'AMC's' Mary Fickett dies at 83
September 13th, 2011
04:38 PM ET

'AMC's' Mary Fickett dies at 83

As "All My Children" fans get ready to say goodbye to the soap on September 23, they're also bidding farewell to "AMC" actress Mary Fickett, who has passed away, CNN has confirmed.

According to the New York Times, Fickett died Thursday at her home in Callao, Va., at the age of 83. Her daughter tells the Times the cause was complications from Alzheimer's.

Fickett was one of the original cast members, and portrayed the outspoken nurse Ruth Martin from 1970-1995 and again from 1998-2000. In 1973, the character earned Fickett the first Emmy given to an actor for a daytime drama on the strength of a speech delivered against the Vietnam War.

The network says in a statement that they're "very saddened to learn about the passing" of Fickett.

"As we honor 'All My Children’s' 41 years on ABC, we cannot help but recognize and remember Mary’s wonderful depiction of Pine Valley’s revered Ruth," the statement continues. "Ruth’s marriage to chief of staff Dr. Joe Martin provided the bedrock upon which the town of Pine Valley was built. Their marriage was always a stabilizing force that represented “home” for many."

ABC will dedicate the September 21 episode of "All My Children" to Fickett, an episode which will focus on the Martins. The September 23 episode of "All My Children" will be the last to air on the network, although there's a plan in place to produce the soap for the Web.


Filed under: Celebrities • television

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. winsome major

    R.I.P Mary Fickett (Ruth Martin) U will be missed by us all who love and enjoy ur character on amc and to know u tells me that u are and was a great person GOD rest ur soul miss u.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. CDPF

    RIP Ruth Martin, now you are free to keep Phoebe English Tyler Wallingford, Langley Wallingford, Charles Tyler, Myrtle Fargate, and Palmer Cortlandt in line along with assistant referee Mona Kane Tyler!

    September 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MaryL, Henderson, NV

    I am saddened to hear about Mary Pickett's passing. She played her character "Ruth", well. Mary, rest in peace and my best wishes to your family..

    I am a dire heart fan of All My Children and would like more information as to how to find the show on the web.
    Thank you.

    September 14, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kat

    Why is CNN always so behind on the news? This story broke on all other media outlets last week (she passed last Thursday). CNN is just reporting on it now?

    September 14, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Get a room

    Didn't know her. However, lost life is never a great thing... rest in peace.

    September 14, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. auntgrandma

    I am saddened to hear of Mary's passing. That is a sad way to go. But she was a wonderful person so she will rest in peace. Does any one remember how "Joe and Ruth" got Tad? It was a real tear jerker! I have been watching for years and will miss the show. Bless you Mary and your family.

    September 14, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • AMCfan

      Yes, auntgrandma, I remember how the Martins got Tad despite his nutcase father Ray. Didn't Ray finally meet his end blowing up (or trying to) the Martin's house?

      September 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Peace

    At the "fake" Peace, I do enjoy AMC, that you have right. My Mom is an American, speaks english, & is still alive. She never got into soaps, though. Thanks for the am laugh! I will miss AMC when it goes off the air. RIP Mary Fickett. My sympathy to your friends & family that had to suffer through that horrible disease. :(

    September 14, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Linda S. J., Amelia,Ohio

    My heart goes out to the family for their loss even more so for AMC, u both will be greatly missed but never forgotten. They both will remain in the hearts of fans forever, God Bless Mary and AMC! We'll miss u!

    September 14, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. bonnie

    I will miss watching the show as i have been watching it for many years. i always wanted to base my marriage on what the martins had. RIP Bonnie San Antonio

    September 14, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. Peace

    I watched All My Children with my Mom, who could understand English, but wasn't fluent in it... I continued watching the show ...every chance I get; I miss not having my mother beside me...and, I know that Mrs. Fickett / Mrs. Martin is going to be missed by her own children and extended All My Children family. Rest in Peace. The show was a great success, in part, because of you. (And, it is ridiculous that it is being cancelled!!!)

