Ruth Warrick, whose seven-decade acting career included 35 years on ABC’s All My Children, died Jan. 15 of pneumonia at her home in New York, ABC announced. The last surviving star of Citizen Kane, she was 88.
Warrick began her acting career with Orson Welles’ Mercury Players troupe and made her film debut in Kane in 1941 as the title character’s frosty, patrician first wife, Emily Monroe Norton. Over the next couple of decades, she would make 30 more movies, including Journey Into Fear (also opposite Welles) and Disney’s Song of the South, but she became best known for her work on daytime and nighttime soaps, including As the World Turns, Guiding Light, and Peyton Place, a show that earned her an Emmy nomination.
In 1970, Warrick was part of the inaugural cast of All My Children, playing another frosty patrician, Phoebe Tyler. Over the next 35 years, the scheming, meddlesome character would go through several husbands and drunk driving arrests, as well as two Daytime Emmy nominations. She was so identified with the character that her 1980 autobiography was called Confessions of Phoebe Tyler. She received a lifetime achievement prize last year at the Daytime Emmys and most recently appeared on an AMC 35th anniversary episode two weeks ago.