She pushed her half-sister out of a second-story window. She locked her husband in a so-called safe room and had his twin brother assume his life. She embezzled millions of dollars from a company she was supposed to be running. She miraculously recovered from a brain tumor. Oh, and she and her mother carried on an affair with the same man. So what's a girl supposed to do for an encore?
For former All My Children star Marcy Walker
) the decision was easy: sharing the joy of faith with children.
While soap fans may forever remember Walker as All My Children's Liza Colby or good-girl Eden Capwell of Santa Barbara, a new generation knows her simply as Marcy Smith, director of children's ministries at Lake Forest Community Church in Cornelius, North Carolina.
It may seem like a huge stretch to go from hopping in and out of bed with men to counseling children on faith and God. Indeed, Smith said that she grew up in a home where religion played no part. It wasn't until Walker started her acting career in New York that religion slowly crept into her life. She became active at the Hope Evangelical Free Church in Wilton, Connecticut. There, Smith taught Sunday school and assisted with vacation Bible school.
Somewhere along the way, Smith states that she lost touch with God. But when several of her colleagues died over the years, she prayed to God to help guide her in a new direction. The actress left her role on All My Children in 2004
and, with the exception of a guest appearance here and there, has not returned.
Smith became aware of a young, fast-growing congregation in rural North Carolina seeking someone to work with its children. Almost immediately, Smith knew that this was her calling. After an intense interviewing process, Smith was hired from a field of some 60 applicants. She and her real-life husband, Doug Smith, to whom she has been married since 1999, moved to Huntersville, North Carolina in August 2005.
Though Smith has moved far away from her forming stomping grounds as an actress, she still gets the occasional call from an agent wanting her to consider a television gig. And with legions of soap fans around the country -- including many in her new congregation -- Walker finds it hard to escape her past as a soap star. Not that she wants to. Smith admits to sneaking peeks at soap magazines while in line at the grocery store, and the Internet makes it easier than every to keep tabs on all the goings on in the soap world.
All My Children is now reportedly looking to recast the role of Smith's on-screen daughter. With her new job taking up so much of her time, it is unclear if Smith would ever return to the fictional town of Pine Valley. And it is equally unknown if All My Children execs would dare to recast the role of Liza if Liza's presence was called for in the show's scripts. [See related story
: AMC to recast, "age" Colby]