Sunday, March 16, 2008

Martha Byrne Chat

AS THE WORLD TURNS star Martha Byrne chatted with fans tonight two days after taping her last scenes as Lily Snyder, a role she took over in 1985. Martha emphatically stated that her only demand was asking to work the same number of episodes as last year. The show balked and put out a casting notice for Lily. By my count, Lily was in 105 episodes last year. Here is the transcript:

CodeBlaze: how have you like playing Lily for so long?
MarthaByrne> I've loved playing Lily for over two decades. I've worked with some incredible people who have become great friends!

cleary233: I also want to know if she plans to return to theater or consider going to an ABC or NBC soap
MarthaByrne> I would love to return to the theater and to daytime!!!

cindy_g: Martha hello! I will miss you and I hope to see you elsewhere. You will be missed, I have watched you since you started on the show!
MarthaByrne> Thank you so much. The hardest part of all of this is saying goodbye to the most amazing fans in the world!

shallotpeel: Hello, Martha! How are you & your guys? Is there anything we can do to keep from losing you at World Turns?
MarthaByrne> Any letters should go to P&G...

Mrcy: Please explain what is happening, this show will not be the same with out you and they can never replace you.
MarthaByrne> Thank you so much for your support. We'll talk more about that as the chat goes on...

ashh576: Martha...who did you like working with the most?
MarthaByrne> Jon Hensley-my second husband and I have so many co-workers who have become like a second family to me.

luvlily: Martha, will you ever come back to ATWT? I miss you already.
MarthaByrne> Thank you for your support. I love ATWT and have since the day I started there!

Jenn: Hey Martha! I just wanted you to know how sweet you really are... each time I talked with you, you were SO gracious! I am really going to miss you. I was wondering if there's a certain charity (St Judes?) that you support.... Id like to donate money in your honor! :)
MarthaByrne> As a matter of fact I am going to Memphis in October as a professional advisory board member and will be more involved with St. Judes on a day to day basis. I will be planning another St. Judes event for Spring 2009!!!

MarkH: Are you really okay with this break from ATWT?
MarthaByrne> no:)

MrSnyder: Happy St. Patty's Day
MarthaByrne> you too!

a_priori: What was you favorite storyline?
MarthaByrne> So many, but I loved playing Rose and Lily together in scenes...

nmsammy: Will you be recording another cd? Love your voice and the cds I have. Will you re-issue the ist?
MarthaByrne> You can buy my cd through my website and I will be adding two brand new songs to my website available for download in a few weeks.

Allan: martha, you were the heart and soul of ATWT and with your departure, I am gone, too. I have watched for 35 plus years, but can't stand the character assasination anymore. My question to you is what did you submit for your pre-nom for lead actress on the show? Also, was there ever any consideration by TPTB that Lily really died when Rose did. I detected a slight Rose accent from you in the weeks following her death or was I just crazy? You will be missed, Martha.
MarthaByrne> I submitted two episodes one being the day Lily decided to enter rehab at the Snyder Farm and the second episode was the day after Holden found Lily in Dusty's suite and asked for a separation. And Rodse is dead and buried in Hoboken:)

MarkH: Are you getting any feelers from other daytime shows? If yes, are you interested?
MarthaByrne> I'm open to anything!

Elizabethann: Why are you leaving the show? You have so many fans, please don't leave.
MarthaByrne> This has been a difficult few weeks. I am so thankful for all of fans and they have all shown such an enormous amount of support.

jesse: hi martha, you are one of the reasons that i returned to watching daytime television again! i'm so sad that you are departing!! what are your plans related to your music?
MarthaByrne> I am going to continue to write and record music. I love it very much so keep checking my website for updates!

MarkH: Did you really quit because of a lack of storyline control?
MarthaByrne> NO!!!

Anne: Hi Martha! What was your last day on the ATWT set like?
MarthaByrne> Very sad. Ellen Dolan brought in bagpipes from the NYPD when my scenes were finished and Vivian Gundaker gave a beautiful speech and I cried a lot.

MarkH: There is a bit of inconsistency in the press. ATWT/P&G are saying you got a "generous offer" which you refused. Your press release says you offered to continue at a cut rate of pay, but when negotiations stalled and a recast was ordered, you quit negotiations. True?
MarthaByrne> I know there has been a lot of I did not quit negotiations. I made a request to work at least the same number of shows that I was in last year and was told NO. That day is when the recast call went out.

Catseye: What was the contract dispute over?
MarthaByrne> I wanted to work at least the same amount of days this year as I did last year. That is it all I asked for.

melissa_sipe: So how many kids do you have?
MarthaByrne> I have three children...who are very happy to have me home!

birdlady: have you taped your last episode
MarthaByrne> Yes.

MrSnyder: I'm listening to your CD The Other Side, any new projects coming up?
MarthaByrne> Many:)

armysis: Are you really leaving
MarthaByrne> I taped my last scenes this past Friday.

ashh576: What was your favorite scene or memory?
MarthaByrne> Anything in the Snyder kitchen or with Elizabeth Hubbard.

shootingstar: when is yor last day on atwt
MarthaByrne> This past Friday.

thefan73: Why have you nixed every non-Lily/Rose story of Jon Hensley's?
MarthaByrne> I have no idea what you are talking about???

daisymae: What will you miss the most.
MarthaByrne> laughing with the crew everyday!

bgasper: Are you going to be doing more music? I just love your first cd The Other Side
MarthaByrne> Yes, I will be doing more music...Thank you for your support!

dalejr88: Do you plan on doing anothet soap?
MarthaByrne> I would love to do another soap!

cleary233: Are you close friends with Van and Jon and did you break the news of leaving personally to Van and Jon before it went public?
MarthaByrne> Jon was the first person I told ALL the details to. And then I was on vacation for almost two weeks and people started finding out from other sources...

ellefromholland.: Would you ever consider coming back to ATWT , Martha? Much love from The Netherlands!
MarthaByrne> Hello to the Netherlands. Thanks for joining us. This last few weeks has been very difficult and I need some time.

janefitz: There's been a lot of rumors about what happen between you and the producers. Can you share now what caused the breakdown in negotiation? Also, best of luck in whatever you decide to do.
MarthaByrne> I did not want storyline approval-No one gets that. I had already taken a substantial pay reduction last year. The only thing I wanted was to work at least the same amount of episodes this year as last year. This was denied and that is when I heard about my recast.

Mrcy: I agree the show will never be the same with you leaving Martha. What are your plans
MarthaByrne> First, going on vacation with my family. Then take things from there...

ashh576: You had great chemistry with Jon and Van and a lot of other people. Love you playing Lily! I'll miss you
MarthaByrne> Thank you.

luvlily: Martha, thank you for sharing one of your wonderful talents with us...playing Lily. I have watched you since the early 80's and your character brought me to ATWT
MarthaByrne> Thanks.

Anne: Lily's last scenes are with whom? I hope she at least gets to say goodbye to Lucinda and her kids.
MarthaByrne> My last scenes were with Jon, Michael, and Maura. Michael Park was my hanky when the scenes were done.

MarkH: Is CBS lobbying with P&G on your behalf? I'm sensing disagreements between P&G and CBS on several issues.
MarthaByrne> P&G owns ATWT. They are the final say regarding actors contracts. CBS is involved on many levels, but they don't deal with the actors contracts.

Mrcy: How do we send letters to P&G?
MarthaByrne> One P&G Plaza Cincinnati, Ohio Address it to P&G Productions

shallotpeel: If there's reason to send letters to P&G, does that imply that there is some hope?
MarthaByrne> There is always hope...

thefan73: Jon Hensley will finally be free of you.
MarthaByrne> I'm sure he would agree...LOL

MrSnyder: How was the send off party Friday?
MarthaByrne> Awesome. There were about one hundred people there. Some from our old studio. Some old friends, lots of love in the room! I cried again...

melissa_sipe: I love you martha and will miss you lots
MarthaByrne> Thank you.

MrSnyder: How can we contact you (e-mail and postal mail) since you're not with ATWT?
MarthaByrne> Through my website

Mrcy: Do you know when your last day is suppose to be?
MarthaByrne> I taped my final scenes this past Friday and it will air the end of April.

Elizabethann: I know you are a professional but how hard is it to work with some scenes with Jon with his real life wife least according to what I have read, she is his wife.
MarthaByrne> We are all friends.

cindy_g: I'm so sad over this, your last day will be a kleenex day for sure
MarthaByrne> It was for me!

cleary233: Have you thought about using your expertise by workng behind the scenes in soaps production, i.e. producing,writing, directing or as an acting coach?
MarthaByrne> I would love to work behind the scenes. I am working on many projects as a writer/producer.

melissa_sipe: Martha you were great when you played both roles as rose and lily I thought you did such a wonderful job
MarthaByrne> Thank you. It was so much fun!

ashh576: One of favorite storyline was when Luke came out. How did you feel about playing that?
MarthaByrne> I thought it was well written and very honest.

december: Are the "powers that be" even listening to the fans anymore? Dusty, Craig, and now this?
MarthaByrne> I truly believe that the fans voice is the most important. Without the fans Daytime wouldn't exist. I am a fan myself and I understand your frustrations. You should know that every person behind the scenes appreciates your voice.

luvlily: Do you ever ready any of the message boards, if so can you tell us which ones?
MarthaByrne> Yes, sometimes. I like to read my fans feedback...the good and the bad...LOL

michelle: can we ever buy your cd in a shop in holland
MarthaByrne> hopefully soon...but you can buy it through my website!

