A shocking new published report reveals that Noelle Beck (Lily Snyder) offered to vacate the role of As the World Turns' Lily after news broke that the long-running CBS soap had been canceled. The reason? Beck thought that Martha Byrne should return to the role before the show went off the air.
"It was her job," Beck told CBS Soaps In Depth. "She played the role for 20 years. It was sad, because I think a lot of people wanted to see her. I didn't realize when I took the job how loyal the fans are."
Though Beck offered to allow Byrne to resume playing Lily through the series' finale, the Emmy-winning actress never returned. According to Byrne, though Beck was willing to step aside, show brass apparently wasn't interested in an "unrecast."
"Of course, I would [return] in a second. You have to be asked first. It's like going to the prom -- you wait for the phone call and it may never come," Byrne told soapcentral.com's Dan J Kroll during an appearance on Soap Central Live back in May. "There's people who make those decisions, and their decisions have been made. It's unfortunate because I do love the show and, of course, I would love to be a part of it again before it goes away forever."
As for whether or not Byrne knew of Beck's offer, Byrne told TVGuide Canada's Nelson Branco that she did.
"I was aware of this offer by Noelle after the show was cancelled," Byrne revealed. "It was a very unselfish act on her part."
Instead, Beck, who assumed the role of Lily in May 2008, was taken off contract in April 2010. She continued on in the role through the filming of As the World Turns' final episode.