Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Virginia Dwyer Dead at 92

Virginia Dwyer
Actress Virginia Dwyer has died at age 92.

Dwyer was an actress best know for her work on daytime soap operas. Her roles included Mary Matthews in ANOTHER WORLD, Janice Turner in AS THE WORLD TURNS, Janice Turner Hughes, Ruth Jannings Holden in THE GUIDING LIGHT, Tracey Malone in YOUNG DOCTOR MALONE, Jane Edwards Ames in THE SECRET STORM, and Jocelyn Brentof in THE ROAD OF LIFE.

On March 28, 1975, Dwyer's Mary Matthews suffered a heart attacked and died, a controversial story decision by Paul Rauch/Harding Lemay killing off one of the original characters.

"I was doing very well as a radio actress when the 10-inch tube arrived on the scene," Dwyer recalled in a 1969 New York Times interview.

"But I went over to New York's Channel 5, then known as WABD Dumont, and volunteered to work in live drama for little more than the experience. The lights were so hot, my make-up melted on my leading man's clothes, but I was a television actress, and I've been at it ever since."

THE ROAD OF LIFE's Don MacLaughlin & Virgina Dwyer
"I was very lucky. Today's youngsters are so talented it's frightening. I watch them on our show bringing their experience with the 'method' or improvisational theater into play and inspiring all of us with their vitality. But eventually, they must leave and prove themselves in theater or motion pictures and it's a very tough road."

Dwyer was born in Omaha on December 19, 1919. She was married to television producer James Fleming and later to television director Walter Gorman.

She is survived by her daughter, Susan Fleming Moran; her grandson, Conor Moran; her sister, Jenny Lou Brink; four nephews and three nieces.

A memorial service is planned for October 13th in Tyringham, MA.


  1. Harding Lemay made a huge mistake, gutting the heart of "Another World" when he fired Virginia Dwyer. So many megalomaniacs like Rauch and Lemay who didn't understand the genre, and thought core characters were expendable.

    I remember my horror when Mary died . . . and then Jacqueline Courtney was replaced by Susan Harney. "Another World" hung on to the rating because of the Rachel/Mac/Iris story, but never really recovered long-term from the decimation of the Matthews family.

  2. I always felt Mary McKinnon (played by Denise Alexander) was a nice "homage" to the memory of Mary Matthews as the McKinnons were sort of the replacement for the Matthews family in Bay City.

  3. I remember Jim and Mary Matthews(as well as their children Pat, Russ and Alice) fondly and was quite shocked when ANOTHER WORLD fired Virginia Dwyer. As it turns out it was the first of many thoughtless executive decisions that would plague the soap throughout its 35 years.

    As for the McKinnons, I never thought they came close to the Matthews. I always saw them as AW's attempt to duplicate the popularity of RYAN's HOPE.

    God bless our "Mary Matthews"......may she rest in peace.

  4. From what I remember when reading Harding Lemay's 1981 book 8 Years In Another World, Miss Dwyer refused to say the lines in Mr. Lemay's well-written scripts exactly as written. However, I do still indeed missed her work on AW after her character was killed off the show.

    Rest In Peace, Dear Miss Virginia!