Eileen Herlie (born Eileen Herlihy; March 8, 1918 – October 8, 2008) was a Scottish-American actress.
Until the late 1990s, Herlie was one of the few actresses to ever portray the same character on three different soaps. In 1993, she portrayed Myrtle on the All My Children sister-soap Loving. In December 2000, she portrayed Myrtle in crossover appearances on the soap opera One Life to Live, where a ‘Who’s the Daddy?’ storyline was playing out on all four ABC soaps (All My Children, One Life to Live, General Hospital, and the now canceled Port Charles).
Death of Eileen Herlie
On October 8, 2008, Eileen passed away due to complications from pneumonia. She was 90 years old.
All My Children – Aileen Herlie
Eileen Herlie’s biography continues next page
Eileen Herlie was born to a Catholic father and a Protestant mother in Glasgow, Scotland. Herlie was trained as a theatre actress, but her first big film break was being cast by Laurence Olivier in his 1948 film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. She portrayed Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, despite the fact that she was 11 years younger than Olivier, who portrayed her son, Hamlet. She reprised her Gertrude in the 1964 Broadway production starring Richard Burton. She repeated her Gertrude in the 1964 film version of the Broadway stage production.
After Olivier’s Hamlet Herlie continued to make sporadic film appearances, but remained primarily in the theatre. In 1955 she was Irene Molloy in The Matchmaker on Broadway (this play was later made into Hello Dolly!). In 1960, she was nominated for a Tony Award as ‘Best Actress in a Musical’ for Take Me Along, in which she played opposite Jackie Gleason.
In 1976, Herlie made the move to television soap operas in the role of Myrtle Fargate on All My Children. In the 1980s, Herlie was nominated for three consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards (1984, 1985 and 1986). She became close friends with fellow cast member Louis Edmonds, and spoke at his funeral in 2001.