Martha ByrneCBS Daytime #1 for 30 Years Launch PartyThe Paley Center for MediaBeverly Hills, CA10/10/16 © Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Catch the actress from her earliest (and we do mean earliest!) days to now!

In the daytime world, few characters are as beloved as As the World Turns‘ Lily Walsh. How could she not be? First introduced in the ’80s during soaps’ heyday, we watched her go from a young teen in love to a powerful woman, mother and businesswoman.

It’s hard to believe, but when Martha Byrne first took over the role in 1985, she was just 15 at the time. So we’ve all gotten to watch her grow up from her earliest days before our very eyes — or so we thought!

Byrne started the week off by tweeting the ultimate flashback, sharing a photo from well before she ever stepped foot in Oakdale or even before her big 1982 film role on HBO’s Anna to the Infinite Power. 

“First headshot,” Byrne wrote on Twitter. “1980. #AnnieDays #BroadwayKid #BeefsteakCharliesBetweenShows.”


The actress, in fact, began her acting career on Broadway playing Annie‘s July — the quiet, motherly orphan. But pics from those days aren’t exactly the easiest to track down. Until now!

As for that last hashtag that the former childhood actress noted, “Some will understand that last #… You know who you are.”

For those who didn’t grow up or live in New York, Beefsteak Charlies was a popular Manhattan restaurant that turned into an East Coast chain in the ’80s. The original, though, was just two blocks away from the Alvin Theater where Annie was running!

Byrne went on to add in a follow-up, “This picture always makes me laugh… I can see my mom dipping a comb in a cup of water to get that smooth look.”

Ah, moms. At least she wasn’t trying to use spit to get a smudge of dirt off Byrne’s face! Well, that we know of. Now, of course, Byrne herself is a mom three-times over, and she shared this adorable pic celebrating her December birthday with her own daughter, Annmarie.

We’d say that’s the ultimate glow-up, but honestly, 1980 Byrne was already glowing plenty. Actually, while we’re here, happy belated birthday, Martha Byrne!

And while you’re here and feeling nostalgic, we’ve an extra As the World Turns treat with our gallery of its biggest stars then and now! We may not reach quite as far back into the actors’ childhood as this, but we did dig up some photos of the soap’s earliest days!