All My Children saw the light of day in 1970 and stuck around until 2011. Over the years, it’s seen its fair share of drama. From love triangles to murders, this show has covered it all, including kickstarting the careers of several A-listers.
There have been a host of memorable All My Children stars over the decades, and several of them stuck with the soap opera from the very beginning to its finale. In honor of this classic television show, let’s see where the cast is up to today.
But first – some fun facts!
The Show Was Turned Down Several Times
The creator of the soap opera, Agnes Nixon, dreamed up the series in the 1960s while working as a head writer on another soap opera – Guiding Light. After gathering enough material, she confidently headed to NBC to pitch the idea.
The network turned her down, and she moved on to CBS, then came back to NBC to try again. Ultimately, in 1970, the soap opera saw the light of day on ABC. Nixon by then was working as a head writer for Another World and the creator of One Life to Live.
The Most Widely Recorded Show in America
Agnes Nixon not only wrote the show, but she also flashed her acting skills by taking on one of the roles. She starred as Agnes Eckhardt in the series’ 10,000th episode. She used her maiden name, just as she did for her appearance on another one of her shows, One Life to Live.
Even though the show ranked as the nation’s top-rated drama for just one of its seasons, it did earn the title of the most widely recorded television show in all of America. Looks like Agnes Nixon won the jackpot with this one.
The First On-Screen Legal Abortion
1973 was the year that the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade. That same year, All My Children’s character, Erica Kane, became the first television persona to receive a legal abortion. Things were certainly changing for the better!
Another fun fact: In 1994, approximately three weeks after a tornado put the residents of Pine Valley at risk, a tornado neared the Pennsylvania communities of Rosemont and Bryn Mawr, two places that served as inspiration for the fictional town of Pine Valley.
The First Same-Sex Kiss
Over the course of several decades, All My Children made history. Not only was it the first show to showcase a legal abortion, but it was also the first series to share the first-ever same-sex kiss in soap opera history!
Olga Sosnovska and Eden Riegel shared a revolutionary kiss on the show when their characters, Lena Kundera and Bianca Montgomery smooched in 2003. Most fans of the show were delighted to witness the moment unfolding on screen.
Chadwick Boseman Was Fired
Chadwick Boseman was signed to play the role of Reggie Montgomery. However, according to TheWrap, he was fired after just one week on the show’s set. Why? Well, he refused to give in to the stereotypical nature of his character.
“I remember going home and thinking, ‘Do I say something to them about this? Do I just do it?’” Boseman told the reporter, “And I couldn’t just do it. I had to voice my opinions and put my stamp on it. And the good thing about it was, it changed it a little bit for him.”
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos Met on the Show
Kelly Ripa, co-host of Live! With Kelly and Ryan, and Riverdale hunk Mark Consuelos, met on All My Children back in 1995. It was love at first sight, and the two ended up marrying a year later. Both briefly reprised their characters on the show in 2010.
Another fun fact: After winning a Daytime Emmy Award, Sarah Michelle Gellar (known for her role as Buffy the Vampire Slayer) returned to the soap opera during the show’s final week on ABC, acting as a character who said she was in touch with vampires way “before they were trendy.”
For four decades, from 1970 to 2011, Susan Lucci brought Erica Kane to life on the soap opera All My Children. TV Guide Magazine claimed Susan’s character was “unequivocally the most famous soap-opera character in the history of TV.” The actress is one of the highest-paid actors in daytime TV, raking in around a million dollars a year.
After she was done with her iconic soap opera role, Susan Lucci went on to star in the successful prime-time show Hot in Cleveland, from 2010 to 2014. She also had a minor role in 2012 in Army Wives. Then, from 2013-2016, she appeared in Devious Maids.
David Canary turned into a household name when he was cast for the role of ranch foreman Candy Canaday on the famous Western Bonanza. The gig ultimately led him to his part on 1967’s Hombre, alongside Paul Newman.
In 1983, David joined the world of soap operas after landing the iconic part of Adam Chandler and his twin brother Stuart on All My Children. He eventually left the show in 2010, when he announced his retirement from acting. He appeared sporadically as a guest until the show ended in 2011.
