What unbelievable timing, and with such a heavy heart tonight, On-Air On-Soaps has learned of the passing of All My Children’s original heroine, and lead actress, Mary Fickett! For over 26 years, Fickett played the role of beloved Nurse Ruth Martin. Mary made a brief and final return to the series in 2000. The role has since been played by Lee Meriwether.
At the height of the Vietnam War in the show’s 1972-73 season, Fickett delivered a touching monologue expressing her character’s doubts about the war and fears about her drafted son. Ruth’s speech resonated with millions of viewers across America with the same doubts and fears. It also won Fickett an Emmy in 1973, the first ever awarded to a performer in a daytime drama. With Ruth and her doctor husband as the drama’s tent-pole characters, All My Children became the top-rated daytime TV drama in 1978. Ray MacDonnell played the role of Dr. Joe Martin, Fickett’s TV husband.
Fickett “never really acted,” MacDonnell said in 2008. “She was just a wonderful human being and a delight to work with. She was very bright and always cheerful and inspired natural emotions in me and her fellow actors.”
According to Fredericksburg.com, “Mary Fickett, a New York actress whose career spanned 50 years of radio, television, stage and movies, died Thursday at her home in Callao, Virginia in Northumberland County. She was 83.”
All My Children is said to now be planning to dedicate the upcoming September 21st episode to Mary, two days before the show ends its network television run. What irony that as AMC winds down its incredible journey and legacy on daytime, that its original star passed away Thursday night before its conclusion.
On-Air On-Soaps thoughts and prayers are with Mary’s family, friends and longtime colleagues.
Now watch a vintage clip from AMC when Ruth and Joe deal with discovering the death of Grandma Kate Martin and much more.