Former All My Children and beloved soap actress Candice Earley Nolan died peacefully at home on Thursday, January 31, according to The Lawton Constitution.
Born in Fort Hood, TX to a military family, the actress spent her early years in Germany before moving to Lawton, OK. After becoming a first runner-up in the Miss Oklahoma pageant, she decided to pursue performing and moved to San Francisco, and later, New York.
After roles in such Broadway musical hits as Jesus Christ, Superstar, Earley landed the role of young prostitute Donna Beck on ABC’s All My Children. But, even when on AMC, Earley never lost her passion for musicals and played Donna during the day and the role of Sandy in Grease on Broadway at night.
Earley remained in the role of Donna from 1976 to 1992, where she became one of the show’s most popular heroines. She eventually fell in love with Chuck Tyler and later Benny Sago, raising his daughter, Emily Ann as her own.
After Benny and Donna divorced due to his gambling, Donna found one more chance with Chuck Tyler and the pair moved away with a mentally-scarred and teenage Emily Ann.
By 1992, Early decided to give up acting and moved to Arkansas where she was happily married to Robert C. Nolan. She is survived by Nolan, her step-children, Rob, Justin, and Carrie, as well as a sister-in-law, niece, and nephew.