Michael E. Knight
Michael E. Knight played Tad Martin on All My Children. The role was his first big acting gig, and he stuck to it for the entirety of the series since he started in 1982. In addition to the soap opera, Michael landed a part in 1987’s Date With an Angel.
Michael also landed several prime-time appearances on shows like She Wrote, Murder and even one Off-Broadway show. Since 2019, Michael was cast in General Hospital.
Cameron Mathison landed the role of Ryan Lavery on All My Children. He played from 1997 to the series’ end in 2011. Ever since his soap opera days, Cameron has been busy with numerous other projects. He joined Good Morning America in 2009 as a regular correspondent.
Cameron has had guest appearances in shows such as Castle, Desperate Housewives, Drop Dead Diva, and Hot in Cleveland. In 2014, the well-season actor joined the Hallmark family and has been starring on their shows and films ever since.
Best known for her portrayal of Kendall Hart on All My Children, Alicia Minshew nabbed the role in 2011. The character of Kendall took a seven-year hiatus at one point until Alicia came along and revived her on the small screen. She was previously portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Minshew played Kendall until the series wrapped up in 2011. She went on to star as a New York City reporter named Sara Preston in Beacon Hill. Recently, she’s appeared in the 2020 comedy show Quarantine, which centers around out-of-work soap opera stars who stay connected through Zoom.
From 1987 all the way to the show’s end in 2011, Walt Willey played the iconic role of Jackson Montgomery. While his soap opera career sky-rocketed, Walt began to branch out. He began doing stand-up comedy in 1990, and appeared in several comedy clubs across the country.
Fun fact: Walt is also a published satirist and cartoonist! His collection of funny, witty drawings hangs proudly in Chicago’s Underground Comics Hall of Fame. Recently, from 2014-2017, he’s had a recurring role in Tainted Dreams.
Michael Nader first became famous after landing the part of Dex Dexter on Dynasty, from 1983 to 1989. However, his second-most iconic acting gig was that of Erica Kane’s husband, Dmitri Marick, on All My Children, from 1991 to 2001.
Before Dynasty and All My Children, Michael’s first soap opera role was actually in the ’70s, as Kevin Thompson on the show As the World Turns (from 1975-1978). After making a name for himself in the world of soap operas, he retired from acting. The last time he was seen playing a role on screen was in 2013 on the All My Children revival.
Best known for his role as Palmer Cortlandt on the soap opera, from 1979 to 2010, James Mitchell was actually a prestigious dancer before landing the part. He danced on Broadway, as well as played some minor roles in a few 1950s movies.
In 1964, he decided to take up soap operas. He signed his first contract role on the soap opera called The Edge of Night. From that point on, there was no turning back. Mitchell found his one true love. He went on to have a prestigious acting career until passing away in 2010 at 89.
Jacob Young joined the show in 2003 and lasted until its finale in 2011. He mastered his part as JR Chandler. But that wasn’t his first acting gig! Young was already a soap opera regular, and getting cast to play JR Chandler was just another role in his already impressive resume.
Before starring in All My Children, Young played the part of Rick Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful from 1997 to 1999. His performance landed him a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. Between 2000 to 2003, Young starred as Lucky Spencer on General Hospital.
Jill Larson starred as Opal Cortlandt from 1988 all the way to the series’ finale in 2011. Before playing Opal, Larson worked as both a model and a Broadway starlet. She got her big modeling break in Paris and quickly began posing in huge American and European fashion magazines.
She eventually branched out to Broadway, her debut appearance being in 1977’s play Death and the King’s Horseman. By the mid ’80s, she switched over to daytime television, starring briefly on As the World Turns as well as One Life to Live before landing a role in All My Children.
Like several other actors on this list, Thorsten Kaye is also a soap opera regular. He’s mostly known for his part as Patrick Thornhart on One Life to Live, Ridge Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful, Dr. Ian Thornhart on Port Charles, and of course, Zach Slater on All My Children.
His role in All My Children was his third soap opera stint. He joined the crew in 2004 and earned two Daytime Emmy Award nominations in 2006 and 2009 for this performance as casino-owner Zach. He starred on the show until 2009.
Debbi Morgan is best known for portraying Angie Baxter Hubbard, one half of the first-ever Black super couple on the soap opera. She mastered the iconic role from 1982 until 1990. More than a decade later, in 2009, she returned to the series and stayed on it until its termination in 2011.
