Soap operas are notorious for delivering just about as much melodrama and wild twists as can be produced for the small screen, but one All My Children star has made a claim that is pretty soapy in real life. According to Cady McClain, her All My Children character was killed off as an act of revenge. Rather than her character dying (or so it seemed then, anyway) due to a vengeful character, however, McClain says a writer wanted to exact vengeance for an interesting reason.
Cady McClain played Dixie Cooney off and on throughout All My Children's long run, but Dixie died in a 2007 episode after eating drugged peanut butter pancakes courtesy of the Satin Slayer killer. Dixie's death was controversial, as she was a major character of the series, and McClain spoke with EW about why Dixie was killed off:
It was a dig at me by one of the writers that very much wanted to put me in my place. I had stepped out of line and they wanted to put me back in line, and I was going to eat those pancakes and I was going to learn my lesson, and I certainly did... I'll never live those pancakes down. [I]t was a very strange way to go out.
Poisoned soap opera peanut butter pancakes might not be the most conventional way to exact revenge, but it obviously changed Cady McClain's life is a pretty huge way! All My Children didn't say goodbye to McClain forever just because she was killed off, and she was later revealed to be alive, but she wasn't as regular a presence on All My Children by far following the pancake ordeal.
Cady McClain didn't detail what she did that was stepping "out of line" and earning the ire of the unnamed writer who designed the pancake death, but she stated that she learned her lesson. Whether that lesson was enough to win that writer over and return her to the series or if other writers and producers helmed the stories that went on to include Dixie isn't clear. That said, McClain also shared that she got a little bit of revenge herself.
My revenge I guess was that I really love pancakes. And they were absolutely delicious, so I enjoyed every bite. I was like, 'This doesn't bother me because I'm gonna eat 'em all.'
There are worse ways to die on daytime television than by eating pancakes, and apparently Dixie Cooney's final pancakes were very tasty in real life. Cady McClain may not have been able to cost the writer their job like the writer cost hers, but she could enjoy those pancakes!
Interestingly, Cady McClain revealed that she was told by All My Children that she could publicly state that she'd made the decision to leave the series despite being killed off against her will. Obviously McClain didn't decide to keep quiet about why Dixie was killed off, but McClain's return as Dixie's ghost and then Dixie alive indicates that there wasn't so much bad blood that she was soured on the series as a whole.
Unfortunately, Cady McClain's time as Dixie is presumably over for good this time, but not because the character ate more poisoned breakfast food. ABC cancelled All My Children back in 2011. Despite attempts to restart its run via streaming in subsequent years, production ended on the web revival, and All My Children seems unlikely to return. Based on what has been happening over on CBS, viewers may be moving away from soap operas.
For some viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, be sure to check out our 2020 summer TV premiere schedule.