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From Pine Valley to Colonial Beach: Longtime "All My Children" star Mary Fickett recalls her exciting television career
Fickett, 80, recalls her acting days with smiles and laughter.
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Date published: 7/19/2008
MARY FICKETT seldom watch-
For nearly 30 years, she was a star of the ABC-TV daytime drama. As the good and compassionate nurse Ruth Parker Brent Martin, she was loved and admired by millions of people. In 1973, Fickett won the first Emmy ever given to a soap-opera actress. Off-camera, she and her family lived an opulent life in New York City.
Fickett is now 80 and bedridden. Her memory is fading. She has trouble completing some sentences. But her blue eyes still sparkle and she is full of smiles and laughter.
She now lives with her daughter in Colonial Beach. Her Emmy statuette sits tarnished beside the television in her bedroom. On the wall are old photographs of her with Eleanor Roosevelt, Ralph Bellamy, Charlton Heston, President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird.
"I cut many a swath," she said of her career that spanned a half century of radio, stage, movies and television.
Fickett's daughter, Bronwyn "Anne" Congdon, moved her mother to Colonial Beach from a Cape Cod nursing home last summer. In November, a fire at Congdon's house destroyed boxes full of Fickett's scrapbooks, letters and family papers.
"I'm a little bit on hold. I'm not quite with it," she said. "It's amazing how much of your persona gets eaten up by time."
Fickett's last appearance on "All My Children" was in 2000. The show's Web site does not mention her. Fickett's character, Ruth Martin, played by Lee Meriwether after Fickett's retirement, has vanished from recent story lines.
"Ruth's at home or off starting a health clinic in Mexico," said Ray MacDonnell, 80, who still appears occasionally on the show as Dr. Joe Martin, Ruth's husband.
MacDonnell, Susan Lucci as Erica Kane and Fickett were all in the