After the shop wrapped up, Debbi Morgan kept her soap opera streak by starring in The Young and the Restless. She acted in a series of Lifetime films before landing a part on the Starz show Power from 2014 to 2020.
Melissa Claire Egan
Melissa Claire Egan played Annie Lavery on the show, a role she acted out for more than 700 episodes from 2006 to 2011. After the show wrapped up, she moved on to another soap opera, The Young and the Restless, where she starred as Chelsea Lawson Newman.
Melissa Claire Egan left the series for a brief period in 2018; however, she quickly returned just one year later. Nowadays, she’s still starring on The Young and the Restless. We’re glad to see she’s still fulfilling her potential as a soap actress.
Kate Collins is mostly known for her part as Natalie Marlowe on All My Children, a role she took on in 1985. Collins first dived into the soap world with minor, guest-starring roles on successful daytime shows including One Life to Live, Another World, Guiding Light, and Search for Tomorrow.
Collins landed a part on the soap opera All My Children in 1985. During that time, she was also appearing in the thrilling Broadway musical, Doubles. Apparently, 1985 was one hell of a year for Kate Collins!
Julia Barr’s most memorable role is that of Brooke English on the soap opera All My Children. She did a great job playing the part from 1976 to 2006. Julia’s character was a popular one on the soap, and throughout the three decades in which she played Brooke, she was nominated for a whopping eight Daytime Emmy Awards.
Julia ended up winning two of them. One in 1990 and one in 1998, both for Outstanding Supporting Actress. Despite being one of the show’s fan favorites, Julia’s character was eventually written off the show. For some reason, the writers decided she was no longer important to the storyline.
Rebecca Budig had her big soap opera breakthrough in 1995 when she landed the part of Michelle Bauer on the show Guiding Light. A few years later, she was as Greenlee Smythe on All My Children. The star appeared sporadically until the series ended in 2011.
One of the star’s most fascinating achievements is her win on the first and only season of ABC’s Skating With the Stars. She was paired with a professional ice skater and competed until she ultimately came out on top!
Vincent Irizarry kicked off his career in daytime television in 1983 after being cast on the show Guiding Light. More than a decade later, he decided to move on to bigger things and landed a part on All My Children, where he played Dr. David Hayward until 2011.
Vincent Irizarry stayed on the show until its finale in 2011. Apart from this soap opera, Vincent starred in One Life to Live, as well as The Young and the Restless, where he played the character David Chow and later Days of My Life where he played Deimos Kiriakis.
Bobbie Eakes landed her first breakthrough role on television in 1989, after she was cast to play the part of Macy Alexander on The Bold and the Beautiful, which she starred in until 2003. Bobbie’s character was killed off after being hit by a falling chandelier.
Apart from the soap opera, Bobbie also played in Love Letters and Cinderella. She then starred on The Grove: The Series, playing Katherine “Kitty.” She also made an appearance on 12 episodes of Tainted Dreams.
Darnell Williams broke into the soap opera industry in 1981, after landing the part of Jesse Hubbard in All My Children. Darnell’s character falls in love with Angie Baxter and he ends up marrying her, making the pair the first Black couple in soap opera history.
The actor left All My Children in 1988; however, over the years, he returned to the show sporadically as a guest. The end of All My Children wasn’t Darnell’s last soap opera stint. In 2012, he began starring in The Young and the Restless.
Cady McClain is mostly known for her fantastic portrayal of Dixie Cooney Martin on the soap All My Children, which was a part she landed in 1989. She played the character until the show’s finale in 2011. Afterward, she moved on to other renowned soap operas.
Cady’s impressive resume includes eight years on the show As the World Turns (2002-2010), one year starring in The Young and the Restless (2014-2015), another year in Venice the Series (2016-2017), and finally, Days of Our Lives (2020-2021).
Chrishell Stause joined the cast of All My Children in 2005, after landing the part of Amanda Dillon. After a five-year absence, the character returned to the show. Previously portrayed by Alexis Manta, Amanda Dillon was now back and better than ever.
Stause played the character until the show wrapped up in 2011. She then moved on to another soap opera, Days of Our Lives, which she starred in from 2013 to 2020. Like many others on this list, soap opera runs in Chrishell Stause’s blood.
