Anne Tyler Martin was so obsessive in her devotion to Beth that she saw every smile of the baby’s as a positive sign. But Paul saw little reason to hope, and neither did Beth’s doctor, Christina Karras. She told Anne that Beth would never be a normal child. Anne refused to face reality and demanded Doctor Karras be taken off the list of Beth’s physicians.

View Complete Summary for "All My Children" 1977

Anne’s mother, Phoebe, worried as Anne shut herself and Beth off from the world. Phoebe understood why Anne had to do everything she could for her child. She herself had gone to extraordinary lengths to save her son Linc from his unfortunate fascination with Kitty Shea. If only Myrtle Lum hadn’t betrayed their scheme by “dying,” Linc and Kitty would have been history. Instead, they grew closer than ever.

Nothing was going right for Phoebe. Her husband Charles still wanted a divorce. Her grandson Chuck had long since separated from Tara, who had remarried that Brent boy. Phoebe couldn’t bear the thought of her great-grandson being taken from Chuck. At least she had both Chuck and little Phillip staying at home with her while Tara honeymooned with her new husband. But Phoebe was slipping. After consoling herself with one too many sips of sherry, she went driving with little Phillip one afternoon. In her tipsy state, she had a serious accident. Phoebe wasn’t hurt, but little Phillip’s brief hospital stay caused Phil and Tara to cut short their honeymoon. Chuck wondered if he could ever trust his grandmother with his son again and was glad when the police revoked her license.

After refusing to attend Linc and Kitty’s wedding, Phoebe nursed her misery with a bottle of vodka. Her estranged husband Charles, escorting Mona Kane, witnessed his son and Kitty exchanging their vows. Before leaving on their honeymoon, Kitty asked Linc to make peace with his mother. The newlyweds left the church to visit Phoebe, who was none too pleased to see them. Kitty wanted Phoebe’s blessing, as she’d never have one from her own mother. When Linc explained this to his mother, a drunken Phoebe spilled the whole sordid mess. She tripped over her words as she told of Myrtle Lum posing as Lucy Carpenter only to get her hands on Linc’s money.

In revealing the scheme to Kitty and Linc, Phoebe conveniently forgot to mention who’d created it. Mona later told them about Phoebe’s part in it and that Myrtle truly loved Kitty like a daughter. She couldn’t bear to hurt Kitty and had faked her death to end the charade. Linc angrily confronted Phoebe and vowed never to forgive her. Phoebe swore she’d never meddle again.

With her secret revealed, a humiliated Phoebe was no longer susceptible to blackmail–she told Mona that she’d never divorce Charles. By hiring Benny Sago as her lowly chauffeur, Phoebe stuck the interloper in his place, a role he accepted resolutely.

Meanwhile, Linc and Kitty tracked Myrtle Lum to Hollywood, where Nigel Fargate had deserted her. During their trip back to Pine Valley, Kitty began experiencing dizzy spells and bouts of temporary blindness. The doctors deemed her spells psychosomatic. Kitty wasn’t concerned. She had her “mother” back and was happy with Linc.

With one father too many in his life, little Phillip Tyler was anything but happy. He told his mother Tara that he wanted to live with Chuck instead of her and his new stepfather, Phil Brent. When he didn’t get his way, little Phillip blamed “Uncle” Phil. Things got worse when Phil found the boy playing with the revolver he carried as a cop and tried to spank him. Little Phillip screamed that only his father had the right to spank him. Phil bit his tongue to keep from telling the boy the truth.

When Tara became pregnant, she asked Phil to quit his dangerous job, but he refused. One afternoon, Tara received the call she always feared would come. Phil had been shot. She rushed to the hospital, where Phil was in critical condition. He told her how much he loved her and their family. When Chuck paid him a visit, Phil asked him to remarry Tara in case he didn’t make it. Fortunately, Phil survived, because Chuck was no longer interested in Tara. Donna Beck filled his thoughts.

Donna had begun to dream about a life with Chuck. She was still insecure about herself, because, in her own eyes, she was a nothing, only an ex-hooker. Surely Chuck could never feel about her the way he did about his smart and upstanding ex-wife, Tara. While Donna worried about Tara, Erica Kane decided Chuck was the prize she really wanted. In Erica’s mind, her first order of business was to get Donna out of Chuck’s life.

