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All My Children From the Beginning

The 70's ~ Erica Kane and the early years...

When "All My Children" hit the airwaves in January 1970, teenage terror Erica Kane wrecked havoc in the sleepy bedroom community of Pine Valley, PA. Her agenda? To keep Phil Brent and Tara Martin apart. Meanwhile, Amy Tyler and Nick Davis kept a deep dark secret. They were Phil's biological parents! Soon, tragedy struck Nurse Ruth Brent when her husband was killed in a car accident. However, Dr. Joe Martin was waiting in the wings to romance the lovely RN. In the meantime, looking for some fast money, slick Nick Davis sweet-talked wealthy Phoebe Tyler. Later that first year, tragedy almost struck Pine Valley's Brent family once again when Phil nearly died from a deadly gas leak!

By 1971 Erica gave up on Phil (for the time being) and married husband number one, Jeff Martin. Eventually though, Erica lost out when Jeff decided he had more in common with sweet and innocent Mary Kennicott. Shortly thereafter, Phil and Tara's relationship went kaput, and Tara ended up marrying Chuck Tyler. During the wedding, Chuck collapsed and almost died. Fortunately, he was OK. Then, just when Phil decided that he wanted Tara back, he was sent off to fight in the Vietnam War.


Before leaving for Vietnam in early 1972, Phil and Tara married in a secret ceremony in a snowbound cottage with only God as their witness. It was their first night of making love. At the same time, Joe Martin and Ruth Brent shared a sweet romance and got married. Meanwhile, Nick Davis left Ann and took up with Kitty Shea. Erica's dream of being a model came true when she made it big in New York City. Back in Pine Valley, Phil was presumed dead in battle in Vietnam, and Tara married Chuck. She soon discovered that she was pregnant with Phil's baby!

Two firsts for daytime...

By 1973 Erica became pregnant by Jeff, but aborted the baby. Setting a controversial milestone for daytime television, the abortion storyline was a first for a soap opera. Shortly thereafter, Kitty Shea took desperate measures to hold on to her husband, Nick, while Tara received the shock of her life when Phil "returned from the dead!" Meanwhile, ten-year-old Tad Gardner arrived in Pine Valley after being abandoned by his parents. The Martins took in the charming young boy.

With the start of 1974, Erica took up with Jason Maxwell while she was still married to Jeff. However, Erica's nurturing mother, Mona, killed Jason. Only on a soap! Soon, Margo Flax became the first woman to undergo a face-lift on camera in hopes of winning over Paul Martin with her new, younger look, and Tara stood by Chuck for the sake of her child, even though first-love Phil had returned to Pine Valley. Soon realizing he was a third string, Phil turned to Erica for his emotional needs.

Meanwhile, hoping that the New Year would bring them the son they always wanted, Jeff and Mary tried to adopt Tad, but ran into a roadblock when they couldn't find his parents. At the same time, Linc Tyler married Kitty Shea, much to the chagrin of his meddling mother, Phoebe. While Linc was settling into married life, Erica decided to put the brakes on a relationship going south. She ended her affair with Phil, but discovered she was pregnant shortly thereafter. She wanted another abortion, but decided to carry the baby to term. Unfortunately, she miscarried and had a nervous breakdown.

Later, Phil wanted to divorce Erica, but she wouldn't set him free. That would be only one of Phil's many problems when he received news that his beloved Mary was killed by thugs. As 1975 came to a close, Nick offered to marry Ann Martin when she became pregnant with Paul's baby.

Brooke hits Pine Valley as Tara and Phil finally tie the knot...

1976 started off as one heck of a year when Phoebe teamed up with Myrtle Lum Fargate to break up Kitty and Linc. Thankfully, Charles Tyler and Mona Kane found better luck together when they fell in love and got married. In the meantime, troubling teenager Brooke English blew into town. However, at the time, she wasn't the sweet and reliable Brooke she is today! Elsewhere in Pine Valley, Chuck befriended hooker Donna Beck and the two unexpectedly fell in love. Cupid must have been hard at work because Tara and Phil finally tied the knot after overcoming many obstacles.

As the new year approached, Erica dumped Mark Dalton when her mother revealed that Mark was the illegitimate son of Erica's father! Meanwhile, friends and family mourned when sweet Kitty died in her husband Linc's arms. On a lighter note, wacky Edna Thornton and her daughter, Dottie, set foot in Pine Valley. Dottie would later became infatuated with Tad Martin and vie for his affection. At the same time, Ellen Sheperd and her daughter, Devon, also arrived in town. In other news, Brooke and Erica fast became enemies when they set their sights on the same man--a good-looking football player by the name of Tom Cudahy.

Meanwhile, Chuck and Donna married after he rescued her from the clutches of evil and obsessive drug addict, Billy Clyde Tuggle.

Here's Ray Gardner...

With the beginning of 1978, Nick Davis proposed marriage to Erica, but he didn't mean it. He eventually came to his senses and called their upcoming nuptials off. Erica was devastated and vowed revenge. Erica wasn't the only one out for revenge though. Tad's father, Ray Gardner, came to town and wanted revenge against the Martins. He ended up raping Ruth Martin. Meanwhile, Edna's husband David drank a lethal dose of poison and dropped dead. Edna spent little time mourning then moved on to Benny Sago. At the same time, an accident left Donna Tyler with amnesia and she came to think that she was a hooker again! Elsewhere, Kitty was dead, but Linc thought his eyes were playing tricks on him when a look-a-like popped into town. In fact, it was Kitty's evil twin sister, Kelly. In the meantime, Erica eventually got over Nick and put all her energy into winning Tom's love. They eventually married, much to Mona's chagrin, and honeymooned on the island of St. Croix, the first location shoot for a daytime drama.

Erica and "the pill..."

As the seventies came to a close, Tom believed Erica wanted to have a child with him, so he was naturally shocked and furious to learn that Erica was on the pill. He said their marriage was based on lies and demanded a divorce. Meanwhile, sleazy Eddie Dorrance slithered into Pine Valley. At the same time, Mark began a relationship with Brooke, but he really loved Ellen. Mark eventually left Brooke, who was devastated. She sought comfort in Eddie, who later became obsessed with her. In other news, although Edna was after Benny, Benny was after Donna's friend, Estelle. However, Estelle was married to the disgusting Billy Clyde Tuggle. Because of his disgusting nature, Benny tried to kill Billy Clyde, but failed.

Meanwhile, Eddie was killed, but Brooke discovered she was carrying his child. She later decided to have an abortion. On a more romantic note, Dr. Cliff Warner fell for sweet Nina Cortlandt, the daughter of grouchy business tycoon, Palmer, when she was rushed into surgery for an appendectomy. While Nina and Cliff were falling in love, Erica was busy planning the opening of a hip and happening disco, appropriately called "Erica's." Finally, 1979 went out on a joyous note with the birth of Joey Martin, Ruth and Joe's first biological son together.

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