For nearly 30 years, Fickett was loved and admired by millions of people as the good, compassionate nurse Ruth Parker Brent Martin on ALL MY CHILDREN. She appeared in the first episode of the show in 1970 and made her last appearance in 2000.
With Ruth and her doctor husband as the drama's tent-pole characters, ALL MY CHILDREN became a top-rated daytime TV drama in 1978. Ray MacDonnell played the role of Dr. Joe Martin, Fickett's TV husband.
Fickett "never really acted," MacDonnell said in 2008. "She was just a wonderful human being and a delight to work with. She was very bright and always cheerful and inspired natural emotions in me and her fellow actors."
Former ALL MY CHILDREN cast member Robin Strasser tweeted in response to the news: "A true beauty- inside+out! My fondest memories of AMC include her generous gracious professional presence."
Fickett's other soap opera roles included Ruth on THE INNER FLAME, Miss Long on YOUNG DOCTOR MALONE, and two parts on THE EDGE OF NIGHT (Katherine Lovell and Sally Smith).
She is survived by her daughter, Bronwyn Congdon and her husband, Michael Filipovic; her son, Kenyon Congdon and his wife, Tamara; her grandchildren by Bronwyn, Brittany Stewart Congdon, Caitlin Congdon, Dylan Farinet, Zachary Filipovic and Kiley Anne Filipovic; her grandchildren by Kenyon, Casey Congdon, Morgan Congdon and Alex Congdon; and her great-grandchildren, Haylie Congdon Mitchell and Melisande Congdon Mitchell.
Services will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Richmond Chapter, 4600 Cox Road, Suite 130, Glen Allen, Va. 23060.
ABC released the following statement:
We at ABC were very saddened to learn about the passing of one of ALL MY CHILDREN's original cast members, Mary Fickett, who portrayed beloved nurse Ruth Brent Martin from 1970-1995 and again from 1998-2000. As we honor ALL MY CHILDREN's 41 years on ABC, we cannot help but recognize and remember Mary's wonderful depiction of Pine Valley's revered Ruth. Ruth's marriage to chief of staff Dr. Joe Martin provided the bedrock upon which the town of Pine Valley was built. Their marriage was always a stabilizing force that represented "home" for many.UPDATED:
In memoriam, the network will dedicate the September 21 episode to Mary, which specifically focuses on the Martins. We extend our deepest sympathy and thoughts to Mary's family and longtime fans.
Lee Meriwether, who replaced Fickett on ALL MY CHIDLREN tweeted on September 13: "I am so saddened to hear about the passing of the brilliant actress Mary Fickett. My first memory of her was on B'way in Sunrise at Campobello & then fortune shined when I was asked to fill in for the part of Ruth on ALL MY CHILDREN. I never felt adequate enough to fill her shoes. Rest in peace, Mary."