All My Children viewers learned last week that soon-to-be-newly-re-weds JR Chandler and Babe Carey had decided to leave Pine Valley to start anew in San Diego. Fans were stunned to find out that performers Jacob Young and Baker were leaving the ABC soap and that there had been no forewarning on the soapcentral.com site.
A show source tells soapcentral.com that Baker has known of her on-screen persona's impending demise for the past month. Others close to the show say that they were tipped off to the actress' imminent exit by seeing the usually perky Baker walking around the set with frown.
Baker's reaction would seem justified. The actress will not see her alter ego live out the happy ending touted by the show's recent storylines. Babe and JR will never be able to set up shop in California. Thanks to a series of unfortunate events, the couple will be forced to return to Pine Valley in order for Babe to be questioned about her involvement in the Bella poisonings. While still in Pine Valley, they will find themselves directly in the path of a tornado. When the twister moves out, it will leave with it devastation… and death.
Baker assumed the role of Arabella "Babe" Carey from actress Alexa Havins in October 2007. Havins, who originated the role four years earlier, opted to exit All My Children to move to the West Coast with her real-life husband, Justin Bruening (ex-Jamie Martin). In an unusual twist, Baker made her first appearance on the same say that Havins bowed out. Havins' Babe was seen embracing her mother, Krystal. When the pair broke their hug, it was Baker that was seen.
"I've had the time of my life at All My Children," Baker tells Soap Opera Digest. "I will walk away from this with so many wonderful memories. Truly it's been an unforgettable experience."
The role of Babe Carey will not be recast. A final airdate for Baker has not been announced and an ABC spokesperson had no comment on Baker's exit.