Thinking Fans on Agnes’ visit to Pine Valley: renee “cried buckets and emailed everyone” … n69n says she “is the cutest, dearest, smilingest little lady” … while tess remembers the days of 15- and 30-minute soaps … and more. See Comments below.
By Marlena De Lacroix
Just as I was fantasizing about throwing a cherry bomb at ABC headquarters over the misogynistic, disgusting Todd-Marty redux story playing out on One Life to Live, along comes an episode of All My Children which soothed the fires of r age within me. It was the 10,000th episode of AMC, my all-time favorite soap, on Thursday! I’ve watched since its premiere in 1970!
In a world where soaps have grown sensationalistic and emotionally empty, how healing it was to watch an episode which included family scenes of the Martins, the Hubbards and the Kanes. With parents like Zack and Bianca actually kissing their children, including perpetual ingénue Erica actually kissing her grandchildren! With family members holding hands, and — get this — actually praying, thanking God for surviving the recent tornado.
Love! Family! Spirit! I began to think I had died and gone to soap heaven, circa 1970!
And there to guide me around Pine Valley was a blithe, ancient spirit named Aggie who, just like Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life, mysteriously appeared and
How charming Agnes was throughout the magically written episode … She was wise, loving, funny and bright, everything her All My Children always was and everything Agnes Nixon always has been.
disappeared throughout the episode. Dressed adorably in antique Victorian garb, Aggie popped up in various scenes to tell residents things she knew about them.
Like, “Tad, how’s your arm?” To which Opal, Tad’s biological mother, immediately shouted, “Ray Gardner broke his arm when he was a little boy! How could you know that?” Of course, we longtime AMC fans knew that and more. And Aggie knew it, too, because she – and the lady “playing” her – had written that story and been the essence of AMC from Day One.
Of course (wink! wink!) we all knew Aggie was the show’s creator and daytime legend Agnes Nixon, 81 years young. All of Aggie’s lines had wonderful double meanings to all of us who knew it was her, and that it was the show’s anniversary. When Tad asked the strange old lady who had mysteriously appeared where she lived, she said, “Oh I still live here.”
How charming Agnes was throughout the magically written episode, holding a big brown book that turned out to be the family Bible that is shown being opened at the beginning of each episode. She was wise, loving, funny and bright, everything her All My Children always was and everything Agnes Nixon always has been.
From my many interviews with her over the years I leaned that Agnes started out to be actress. She studied acting at Northwestern University, in the same class as Charlton Heston. (Who, by the way, she told me sotto voce she didn’t like because of his conservative politics.) Her performance in the 10,000th episode recognized her acting experience, as much as it did her almost 60 years of being the best writer as well as the leading figure in the American soap opera business.
At the end of the episode when members of family groups had recited verses from her famous AMC credo, Agnes, the living angel, turned to the camera and said, “You are All My Children.”
I sobbed to have been so lucky!