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October 10, 2008

All My Children's Eileen Herlie Dies

Known to fans as "Myrtle Fargate" for more than 30 years


Actress Eileen Herlie, who appeared on the daytime drama All My Children for more than three decades as the motherly Myrtle Fargate, died of pneumonia in New York City on October 8. She was 90.

Herlie joined All My Children in 1976. Her character, Myrtle, became a surrogate mother to many of the show’s major characters, including Erica Kane (Susan Lucci).

Prior to All My Children, Herlie was a regular on Broadway. She made her debut in Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker in 1955, and also appeared in such productions as Take Me Along (1959), an adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! in which she played Jackie Gleason’s love interest, and All American (1962), opposite Ray Bolger.

She was nominated for a Tony for her performance in Take Me Along.

A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Herlie worked for several years in the Scottish National Theater and in the English theater with Tyrone Guthrie.

On the London stage she appeared in such productions as Jean Cocteau’s The Eagle Has Two Heads.

Her movie credits include two versions of Hamlet—the 1948 production starring Laurence Olivier, and the 1964 production with Richard Burton version. Other movies include Freud (1962), with Montgomery Clift, and Sidney Lumet’s The Sea Gull (1968), with Simone Signoret, James Mason and Vanessa Redgrave.

Herlie is survived by a brother, nieces and nephews.

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