All My Children has released another high-profile performer as it prepares to pack up and move to Los Angeles. Five-time Daytime Emmy nominee Beth Ehlers (Taylor Thompson) will exit the show later this year.
"After many conversations with AMC it was mutually decided that I would no longer play the role of Lt. Taylor Thompson and would not relocate my family to the West Coast," Ehlers told SOAPnet. "I was very proud to give a voice to Lt. Taylor Thompson and hope I conveyed the courage, sacrifice, and fortitude of the brave members of our military and their families. To my new friends and colleagues I met at AMC and ABC during these past 18 months, I wish you much love and continued success. And lastly, a big hug to my fans! I'll see you soon!"
In July 2008, Ehlers jumped from CBS's Guiding Light to All My Children in what may have been one of the worst-kept secrets in daytime history. Ehlers' Pine Valley arrival had been reported for several weeks before ABC finally confirmed the news at the Daytime Emmys. Though the addition of Ehlers to the All My Children cast was seen as a huge casting coup, the show's writers never quite seemed to figure out what to do with the actress' character.
As part of her introduction to All My Children viewers, the show's writers penned a romance between Ehlers and her former Guiding Light co-star, Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake Martin). The romance was short-lived, as Brot Monroe, Taylor's supposedly dead fiancé resurfaced.
In an on-air interview with Stardish Radio earlier this year, Ehlers was vocal about her unhappiness with the direction of her character. In her frustration, Ehlers also created rumors about her relationship with her then-on-screen love interest, JR Martinez, who plays Brot Monroe.
"As many times as I would casually try to go into my boss's office and say, 'Uh, you are going to start integrating me, right?' When you've been doing this as long as I've been doing it, you know how it's supposed to be done. But you can't tell you bosses that because it's like any other job in the world, you can't know more than your boss because they hate you for it," Ehlers said. "And so you have to be careful when you go in that you don't tell somebody how to do their job. And I wanted to scream at people. I wanted to go in and say, 'Hello, you're burying me here. You're making this really hard. First you give me somebody who, God bless him, I love JR but he's not an actor.' And so that's hard enough with somebody who... it's going to be a long time before he gets out of second gear. And I'm constantly having to hedge my performance cause I can't be doing Shakespeare while he's doing something else."
Ehlers' remarks set off a whirlwind of controversy, before she and Martinez made a joint appearance on Stardish Radio to dispel rumors that they didn't get along. Ehlers explained that she "misspoke" and "felt terrible" for hurting her friend. Martinez accepted Ehlers' apology and also assured fans that he and Ehlers "are friends, and [...] do care for one another."
Shortly thereafter, Ehlers and Martinez's on-screen characters parted company. The show then focused on weaving Taylor into the Martin family, eventually crafting a love story between Taylor and Tad Martin. Fans had apparently been receptive to the romance, even offering suggestions to help build story for the two characters. Among the popular ideas was to have Tad and Taylor go into the private investigation business together.
Ehlers has literally grown up on daytime television. She appeared as Guiding Light's Harley Cooper for 21 years. She made her debut on the CBS soap in September 1987 before exiting in 2008 to join All My Children.
Photo Credit: Dan J Kroll/Soap Central