From the day Ray Gardner arrived in Pine Valley and darkened Ruth Martin’s door, he made it clear he’d come to town solely to sell his son Tad. Ruth had raised Tad for years and was willing to negotiate. She quarreled with Joe over Ray’s increased demand of $15,000. Ruth was willing to pay whatever Ray asked.

View Complete Summary for "All My Children" 1978

Tad and little Phillip were alone in the Martin home one day when Ray broke in. Ray opened his arms to Tad with the news he was his father. Ray laughed at Tad’s panic when the boy saw this man who looked more demonic than fatherly. Ray left, satisfied to leave the boys shaken and scared. As soon as Ruth heard about Ray’s intrusion, she read him the riot act, warning him he would never see Tad again nor would he ever get a dime out of the Martins. Ray saw that Ruth meant business. So did he. No one spoke to him like that and got away with it. He began watching and waiting. One evening, Ruth crossed a deserted parking lot and as she unlocked her car, Ray jumped her, robbing and raping her, then knocking her out. By the time her husband reached the scene, Ray had escaped.

Ruth lay in a coma for days before awakening to a clear memory of the attack. Her main concern was that Tad not learn what a monster his father was. She wondered if she should press charges while her police officer son, Phil Brent, vowed to apprehend the man who had raped and beaten his mother.

Ray hid out in David Thornton’s cabin on the outskirts of Pine Valley. David’s wife Edna and their daughter Dottie lived there while David was trying to convince the stubborn Edna to divorce him so he could marry Christina Karras. Ray persuaded a trusting Edna she needed protection in the deserted cabin, so she let him sleep on the couch. During his attack on Ruth, Ray had stolen a diamond pendant from her and set about trying to pawn it.

Down on Locust Street, Billy Clyde Tuggle considered himself much more than a mere pimp. When Ray Gardner showed up with that sparkler, Billy Clyde became an instant fence. One of Billy Clyde’s hookers, Estelle La Tour, recognized Ray and called a cop. When Phil Brent showed up, Ray knocked him out and tried to escape, but Billy Clyde pulled a knife and stabbed Ray. Estelle was stunned to see the man who prostituted and beat her act so heroically.

Regardless, Estelle was far more interested in Benny Sago than Billy Clyde. They’d been seeing a lot of each other, and she hoped Benny would propose. But Billy Clyde popped the question first. He promised Estelle she’d never have to turn another trick if she became his wife. Billy Clyde sounded sincere in his declaration of love, but Estelle stalled him until Benny could propose. Billy Clyde told Benny Estelle had accepted his proposal, and before Benny could talk to her, a motorcycle accident put him in the hospital. He begged Phoebe to plead his case with Estelle, but Phoebe never contacted her. Phoebe considered a hooker just as unsuitable for her chauffeur as for her grandson. Eventually, Estelle became Mrs. Billy Clyde Tuggle.

Phoebe continued to fake her paralysis, which not only kept her out of jail, but brought her some long overdue attention from Charles. Wheeling about her estate, Phoebe rolled into the pool house to find her niece Brooke English and Dan Kennicott alone and naked. Aunt Phoebe decided it was time Brooke went home to her parents. But before she could ship Brooke out, Phoebe was caught out of her wheelchair. Brooke blackmailed dear Aunt Phoebe into an open-ended invitation to stay. Brooke had taken up with Dan Kennicott again after she realized Tom Cudahy was more interested in Erica Kane. Besides, Dan had been dating that insipid Devon Shepherd, and Brooke couldn’t bear losing out to her. She told the virginal Devon that Dan was interested in Devon only for sex. Dan convinced Devon that he prized her purity, but secretly began seeing Brooke for sex.

While Devon happily dated Dan, her mother Ellen worried that her young lover, Mark Dalton, was becoming too serious. Ellen told herself she’d be better off with a man her own age, someone like Paul Martin. But with his wife Anne still institutionalized, Paul wasn’t free to be anything more than a friend to Ellen.

Paul stood by his sister-in-law Ruth as she made the agonizing decision to prosecute Ray Gardner for raping her and filed a deposition against him. Ruth took Tad out of town while Joe testified at the trial. Only after Ray was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison did Ruth bring home an unaware Tad.

