After three years in Pine Valley, Amelia Marshall
's (Belinda Keefer) stay is about to come to an end. The actress has confirmed reports that she will leave AMC when her contract expires later this year.
The AMC Pages contacted ABC, but a network spokesperson had no comment.
Marshall assumed the role of Belinda Keefer in September 1996. Another actress, Kimberly Hawthorne, originated the role the year before. At the time, Belinda was a recurring character, but when the writers decided to make the role a contract role, Marshall was quickly inked to a deal.
Marshall was not a stranger to daytime television when she signed with AMC. From 1989 to 1996, she appeared as Gilly Grant on the CBS soap Guiding Light
. She had also appeared on ABC sister soap One Life to Live
After months of being alone, Belinda had apparently found happiness with Adrian Sword
(played by Mathew St. Patrick
). There is now speculation that the happy relationship will fall apart, possibly at the hands of Belinda's half-sister.
Fans of Marshall have already set up a web sites to gather names on an electronic petition to keep Marshall at AMC. Two fans, Nicolea and Kendra Shell, have gone to great lengths to show the executives at AMC that they don't like their decision to axe the actress.
"We have [created] a message board
called 'To Amelia, With Love' in hopes [that the executives at AMC] will see it and realize how much of an asset Amelia is to the show," said Nicolea. "We need everyone's help in sending letters and posting on the board to make this campaign successful." Swoopes designed a message board where fans can post their positive feedback for Marshall. Shell took to other web sites and newsgroups to round up fans for the petition drive.
The electronic age has allowed fans to have more pull on the execs. A few years back, a similar decision had been made to ditch the character of Janet Green (played by Robin Mattson). Fans were outraged and flooded ABC with letters opposing the decision. The efforts paid off as scripts were hurriedly rewritten and Mattson remains a part of the show even today.