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Martha Byrne

Martha Byrne as Lily Walsh

Lily Walsh (formerly Mason, Snyder, Grimaldi & Santana) is a fictional character on the CBS daytime soap opera As the World Turns.

Actress History:Edit

  • Lucy Deakins (06/01/1984-04/30/1985)
  • Martha Byrne (05/1985-11/30/1989 & 06/1995-04/2009)
  • Heather Rattray (12/1989-05/1995; temporary recast)
  • Noelle Beck (05/2009-09/17//2010)

Casting and characterization Edit

Deakins, Byrne and Rattray's tenures Edit

Lilly Walsh was originally played by Lucy Deakins for from June 1984-April 1985. As the daughter of an acting coach, Lucy Deakins also entered the field and was cast on the show following her appearance in the play So What Are We Going To Do Now? as part of the Circle Repertory Company. After Lucky Deakins chose the departure from the role and opted it had left the show, Martha Byrne was replaced by her on the series and had initially assumed the character from 1985-2009 and became the most notable portrayer. Ms. Byrne, who was 15 at the time of her first appearance also had a background in theater as she appeared in the play Annie at the age of 10. Her early years were greatly involved in stories with Holden Snyder (Jon Hensley), with whom she is one half of the show's most popular and well-received love stories. Byrne is also an accomplished singer, having written and performed the song "Find My Way Back" as part of her album The Other Side in tribute of Holden and Lily and her co-star Hensley. The song made its television debut on the December 2007 episode as a montage of clips played of Holden and Lily through the years.

Byrne commented on her song "Find My Way Back" and her inspiration behind its creation during an interview with Soapdom.com columnist Laura DeBrizzi on December 2007.

"About a year ago, I decided that I really wanted to write something for Holden and Lilly since the couple has been together for so long – 20 years. Plus, having come this far and still being with Jon (Hensley, Holden), both as an actor and a friend, I thought now would be the perfect time."

—Martha Byrne, Soapdom.com

Byrne departed the role for choosing to be on paternity leave for absences and Heather Rattray took over from 1989-1995 for a temporary replacement recast and took the character in a different direction with a colder personality following a fire. Rattray had a small role in the CBS soap opera Guiding Light as Wendy in 1988 and led a primetime career before and after her time on ATWT. The show's then-head writer Douglas Marland lured Byrne back to the role when Rattray announced her departure to leave after her temporary recast role for Byrne in 1995.

Beck's Tenure

On May 26, 2009, Noelle Beck was named Byrne's replacement and first aired in the role on May 8 of that year. Beck previously played the role of Trisha Alden on the ABC soap opera Loving from 1985-1994 and again in 1995 in time for its finale. Before joining ATWT, Beck led an impressive career in primetime that included roles in CBS' Central Park West, NBC's Tucker and many guest appearances on other series including ABC's Cashmere Mafia.

Beck's casting came with criticism due to the actress replacing the popular Byrne. With columnist Michael Fairman, Beck spoke about her initial hesitance to rejoin daytime after nearly 15-year break and her approach to playing the character of Lilly.

In the same interview, Beck further added:

Following the final episode of ATWT, Ms. Beck continued to appear in primetime with guest appearances on CBS' Blue Bloods, NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and USA Network's Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which also starred Jay Mohr in a Charlie Sheen rant-inspired episode.

Character History Edit

For more details on her relationship with Holden Snyder, see Holden Snyder and Lily Walsh.

Lily showed up in Oakdale as the daughter of Lucinda Walsh. Upon arriving, she quickly hit it off with Dusty Donovan who wound up becoming her first boyfriend. The Lily and Dusty romance also created real-life memories for Lily's portrayer Martha Byrne, who shared her first kiss with Dusty's portrayer Brian Bloom. Lily's most notable pairing was with Holden Snyder, whom she met after he began work at her mother's stables. In 1988, Lily learned Lucinda was not her biological mother as she adopted her and was the biological daughter of Iva Snyder and Joshua Snyder-Stricklyn. Lily and Holden were thought to be related but it was revealed that her biological parents were only adopted into the Snyder family. The romance blossomed and suffered various tribulations and two divorces. The pair is considered to be the central couple ever to be featured on the show  and Byrne, along with Holden's portrayer Jon Hensley have become one of daytime's most popular supercouples. Lilly had a twin sister, Rose D'Angelo who died in 2007, which caused her and Holden to nearly divorce before he began a relationship with Julia Larrabee, who was eventually killed by injected bee venom by her ex-husband Les Sweeney. Many other well-remembered stories include her addiction, recovery and relapse with diet pills and the presumed death of her first love Dusty.

In 1994, Lily married Damian Grimaldi and while married to him, she engaged in an affair with her ex-husband Holden. Eventually Lily ended her marriage to Damian to return to Holden. With Damian, Lily is the mother of Luke Snyder, whom Holden adopted. Luke's struggles always lead Lily and Holden to offer their support as their son faced life after coming out as gay, a storyline which forced a recast with Van Hansis taking over for Jake Weary, the son of Guiding Light actress Kim Zimmer.  Lily's other children are Faith Snyder, Natalie Snyder and Ethan Snyder with Holden. Lily's and Holden's adoptive relations have been a factor in their relationships since her biological mother Iva is Holden's adoptive sister, making her Holden's adoptive niece and Holden's mother Emma Snyder is also Lily's grandmother through Iva as well as her mother-in-law. When Holden adopted Luke, the arrangement made Luke a second cousin to his mother. In early 2011, Damian went missing and he was presumed dead, but he in fact faked his death in order to frame Holden. The truth was discovered and Damian was furious and then resurfaced and involved Lily's daughter Faith in his scheme. Once Faith revealed Damian's alive, he kidnapped Lily and tried to convince her to reunite with him, but she told him off as her nemesis Molly Conlan and Holden arrived and rescued her. Lily's marriage to Damian when Holden was presumed dead had become to much for Holden to accept and they spent time away from one another. By the end of the show, it appeared that the couple were moving towards a reconciliation to get back together.

Other Information:Edit

  • Born August 19, 1969

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