At last, Ruth and Joe were free to adopt Tad legally. Tad Gardner became Tad Martin. Ruth and Joe’s grandson, little Phillip Tyler, also changed his name. He asked his teachers and friends to stop calling him “Phillip” and start calling him 'Charlie” after his father, Chuck Tyler. When Phillip Brent learned his wife Tara and her ex-husband Chuck had approved the name change, Phil was furious. Angry and jealous that Tara consulted Chuck over every detail of his son’s life, Phil felt his marriage crumbling.

Chuck had his own marital troubles. He had to tell his happily expectant wife Donna that her pregnancy was only her imagination. She went into therapy, remembered that her former pimp Tyrone had had her tubes tied and realized what it meant. The old feelings of worthlessness surfaced, and for his own good she left Chuck. Convinced Donna would never return, he redirected his interest to Tara and their son.

Billy Clyde Tuggle learned Donna's whereabouts from Estelle. He was already counting the greenbacks he would get from Phoebe Tyler to keep him from telling her precious grandson where his bride was keeping herself. But Estelle was one step ahead of Billy. She told Chuck where Donna was, and they persuaded Donna to return to have an operation that could reverse her sterilization. Chuck might have been completely happy if he could only stop thinking about Tara.

Tara’s brother, Dr. Jeff Martin, felt no guilt in pursuing Dr. Christina Karras, even if she was engaged to Dr. David Thornton. But David was still married to the clinging Edna. David soon realized Christina was responding to Jeff, so he decided to get rid of Edna. In increasing doses, he slipped digitalis he’d stolen from the hospital into Edna’s food. She went to Dr. Jeff Martin for treatment of her debilitating condition. Jeff diagnosed heart trouble just as Christina was returning her engagement ring to David.

David had to act fast. Edna’s fatal heart attack had to happen now. After he spiked her wine with a lethal dose, David and Edna left the room for a moment. While they were gone, their daughter Dottie innocently switched the two glasses. As soon as David and Edna returned, they drained their glasses, and Edna left with Dottie. Almost immediately, David began to feel ill. Realizing he had drunk the fatal glass, he frantically called Christina to help him. But she arrived too late. David died. With her history of mental trouble, Christina became the prime suspect in his murder.

The widowed Edna mourned David no longer than a minute or two. Feeling healthier each day, she fell in love with and was in hot pursuit of Benny Sago, who was still pining for Estelle Tuggle. When Jeff saw Edna’s heart symptoms had suddenly disappeared, he realized she had been poisoned. Jeff found proof that David had orchestrated the plot that caused his own death. Christina was released and quickly married Jeff. But being married to Christina proved almost as demanding and difficult as it had with Erica.

Erica was already going after a third husband: Nick Davis. While working for Tom Cudahy at The Goalpost, Erica plotted to make Nick realize how much he loved her. Hinting that she’d kill herself if Nick didn’t marry her, she disappeared, leaving clues suggesting a grisly demise in a Center City alley.

Nick and Mona panicked over Erica’s disappearance. Meanwhile, Erica was enjoying herself in New York City - until she contracted viral pneumonia. When the doctors contacted Mona, they told her Erica had only a 50-50 chance of surviving. Mona told Nick only he could give Erica the will to live by asking her to marry him. Against his better judgment, but in an effort to save Erica, Nick proposed. Erica accepted and her slow recovery began. When her half-brother, Mark Dalton, flew to her bedside, his concern melted her antagonism toward him, and they began a warm brother/sister relationship.

While Erica was away, Tom Cudahy hired an overeager Brooke English to replace Erica. Brooke began to pursue Tom romantically even as she was dating Dan Kennicott. Dan was himself still dating the innocent Devon Shepherd, who didn’t stay innocent for long. When Devon walked in on Dan as he was kissing Brooke, she felt betrayed, so Devon decided to lose her virginity.

