Walt Willey returning to AMC, but for how long?

Posted Wednesday, December 02, 2009 1:14:07 PM
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Walt Willey returning to AMC, but for how long?

Jackson Montgomery will return to Pine Valley from his impromptu vacation later this month. Long-time AMC vet Walt Willey, who has been off the canvas since August, will stick around for an undisclosed period of time. Fans are hoping that a new head writer will find a way to keep Jackson involved in the show's storylines.

Walt Willey (Jackson Montgomery) will return to All My Children this month, several months after his on-screen persona made a spontaneous exit from Pine Valley to do some soul-searching. At the time, Jackson's relationships with two women -- the missing-in-action Carmen Morales and frequent love Erica Kane -- had tanked, his daughter Lily headed off to Massachusetts to attend college, and he had been forced to mourn the death of his daughter, Greenlee Smythe.

As soap fans know, however, things can change dramatically in a few months. Rebecca Budig (Greenlee Smythe) has signed on to return to the show, meaning that Greenlee isn't quite as dead as everyone had thought. Plus, All My Children is on the cusp of celebrating its 40th anniversary and Willey's Jackson certainly figures prominently into the history of the show.

For one reason or another, Willey saw his on-screen time dwindle under recently ousted head writer Charles Pratt. This was not the first time that the show seemed unsure of what to do with Jackson. In 2000, Jackson battled unknown cardiac issues and the show was reportedly mulling a decision to kill off the character.

Could Willey's upcoming appearances be an indication that the actor will once again return to All My Children on a full-time basis? That's the question that fans want answered. In an interview with Michael Fairman at this year's Hollywood Christmas Parade, Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) hinted that Budig's return and the eventual placement of a new head writer could very well mean that Willey will see more action.

"The Ryan/Erica thing is very new and we have had some fun stuff to play just before Thanksgiving, and certainly Greenlee coming back into the picture will complicate things," Lucci stated. "I think it might also mean that Jackson may be back, so we can have a lot of complications all the way around."

Willey joined All My Children in 1987 after having made a series of appearances as an extra. AMC was not his first stop on the daytime dial. A year before arriving in Pine Valley, Willey appeared as Jim LaRusso on Another World and as Ryan's Hope's Joe Novak.

RELATED STORYSoap Central's Dan J Kroll questions why AMC would cut Willey now in the Two Scoops commentary.

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