Almost everyone in Pine Valley, it seemed, had a reason to kill Zach Grayson, the hustler and con artist who ingratiated himself with, and proceeded to blackmail, anyone who crossed his path. Zach drugged Nina, propped her unconscious body beside him in bed, and got Cliff’s bad-seed sister Linda to snap blackmail photos. Then he tried to sell the incriminating images to a furious Cliff. Daisy even slept with Zach in an attempt to recover the damaging photos. Palmer tried to pay Zach off in exchange for the pictures. Zach also took blackmail pictures of Palmer’s new wife Cynthia while she was having a one-night stand with her ex-husband Ross, who was currently married to Ellen.

View Complete Summary for "All My Children" 1985

Desperate to stop Zach, Cynthia finally asked Ross to hire a hitman and do away with the blackmailer. Ross refused–but someone did kill Zach Grayson. Ross found Zach dead one night in his apartment, a hysterical Daisy holding a bloody knife over Zach’s body. She swore she didn’t kill him, but Daisy was arrested and brought to trial.

Meanwhile, Tad suffered through his marriage to Dottie, all the while loving Hillary, who had turned for comfort to Tad’s best friend, Bob Georgia. When Tad finally discovered Dottie wasn’t pregnant, he raced to Hillary, hoping beyond hope they could resume their relationship. But Tad was too late. She was already engaged to Bob Georgia. Hillary felt she had to go through with the wedding because Bob was suffering from a terminal illness and had only a year to live. Hillary was determined to fill Bob’s waning days with happiness.

Tad understood Hillary’s reasons for marrying Bob and spent every precious moment with her in the weeks before the wedding. They shared their feelings and confessed their love for each other. Phoebe, worried Hillary would fall again for Tad, insisted that her step-daughter marry Bob right away. Longing for Tad but duty-bound, Hillary fulfilled her obligation and married Bob, with a melancholy Tad serving as best man. Afterward, on a long walk to ponder his future, Tad stepped right into a new adventure. On the road, he hitched a ride with a gorgeous blonde stranger named Mickey Barlowe who turned out to be working for a call-girl ring operator. Kristie, a hooker neighbor of Tad’s, stole from the ring operator a computer disk full of valuable client addresses and planted it on Tad. Mickey’s boss, Barton Crane, desperately wanted to recover the disk and would do anything to get it, so Tad went on the run. Unknown to anyone, Tad’s little brother Joey had innocently stowed the disk in his toy chest after finding it in the pocket of one of Tad’s suits. Once the disk was found, Tad was out of danger.

Meanwhile, Bob Georgia had made an amazing discovery. His disease had gone into remission; he wasn’t going to die. Realizing this good news could mean the end of his marriage, Bob didn’t tell Hillary. But Alfred Vanderpoole, Pine Valley’s resident nerd, discovered the benign state of Bob’s disease and mentioned to Hillary, who promptly sued her husband for divorce. Finally, Tad and Hillary were free to become man and wife.

Erica, in love with Mike, now a journalism professor at Pine Valley University, continued to be harassed by an obsessed Adam. TV anchorwoman Brooke English was sent to jail for not revealing a source in a municipal scandal she exposed. After getting out, Brooke went to a party with her fiancé Mark. There, a henchman of the corrupt judge involved in the scandal tried to shoot them. Mike took the bullet instead, and Erica swore their long-delayed wedding vows over Mike’s body just as he died.

Erica left to scatter Mike’s ashes in Tibet, where she learned Mike had once saved a fellow monk’s life. Erica told Kantu, head of the monk’s order, that she didn’t want to live anymore without Mike. Kantu served Erica some tea, and she fell into a deep sleep. In Erica’s dream, Mike came to her, urging her to return to Pine Valley, something wonderful awaited her. Upon her return home, Erica took a job as editor of Tempo magazine. She met a handsome man named Jeremy who came to do some art work for the magazine. Erica didn’t know Jeremy had been sent there from Tibet or that he was the monk Mike had saved. She and Jeremy were instantly attracted and fell in love, but he was reluctant to consummate their relationship because he had sworn a vow of celibacy.

An aspiring singer named Yvonne Caldwell, with whom Jesse sang duets, became romantically interested in her partner. Jesse’s half-brother Eugene then conspired with her to break up Jesse and Angie. They nearly succeeded when Yvonne lured Jesse into her bed and made sure that Angie discovered the short-lived liaison. Angie eventually forgave Jesse for his indiscretion, but not before she became embroiled in a potentially scandalous situation of her own.

