Sally Spencer, who played the unforgettable role of M.J. McKinnon on Another World in the 1980s, has died. The actress reportedly passed away after a battle with leukemia.
Actor Ed Fry, who played M.J.'s romantic partner Adam Cory, shared the sad news on Facebook.
"My friend and colleague, Sally Spencer, passed away yesterday. She had been ill with leukemia, treated, home and by all accounts doing well," he shared. "She and I were 'almost TV man and wife,' but we were instant and long-term friends. I'm heartsick at this news. She is one of those vivid, generous, loving, wise, smiling souls that the world can never have enough of."
Though Spencer starred on Another World for a very short amount of time (from 1986 to 1987), the talented performer touched the hearts of daytime fans with her beautiful singing voice. As viewers of the soap may recall, she crooned Cass Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer) and Kathleen McKinnon's (Julie Osburn) theme song "If You Say My Eyes are Beautiful" during the pair's 1986 wedding. (The song was also sung by Jermaine Jackson and Whitney Houston in 1984 on As the World Turns.)
Spencer began her career as a background singer for artists such as the Carpenters, Tanya Tucker, and Perry Como. She later brought her singing talents to television shows like The Tonight Show (with Burt Convy) and the Carpenters Christmas Special before landing her breakthrough role as Jellylorum/Griddlebone in the Los Angeles production of Cats, where she went on to do more than 800 performances. Her IMDb page states that she left the production on four days notice to move to New York to take over the role of M.J. McKinnon.
After leaving Another World in 1987, Spencer went on to appear in the series Highway to Heaven; Heartbeat; Doogie Howser, M.D.; and In the Heat of the Night. She eventually made a career change and became a Professor of Special Education at California State University, Northridge, where she focused on creating technology for virtual social work, counseling, and teaching.
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