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ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (2)

The beloved soap vet passed away at his home in Chappaqua, NY.

It’s a sad day for All My Children fans — and for all of daytime. Ray MacDonnell died on June 10 of natural causes, Michael Fairman TV reports.

The veteran actor, who began his extensive showbiz career with appearances on The Jack Benny Show and Armstrong Circle Theatre, transitioned to soaps in 1961, when he was cast by The Edge of Night as reliable Phil Capice. Really longtime viewers will recall that the character was once kidnapped by a heroin addict and replaced with a doppelganger whose murder the nutjob tried to pin on Phil’s wife!

THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Ray MacDonnell, Mary K. Wells (ca. 1966), 1956-84

Above: Clearly, in 1966, The Edge of Night’s Phil and wife Louise weren’t exactly seeing eye to eye.

More: Honoring a tear-stained soap anniversary

But it was in 1970 that MacDonnell took on the role that would define him. When All My Children made its debut, he was front and center as Dr. Joe Martin, who remained a reassuring presence in Pine Valley — and the lives of the audience — for 40 years. So significant was the actor’s presence, and his contribution to the soap’s success, that in 2004, he was awarded a Daytime Emmy for Lifetime Achievement.

Even after MacDonnell retired in 2009, he continued to appear now and then on the soap he’d called home for decades. And naturally, he was on hand when the before-its-time online reboot of All My Children aired its final episode. You can get a sense of his presence in the beautiful 1985 clip below, in which Joe eulogizes his late mother, Kate.

On your way to the comments to share your memories of MacDonnell and Joe, stop off at the below photo gallery of other stars that have passed away in 2021 as a way of paying your respects. We may never get over the losses, but we’ll also never lose our fond memories of them.

Video: YouTube/HamiltonBernique