another world douglass watson mac cory
Credit: Courtesy of the Everett Collection (3)

We all felt like family when we said goodbye to Another World protagonist Mac Cory.

When Another World‘s Douglass Watson passed away in 1989 of a heart attack while on vacation, everyone was in shock. He’d been a cornerstone of Another World since he’d joined the cast 15 years earlier to take over the role of Mackenzie “Mac” Cory. Watson was only 68, and Mac was right in the middle of a big storyline.

Though he’d been felled on May 1, Watson’s last episode didn’t air until nine days later. In the days before the Internet, it wasn’t until Another World broadcast an In Memoriam photo of him that many fans even learned of the actor’s passing.

In the world of Bay City, Mac was away in Maine when he died. He’d needed to get away after discovering that Iris was indeed his daughter — and that she’d been scheming to take over his company, Cory Publishing. Feeling something was wrong, Rachel went off to surprise her husband at his hotel, only to be told he had passed away peacefully in his sleep.

He never came home, and he never reconciled with Iris.

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By the time Another World aired Mac’s funeral on June 16, six weeks had passed since Watson’s death. But honestly, it still felt like it came far too fast.

It was a beautiful ceremony, with the performances feeling all too real, as Watson’s co-stars said goodbye to both him and Mac. Michael Hudson gave the eulogy, reflecting on Mac’s goodness, and saying that “if we treat each other with as much honesty and joy and love as he gave us, our lives will be a reflection of him.”

Rachel’s son, Jamie, got up and spoke about the fathers he was lucky enough to know — his own and Mac. The funeral was just before Father’s Day. Then Mac’s other kids, Matt, Amanda, and even Iris got up to say a few tearful words of regret and love.

If looks could kill, though, Iris would have joined her father in the ground.

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But as touching as the ceremony was, it was the quiet moment at Mac’s grave afterwards that did us in. Rachel had been left to say goodbye to the man she’d loved for 16 years. And it allowed us to say goodbye to the man who’d played him for 15.

“I’m not sure whether you’re gonna like it or not,” Rachel warned her husband, “but I won’t be coming here very often. Oh, I’ll need to talk to you. I’ll probably need to every day for the rest of my life, but not here. This is not the way I want to remember you. So, I can’t say goodbye.”

“Please, don’t ask me to let me go,” she said in a final farewell. “I can’t do it. You’re a part of me. You’re a part of who I am. I will never love anyone as much as I loved you.”

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She’d been talking to him in the present tense through her whole goodbye, but in that last moment, in that last declaration of love, she switched to the past. Our hearts broke a little as we all realized that Mac would never again be a part of our present or our future. But he’d always be a part of our past.

Sometimes it’s healthy to let it all out. So with that in mind, we went through and put together some photos for you of 15 soap character deaths that left us absolutely devastated. Go find a quiet place, check them out and have a good cry.