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ATWT’s Powerhouse Elizabeth Hubbard Passes Away At Age 89

The soap opera icon built a legacy of strong women characters on daytime.

elizabeth hubbard lucinda walsh as the world turns white jacketElizabeth Hubbard

Daytime Emmy-Award-winning actress and legendary star, Elizabeth Hubbard, passed away over the weekend at the age of 89.

Elizabeth Hubbard: Building A Daytime Legacy

Former P&G publicist, Alan Locher, posted the sad news on Twitter. “It is with great sadness that I share the news that the legendary Elizabeth Hubbard passed away over the weekend. You will be missed dear, Liz. Rest in peace! 💐,” he wrote before adding, “Liz’s son Jeremy shared the news earlier today. Keep him, their family and Martha Byrne in your thoughts and prayers.”

Her son, Jeremy Bennet, shared on Instagram, “I’m sorry to say with a broken heart mi mum passed over the weekend. Thank you for being an unmovable rock that guided me through life. I will try to honour your memory for as long as I live. Love & Prayers. Jeremy.”

Born December 22, 1933, to Benjamin Alldritt Hubbard and Elizabeth Wright Hubbard in New York, New York. Her mother was one of the first women to earn a medical degree from Columbia University and was a pioneer practitioner of homeopathy. Hubbard knew from an early age that she would pursue a very different path and set her sight on acting.

She graduated summa cum laude from Radcliffe College and went on to become the first American to earn a silver medal from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Hubbard landed her first role on a daytime drama in 1962 as Anne Fletcher on Guiding Light. The following year the actress took on the role of Carol Kramer on The Edge of Night.

By the time she signed on to play Dr. Althea Davis on The Doctors in 1964, it was clear that the daytime audience loved her. She would come and go from the show several times to appear in primetime on such shows as The Virginian, Marcus Welby M.D., and NET Playhouse but she would return to the show that garnered her first Daytime Emmy in 1974 and remained with the cast until its cancellation in 1982.

Hubbard earned her second Daytime Emmy for her role in the daytime special First Ladies Diary: Edith Wilson in 1976. The actress followed up her Emmy win with film roles in The Bell Jar, opposite Marilyn Hassett, Julie Harris, and Anne Jackson, the Oscar-winning film Ordinary People, directed by Robert Redford, opposite Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore, and Cold River, opposite Richard Jaeckel.

After a brief stint on One Life to Live in the recurring role of Estelle Chadwick from 1983 to 1984, Hubbard took on the role she was best known for as the fiery business tycoon Lucinda Walsh on As the World Turns. A role that she would give life to from 1984 through its cancellation in 2010. 

The character was born Mary Ellen Walters in Peoria, Illinois, before running off to Montego, South America, and marrying Jacobo Esteban. After giving birth to her daughter Sierra, she was banished to the States and renamed herself Lucinda. Lucinda wed Martin Guest, and the couple illegally adopted a young girl named Lily. Martin committed suicide, and Lucinda married businessman James Walsh. The rest is soap opera history.

Her portrayal of the powerhouse mega mogul made her beloved among fans and earned her eight Daytime Emmy nominations. From her trysts with Craig Montgomery (originated by Scott Bryce) and James Stenbeck (Anthony Herrera), her rocky relationships with her daughters, Sierra (originated by Finn Carter) and Lily Walsh (most notably played by Martha Byrne), her feud with Lily’s birth mother, Ivy Snyder (Lisa Brown), her learning to walk again after paralysis, battling breast cancer, and her boardroom battles, Lucinda Walsh was a force to be reckoned with.

The versatile actress managed to balance appearances on primetime, film, and stage while working on As the World Turns, appearing on Law & Order, The Job, Hope & Faith, Life on Mars, a featured role in the film, Center Stage, and numerous roles on Broadway and in musicals. In 2009, Hubbard appeared as Sair Poindexter in 19 episodes of a Dutch soap opera titled Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden (Good times, Bad Times). 

Married briefly to renowned NYC furrier David George Trujillo (Bennett) from March 1968 to 1973, she had one son, Jeremy Danby Bennett, born in 1971. During her pregnancy, she received lots of publicity when her husband designed a mink for her that worked as a maternity coat but had a zip-out that returned it to a regular coat after birth.

From 2015 — 2018, Hubbard appeared in the digital series Anacostia as Eva Montgomery, earning her another Daytime Emmy nod for Outstanding Actress in a Digital Daytime Drama Series. When she wasn’t acting, she worked tirelessly on behalf of women and children on the board of directors for the Women’s Commission on Refugee Women and Children.

Elizabeth Hubbard left behind an impressive daytime legacy and strong women characters to be proud of. Soap Hub sends its sincere condolences to her surviving family, friends, and fans everywhere during this difficult time.

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