Name: Marcy Walker Smith
How We Were First Introduced: Walker was in the right place at the right time. She was a recent high school graduate living in southern Illinois when she found out about local auditions for the 1980 TV movie Life on the Mississippi. She landed the role of Emmeline, and moved to New York. Walker told Soap Opera Update, “Here I am, 17 years old, living in southern Illinois. I don’t have the money to go to college. I’m in the right place at the right time and I get this opportunity. Out of all the people they interviewed in L.A. and New York, I was given this opportunity. I can’t say I did a great audition but in terms of who I was, in terms of being vulnerable and really green and totally lost in the world–that’s what they wanted and that’s what they got. It was an opportunity for me at that time to go and do something I’d always wanted to do.”
Within a year, she joined the cast of All My Children, as troublemaking teen Liza Colby. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 1983 and 1984. “Liza was the one on the outside who created all the manipulations. And I remember [Kim Delaney and Larry Lau (Jenny and Greg)] doing photo session after photo session, interview after interview. They were just splashed everywhere and they used to really dig it– and I remember feeling very envious because I wasn’t a heroine, I wasn’t someone everybody loved. Everybody hated me. They weren’t asking for pictorals of fun little days in the park with me! And being young as I was, it hurt that no one liked me…. It really hurt that I didn’t feel acknowledged. Then I remember that third year when I got nominated for an Emmy, and none of them did… Ah, redemption is mine!…”
Walker got the chance to become the leading lady when she joined the cast of Santa Barbara in 1984. Her character, Eden Capwell, was one of the quintessential daytime heroines of the 1980s. Her epic romance with Cruz is considered one of the genre’s greatest. Walker won the Daytime Emmy for Best Leading actress in 1989 for a storyline in which Eden was brutally raped. “I know that we were the number one focus all those years. People really loved that couple, we had volumes of good stories, we were the first two anyone wanted to photograph. I know all that to be true. But if you sifted it all down, the most precious part wasn’t the recognition, the magazine covers, the Emmy, it was what I got to do every day with A [Martinez]. I could be in the No. 1 spot at AMC and it wouldn’t be as magical and precious or as satisfying… I had that, and I had it where I was supposed to have it.”
Walker left Santa Barbara for a short-lived primetime series, Palace Guard. She starred in numerous made for television movies and pilots, before returning to daytime. She joined Guiding Light in a role created for her, Tangie Hill. Unfortunately, the character did not prove popular with the audience. “GL was an odd situation in that I was playing a character that neither I nor they had a clue about. No one could explain her… there I am trying to figure out how Tangie fits in. And she never fit in. It feels like a missing page in a photo album. I know that time passed, but there’s nothing to really show for it.”
Walker returned to All My Children in 1995. Liza proved every bit as popular the second time around. She stirred up trouble for the show’s reigning supercouple Tad and Dixie. Her romance with the scheming patriarch Adam gave Walker a second chance at supercoupledom. Walker told Soapcenter, “I found a really great partner on the dark side with Adam. They kind of realized that they were two of a kind. ”
Memorable Quote/Scene: There were so many: Cruz and Eden’s outdoor wedding, Eden’s rape, Eden learning her baby was kidnapped, Liza walking in on her boyfriend in bed with her mother, Liza and Adam’s first love scene.
Personal Life: Walker was known for her numerous marriages. She was married three times by the age of 30, including a highly publicized relationship with then Days of Our Lives star Billy Warlock. She told Soap Opera Digest, “I had to constantly downplay everything that was good in my life – my work, how much money I made – because it made him feel bad, it made him feel competitive.” The fifth time proved the charm for Walker, who has been happily married to Doug Smith since 1999.
Latest Project/Why They Disappeared/Where They Went: While taping All My Children, Walker-Smith became a Youth Minister at the Hope Evangelical Free Church in Connecticut. She realized she wanted to pursue a full time career as a minister. Around the same time, AMC decided to take her off contract, showing the character of Liza less frequently.
What They’re Doing Now: Now going by Marcy Walker Smith, she moved to Cornelius North Carolina in 2006 with her husband and son to become the Director of Children’s Ministries at Lake Forest Community church.