie's and Hallie's godfather, found Sophie and Hallie in New York, and eventually Sophie returned Hallie to Will and Gwen because she had a fever. Out of sympathy for Sophie, Gwen convinced Will to drop the kidnapping charges against Sophie.
Sophie decided that she wanted to sue for custody of Hallie. Her feelings of depression and abandonment increased when Aaron testified on Will and Gwen's behalf, and the judge awarded the Munsons custody. Gwen started to feel guilty about keeping Hallie from Sophie, but Will wanted to keep her. Gwen gave Sophie custody illegally, and despite Will's anger he still loved her. When Hallie got sick again, and Will and Gwen provided care for her, Sophie realized that they were the best parents for her and they could provide her with the best life. Will and Gwen left town with Hallie soon after. They returned together with Hallie July 9, 2010 because they were worried about Barbara, who had been kidnapped by Will's mother-in-law, Iris Dumbrowski. After the ordeal, Will and Gwen went back to Carbondale.
Character history & lifeline
- Born (on-screen) May 31, 1993 (Revised to 1988 when he was aged to 16 in 2004)