PROFILE
Name:
Walt Willey
Birth Date:
Ottawa, Illinois, USA
Birth Place:
January 26, 1951
Height:
6' 3" (1.91 m)
BIOGRAPHY
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All My Children


Background:


Blond haired, blue eyed American actor Walt Willey is best known for playing Jackson Montgomery on the soap opera “All My Children” from 1987 to 2011. The role brought him three Soap Opera Digest nominations. 6''3' Willey also has hosted many events and has performed stand up comedy regularly.    

“I developed a kind of defense mechanism when I was a kid because I stuttered very badly. They're not going to make fun of you if you're already laughing.” Walt Willey (on the origin of his sense of humor)

Willey and his wife Marie own and run Crystal Mesa Farm Guest Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The ranch features an avian rescue center and petting zoo. Walt is a certified stage combat. He is also an accomplished illustrator and painter. He has his own line of T-shirts.  


Illinois' Son

Childhood and Family:

In Ottawa, Illinois, Walt Willey was born on January 26, 1951. After graduating from Ottawa Township High School, he went to the Southern Illinois University to study sculpture. He played baseball in college. At age 30, he left Illinois in pursuit of a career in acting in New York City.

Walt married his present wife Marie in July 1994. They have one daughter, Merit (born November 25 1998), and one son, Chance Conner. He split his time between his ranch that located near Santa Fe, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California. Walt was previously married to Kerrie Clark (together from 1987 to 1989).


Multi faceted Willey

Career:

In 1983, Walt Willey had a small part as a guard in the CBS/ABC soap opera “The Edge of Night.” Two years later, he made his feature film debut in “I Was a Teenage TV Terrorist,” a comedy directed by Stanford Singer and starring Saul Alpiner, Mike Atkin and Dawn Brzezinski. He also performed on many Off-Broadway plays, including “Dust Off” with Dan Lauria.

Following roles on the soaps “Ryan's Hope” (1986-1987) and “Another World” (1986), Walley enjoyed a big break when he was cast as District attorney Jackson Montgomery on the ABC daytime drama “All My Children” in 1987. He retained the role for 24 years until 2011. For his acting effort, Willey received three Soap Opera Digest nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor: Daytime (1991), Best Love Story: Daytime or Prime Time (1992) and Favorite Couple (2005).

In 1996, Willey reprised his Jackson Montgomery role on the ABC soap opera “The City” (1995-1997), co-created by Agnes Nixon.

In 2009, Willey joined fellow “All My Children” star Jill Larson to star in a live theater performance of “The Odd Couple” at Ottawa Township High School in Ottawa, Illinois. He portrayed  Felix Unger in three performances on July 24 to 26. Willey is set to play Oscar in the forthcoming production of the same show at Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven NJ (October 21 to November 1).

In 2010, Willey returned to the big screen by playing Stamp in “Working It Out,” which was the winner of the Festival Award for Best Feature at the 2011 Appalachian Film Festival.   

Willey is also known as a stand up comedian, a career he began in 1989. He has headlined at renowned clubs like The Comedy Store in California, Caroline's in New York,  and Zanie's in Chicago. He remains active touring throughout the state today.

Willey has received hosting jobs for a number of events. He has co-hosted “Live with Regis and Kelly!” with former “All My Children” star Kelly Ripa. He hosted “The 20th Daytime Emmy Awards” (1993), with Susan Lucci. He has co-hosted the Ford Supermodel of the World awards show in 1992  with Beverly Johnson, and in 1993 with Rachel Hunter. He was co-host of ABC's “Tournaments of Roses Parade” in 1994, 1995, and 1997. Willey hosted the Disney event “A Magical Time in a Magical Place.” The founder of the Willey World Endowment Fund, benefiting children's charities, Willey also has hosted many charity fundraisers.

Willey is both a regular cartoonist/columnist for both “Soap Opera Update” and “Soap Opera Weekly.” His collection of drawings, “Arthurian Legend: A re-telling of the Christ Myth,” became a favorite among critics. He has appeared as himself in the comic book “Valiant Comics' The Second Life of Dr. Mirage.”


Awards:

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