Denise Vasi played the part of Randi Morgan on All My Children for a few short years, from 2008 to 2011. Since then, she has landed small roles in hit films like What’s Your Number? as well as Magic Mike.
Denise has also starred in VH1’s Single Ladies, in which she played the character of Raquel Lancaster from 2012 to 2014. Nowadays, she considers herself a lifestyle entrepreneur and has launched a beauty and lifestyle website titled MAED.
Richard Shoberg broke into the world of soap operas in 1971, after he was cast to play Mitch Farmer on Somerset. But his most famous role is arguably Tom Cudahy, which he played in All My Children from 1977 all the way to 1995.
In 2004 and 2005, Richard returned to the screen to star in All My Children as a guest. Other than that, he stopped appearing on the show. Other than his soap opera stint, Shoberg has played the role of inspector Ascher for more than a decade in the off-Broadway show, Perfect Crime.
Aiden Turner is best known for playing Aidan Devane on All My Children, which he perfected from 2002 until 2009. Since finishing his role on the show, the actor has shined and boogied on Dancing With the Stars in its exciting 10th season in 2010.
In 2014, Aiden took part in the Oprah Winfrey Network show If Loving You Is Wrong. Other projects of his include guest-starring on shows like NCIS: Los Angeles, Single Ladies, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Apart from acting, Aiden has landed modeling gigs, as well as neat voiceover projects.
Ruth Warrick starred in All My Children when it first saw light in 1970. She was cast in the matriarchal part of Phoebe Tyler. Ruth remained on the soap opera for nearly 500 dramatic episodes. Her last appearance was in 2005, the same year she passed away.
After her passing, the soap opera aired an episode dedicated to the actress – “In Loving Memory of Ruth Warrick.” The episode featured several of Warrick’s most notable performances as sudden flashbacks. The emotional episode included the return of many characters who had been involved in her storyline.
Ricky Paull Goldin
Ricky Paull Goldin is a regular in the world of daytime television, being cast to soap operas including Another World, The Young and the Restless, and Guiding Light. Ricky joined the cast of All My Children in 2008 when he got the role of Dr. Joseph “Jake” Martin.
Despite being one of the new characters on the show, Ricky Paull Goldin mastered the part and was nominated twice for a daytime Emmy Award. Nowadays, he stars as Andrew Miller on the show Beacon Hill, a character he’s been playing since 2014.
Kelly Ripa kicked off her career as a soap opera actor. She became famous after landing the role of Hayley Vaughan on All My Children. She starred on the show for quite a while, from 1990 to 2002. But then, a few years after the show ended, Ripa decided to make a shift in her career.
In 2001, Kelly Ripa made the switch to morning talk shows. Since then, she’s been starring as the co-host of the talk show Live! With Kelly and Ryan. Over the years, the talk show has become one of the most famous shows in America. Looks like Kelly made the right choice.
Frances Heflin kicked off her career as a Broadway star, shining on stage in musicals as a teenager in the 1940s. Then, in the following decade, she made the switch to daytime television. Her most memorable role was that of Mona Kane Tyler, Erica’s mom on the show.
Frances starred as the matriarch from the show’s premiere in 1970 until she passed away in 1994 of lung cancer (she was diagnosed in 1992). In the summer of 1994, the soap released a special episode, looking back at Heflin’s greatest moments on the show.
John Callahan is mostly known for his great portrayal of Edmund Grey in the soap opera All My Children. He starred on the show for over a decade, from 1992 to 2005. After he left the show, John joined the cast of another soap opera, Days of Our Lives (we’re seeing a pattern here).
In Days of Our Lives, John played the role of Dr. Richard Baker, from 2008 to 2010. Tragically, and to everyone’s surprise, John Callahan passed away at the young age of 66 from a sudden stroke.
Why Was Dixie Killed Off?
Cady McClain came clean about her character’s sudden death. Apparently, she was abruptly fired. According to an interview with E Weekly, the actress claimed that Dixie’s death was a strike ordered by one of the soap opera’s writers.
“Honestly, I think it was a dig at me by one of the writers that very much wanted to put me in my place,” the actress explained. “I had stepped out of line and they wanted to put me back in line, and I was going to eat those pancakes and I was going to learn my lesson… and I certainly did.”