All My Children icon Ray MacDonnell, a beloved soap presence of over 40 years, died June 10 of natural causes. The actor was 93-years-old.
His passing took place at his Chappaqua, New York home. Michael Fairman TV confirms the star’s death Monday, allowing fans to mourn and celebrate the incredible life of Ray MacDonnell.
MacDonnell began his remarkable television career on The Jack Benny Program and Armstrong Circle Theatre. There, he made brief appearances, building a name for himself. Then MacDonnell would land the role of businessman Philip Capice on The Edge of Night. As Capice, Ray MacDonnell would achieve star status, becoming a television icon after inhabiting the role for almost a full decade.
Daytime television fans, however, will forever remember MacDonnell as patriarch Dr. Joe Martin. MacDonnell would star on All My Children as Dr. Martin from the show’s 1970 debut for a remarkable 40 years.
For this incredible longevity and the iconic status of his performance, Ray MacDonnell would win the Daytime Emmy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
Eventually, MacDonnell would retire from the role, but not until 2009. When he did, this left Susan Lucci as the only remaining original All My Children cast member.
Yet even retirement couldn’t keep Mr. Ray away from his most legendary role. When AMC revived the show for online audiences in 2013, MacDonnell stepped back into Dr. Joe’s shoes a full 18 months after the original show’s ABC cancellation bow.
The Outstanding Life & Career of Ray MacDonnell
Ray MacDonnell was born Raymond Arthur MacDonnell on March 5, 1928 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. In his youth, he would attended Amherst College and even study in London on a Fullbright Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
His love of acting would cross and re-cross the threshold of theatre and film multiple times. He would star on Broadway in Mame alongside icons Angela Lansbury and Ann Miller. His proficiency with live theatre also led to numerous off-Broadway productions.
In the world of film and television, Ray would rise to the ultimate heights of Daytime soap operas. Along the way, he would also be cast “in the title role of the unsold 1967 pilot of a proposed Dick Tracy TV series for producer William (Batman) Dozier,” IMDb cites.
Yet All My Children would become his life’s work. His Dr. Joe features in a whopping 715 episodes of the series in total. AMC’s 2013 revival would add 31 more episodes to this, totaling MacDonnell’s appearances as Dr. Joe Martin at an astounding 746 episodes.
In the end, Ray MacDonnell’s incredible body of work will live on forever through this vast body of television greatness. The 93-year-old is survived by wife Patricia and their three children: Sarah, Kyle, and Daniel.
Our sincerest condolences to all family, friends, and fans during this loss. What a remarkable life, indeed.