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Mary Fickett, who played Ruth Martin on the ABC soap opera 'All My Children' for about three decades, died at age 83 on Sept. 8, 2011 at her Virgina home, ABC said.
She is survived by a daughter and son from her first marriage and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her third husband, soap opera director Allen Fristoe, died in 2008.
Fickett portrayed Martin, a nurse, on 'All My Children' since its debut in 1970 until 2000, when she retired from the series. Her character, the mother of a man drafted to film in Vietnam, gave an anti-war speech that later earned the actress an Emmy.
The actress became the first person to receive such an award for acting work on a daytime soap opera and was nominated three times for her role, all during the 1970s.
The native of Bronxville, New York began her career in theatre in the late 1940s and was nominated for a Tony in 1958 for her performance in the Broadway play 'Sunrise at Campobello.'
Fickett's first on-screen part came in 1954, when she appeared on an episode of the show "The Inner Flame." She made her film debut in the 1957 movie "Man on Fire." The actress went on to appear on shows such as 'Kraft Theatre,' 'The Defenders' and 'Bonanza' before she was cast on 'All My Children,' which ends its run on the ABC netwrk on Sept. 23, 2011.
(Pictured: Mary Fickett appears as Ruth Martin in a promotional photo for the ABC soap opera 'All My Children.')