After she seduced the equally virginal Wally McFadden in a motel, Devon felt degraded. She soon discovered she was pregnant from the encounter. Wally loved her and asked her to marry him, but Devon didn’t love him. Her mother Ellen was distressed because she felt she had failed her daughter. Ellen had been so caught up in her own relationship with Mark Dalton she never heard Devon’s cry for help. Mark had finally persuaded Ellen to accept his engagement ring, but with Devon pregnant, Ellen found herself pulling away from him. She found herself confiding more and more in Paul Martin. Ellen wasn’t sure marriage was the right choice for either Devon or herself.

Meanwhile, Nick Davis was reconsidering his proposal to Erica. Although he loved her, he knew marriage would never work for them. Finally, he told her so. Erica made every attempt to change Nick’s mind, including one last passionate seduction. But Nick was determined. When he walked out on Erica, she vowed revenge.

Erica wanted a man she could count on, and Tom Cudahy was about the most decent man she had ever met. She decided to do whatever she had to to make him fall for her. She began by reclaiming her hostess job at the Goalpost, ousting Brooke English with considerable relish. Knowing Tom loved children, Erica told him she’d broken her engagement to Nick because he was sterile and couldn’t give her the children she'd always wanted. Before Brooke could make good her threat to tell Tom it was Nick who had dumped Erica, Erica told Tom the truth herself with such a dose of heartache in her voice that Tom melted. He asked her to go away with him for a weekend in the country, where they made passionate love. When she woke up in Tom’s arms the next morning, Erica had convinced herself she was in love

Tom was so bewitched by Erica that he asked her to marry him. The day of their wedding, Erica’s mother Mona threatened to stop the ceremony. Mona knew Erica didn’t love Tom, because she was still in love with Nick. She accused Erica of using Tom to hurt Nick. Erica warned her mother to stay out of it and threatened never to speak to Mona if she did anything to stop the marriage. So Mona sat silently as Erica married Tom. After a joyous reception at the Pine Valley Country Club, the bride and groom flew to St. Croix for their honeymoon. Mona looked to Charles Tyler for love and support. She hoped her daughter would be happy with Tom, but knew Nick Davis was still in Erica’s heart. Nick had sold The Chateau to a multinational chain called Unirest and accepted a new job in Chicago. Before he left Pine Valley, he made sure Unirest would retain Claudette Montgomery as Manager of The Chateau.

Claudette had been dating Linc Tyler, who enjoyed her company but was still mourning the death of his wife Kitty. One night, in the middle of a sound sleep, Linc was awakerred by a telephone call from a frantic Myrtle Fargate. She claimed to have seen Kitty. Linc couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Kitty had died in his arms. Convinced that Myrtle’s grief over the recent death of her husband Nigel was causing her to hallucinate, Linc dismissed her report. But Myrtle set out to look for “Kitty.” The woman she had seen turned out to be an amazing double named Kelly Cole, an up-and-coming nightclub singer. Myrtle brought Kelly to Pine Valley to meet Linc. He was dumbfounded by her resemblance to Kitty and soon discovered Kelly was his dead wife’s twin sister.

Myrtle moved back to Pine Valley. Kelly’s manager and lover Eddie Dorrance booked her a singing engagement at The Chateau. Linc didn’t trust Eddie and Kelly didn’t trust Linc. She was convinced he saw Kitty whenever he looked at her. Linc understood she was Kelly and not Kitty, and he was falling for her anyway. Phoebe, Linc’s mother, was not amused.

Phoebe offered Eddie Dorrance $50,000 to marry Kelly and take the girl away from Pine Valley. To Eddie that was easy money. Kelly was already dependent on him to supply her with the uppers and downers she needed to keep up the hectic pace of her career. Kelly was a pill head. As long as Lettie Jean, an old Locust Street friend of Donna’s and Estelle’s, supplied Eddie with the pills Kelly needed, Eddie could control Kelly When he proposed, Kelly said yes.

Nancy Grant also said yes to Carl Blair’s marriage proposal. With her ex-husband, Frank, married to Caroline, Nancy convinced everyone the baby she was carrying was Carl’s. Tragically, Nancy married Carl on his deathbed after he’d been in a plane crash. Caroline soon learned Nancy’s secret, but kept it from her husband, fearing he would leave her. Nancy gave birth to Frank’s son, who she named Carl Junior. The love and attention Frank gave to Nancy’s baby bothered Caroline, and she became distant.