To celebrate Donna’s eighteenth birthday, Chuck took her to The Chateau. Erica was hostess that night, and a diner approached her regarding Donna, implying he knew her well. Erica gleaned that he must have been a client of Donna’s in her hooker days. She couldn’t let him leave without saying hello to his old friend. Erica escorted the man to Chuck and Donna’s table. Recognizing her former “john,” Donna bolted from the restaurant. Aching for Donna over this humjljation, Chuck realzed for the first time he loved her.

Pleased with herself for shaming Donna, Erica went too far when she accidentally slipped and told Chuck’s cousin Brooke that Phil Brent was little Phillip’s real father. A furious Chuck ordered Erica to keep her mouth shut about his son, especially around his grandmother Phoebe. He also demanded she stay out of his life. Erica got the message and redirected her amorous attention to her first husband, Dr. Jeff Martin

Jeff had just returned to Pine Valley after grieving over his beloved wife Mary’s death. Quickly reestablishing himself at the hospital, he caught up with old friends. He was sorry to hear Frank and Nancy Grant had decided to divorce when their geographic separation strained their marriage. Nancy had begun dating a white man, Carl Blair. Jeff thought he was nice enough but was surprised by Nancy’s choice. For his part. Frank was seeing Caroline Murray, a woman who was helping Chuck take care of Donna. When Frank told Jeff about Donna and Chuck, Jeff realized a lot had changed in his two years away from Pine Valley.

But one thing remained constant: Erica Kane. The same velvety voice, the same beautiful smile and the same old routine. Jeff wasn’t interested in a second go-around with Erica, no matter how attractive she made the prospect appear. When Erica met Mark Dalton, a new music teacher at Pine Valley University, she forgot all about Jeff. Mark and Erica were instantly drawn to each other, and neither could explain why.

Jeff, in the meantime, was attracted to a colleague, Dr. Christina Karras, who was receiving mysterious, hateful, threatening notes. Jeff wanted to help Christina and hastened to her rescue. But it was David Thornton who discovered that Christina was tormenting herself, that she had written the death threats in a trance. Apparently her psychosis stemmed from her belief that she’d killed her own father. By finding proof of her innocence, David cured her. With her mind and conscience at ease, Christina would have married David instantly. In another twist, David’s ex-wife Edna came to town with the explosive news that they were still legally married and that they had a seven-year-old daughter named Dottie. David asked Christina to wait until he could resolve the mess in his life. Jeff Martin told him to let Christina go. David resented the advice–and Jeff, who declared himself a rival for Christina.

Christina tried to lose herself in her work. She told Paul Martin about a support group for parents of handicapped children that might help Paul’s wife. Anne was consumed with their retarded daughter’s care. After weeks of trying, Paul persuaded Anne to attend a meeting, assuring her he’d take good care of little Beth. An uneasy Anne left Beth in his care for one evening. When she returned, Anne rushed past Paul to check on her child. When he heard Anne scream, he dashed in after her. Beth had died in her sleep, a victim of SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Paul tried to comfort Anne, but she was inconsolable.

When Anne began talking to Beth’s picture and rocking it in Beth’s crib, Paul was beside himself. Paul pleaded for Anne to face the fact Beth was gone. But deep depression led Anne to a suicide attempt with sleeping pills, soon followed by a total breakdown. Paul wanted to help his grieving wife but all he could do was sign the papers committing her to Oak Haven. Phoebe stood witness and cried.

Seeing how upset his mother was about his sister dissipated Linc’s anger toward Phoebe. Besides, he had more important problems to deal with. Dr. Joe Martin had finally diagnosed his wife Kitty’s bouts of blindness and dizziness as being caused by an inoperable and terminal brain tumor. Kitty had only a short time to live. During her final days, Linc and Myrtle Lum surrounded her with love. Kitty thanked Linc for being her husband, her lover and her dearest friend. She died in his arms. Shortly after Kitty’s death, Myrtle said goodbye to Linc. Nigel Fargate had asked her to marry him and move back to Minneapolis.