    September 14, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. lydia thompson

    you will be greatly missed.i enjoyed ever episode

    September 13, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Duckedup

    Sorry to read this.
    Been watching AMC since 1970 in high school.
    Will miss Mary, my only soap, and sadly a bit of my past!
    See ya 'round the bend cast members

    September 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Me

    Rest in peace, Ms. Fickett. You provided many a happy time for me, especially in your scenes with "Tad."

    September 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. headrick59

    I hate to hear of any loss but 8it seems like the greats are leaving to soon. my condolencess to boath families.they will all be missed.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Semiahmoo

    Alzheimer's: as rotten as cancer.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Minnie Thomas

    I watched AMC for many years.loved Mary Fickett.rest inpeace.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  17. DeskSlave

    Evel...your name suits you.

    RIP Mary. Condolences to her family and loved ones.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  18. JamesT

    This is the 2nd time recently that a long time cast member passed away just before their long running show ended. Helen Wagner who played Nancy Hughes on As the Word Turns for over 50 years passed away and was mourned on the show a few weeks before it went off the air.
    Mary Fickett gave millions of people a bit of escape for many years and may she and he family be blessed.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  19. lucy

    Whitney should play Sister as the mother never sang in the original Sparkle.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Joan Cyr

    Didnt Mary Fickett do a news type show WIith Harry Reasoner back in the early 60's? It might have been called CALENDAR.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Yes, Mary and Harry Reasoner did Calendar from 1961-1963. She also was featured in three films and did a lot of theatre and other television work, daytime and nighttime. I have enjoyed her in many roles and have missed her for a long time. She was a great lady.

      September 15, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Sharen

    I loved AMC and especially the martin Family. The were the All American family.
    RIP Mary you will be great missed.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Ayman

    Farewell, Ruth! I always loved the sound advice you gave Tad, and the way you made the Martin family feel like family. RIP.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  23. alain

    My condolences for her family, great personality

    September 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  24. indigo

    Sad to hear of it - I loved watching AMC for awhile and thought she played a wonderful character very well. RIP Mary Fickett.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Orange Sunshyne

    Why was this reported on BBC yesterday?

    September 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Tammy Malimban

    WOW....I AM DEVASTATED FOR THE SHOW AND FOR THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MARY, may you find comfort from your loss....All My Children will be missed for sure!!

    September 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laurie Adler

      Losing All My Children is hard enough. Now to lose one of its beloved characters is just a terrible loss. I loved watching Mary play Ruth Martin for many years. Both Mary and All My Children will be sorely missed.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Bucktooth

    Great, uplifting, strong character! Sorry for the loss!

    September 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Stella

    Very sad day. Rest in Peace Mary.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ComeNon

      Oh Puh Lease...I think Stella was merely lost in the nostalgia of the days in which this actor played the character. Don't take that away...if you're young you will one day realize the importance of this simple thing. Yes 9/11 was a sad day but on a much different level than what is being discussed here.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Oldie in TampaBay

    rest in peace, dear Ruth, rest in peace.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  30. gerri

    The Martins' marriage may have been a stabilizing force and 'home' for many - MOST of the time, but Ruth did stray a bit off course with a younger man, David Thornton. RIP Mary.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Humble Frank

      What is really sad is that I actually remember the David Thorton thing.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Grundoon

    I wondered why Lee Merriwether replaced her. I thought perhaps she had died. Alzheimer's likely interferred with her work. RIP, Ms. Frickett.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  32. christopher

    R.I.P Mrs. Fickett, my condolences to the family and friends.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jo

    I remember Ruth well from when my brother and I used to be fanatics in the late 70s. How timely. Bravo to a long life, and giving many joy on a job well done. R.i.p my dear!

    September 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  34. KajinPL

    Man, my mom is probably said about that. My mom loves that show.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |

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