The daytime community is mourning the loss of a legend: ALL MY CHILDREN veteran Ray MacDonnell — who played beloved patriarch Joe Martin on the soap — passed away on June 10 at his home in Chappaqua, New York. The actor, who died of natural causes, was 93. The news was first reported by Michael Fairman TV.
While soap fans will forever remember MacDonnell for his time in Pine Valley, the actor had quite an extensive resumé. His early television credits include parts on THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM and ARMSTRONG CIRCLE THEATER, and he made his daytime debut in 1961 as Philip Capice on THE EDGE OF NIGHT, a role he would play for eight years.
Then, in 1970, ABC hired the handsome leading man to play a central character in the network’s new soap opera: Dr. Joe Martin. MacDonnell would go on to play the charismatic doctor for nearly four decades, taking part in both leading storylines and in supportive roles through the years. The original AMC cast member retired in 2009 when the soap’s production moved from New York City to Los Angeles, but not before being honored at the 2004 Daytime Emmys with a Lifetime Achievement Award. [MacDonnell’s retirement then left Susan Lucci (Erica) as the only original cast member remaining on the show.]
Even after his retirement, MacDonnell returned to Pine Valley now and again for guest appearances alongside his TV wife Lee Merriwether (Ruth). The pair appeared in the show’s final network episode on ABC in 2011, and MacDonnell even reprised his role for a handful of episodes for Prospect Park’s online reboot in 2013.
In addition to his work on television, MacDonnell appeared on Broadway in Mame opposite Angela Lansbury.
MacDonnell is survived by his wife, Patricia, and children Sarah, Kyle, and Daniel. Please join us in sending our condolences to the beloved star’s family during this difficult time.