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AS THE WORLD TURNS Star Rita McLaughlin Dead at 71


Actress Rita McLaughlin Walter has died at the age of 71. The news was reported by her brother, David, in a Facebook post. “My sweet, loving sister, Rita was called to Jesus today on Christmas day, his birthday,” he wrote. “She was a well-known actress as well as a dedicated server of the Lord Jesus. May you rest in peace, Sis. I love you forever. You’ve taken my heart with you.”

McLaughlin made her debut in the ‘60s on the classic THE PATTY DUKE SHOW, playing Patty Duke’s body double, though the role was uncredited. The originated the role of Wendy Phillips on THE SECRET STORM in 1966, but the actress is best known to soap fans for playing Carol Deming (Hughes Stallings Andropoulos Frazier) on AS THE WORLD TURNS from 1970 until 1981. Her final role before retiring from acting was in the 1985 film Cry From the Mountain.

ATWT Carol Jay Melinda
McLaughlin as Carol in a scene with Dennis Cooney’s Jay and Ariana Munker Chase’s Melinda.CBS

Carol had quite a rocky history in Oakdale, with failed marriages to Tom Hughes, Jay Stallings, and Steve Andropolous to her credit. After all the drama, however, Carol found a good man in Reverend Norman Frazier, and after marrying him, they moved away from Oakdale to leave her troubled past behind.

In a case of life imitating art, McLaughlin married Reverend Norman Walter in 1976. The couple had three children, Brian, Jillian, and Amy, followed by eight grandchildren. Her children set up a Go Fund Me in August 2022 to help defray costs when their mother was diagnosed with Multifocal Glioblastoma, an extremely aggressive form of terminal brain cancer. Sadly, four months later, McLaughlin lost her battle on Dec. 25.

Our thoughts are with McLaughlin’s family and friends during this difficult time.

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