How Well Do You Know All My Children?


By: Carolyn Brooks Fleming

6 Min Quiz

Image: The Movie DB

About This Quiz

Do you consider Erica Kane to be one of the most important characters to ever grace a television screen? Remember which beloved teen star played the role of Kendall Hart? Did you have more fun watching the wedding of Cliff and Nina, or of Jenny and Greg, than you did at any real-life wedding you've attended? If so, you might have what it takes to ace this "All My Children" quiz!

Soap operas have been around since the 1930s, when soap manufacturing companies sponsored over-the-top melodramatic radio programs to hook bored housewives. The growth of television over the next few decades only increased the popularity of these programs. By the '70s, when "All My Children" premiered on ABC, an estimated 35 million Americans were tuning in to watch at least one soap each day. Even as the popularity of the genre ebbed and flowed over time, "All My Children" held strong, and ultimately stayed in production for a staggering 43 years.

With well over 10,000 episodes on the books, the show stopped at pretty much nothing to keep viewers tuning in to see what the residents of Pine Valley were up to. There was Erica Kane, evoking the "Don't you know who I am?" defense against an attacking grizzly bear, an evil doctor distributing a drug that caused a local sex craze, Erica's secret daughter showing up, Natalie getting stuck in that well, and of course, Jesse dying - then coming back to life 20 years later.

The series also touched on some real-life issues, like a 1973 abortion and Bianca coming out as gay in 2000.

Think you remember all the daytime drama from this series? Prove it with this quiz!

Let's start this quiz off with an obvious but difficult question: Can you name the husbands of Erica Kane, in order?

Erica's full name could arguably be Erica Kane Martin Brent Cudahy Chandler Roy Montgomery Montgomery Chandler Marick Marick Montgomery. However, Erica's first divorce from Adam Chandler was not properly executed, so her subsequent marriages to Mike Roy and Travis Montgomery were invalid. Her second marriage to Adam was a renewal of vows.


In the poem written by Agnes Nixon, creator of "AMC," what is the line just before the final, "You are All My Children"?

Agnes Nixon meant that we are all God's children.


Who played the role of Kendall Hart, Erica Kane's daughter, from 1993 to 1995?

Sarah Michelle Gellar portrayed Kendall Hart from 1993 to 1995, then Alicia Minshew resurrected the character in 2002. Gellar returned to "AMC" in a cameo role during its TV finale, playing a character who could see vampires, as a nod to her starring role in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."


Which "AMC" characters were editor-in-chief of "Tempo" magazine?

Erica Kane, Brooke English, Edmund Grey, and Barbara Montgomery all served as editor-in-chief. Brooke English also hosted a talk show, "Talk Tempo."


In what fictional town did "All My Children" take place?

The fictional town of Pine Valley was modeled on an actual place, Rosemont, a suburb of Philadelphia. For a long time it was unclear which state Pine Valley was located in, but eventual clues, including Mona Tyler's luggage tag, specified Pennsylvania.


Opal Gardner, the biological mother of Tad Martin, ran what sort of business?

Opal was a talented beautician at the Glamorama, but she once intentionally dyed Tina Benson's hair blue because they were both interested in the same man.


In what year did "All My Children" debut?

The show aired on ABC from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011. Later it had a short run on The Online Network, from April 29, 2013, to September 2, 2013.


What story did Palmer Cortlandt concoct in an attempt to end the relationship between his daughter, Nina, and Dr. Cliff Warner?

When Nina learned that surgery could prevent her from going blind, she confronted her father, had the surgery, and married Cliff. Nina did not know at the time that Monique Jonvil, in attendance at the wedding, was actually her mother.


In the soap opera world's first storyline involving homosexuality, who did Devon McFadden fall in love with?

The role of Lynn Carson was played by Donna Pescow, who appeared in "Saturday Night Fever" and starred in her own primetime show, "Angie."


What famous entertainer played a small recurring role on "AMC" as Verla Grubbs, the illegitimate daughter of Langley Wallingford?

While Carol Burnett was shooting a scene at "AMC," the celebrated actress Elizabeth Taylor pranked her, appearing in the shot as a cleaning woman with a mop.


Ruth Warrick, who played Phoebe Wallingford on "AMC," also appeared in what iconic film?

Ruth Warrick made her film debut in "Citizen Kane," the Orson Welles masterpiece released in 1941.


In the soap-opera world, what is SORAS?

SORAS is a well-known acronym for Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. In the case of "All My Children," Erica was originally born in 1955, and her daughter Kendall was conceived as a result of rape in the year 1970. Over time, Kendall's birth year was changed to 1976 and Erica's birth year was changed to 1962. This is only one of many examples of SORAS - writers often played fast and loose with the past in order to create compelling new stories.


Which famous morning talk show host got her start on "All My Children"?

Kelly Ripa, co-host of "Live!" with various partners, got her first big break with the role of Hayley Vaughan, the troubled punk/goth daughter of Adam Chandler.


What started the ongoing rivalry between Brooke English and Erica Kane?

Tom ultimately chose to marry Erica, but their marriage ended when he found out she was taking birth control pills.


Which "AMC" child mysteriously vanished and no one noticed?