By 1985, Angie Hubbard was attending medical school and was deeply committed to finishing at the top of her class. One of her professors, Dr. John Voight, a married man, tried to take advantage of Angie by suggesting she could improve her grades and her standing in class by having an affair with him. Anguished by her dilemma, Angie reported his sexual harassment to hospital superiors, and Voight was fired. Jesse and Angie resolved their marital problems. When Yvonne and Eugene left town, the couple reveled in a temporary interlude of peace.

Tragedy struck Pine Valley in 1985 when Joe Martin’s mother, Grandma Kate, died in her sleep. She was mourned by everyone and eulogized by her son, Joe. “Let us not mourn Kate Martin’s death but celebrate her life, just as she would want us to,” Joe counseled Kate’s friends and loved ones who gathered to pay their respects. “Celebrate her warmth and understanding, her wisdom and counsel, her kindness and generosity, her patience and forbearance, her great strength of character and her wonderful sense of humor. Yes, celebrate even her apple pies, her pot roast and her Sunday morning coffee cake. All these gifts she gave to us with such an abundant outpouring of love that they can enrich us as long as we walk the earth.”

Daisy Cortlandt was convicted and sent to prison for Zach Grayson’s murder. Fortunately, her unjust imprisonment didn’t last long. Soon after Daisy’s incarceration, Donna Beck Tyler began having strange nightmares and started to sleepwalk. When Donna’s fiancé Benny found blackmail photos of Cynthia and Ross in Donna’s closet, he suspected Donna knew more about Zach’s murder than she was able to recall. Donna agreed to take truth serum and, under its influence, remembered she had been at Zach’s apartment the night of the murder. She vividly recalled seeing a pocketbook with the initial W or possibly an M on it–a pocketbook she had once seen during a social visit to the Wallingfords. Donna remembered the pocketbook belonged to Marion Colby and declared her the murderer. Liza’s mother had been sleeping with Zach and confessed to the crime. Marion claimed the murder was self-defense but was still sent to prison. She was released in record time for providing unspoken “favors” to the warden.

Finally over Chuck Tyler, Donna was looking forward to her wedding to Benny. She planned every last detail of the ceremony. Not even Donna could have anticipated the astonishing event that would mar her long-awaited day. A distressed and deeply disturbed Nina Cortlandt Warner–mistakenly believing Donna was responsible for her mother Daisy’s unhappiness–secretly carried a gun into the wedding and tried to shoot Donna. Fortunately, Nina missed, but she was sent to a mental hospital, where she regressed into a teenager. Nina completely forgot her marriages to Cliff. When Palmer tried to exploit the situation to keep Nina and Cliff apart for good, once again he failed.

Palmer was embroiled in a romantic game of his own. After a whirlwind courtship, he married the manipulative Cynthia Preston, who only wanted two things from her reign as Mrs. Palmer Cortlandt: money and power. Cynthia turned Palmer’s life upside down. Daisy–who lived nearby in the Cortlandt carriage house–was amused at the upheaval in Palmer’s life. She saw through Cynthia’s charade and in time so did Palmer, who grew increasingly disenchanted with his new wife. But he did grow to love her son Andrew and legally adopted him, finally gaining a son to carry on the Cortlandt name.

Unfortunately, the Preston/Cortlandt union was short-lived. Seeing the error of his choice, Palmer divorced Cynthia and tried desperately to win back Daisy’s love. As she was the only woman Palmer ever truly loved, he vowed to make himself worthy of Daisy if she would just give him another chance.

Brooke and Mark grew apart as she became so busy tending to her career and her daughter Laura she had little time to spend with her husband. While trying to mend her troubled relationship with Mark, Brooke was courted by charming newcomer Gilles St. Clair, who made his living as a professional daredevil. For fun and profit, Gilles performed amazing feats–like scaling the world’s tallest buildings. Brooke became infatuated with her fabulous Frenchman, falling into a relationship with him when Mark left to play piano on a cruise ship. Mark told Brooke he didn’t know when–or if–he’d ever return to Pine Valley.

To escape his frustrating romance with Erica, Jeremy made a trip to his father’s home in Canada. His father Alex was married to a much younger woman named Natalie, a beautiful blonde full of life and passion. Erica invited Alex and Jeremy to come and live in her house in Pine Valley.

In time, Erica was heartbroken to discover that the mysterious woman who had shattered Jeremy’s heart in the past was none other than Natalie, who still loved Jeremy. She wanted Jeremy back at any cost, even though she was married to Jeremy’s father. And Natalie had an insidious plan to free her from Alex. Aware that he was suffering from heart trouble, Natalie figured she could seduce Alex to his death.

Source: All My Children: The Complete Family Scrapbook

1985 Episodes / Clips: