Do you consider Erica Kane to be one of the most important characters to ever grace a television screen? Remember which beloved teen star played the role of Kendall Hart? Did you have more fun watching the wedding of Cliff and Nina, or of Jenny and Greg, than you did at any real-life wedding you've attended? If so, you might have what it takes to ace this "All My Children" quiz!
Soap operas have been around since the 1930s, when soap manufacturing companies sponsored over-the-top melodramatic radio programs to hook bored housewives. The growth of television over the next few decades only increased the popularity of these programs. By the '70s, when "All My Children" premiered on ABC, an estimated 35 million Americans were tuning in to watch at least one soap each day. Even as the popularity of the genre ebbed and flowed over time, "All My Children" held strong, and ultimately stayed in production for a staggering 43 years.
With well over 10,000 episodes on the books, the show stopped at pretty much nothing to keep viewers tuning in to see what the residents of Pine Valley were up to. There was Erica Kane, evoking the "Don't you know who I am?" defense against an attacking grizzly bear, an evil doctor distributing a drug that caused a local sex craze, Erica's secret daughter showing up, Natalie getting stuck in that well, and of course, Jesse dying - then coming back to life 20 years later.
The series also touched on some real-life issues, like a 1973 abortion and Bianca coming out as gay in 2000.
Think you remember all the daytime drama from this series? Prove it with this quiz!
Erica's full name could arguably be Erica Kane Martin Brent Cudahy Chandler Roy Montgomery Montgomery Chandler Marick Marick Montgomery. However, Erica's first divorce from Adam Chandler was not properly executed, so her subsequent marriages to Mike Roy and Travis Montgomery were invalid. Her second marriage to Adam was a renewal of vows.
Agnes Nixon meant that we are all God's children.
Sarah Michelle Gellar portrayed Kendall Hart from 1993 to 1995, then Alicia Minshew resurrected the character in 2002. Gellar returned to "AMC" in a cameo role during its TV finale, playing a character who could see vampires, as a nod to her starring role in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Erica Kane, Brooke English, Edmund Grey, and Barbara Montgomery all served as editor-in-chief. Brooke English also hosted a talk show, "Talk Tempo."
The fictional town of Pine Valley was modeled on an actual place, Rosemont, a suburb of Philadelphia. For a long time it was unclear which state Pine Valley was located in, but eventual clues, including Mona Tyler's luggage tag, specified Pennsylvania.
Opal was a talented beautician at the Glamorama, but she once intentionally dyed Tina Benson's hair blue because they were both interested in the same man.
The show aired on ABC from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011. Later it had a short run on The Online Network, from April 29, 2013, to September 2, 2013.
When Nina learned that surgery could prevent her from going blind, she confronted her father, had the surgery, and married Cliff. Nina did not know at the time that Monique Jonvil, in attendance at the wedding, was actually her mother.
The role of Lynn Carson was played by Donna Pescow, who appeared in "Saturday Night Fever" and starred in her own primetime show, "Angie."
While Carol Burnett was shooting a scene at "AMC," the celebrated actress Elizabeth Taylor pranked her, appearing in the shot as a cleaning woman with a mop.
Ruth Warrick made her film debut in "Citizen Kane," the Orson Welles masterpiece released in 1941.
SORAS is a well-known acronym for Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. In the case of "All My Children," Erica was originally born in 1955, and her daughter Kendall was conceived as a result of rape in the year 1970. Over time, Kendall's birth year was changed to 1976 and Erica's birth year was changed to 1962. This is only one of many examples of SORAS - writers often played fast and loose with the past in order to create compelling new stories.
Kelly Ripa, co-host of "Live!" with various partners, got her first big break with the role of Hayley Vaughan, the troubled punk/goth daughter of Adam Chandler.
Tom ultimately chose to marry Erica, but their marriage ended when he found out she was taking birth control pills.
Bobby Martin, the youngest son of Dr. Joe Martin, was sent upstairs to get skis. That's the last anyone ever saw of him or spoke of him, although years later Opal Gardner Cortlandt found a skeleton with a pair of skis in the Martin's attic!
Mary Fickett played Ruth Parker Brent Martin, the matriarch of the Martin family. She won the Emmy in 1973, for her character's passionate protests against the Vietnam War.
Jesse wanted to spare his wife, Angie, from the pain of grieving for her stillborn baby. Jesse thought he could get away with this scheme because Angie was temporarily blind. The couple named their living baby Lucy, while Jesse secretly mourned the loss of their biological child, which he named Ellie.
They are all twins, of course, but the most famous twins on "AMC" were Adam and Stuart Chandler. One way to tell those two apart, even when gentle Stuart tried to impersonate his stern brother, was Stuart's inability to keep his collar points tucked in.
Pete Cooney took on a more sophisticated persona and changed his name to Palmer Cortlandt.
Zarf befriended Bianca Montgomery, who understood his need to start a new life as a woman named Zoe. Jeffrey Carlson, who played the role of Zarf, has frequently appeared on Broadway.
Hayley called him Uncle Porkchop and Trevor called her Tinkerbell. No rhyme or reason, but very cute.
They started out by concocting a lipstick recipe at Kendall's house, to fulfill an order from Lacey's department store.
Leo du Pres was presumed dead at the time, after he fell from the edge of a waterfall. The baby was named Leora.
enny's jealous ex had sabotaged the jet ski in an attempt to kill her boyfriend, Greg Nelson, but Jenny boarded the jet ski instead of Greg.
Ryan Lavery's daughter, Emma, was kidnapped and taken to Puerto Rico as part of a plot by the baby's mother, Annie McDermott, to win Ryan back from Greenlee Smythe.
Spike's father is Ryan Lavery; Ian's father is Zach Slater. On a side note, Kendall opened a club in Pine Valley called ConFusion, and musical guests included Rihanna and Mary J. Blige.
Cliff and Nina ultimately survived relationship interference, not only from her possessive father, but also from many jealous suitors, including Sean Cudahy, Sybil Thorne, Steve Jacobi, Devon McFadden, Amy Stone, Zach Grayson, Liza Colby, Benny Sago, and Angie Hubbard. Whew!
Myrtle Fargate was a colorful character, whose occupations included telling fortunes in a traveling carnival, running a boarding house, and operating a clothing store called The Boutique.
Footage of Tom and Erica's honeymoon, including horseback riding, was shot with a then-new technique called steady-cam.
Cindy Parker later married Stuart Chandler, who adopted her son, Scott. Stuart promised to raise Scott after Cindy passed away.
Ray MacDonnell, an original cast member, retired from the show in 2009, but he subsequently made guest appearances and returned for the TV finale.
Mark Consuelos (Mateo Santos) married Kelly Ripa (Hayley Vaughan), John Callahan (Edmund Grey) married Eva LaRue (Dr. Maria Santos Grey), and Justin Bruening (Jamie Martin) married Alexa Havins (Babe Carey Chandler).
Bianca went through a great deal of trauma, including being torn between her mother, Erica Kane, and her father, Travis Montgomery.
She was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding lead actress in a drama series every year from 1978 to 1998, without a win. The situation became a running joke until she finally won in 1999.
Tad Martin proposed to Dixie Cooney while wearing a chicken suit, looking silly but lovable. The scene was a callback to the days when they first met and enjoyed eating chicken fingers together.