Eileen Herlie (1918-2008) died on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 in New York City of complications from pneumonia at the age of 90. Ms. Herlie joined the cast of “All My Children” in 1976, playing the role of Myrtle Fargate, a character who became a second mother to Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), as well as to all the citizens of Pine Valley, offering her love, advice and wisdom.
Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Ms. Herlie worked for several years in the Scottish National Theatre and in the English theater in the company of Tyrone Guthrie. Among her first hit plays on the London stage was Jean Cocteau’s “The Eagle Has Two Heads.”
On Broadway she starred as Queen Gertrude opposite Richard Burton’s “Hamlet,” and played the same role in the film with Sir Laurence Olivier. She also starred on Broadway with Ruth Gordon in “The Matchmaker,” with Jackie Gleason and Walter Pidgeon in “Take Me Along,” with Ray Bolger in “All American,” and as Queen Mary in “Crown Matrimonial.” Ms. Herlie’s other film credits include “Freud” with Montgomery Clift and Sidney Lumet’s “The Seagull” with Simone Signoret.
Ms. Herlie guest starred as Myrtle Fargate on two other ABC daytime dramas, “Loving” and “One Life to Live.”
She is survived by her brother, Alfred Herlihy, and her nieces and nephews.
“All My Children” celebrated its 38th Anniversary on January 5, 2008. The program has successfully maintained its popularity and continues to be one of daytime’s most compelling dramas. “All My Children” took home the 1998 Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series, the third time the show received this top honor, having also garnered the award in 1994 and 1992. In 2004 the show also received its third consecutive Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series Writing, its third Writers Guild Award and its fourth GLAAD Media Award in March 2007.
Created by Agnes Nixon, “All My Children” premiered on the ABC Television Network on January 5, 1970, as a half-hour show; seven years later it expanded to an hour. Julie Hanan Carruthers is executive producer, Charles Pratt, Jr. is head writer and consulting producer with Casey Childs, Conal O’Brien, Angela Tessinari and Steven Williford directing. “All My Children” is produced in New York and airs MONDAY-FRIDAY (1:00-2:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.