All My Children (1970-1979)

All My Children (1970-1979)

rewrite=May 2008
wikify=May 2008

All My Children in the 1970s

History and show development

All My Children (AMC) was created by longtime soap scribe Agnes Nixon. She started out as both Executive Producer and Head Writer and continued in that capacity for many years. Unlike with her other creation One Life to Live, Nixon remained in full control of AMCs day to day operations throughout the 1970s.

The show began centered around 3 families; the Brents, Martins, and Tylers. Erica Kane was originally only supposed to be seen every other Tuesday, but she caught on with fans and became a fan favorite soon after AMCs premiere. In its early days AMC focused on the young love between Phil Brent and Tara Martin, Erica Kane's constant schemes, the Vietnam War, and Phoebe Tyler being a nosy busybody in her children's lives.

Primary cast members

The Tylers
*Hugh Franklin as Dr. Charles Tyler
*Ruth Warrick as Phoebe Tyler
*Rosemary Prinz and later Judith Barcroft as Amy Tyler
*Jack Stauffer as Chuck Tyler
*Peter White as Lincoln Tyler
*Francesca James as Kitty Shea Tyler
*Francesca James as Kelly Cole Tyler

The Martins
*Kay Campbell as Kate Martin
*Ray MacDonnell as Joe Martin
*Mary Fickett as Ruth Martin
*Karen Lynn Gorney as Tara Martin
*Frank Blanchard as Jeff Martin
*Susan Blanchard Frank as Mary Kennicott
*Robin Strasser as Dr. Kristina Carras-Martin
*William Mooney as Paul Martin
*Mark Bersell as Bobby Martin

The Kanes
*Susan Lucci as Erica Kane
*Frances Heflin as Mona Kane

Other Characters
*Richard Hatch as Phil Brent
*Laurence Keith as Nick Davis
*Eileen Herlie as Myrtle Fargate
*Candice Earley as Donna Beck
*Richard Shoberg as Tom Cudahy
*Kathleen Noone as Ellen Sheppard
*Mark LaMura as Mark Dalton
*Julia Barr as Brooke English
*Gil Rogers as Ray Gardner
*Warren Burton as Eddie Dorrance


Phil Brent and Tara Martin were young high school sweethearts, but the jealous Erica Kane learned the shocking secret that Phil was not Ruth and Ted Brent's son but her sister Amy's and her lover Nicks. Erica eventually spilled, in hopes of breaking the two up, but she failed. Erica's next conquest was Dr. Jeff Martin, she never really loved him, she just wanted out from under her somewhat controlling mother, Mona. Erica eventually wound up pregnant, but she was not happy and chose to terminate the pregnancy without telling her husband, the first one ever on television.

In the midst of their happiness Phil was drafted into the army and was shipped off to Vietnam, but before he left he and Tara decided to marry, but a snowstorm prevented that when they were trapped in a church. The two made love, the next day Phil left for the Vietnam War. Ruth was bitterly opposed to the war and was dismayed when her son was drafted, she often had conflict with Phoebe, who supported the war. Mary Fickett won the first Daytime Emmy bestowed upon a performer, for her stirring speech in opposition to the war. Later, Phil was reported missing in action, just as Tara received the news that she was pregnant. Tara in sadness and in grief married former boyfriend, Chuck Tyler, and gave birth to a son, whom she named Phillip. Tara remained faithful to Chuck and kept the secret that little Phillip's father was Phil despite the fact that Phil was alive and returned to Pine Valley.

Erica fresh off her divorce from Jeff swooped in on Phil and the two soon eloped. Erica again discovered she was pregnant, but this time she was overjoyed, but she miscarried, which led to Phil having her committed to a mental institution. Jeff Martin left Pine Valley after his second wife, Mary, was killed by a pair of thugs.

When little Phillip needed a life saving blood donation, Phil gladly donated his blood and soon realized that he was little Phillip's father after all because the blood types matched. Phil and Tara decided to divorce their spouses and marry once and for all, but both Chuck and Erica refused. Meanwhile Linc Tyler, the son of Phoebe Tyler fell madly in love with Kitty Shea, a spunky dance teacher and ex-wife to Nick Davis. But Kitty's ex-hubbie Hal found Kitty in Pine Valley and blackmailed her into using Kitty's workplace for his drug operation. Kitty went to jail, though she was freed shortly after, but soon it was discovered she had a brain tumor. Kitty and Linc married, but not long after Kitty died, in her husbands arms.

Phil and Tara eventually got divorces from their spouses and finally married. Erica, newly divorced started seeing the new man in town Mark Dalton, but Mona became frantic to break the two up when she realized that Mark and Erica were brother and sister. Mark was the illegitimate son of Erica's father, Eric. Erica would later move onto and marry Tom Cudahy after failing with Nick Davis. Joe and Ruth had planned to adopt an orphan named Tad Gardner. Ray Gardner, Tad's biological father had other plans, he wanted to sell Tad to the Martins but they refused. Ray was furious and when he spotted Ruth alone in a parking lot one night, he raped her. Ray was eventually caught by town pimp Billy Clyde Tuggle and he beat him to death. Joe and Ruth eventually adopted Tad, even after Ruth found out she was pregnant. Ruth gave birth son Joey on Christmas.

Kelly Cole entered town and shocked a still grieving Linc Tyler, she was a dead ringer for Linc's first wife Kitty. The two were long lost twin sisters. Kelly like Kitty had secrets. Kelly was addicted to pain killers, forced onto her by her evil manager/con artist Eddie Dorrance. Brooke English, the niece of Phoebe, started to date Eddie. Brooke soon grew tired of Eddie and his ways and broke off their relationship. Eddie was furious and raped Brooke, she soon discovered she was pregnant with his child, rather than keep it, Brooke had an abortion. Kelly one night tried to get off the pills, but she relapsed and took to many and had a blackout. Eddie was found dead shortly after and Kelly was the main suspect.

External links

* [ AMC History Project] An in-depth look at the history of AMC.

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