A TV veteran who was a mainstay of a popular soap opera for almost three decades and won the first Emmy awarded to an actor for daytime drama has died, The New York Times reports. Mary Fickett, who starred as outspoken nurse Ruth Martin on the soap opera "All My Children," was 83.
The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, the story notes, citing her daughter, Bronwyn Congdon.
In 1973, Fickett won the first Emmy awarded to an actor for a daytime drama for her character’s anti-Vietnam War speech, the story notes. She also attracted an Emmy nomination for an episode about her son going missing in action, and another when her character was a victim of rape, the piece notes.
Fickett acted on Broadway in the 1950s, starring in shows such as "Tea and Sympathy" — where she replaced Deborah Kerr. She also found steady work in television, appearing in TV shows such as "The Untouchables" and "Have Gun — Will Travel."
She worked with Harry Reasoner from 1961 to 1963 hosting a CBS morning show called "Calendar," where she often did interviews that Reasoner refused.
Fickett appeared in the first episode of "All My Children" on Jan. 5, 1970, and continued until 1996, when she took leave to take care of her ill husband, the story says. She later returned and occasionally appeared in episodes of the show, the piece adds.