She was only on Another World for a short time in the 1980s, but during that time Sally Spencer touched many lives as M.J. McKinnon, oldest sister of the McKinnon clan with a haunted past and a soaring singing voice.
According to Ed Fry, the actor who played M.J.’s love interest, Adam Cory, Spencer passed away Saturday after a battle with leukemia.
“My friend and colleague, Sally Spencer, passed away yesterday. She had been ill with leukemia, treated, home and by all accounts doing well,” Fry wrote on Facebook.
Spencer was a singer before she ever became an actress and started her career singing backup for Perry Como, Tanya Tucker, and The Carpenters, and then had a lead role in Cats in Los Angeles before moving to NY to play M.J. on Another World.
During that time, she touched this writer’s 15-year-old life by taking her and a friend on set tours and inviting us for her last day taping playing M.J. She also gifted us the bouquets from the soap’s aborted Adam and M.J. wedding. For a teen fan living in Brooklyn where Another World was taped, this was truly something.
Spencer eventually made a career change and became a Professor of Special Education at California State University, Northridge where she helped pioneer technology for virtual social work, counseling, and teaching.
But to many soap fans in the 1980s, she will remain the actress who brought M.J. to life and brought the song If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful to soaps.
Soap Hub sends our sincerest condolences to Spencer’s family and friends during this difficult time.