All My Children
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.