As Frank and Caroline’s marriage began to unravel, Phil and Tara Brent were at odds over their son, Charlie Tyler. After stealing hubcaps from Mona Kane’s car, the troubled Charlie and his friend set fire to an abandoned car. When Phil realized what his son had done, he told Tara that Charlie had to face the consequences. Tara warned Phillip that if he turned in their son to the authorities, their marriage would be over. Phil did turn Charlie in and then moved out of his and Tara’s home. Tara turned to her ex-husband Chuck to discuss Charlie’s problems–and suddenly they weren’t discussing Charlie at all. They were falling in love–and feeling very guilty about it.

Donna discovered proof of Chuck’s infidelity and her insecurities grew. She was confiding her problems to her friend Estelle when their car stalled on the railroad tracks. The train couldn’t stop in time, and the car was totaled. Neither woman was seriously hurt, but the impact left Donna with partial amnesia that erased the last three years of her life. In her injured state, Donna thought she was back in the hospital because her pimp Tyrone had thrown her out of his car. When she saw her husband Chuck, she greeted him as “Doctor Tyler.” Her doctors told Chuck that telling Donna the truth might set her back further. She had to go through the process of remembering on her own. When Donna asked Estelle about Tyrone, Estelle told her Billy Clyde Tuggle had replaced him as top pimp on Locust Street. When Donna worried that she wasn’t good enough to join Billy Clyde’s stable, Estelle grew concerned. Chuck was torn. Donna needed him, but Chuck and Tara had fallen in love. Phil tried to win Tara back but suspected she and Chuck were having an affair. When they denied his accusation, he suggested they might as well have one, since they behaved like husband and wife. While Donna was recovering from her injuries, Chuck learned the operation to reverse Donna’s sterility had worked and she was several months pregnant, which prompted Tara to end her relationship with Chuck.

Donna’s amnesia sparked a meeting between Chuck’s grandmother, Phoebe Tyler, and Billy Clyde Tuggle. Billy Clyde offered to lure Donna back to her life as a hooker if Phoebe would pay him for his trouble. Phoebe recalled all the schemes that had blown up in her face, but a chance to remove Donna from her grandson’s life permanently was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. Billy Clyde’s wife Estelle discovered their plot and left him. She brought Donna with her to Chuck, who had no choice but to take them in. Phoebe was livid when she heard the news and was in no mood for an invitation to a social event staged by Erica Kane Cudahy.

Erica had never been more excited. With her husband Tom by her side, she was the hostess of a grand soiree in honor of Pine Valley’s finest. Tempo magazine was covering it to spotlight Tom and Erica in their “Couples To Keep Your Eye On” feature. Phoebe tried to beg off, but Erica appealed to her ego and social standing. Erica promised Phoebe the night would be the social event of the season. It was important to Erica that the “First Lady” of Pine Valley be in attendance. Phoebe made a feeble excuse about having to take care of her greatgrandson Charlie. Erica was desperate–she needed Phoebe there to prove how far she had come socially. Erica almost blurted out the biggest secret she knew, but managed to hold her tongue. Phoebe was intrigued by what Erica hinted at and agreed to attend.

The night of Erica’s gala, Phoebe confronted the nervous hostess. She wanted to know what Erica knew about her grandson. Erica was trapped. As sensitively as she could with all of Pine Valley society about to arrive, Erica told Phoebe that Charlie was Phil Brent’s son, not Chuck’s. Erica left a shaken Phoebe and went to greet her other guests.

Phoebe found her voice in a bottle. When she was adequately stewed, she drew everyone around to announce the news Erica had told her and then publicly condemned her for revealing it. Tom couldn’t believe what Erica had done and stormed out in fury, leaving her in the ashes of the social fiasco of the year. The Tempo photographers left as well. Without Tom Cudahy, there was no “Couple” for anyone to “keep their eyes on.”

While Erica placated Tom and Phoebe nursed her latest hangover, Ruth and Joe Martin felt a mounting fear. The evil Ray Gardner, the man who had raped Ruth, had escaped from prison. They had no doubt he was heading back to Pine Valley to settle a score.

Source: All My Children: The Complete Family Scrapbook

1978 Episodes / Clips: