Friday, January 15, 2010

50 Greatest Soap Actresses: #28 Mary Kay Adams

NAME: Mary Kay Adams
RANK: 28
SOAP ROLES: India von Halkein, GUIDING LIGHT (1984-1987, 1990-1991, 1998-1999, 2002, 2005); Diane Lacey, ALL MY CHILDREN (2003); Neal Alcott, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1992-1993); Death, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1992)

1986 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Villainess in a Daytime Serial

Nelson Aspen: India came to Springfield when GL was riding high. MK was immediately a force to be reckoned with because of her physical stature, her immense talent and dramatic beauty. They wrote her with high camp, which she played to the hilt, but always with a vulnerability behind it that made you buy it. Every time India came back over the years, MK always managed to maintain that integrity and embody even the worst writing with a sense of history and a flair that delighted fans. Doug Marland was as entranced by her as her legions of fans, which is why he brought her to ATWT where she did some of her finest TV work. Alongside Terry Lester and Liz Hubbard, it was the ultimate triumverate!

Roger Newcomb: Mary Kay Adams brought class and intelligence to her roles. In the mid-1980s the Lewis family and Reva had taken over GUIDING LIGHT, so India's arrival, and her scenes with Beverlee McKinsey, were like a breath of fresh air. It's unfortunate the show in later years was not able to find a place for her character.

Robert Newman: (worked with Adams on GUIDING LIGHT) Mary Kay is all energy all the time. Funny and smart and always that twinkle in her eye. Always some kind of mischief going on with her. She would throw out this deadpan delivery with a smirk. You could tell how much she just loved her craft. One of those actors who could move seamlessly between soaps and Shakespeare. Oh…and whole lot of fun off-camera too.


  1. In addition to her talent and beauty, MK also happens to be one of the kindest and most charitable friends imaginable!

  2. I have to admit to never having seen her on ATWT, but India was one of the great characters in GL's history. Kudos to Mary Kay Adams for making the top 30!

  3. I first saw Mary Kay Adams on ATWT. Neal was funny, warm, caring. She was very special. I was devastated when she was killed off and that was a time when many parts of the show began to fall apart.

    It was not until some years later that I saw her work as India. She was also fantastic in that part. Biting, cutthroat, neurotic, but also very funny and when she wanted to be, very caring. She was at her best with Beverlee McKinsey.

    There's a gorgeous monologue on Youtube when she was hiding Phillip during the period when he was faking his death (the first time -- 1990), and she talked about how much she loved him. He looked dumbfounded, and she quickly backtracked by saying she was only joking. The heartbreak of that scene stays with you.

  4. Even though she never got any Emmy love, she is definitely one of the genre's best. Loved her as India and then getting Mary Kay AND Elizabeth Hubbard together on ATWT was genius.

  5. Mary Kay Adams and Beverlee McKinsey gave GL some of their finest moments. Wit, charm, beauty, intelligence, a force to be reckoned with. She excels in playing strong women, but usually with a touch (or a lot) of humor, vulnerability, and humanity. I love seeing MK in whatever she does... She made the best female Klingon, let me tell ya!!

    It saddens me to have missed her work with one of my other favorites, Elizabeth Hubbard. Must check YT!! I miss seeing Mary Kay on my screen. I hope to see her back soon.

  6. Wow... how cool is this to see Mary Kay Adams again. I agree talented, beauty and oh so smart. We love her and miss her and India will live on in our hearts...

  7. MK is huge talent with a huge heart! I'm proud to have her in the family! Love you, lady! Also- India Forever!