Just two weeks before “All My Children’s” ABC finale, Mary Fickett, who played matriarch Ruth Martin from the show’s debut in 1970 to 2000 has passed away.
The actress died Thursday, September 8th at her Virgina home. She was 83 years old.
Fickett was the first actress to win a Daytime Emmy, in 1973. Ruth was one of the show’s main characters in the show’s first decade. Her character’s ambivalence about her son fighting in the Vietnam war resonated with viewers, and helped establish AMC as a show that dealt with controversial social issues. After Ruth found happiness in her second marriage to Joe Martin (Ray McDonnell), and adopted Tad, she became more of a supporting character, doling out advice to her children, and taking care of patients at Pine Valley hospital.
Fickett opted to retire in 1995, and the role of Ruth was recast with Lee Meriwether. Fickett returned briefly in 2000. The timing of Fickett’s death is similar to “As the World Turns” original cast member Helen Wagner passing away shortly before the show’s finale.
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