Roger_Newcomb: Martha, please tell me you have scenes with Elizabeth Hubbard before we have to say goodbye to Lily. I will miss that relationship so much.
MarthaByrne> I taped my last scenes with Liz last Wednesday and I had to pretend it wasn't the end.

ashh576: I'm sure your hapy to move out of the Snyder farm hotel. WAAAY to many people living there. LOL
MarthaByrne> I agree. LOL

Eileen26: Martha, do writers, TPTB, care about what the fans want?
MarthaByrne> I said earlier the actors & production staff listen to what the fans have to say. What is done after that is out of our control.

jbrr1212: I know it has to be insulting they are recasting so quickly, any thoughts on a new Lily?
MarthaByrne> I only wish whoever it is the best of luck. She will be working with an incredible group of people.

shallotpeel: Silly questions: What's on your iPod? What's on your TiVo?
MarthaByrne> iPod-Mostly 70s & 80s music and a lot of Rob Thomas Tivo-The First 48 and 60 Minutes

nickst: I read that your last ATWT tape date was on Friday...which must have been difficult for you, to say the least. Did you get a chance to say your good byes, especially to the crew behind the scenes?
MarthaByrne> was very powerful.

dalejr88: How does your family feel about your leaving the show? I'm sure they will be happy to have home more (at least for a little while anyway)
MarthaByrne> My husband has always been incredibly supportive. All he has ever wanted is for his family to be happy. When my son found out I would be home more often he said that would be awesome!

Mrcy: So it had nothing to do with you wanting more story lines?
MarthaByrne> It had NOTHING to do with story approval...

ashh576: What is your favorite storyline on ATWT right now?
MarthaByrne> Cowboy Jack...just kidding-LOL

ellefromholland.: Why didn't they agree on you working at least the same amount of shows?!
MarthaByrne> Ask them.

cindy_g: I am glad to hear that, some were calling you a Diva but I defended you and said to wait and hear what MB has to say about things!
MarthaByrne> Thank you. I'm sitting in my sweat pants with pizza sauce on my shirt after giving my kids dinner...I'm no diva!

Lolo: According to your press release, when the recast call went out, you withdrew from negotiations. But that seems a normal course the show would take under these circumstances. Why not stick out negotiations and see where they went?
MarthaByrne> I can't tell you all the details, but after the call went out things went from bad to worse...

MrSnyder: Industry wide (not just ATWT specific) what are your thoughts on the genre of soaps and their future?
MarthaByrne> I think soaps DESERVE a future. How to go about that has been debated often. My feeling is with good story and great actors you will find success.

ellefromholland.: Are you going to take a break for a while from working?
MarthaByrne> No. About 6 weeks...

zoknut: How old were you when you first appeared as Lily on ATWT
MarthaByrne> 15.

ellefromholland.: Do you know why they didn't agree on having you working at least the same number of episodes????
MarthaByrne> No.

luvlily: Do any of the actor or actresses have any input into their storylines on ATWT? I have hated to see so many characters ruined and history erased the past few years on the show.
MarthaByrne> No actor has storyline approval...our job as the actor is to make everything work.

shallotpeel: When you made your statement to Jen Lenhart of Soap Opera Digest mentioning that you had taken a paycut previously by intent & that you were negotiating and into it for 3 weeks and then, etc., etc. I just had a feeling that it was something utterly ridiculous for this to happen over. Were you completely bowled over when this happened? I mean, you've gone into negotiations without an agent or anything at times in the past, etc. ... did you feel like the rug was pulled out from under you?!!
MarthaByrne> I have negotiated over thirty contracts in my career and have never had a problem.

martha: You are my actress. Where ever you go, I will watch your show!
MarthaByrne> Thank you.

Sleepydreams143: Can I ask how they wrote Lily off? I am going to miss you soooo much!! Best of luck in all you do!
MarthaByrne> Lily gets in a limo and takes off...

Lolo: Was the recast call the only reason you stopped negotiating?
MarthaByrne> That was the beginning...

MarkH: Should fans continue writing you c/o the show? That will give them some fanmail to count :-)
MarthaByrne> You can email me through my website.