Anne Tyler had given The Boutique to Kitty, and Myrtle sold it before she left town. She thought the new owner was someone both Anne and Kitty would have liked. Ellen Shepherd was recently divorced. She had come to Pine Valley with her daughter Devon, and they moved in with Ellen’s father Harlan Tucker, a great old friend and next-door neighbor of Kate Martin. Ellen arranged for Devon to take piano lessons from Mark Dalton, who taught at the university that Devon was about to enter.

Mark was fascinated by Erica Kane and had no idea she’d also been seeing Nick Davis, her boss at The Chateau. It pleased Erica that Nick was jealous of Mark. She liked Mark, but not enough to go to bed with him. She told her mother of her feelings and Mona was desperate to separate them.

When Mona heard Mark was Maureen Dalton’s son, she realized he was also Erica’s half-brother. Maureen had been Eric Kane’s secretary and lover early in Mona’s marriage to him. She tried to tell her daughter, but Erica, loyal to the memory of her father, refused to hear a word that would sully her idealistic image of him. Mona asked Nick to reason with her. but when he tried to tell her that her father was less than honorable, Erica slapped him. Erica finally accepted the truth and was furious. Mark was a symbol of her father’s infidelity and became her enemy. When she froze him out of her life, Mark didn’t understand why at first. When Erica told him he was her own father’s bastard son, her half-brother. Mark was shocked.

To recover from the bitter news. he devoted himself to his work. He especially enjoyed teaching piano to Devon Shepherd, whose mother Ellen always made Mark feel good. Ellen liked him, too, and it wasn’t long before they fell in love. But Ellen was worried what people might think, because Mark was ten years younger than she. Her father Harlan told her to forget about other people. She deserved happiness as much as anyone.

Much of Ellen’s daughter Devon’s happiness had to do with Dan Kennicott, who lived next door with the Martins. As a favor to Harlan, Kate Martin had asked Dan to show Devon around the university. Dan complied, confiding in Devon about his relationship with Brooke English. He was cazy about her, but feared she was two-timing him with Benny Sago. Dan failed to notice Devon’s growing crush on him.

Brooke teased Dan endlessly. She was sure he was a virgin, and deflowering him became her personal challenge. The moment she succeeded, she lost interest in him. She was on to a new challenge in one-time pro-football star Tom Cudahy. But with him Brooke English ran into competition: Erica Kane.

After one too many fights with Nick, Erica quit working for him at the restaurant She wheedled her way into the hostess job at The Goalpost, the new restaurant Tom Cudahy had just opened. Tom became a hero in Pine Valley after rescuing young Phillip Tyler from kidnappers who had grabbed him leaving Tara and Phil’s home. Nick hired Claudette Montgomery, newly paroled on her old drug conviction, to replace Erica. If Nick was jealous of Erica's interest in Tom, Erica was just as jealous of Nick’s in Claudette.

Erica planted marijuana on Claudette to get her in trouble, but Nick thwarted her plan by replanting the grass on Erica. Erica and Nick didn't know whether they loved or hated each other, but they certainly enjoyed whatever it was. Finally, Erica decided she wanted to marry Nick and lured him back to her bed.

That night Mona Kane discovered their little secret. Mona was in shock. Nick was certain he'd been had, figuring Erica had seduced him just so Mona could catch them. He thought Erica was using Mona to pressure Nick into marrying Erica. He refused to be manipulated by Erica or any woman and left her vowing that he wouldn’t be back. Erica didn’t believe him, nor would she lose much sleep over his departure. Back at The Goalpost, Erica proceeded to vamp Tom Cudahy, who liked things the way they were. But Erica decided he was exactly the man she had been waiting for.

Little Phillip still wanted to move in with his father Chuck, and his mother finally gave in. Although Donna Beck enjoyed spoiling Chuck’s son, her insecurities drove her to leave Pine Valley. She went back to her parents in Chicago, but they threw her out when she confessed she’d been a hooker. Stinging from their rejection, Donna felt the only place she belonged was back on Locust Street. On her way there, Donna was arrested for hitchhiking. Her old friend Estelle got her new pimp, Billy Clyde Tuggle, to bail Donna out. With a glint in his eye, Billy Clyde figured his stable of girls had just expanded by one.