Bobby Martin, the youngest son of Dr. Joe Martin, was sent upstairs to get skis. That's the last anyone ever saw of him or spoke of him, although years later Opal Gardner Cortlandt found a skeleton with a pair of skis in the Martin's attic!


Which "All My Children" star was the first soap opera actress to win a Daytime Emmy?

Mary Fickett played Ruth Parker Brent Martin, the matriarch of the Martin family. She won the Emmy in 1973, for her character's passionate protests against the Vietnam War.


Which "All My Children" character swapped his stillborn baby with an abandoned newborn?

Jesse wanted to spare his wife, Angie, from the pain of grieving for her stillborn baby. Jesse thought he could get away with this scheme because Angie was temporarily blind. The couple named their living baby Lucy, while Jesse secretly mourned the loss of their biological child, which he named Ellie.


What do these pairs of "AMC" characters have in common: Natalie Marlowe and Janet "From Another Planet" Green; Cindy Parker and Karen Parker; Mary Frances "Frankie" Stone and Maggie Stone?

They are all twins, of course, but the most famous twins on "AMC" were Adam and Stuart Chandler. One way to tell those two apart, even when gentle Stuart tried to impersonate his stern brother, was Stuart's inability to keep his collar points tucked in.


What small town did Pete and Dixie Cooney come from?

Pete Cooney took on a more sophisticated persona and changed his name to Palmer Cortlandt.


Who was Zarf?

Zarf befriended Bianca Montgomery, who understood his need to start a new life as a woman named Zoe. Jeffrey Carlson, who played the role of Zarf, has frequently appeared on Broadway.


What nickname did Hayley Vaughan have for her Uncle Trevor?

Hayley called him Uncle Porkchop and Trevor called her Tinkerbell. No rhyme or reason, but very cute.


What was the name of the cosmetics company founded by Kendall Hart, Greenlee Smythe, Liza Colby, Simone Torres, and Mia Saunders?

They started out by concocting a lipstick recipe at Kendall's house, to fulfill an order from Lacey's department store.


Dr. David Hayward and his wife, Anna Devane, named their daughter in honor of whom?

Leo du Pres was presumed dead at the time, after he fell from the edge of a waterfall. The baby was named Leora.


Which "AMC" character was killed in a jet ski explosion?

enny's jealous ex had sabotaged the jet ski in an attempt to kill her boyfriend, Greg Nelson, but Jenny boarded the jet ski instead of Greg.


Who was kidnapped during a tornado in Pine Valley?

Ryan Lavery's daughter, Emma, was kidnapped and taken to Puerto Rico as part of a plot by the baby's mother, Annie McDermott, to win Ryan back from Greenlee Smythe.


What are the names of Kendall Hart Lang Slater's two children?

Spike's father is Ryan Lavery; Ian's father is Zach Slater. On a side note, Kendall opened a club in Pine Valley called ConFusion, and musical guests included Rihanna and Mary J. Blige.


Which "All My Children" couple had four wedding ceremonies?

Cliff and Nina ultimately survived relationship interference, not only from her possessive father, but also from many jealous suitors, including Sean Cudahy, Sybil Thorne, Steve Jacobi, Devon McFadden, Amy Stone, Zach Grayson, Liza Colby, Benny Sago, and Angie Hubbard. Whew!


Which "All My Children" character helped Red Kilgren, who may or may not be Santa Claus?

Myrtle Fargate was a colorful character, whose occupations included telling fortunes in a traveling carnival, running a boarding house, and operating a clothing store called The Boutique.


In 1978 "AMC" became the first American soap to shoot abroad, in Saint Croix, for what plot development?

Footage of Tom and Erica's honeymoon, including horseback riding, was shot with a then-new technique called steady-cam.


Which "All My Children" character was diagnosed with AIDS?

Cindy Parker later married Stuart Chandler, who adopted her son, Scott. Stuart promised to raise Scott after Cindy passed away.


Susan Lucci is the only cast member who remained with "AMC" for its entire televised run, from the first episode to the finale. Which actor came closest to matching Lucci's record?

Ray MacDonnell, an original cast member, retired from the show in 2009, but he subsequently made guest appearances and returned for the TV finale.


What romantic trait do "AMC" actors Mark Consuelos, John Callahan, and Justin Bruening have in common?

Mark Consuelos (Mateo Santos) married Kelly Ripa (Hayley Vaughan), John Callahan (Edmund Grey) married Eva LaRue (Dr. Maria Santos Grey), and Justin Bruening (Jamie Martin) married Alexa Havins (Babe Carey Chandler).


Which "AMC" character suffered from anorexia?

Bianca went through a great deal of trauma, including being torn between her mother, Erica Kane, and her father, Travis Montgomery.


In what year did Susan Lucci win her first Emmy Award for her role as Erica Kane on "All My Children?"

She was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding lead actress in a drama series every year from 1978 to 1998, without a win. The situation became a running joke until she finally won in 1999.


Which "AMC" character got romantic while wearing a chicken suit?

Tad Martin proposed to Dixie Cooney while wearing a chicken suit, looking silly but lovable. The scene was a callback to the days when they first met and enjoyed eating chicken fingers together.


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