All My Children star Ray MacDonnell died earlier this month. He was 93. MacDonell was an original cast member of the ABC soap opera, plying Dr. Joe Martin from 1970 until his retirement in 2009. He also returned to the role for the show's 2011 finale on ABC, then appeared in episodes of Prospect Park's brief 2013 revival.
MacDonnell died on June 10, Michael Fairman TV reported on Monday. He died at his home in Chappaqua, New York, from natural causes. His daughter, Sarah MacDonnell, told Fairman there ill be a private memorial for relatives and family. The actor is survived by his three children, Kyle, Daniel, and Sarah, and his wife, Patricia.
MacDonnell was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on March 5, 1928. After attending Amherst College and earning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he began acting on television in the 1950s. In 1961, he was cast as Philip Capice in The Edge of Night, a mystery soap opera that aired from 1956 until 1984. MacDonnell appeared on the show between 1961 and 1969. In 1967, he was cast as Dick Tracy in a TV pilot that was not picked up.
In 1970, MacDonnell won the role that would make him a television mainstay for 40 years, Dr. Joe Martin on All My Children. His original run on the show ended in 2009 when the show moved production from New York to Los Angeles. This left Susan Lucci as the only remaining original cast member on the show. In 2011, he and his on-screen wife Lee Meriwether returned for multiple episodes before All My Children ended its run on ABC.
In 2013, Prospect Park attempted to revive All My Children as a web series, and MacDonnell agreed to return for a handful of episodes. However, the revival was short-lived and only aired between February and April 2013. ABC regained the rights to the show in December 2016. The network is reportedly developing a primetime spinoff, Pine Valley.
MacDonnell received a lifetime achievement award at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2004, alongside All My Children co-star Ruth Warrick and other longtime soap opera stars. He also acted on Broadway, appearing in Mame with Angela Lansbury and Ann Miller.
Since MacDonnell's death was announced, several fans have taken to Twitter to mourn his passing. "I was so happy to see him appear on the Prospect Park revival, sharp as ever. He was always a thoughtful and reliable performer, no matter the material. So sorry to hear he has passed," one fan wrote. "RIP sir! Thank you for all the years of entertaining on All My Children," another added. "May he rest in peace. Loved him on AMC," one fan commented.