50 Greatest Soap Couples: #29 Cliff & Nina From ALL MY CHILDREN

COUPLE: Cliff Warner & Nina Cortlandt
RANK: 29
Cliff: Peter Bergman
Nina: Taylor Miller, Heather Standford, Barbara Kearns
YEARS: 1979-1989

Cliff was working at Pine Valley Hospital in 1979 when he met and fell in love with Nina.  Nina's father, Palmer (the late James Mitchell), vehemently disapproved and did everything he could to keep them apart.   Over the next decade the couple would marry four different times with the first being one of the most lavish weddings in the show's history.  Some of the obstacles faced by Cliff and Nina over the years (to name just a few) were Nina almost going blind, the pregnancy of nurse Sybil Thorne (Linda Gibboney), Sybil's murder, Nina's affair with Steve Jacobi (Dack Rambo), Nina's relationship with Matt Connolly (Michael Tylo) when Cliff was thought to be dead, Cliff's short-lived engagement to Angie and...  Oh, we said just a few.  You get the picture.

In 1989 Cliff and Nina married for the fourth time and left Pine Valley to live in Denver.

Cliff and Nina became instantly popular with ALL MY CHILDREN fans as did Bergman and Miller, whose careers took off.   The actors had great chemistry together and ALL MY CHILDREN was No. 1 in the ratings in 1979 (and a solid No. 2 behind GENERAL HOSPITAL for the heyday of Cliff and Nina).  They covered magazines.. Bergmand and Miller were flown all over for Soaps Alive! and were recognized by the public almost everywhere they went (including being chased down the streets of New York City). The wonderful writing of Agnes Nixon, Wisner Washam and the entire staff kept fans tuned in to their on-again, off-again romance.

Bergman has not stopped working ever since he started on ALL MY CHILDREN, moving to THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS as Jack Abbott in 1989.   He was nominated as Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama at the 1983 Daytime Emmys (he has 17 nominations and 5 wins for his work on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS). Miller moved to ANOTHER WORLD as Sally Frame for a year during the 1980s.  She has returned to ALL MY CHILDREN a few times over the years and has done new projects, time permitting, while she raised a family.

One of the wonderful parts of the early Cliff and Nina stories were the supporting characters.  Miller described it best in our 2009 interview:  "I was so lucky. Elizabeth Lawrence (Myra) taught me about continuity and about detail. She would drive people crazy with detail. As a novice I would go, “Oh please, let’s get on with this.” I was watching some old clips recently and Elizabeth Lawrence was brilliant. She was supposed to be on a couple of days but people were so interested in who she was they made her Nina’s grandmother. Gillian [Spencer, who played Daisy] was a brilliant subtext person. She told me when she auditioned for Daisy she pretended there were bugs crawling up and down the wall. I hadn’t been to acting school but I got it. And James Mitchell (Palmer), one of the kindest men in the world, was about finding the humor in situations. They were my teachers."

Cliff and Nina's first wedding (1980)
Cliff catches Nina with Steve! (1983)
Cliff & Nina in New York City (1986)
Cliff and Nina share memories on Christmas morning (1986)

Share your thoughts on Cliff and Nina in our Comments section below or on our message board.

- 50 Greatest Soap Opera Actors: The Complete List
- 50 Greatest Soap Opera Actresses: The Complete List
- THE COMPLETE LIST: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History

1 comment:

  1. Cliff and Nina were the perfect star crossed lovers. The supporting players of their romance really sold the show. Palmer and Daisy--now there was a hot romance. Whew! I still remember the horse drawn carriages for their wedding. AMC at it's best!