Thursday, August 30, 2012

50 Greatest Soap Couples: #4 Jesse & Angie From ALL MY CHILDREN

COUPLE: Jesse Hubbard & Angela Baxter
Jesse: Darnell Williams
Angie: Debbi Morgan
YEARS: 1982–1988, 2008–2011

Jesse was a street kid from the "wrong side of the tracks" and Angie was part of Pine Valley high society so when they met and fell in love, Angie's father, Leo, instantly disapproved.  When Angie's friend, Liza Colby, accused Jesse of rape, he fled town with his best pal, Jenny Gardner, spending the summer of 1982 in New York.  Angie thought his leaving was a sign of his guilt but eventually Liza admitted she lied about the rape.   Angie and Jesse reunited and eloped.  Angie soon found out she was pregnant but thinking Jesse didn't want to be a father, divorced him and decided to give the baby away.  When Angie finally revealed the truth to Jesse, they got back together and kidnapped their baby.  They eventually convinced a judge to give them custody of the baby, Frankie, and started a new life together.

Over the next few years, Jesse and Angie were torn apart by the likes of Eugene Hubbard (Tom Wright) and Yvonne Caldwell.   Jesse then ran for Pine Valley Town Council and was elected but didn't like political life and quit.   Jesse then began investigating "Mr Big," the head of a black market baby adoption ring.    He eventually discovered that Angie's father, Les, was Mr. Big.  Les was killed in a confrontation with Jesse which tore apart his relationship with Angie yet again.  Meanwhile, Angie befriended Cindy Parker, who was suffering from AIDS.  Jesse joined and rose through the ranks of the Pine Valley Police Department.  Jesse was shot while assigned to guard businessman John Remington (Eddie Earl Hatch).  He died in the hospital breaking Angie's heart.   In early 2008, Jesse turned up very much alive and admitted he pretended to be dead to protect his family.  On Valentine's Day, Angie saw Jesse at the train station where he was attempting to leave town.  The couple reunited for the first time in two decades which led to them getting married again. Jesse and Angie would deal with his long lost daughter, her blindness and much more the next few years but were happy and together when ALL MY CHILDREN went off the air in 2011.

Jesse and Angie were obviously fan favorites with incredible chemistry like many other couples in this countdown, but their importance goes far beyond that.  They were the first African-American supercouple in soap opera history and brought new fans to the show and genre and a much-needed representation of viewers that had been missing.

Williams and Morgan and their ALL MY CHILDREN storyline reached a level of popularity outside of the normal Daytime circles.  They hosted syndicated music series NEW YORK HOT TRACKS and covered magazines like Essence. Morgan and Tom Wright even appeared in two music videos by R&B group, Cameo.

Williams won two Emmy Awards for his work as Jesse, and was nominated for two more.  Morgan won once, and was nominated four other times.   Both finished in the Top 20 of our 50 Greatest Actors and Actresses countdowns in 2010.

Williams and Morgan reunited on LOVING/THE CITY with Williams playing Jacob.  Both are currently starring in THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.

From Patrick Erwin (A THOUSAND OTHER WORLDS): These two characters had the first “real” romance between African-American characters – they were allowed to be flawed and complicated and real, and they loved each other passionately. Few scenes are as sweet and rewarding as their 2008 reunion.

- Jesse and Angie reunite and get married again (1983)
Jess and Angie's amazing reunion (2008)
Darnell Williams classic clips
Debbi Morgan classic clips

Share your thoughts on Jesse and Angie in our Comments section below or on our message board.

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  1. Again a great acting team with Darnell & Angie

  2. That's definitely one thing a lot of these couples have in common.

  3. Such a glorious photo of the duo accompanying this article. Gosh, Debbi & Darnell are beautiful and great actors too. Both deserved the lead actor/actress Emmys for their work the last year of AMC. Sadly, the two are currently wasted (along with Stephen Nichols and Genie Francis) on Y&R.

    I am surprised that Angie & Jesse are listed so high in a list of great soap couples but then again the construction of this entire list has been baffling.

  4. Definitely Top 5. The clip from the 2008 reunion is breathtaking.

  5. Angie and Jessie are definitely right where they should be in this list. They were a ground-breaking couple in their day because it was the first time that an African-American couple was allowed to be front and center without race playing a role in the storyline.

    I cried like a baby when they were reunited in 2008. ;)

  6. I definitely agree w/woodstockdad and zyxwvuts- they deserve to be Top 5. I was not a consistent viewer of AMC because I grew up watching mostly CBS soaps so other than Erica Kane and Tad Martin, I barely knew who other AMC characters were but I knew who Angie and Jessie were! I wasn't really watching AMC in 2008 but when I saw that Angie was returning, I started to watch a bit more and I was delighted to discover that I was able to tune in and watch the Reunion episode and regardless of the fact that I rarely watched All My Children up until then I actually cried at having witnessed this reunion. All the emotions looked so real and intense! From then on, I started watching more consistently until the end of the series.
    And as zyxwvuts said...yes, 'the 2008 reunion is breathtaking'.

  7. Great choice for top 4 Roger love them :)

  8. Yes! Angie and Jesse... one of the best daytime couples of all time!!! They definitely deserved to be in the top 5 for sure!

  9. My favorite AMC couple ever!!! They were #12 on my list