Back on Locust Street, Donna refused to turn tricks for Billy Clyde. After he plied Donna with mind-altering drugs, Estelle let Chuck know where Donna was. Chuck and his grandmother’s chauffeur, Benny Sago, stormed to Donna’s rescue. After this incident, Benny became Estelle’s friend, and Donna became Chuck’s fiancée. Donna’s dreams were coming true and so was Phoebe’s worst nightmare.

Chuck’s grandmother pressed a thick wad of bills into Donna’s hand, urging her to take the money and leave Pine Valley for good. Phoebe warned Donna that if she married Chuck, he would lose his son. No court in the country would allow a common prostitute to raise a child. Because Donna loved Chuck, she threw the money in Phoebe’s face. Phoebe went to Tara and harangued her mercilessly. She wanted Tara to take little Phillip back home and get him away from that common street walker. Phoebe upset Tara so much she suffered a miscarriage. If Phoebe felt bad about Tara’s loss, it wasn’t close to what she felt when she heard that Donna and Chuck had eloped. Chuck and Donna moved into a small apartment. When Tara was told that little Phillip was living with them, she suffered a setback. Phil held his wife’s hand lovingly, but dropped it when she opened her eyes and, in her delirium, called him “Chuck.” Phil was irate. He wanted to erase Chuck from his wife’s thoughts and get him out of their lives. Phil arranged to have little Phillip move back with Tara and him.

Donna felt responsible for Chuck’s losing his son, but Chuck reassured her. It wasn’t long before Donna thought she was pregnant. She had all the symptoms, but Doctor Clader told Chuck that Donna was experiencing a “hysterical pregnancy.” Her mind was playing tricks on her body. After an ecstatic Donna told Estelle she was pregnant, a confused Estelle revealed to Billy Clyde a secret. Years ago, Donna’s pimp Tyrone had secretly had her sterilized so she wouldn’t get pregnant turning tricks. Billy Clyde absorbed that information and immediately saw dollar signs. Chuck threw the pimp out of Phoebe’s mansion before Billy Clyde could sell her the information.

Phoebe had her own trouble. Charles promised to divorced her if she didn’t divorce him. In response, she threatened to brand Charles an adulterer and let the whole town know Mona Kane’s true colors. When Charles refused to back down, an innocent Mona–knowing Phoebe meant business–threatened to leave town forever so Charles would give in to his wife’s demand. Even so, Charles didn’t move back home. Phoebe, having alienated most of her family, began drinking and driving again. When Phil Brent arrested her for it, she was sentenced to three weekends in the Pine Valley jail.

The first weekend was horrid. Benny Sago, the chauffeur she’d come to rely on, smuggled in a flask of vodka to get her through it. But before she could complete her jail sentence, Phoebe tumbled down the stairs at the Tyler mansion. She claimed the fall left her paralyzed. She turned to her lawyer son-in-law Paul Martin and pleaded that she not be sent back to jail.

Since institutionalizing his wife Anne, Paul had buried himself in work, and among other cases he handled Frank Grant’s divorce from Nancy. Still in love with Frank, Nancy had moved back to Pine Valley. They shared one night of passion, but Frank went ahead with the divorce. Nancy learned she was pregnant with Frank’s child the day he married Caroline. Unhappily, Nancy considered marrying Carl Blair.

Paul also tried to help his brother Joe and sister-in-law Ruth finalize their adoption of Tad Gardner. The good news was that Tad’s father, Ray Gardner, had finally been located. Joe flew to Texarkana, where Ray told him Tad’s mother was dead. Ray had no qualms about Ruth and Joe’s adopting Tad, as long as they forked over $10,000. Joe refused to give in to extorlion from this clearly dangerous character, leaving without telling Ray where he lived. Upon Joe’s return, Ruth scolded him, feeling Tad was worth the money. She phoned Ray to renegotiate the deal and let slip that they lived in Pine Valley. Ray caught the next bus. Trouble was coming to town.

Source: All My Children: The Complete Family Scrapbook

No 1977 Episodes / Clips Available