Tim_Lawrence: Hi Martha. how can I get your first CD? Is it still available?
MarthaByrne> My first CD sold out. You can download my current one on CD or buy it through my website

missingDamian: Martha, you'll always be the one and only Lily IMO. Were you're last scenes dramatic or standard?
MarthaByrne> They were a lot of fun because I was working with Michael Park, Maura, and Jon

lwsfan: Everyone at loves you!!
MarthaByrne> I've had a lot of great support from soapcentral THANK YOU!

blackcat: Do you really think the fans can make a difference? What is the best way to be heard? We want to do something fast and effective......Lily rocks!
MarthaByrne> Write to P& G Productions...

cleary233: Any thoughts on if the portrayal of women on soaps has gotten better or worse?
MarthaByrne> I have always felt that Daytime is a female medium. It upsets me when women are portrayed in a negative fashion. We have a great opportunity on Daytime to tell stories about strong women and the men who love them...those are the kind of stories we should be telling.

lizflyn: Would you work for CBS again--or go to another network?
MarthaByrne> I've worked for CBS since I was eleven years old and would work for them anytime!

MarkH: You were doing the negotiations directly, right? You don't go through an agent?
MarthaByrne> My manager handles it...

shallotpeel: How did you find out that the (re) casting call had gone out?
MarthaByrne> My manger gets breakdowns...

Mrcy: If they decided to do a recast before all of the negotiations went out, I am sure it has been very difficult for you. You have made this show with actors like Jon, Elizabeth, Michael. and etc....
MarthaByrne> Thank you.

Mrcy: They did not give you an explanation?
MarthaByrne> No.

lizflyn: Martha will you have your music on itunes so we can download to our ipods?
MarthaByrne> You can download it on

luvlily: Will you still keep in touch with your castmates?
MarthaByrne> Absolutely!

Jenn: Hi Martha! I know this is a special chat because you left the show... but is there any way we could convince you to do another chat in the future? i loved all the past ones:)
MarthaByrne> I will be doing them more often!

shallotpeel: Who was negotiating directly for ATWT?
MarthaByrne> Their legal department who informed me that they could not write my request for the same number of shows into my contract.

downwhtone: Are there any prime time shows you would like to appear on?
MarthaByrne> Many. I am going to take a couple more questions...

martha: You will be miss! Best of Luck!!
MarthaByrne> Thank you.

shallotpeel: Will you miss the trip to Brooklyn? (You'll always have Brooklyn.)::laugh
MarthaByrne> The three hours I spent in my car NO, but I'll miss the people!

luvlily: We love you Martha and have a wonderful vacation, you deserve it! Best of luck to you and your family in everything you do. You have, do, and will always ROCK!
MarthaByrne> Thank you so much. Please check back after next Friday, I'm going to have some exciting new updates on my website including some great pictures from my going away party!

martha: We all love u!!!
MarthaByrne> Thank you so much, your support has been incredible over the years.

armysis: wow is that three hours one way or an hour and a half one way
MarthaByrne> An hour and a half each way...

forlove: Do you ever watch episodes of ATWT on YouTube? I'm a fairly new viewer and caught up on some of Lily's story that way.
MarthaByrne> I love YouTube. Actually, someone forwarded me a video a fan had to put together supporting me and it was touching.

lisamn: i missed the beginning, did you say what your plans are, atwt will never be the same again
MarthaByrne> As of right now I am going on vacation...keep checking my website and I will announce my future plans. We will also publish a transcript of this chat on my website as well by tomorrow!


  1. Martha (Lily) I do miss your character on the show. For me it is good that another character is playing this storyline because I don't relate the pain Holden is causing to you but to this new character and it is not so bad. I think it is the most horrible storyline on the soaps now.

  2. Hi, if you guys are fans of the show you might be very interested in: Soap Cruise 2009. I don't know if all soap fans have have heard of it, but it's awesome!!

  3. Soap Star-Studded Night on the Town with Martha Byrne
    April 28 - May 8 proudly presents Martha Byrne and her soap-star friends to help raise funds to benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, which relies on donations to execute its mission.

    What's included?
    Two complimentary tickets to the soap-star studded attended event “Angels for Hope Gala; St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, May 21st, at 7pm at the Pearl River Hilton in Pearl River, NY (just outside of Manhattan)
    Mix & Mingle with a dozen of the hottest soap stars including: Martha Byrne, Terri Columbino, Jon Hensley, Kelley Hensley, Michael Park and others.
    A signed script by many notable soap stars
    Winner's choice to sit with favorite soap actor at the gala
    Domestic Round-trip JetBlue Airfare for Two to NY
    One night hotel stay at the Pearl River Hilton for you and guest
    Hair & Makeup by a celebrity stylist
    Exclusive event gift bag, the most comprehensive social networking site that provides free resources to help return-to-work moms and working moms, is made up of a community of parents who have an overwhelming desire to make a positive impact in the lives of children. Learn more at

    VH1 Save The Music Foundation
    The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. Learn more