NEW YORK (AP) - Ruth Warrick, the darling of the daytime soap opera "All My Children" who launched her career in Orson Welles' all-time classic "Citizen Kane," has died, ABC-TV said Monday. She was 88.
Warrick died at her New York home Saturday of complications from pneumonia, said ABC.
In "All My Children," which debuted in 1970, Warrick played Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, the grande dame of the fictitious affluent town of Pine Valley. She portrayed the meddlesome and over-the-top personality so believably that her fans often had trouble distinguishing between the stylish actress and her fictitious, equally sophisticated character.
Twice nominated for an Emmy for the role, Warrick often talked about how Phoebe Tyler had become an integral part of her life.
"I understand her. I may not be all Phoebe, but she is all me," Warrick wrote in her autobiography, "The Confessions of Phoebe Tyler."
The producer Jorn Winther once said of the actress: "Obviously Ruth and Phoebe are separate and unique, yet they have much in common. All I can say with confidence is that they are both great ladies and that I love them."
Warrick, born and raised in St. Joseph, Mo., left for New York after graduating from the University of Kansas City. Her interest in acting led her to the Mercury Theater troupe, headed by Welles.
She made her Hollywood debut in 1941 in "Citizen Kane" as Emily Norton Kane. Welles, who co-wrote, directed and starred in the film, hand-picked her for the role of his wife because he said there were no "ladies in Hollywood" who fit the bill.
Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press