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A NEW ROLE A quiet life in Colonial Beach replaces dramaof 'All My Children' career for Mary Fickett MARY FICKETT ROLES page 2
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

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Most of Fickett's photographs also burned up in the fire. Her daughter remembers one of her mother as an 8-year-old with pigtails and missing teeth. She was reading a script in front of a microphone. Fickett's father would have been nearby.

Show-business upbringing

Homer Fickett was a leading producer and director of radio dramas in the 1940s and early 1950s. His shows on "The Cavalcade of America" and "The Theatre Guild on the Air" (also known as "The United States Steel Hour") attracted top show-business talent and audiences of millions of people each week.

"Whenever I was not at school, I was at the edge of the pit watching what was going on. I conned my father into letting me get a walk-on," Fickett said.

"He took me out to lunch with somebody, a famous writer for the Theatre Guild. She had a very strong personality. What was her name? Anyway, Father said to her, 'OK, what's little Mary going to do?'"

The Ficketts lived in the leafy Westchester County village of Bronx-ville, 15 miles from Manhattan. After Wheaton College, Mary enrolled in the Neighborhood Playhouse, a famous acting school run by Sanford Meisner.

In the 1950s, she worked regularly on Broadway and television. She received a Theatre World Award for her performance in "Tea and Sympathy" with Anthony Perkins and Joan Fontaine in 1955. In 1958, she was nominated for a Tony for her role as Eleanor Roosevelt opposite Ralph Bellamy's FDR in "Sunrise at Campobello."

In 1961, Fickett played roles on "The Untouchables," "Have Gun, Will Travel" and "The Edge of Night."

That was also the year she joined Harry Reasoner as co-host of a new CBS morning show called "Calendar." The New York Times called it "a delightful oasis of fun and intelligence."

Fickett said she and Reasoner eventually became lovers. "I was madly in love with him and he with me," she said. "I learned a lot from him because he was very intelligent and very handsome."


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1949: "I Know My Love," Broadway comedy with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne 1952: "The Hungry Heart" with John Forsythe 1953: "Armstrong Circle Theatre: Sunday Storm"; "Kraft Television Theatre: Zone Four" with Beatrice Arthur; "The United States Steel Hour: P.O.W." with Michael Dreyfuss and Brian Keith, the premiere episode of the 10-year-long series. 1954: "Kraft Television Theatre: A Hat for Winter" 1955: Theatre World Award for "Tea and Sympathy" with Anthony Perkins and Joan Fontaine; "Hallmark Hall of Fame: Dream Girl"; "Kraft Television Theatre: Woman of Principle" 1956: "The Edge of Night" (occasional roles until 1968); "General Electric Theater: The Easter Gift"; "Pontiac Playwrights '56: Nick and Letty," with Robert Culp; "Robert Montgomery Presents: Maybe Tomorrow"; "Armstrong Circle Theatre: Ward Three: Four P.M. to Midnight"; "Kraft Television Theatre: The Lost Weekend" 1957: "Studio One: A Child is Waiting"; "Kraft Television Theatre: The Glass Wall," with Jack Klugman; "Man on Fire," film with Bing Crosby 1958: Nominated for Tony Award as Best Supporting Dramatic Actress for "Sunrise at Campobello," with Ralph Bellamy; "Kathy O," film with Dan Duryea; "Young Dr. Malone" 1961: "The Untouchables: Power Play," with Albert Salmi; "Naked City: The Fault in Our Stars"; "The United States Steel Hour: Trial Without Jury"; "Have Gun, Will Travel: The Vigil" 1961-63: "Calendar," with co-host Harry Reasoner 1964: "The Nurses"; "The DuPont Show of the Week: Don't Go Upstairs" 1968: "N.Y.P.D.: Nothing Is Real but the Dead," with Ossie Davis; "Lancer: The Last Train for Charlie Poe" 1969: "Bonanza: Erin"; "Daniel Boone: Hannah Comes Home" 1970 "The F.B.I.: The Impostor" 1970-96: "All My Children" 1973: Wins Primetime Emmy Award; "Pueblo," TV movie with Hal Holbrook.