Thaddeus "Tad" James Martin
is a fictional character
from the American
daytime drama All My Children
. Tad is portrayed by actor Michael E. Knight
. Knight has portrayed the role on and off since 1982. Tad represents the good on the show All My Children
, often butting heads with "villains" like Adam Chandler
. He is perhaps the best male friend to Erica Kane
. His relationship with Dixie Cooney
made them a favorite of fans, reaching supercouple
Knight has won three Daytime Emmys for his portrayal of Tad Martin. He won the Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Younger Actor twice in 1986 and 1987, and won the Supporting Actor trophy in 2001. He is one of the very few actors to be nominated in younger, supporting, and lead actor categories, all while portraying the same character.
Analyzed for his impactful storylines, as well his noted charismatic personality, by various scholars, Tad is one of the more notable television characters to have ever been created.
The character Thaddeus Gardner is written into All My Children
as being born on September 1 1963
, as the son of Ray
Gardner. When he was ten years old, Tad was abandoned in a park in Pine Valley by Ray. He was found by Jeff Martin
and his girlfriend, Mary. They were unable to adopt Tad without his birth parents. Upon Mary's unexpected death, Jeff gave Tad to his parents, Joe Martin
and his wife, Ruth
. Tad was taken into the Martin home. Ray came back and tried to "sell" the Martin's Tad for $15,000. Joe refused. Angry, Ray raped Ruth. When Ray was sent to prison for the crime, Tad was formally adopted by the Martin's at the age of fifteen, changing his name from Tad Gardner to Tad Martin.
Despite the loving Martin home, Tad was a rebellious teenager. He developed a close relationship with his adoptive grandmother, Kate Martin. But despite this, he still chose to make trouble. He stole the Martin car and ran away from home for two years.
Tad the Cad
Tad returned to Pine Valley in 1983, as a twenty-year-old street smart con artist. He started to develop the suave persona that earned him the nickname "Tad the Cad". He began dating Liza Colby
(who had been a bitter rival of his biological sister Jenny Gardner
), and it was Tad who took Liza's virginity. He then began to have a simultaneous affair with her mother, Marian Colby
. Because of Tad's deflowering of Liza, she became obsessed with him for years.
In 1984, Tad was paid to date Dottie Thornton by her mother, Edna Thornton Ferguson. During this time, he met and fell in love with a woman named Hillary Wilson, the stepdaughter of town matriarch Phoebe Tyler. Dottie found out about his love for Hillary and got pregnant in an attempt to keep Tad. The two married, even though Dottie had miscarried and lied to Tad about it. The marriage ended when the truth came out.
Meanwhile, Hillary was angry at Tad's marriage to Dottie, and married his best friend Bob Georgia. In 1985, Tad suffered his first major loss when he found out that his Grandma Kate had died. But he kept her spirit in his memory. He also reconciled with Hillary.
Tad and Hillary finally married in 1986, but the marriage ended in divorce when Hillary discovered Tad knew a secret. He knew the truth about Wade Matthew's intentions regarding her stepmother, Phoebe. He kept it a secret from Hillary and that ended their marriage. With the marriage over, and Tad's life returning to shambles, he left Pine Valley again and stayed away for two years.
Portrayer Michael E. Knight was surprised at the reaction he got during the 'Tad the Cad' era:
Tad and Dixie
Tad returned in 1988. He began to have an affair with Barbara Montgomery
. But it was quickly ended when he met the new maid of billionaire Adam Chandler
, Dixie Cooney
. Adam had hired Dixie, the niece of his bitter business rival Palmer Cortlandt
with the ulterior motive of producing a son, an heir to the Chandler fortune. His affair with Dixie ruined his marriage with Brooke English
. After that, Adam and Dixie married, with Dixie giving birth to their son, Adam Chandler, Jr.
But Dixie loved Tad, not Adam. Tad and Dixie began an affair behind Adam's back. When Adam found out, he committed Dixie to a mental institution and tried to take full custody of their son. Tad would rescue Dixie from the institution and help her win back custody of Junior. The couple finally married in 1989, but the marriage would not last long.
Tad's biological mother, Opal, returned to Pine Valley and helped Dixie's uncle Palmer break up the couple. They paid a woman to say she had slept with Tad. Dixie heard this and separated from Tad. Devastated at losing Dixie, Tad had an affair with Brooke, his old friend. Dixie found out about it. Dixie and Tad divorced for the first time.
Shortly thereafter, the evil pimp Billy Clyde Tuggle kidnapped Dixie in an effort to force her to marry him. Tad rescued Dixie, and the two realized they still loved each other and made plans to marry a second time. On their wedding day, Tad and Billy Clyde got into a fight. They both fell off a bridge into the river. Only Billy Clyde's body was found, and it was assumed that Tad had died as well. Tad's "death" rocked both Dixie and Brooke, who had just found out that despite thoughts that she would never have another child she was pregnant with Tad's child.
1992 finds Ted Orsini, of Orsini Vineyards - the spitting image of Tad - doing business in NYC with fairly new resident to Pine Valley, Dimitri Marick. *You see, Tad, suffering from amnesia after the fall from the bridge, ended up in Northern California. Looking for work, he meets vineyard owner Nola Orsini who believed Tad to be her own son, Ted, who was kidnapped when he was just a child. She took him in and taught him the family business which he ended up running.* Dimitri invites "Ted' to Wildwind. Brooke sees him and discovers that he is really Tad - he didn't die after all! Brooke helps him to regain his memory and introduces him to his two year old son Jamie. Meeting up with Dixie again his feelings for her were coming back, but all three decide that he belongs with Brooke and their son. So in 1993, Brooke and Tad marry, with his love for Dixie still weighing strong. Eventually, Brooke realizes the marriage won't work and tells Tad to go back to Dixie and so they divorce. Tad and Dixie get back together and in 1994, they get married for the second time. Meanwhile, Nola shows up in town to tell Tad even though he wasn't Ted, she still loved him as her own son. She dies soon after of heart failure. After Tad and Dixie divorced due to an affair he had with Liza, he struck up a renewed friendship with Dixie's good friend Gloria Marsh. The relationship soon blossomed into a romantic one and they were almost married, and likely would have been were it not for the interference of Dimitri Marick, who soon seduced Gloria back into his life, and inadvertently caused Joe to have a heart attack the day of the wedding. His hold over Gloria increased when he was granted custody of his half brother, Edmund Grey's daughter Madeline following the plane crash that was thought to have killed his wife Maria Santos Grey at the time.
Gloria defended Dimitri against Tad unwaveringly, which alienated her from nearly everyone in Pine Valley at the time, but her faith in him began to diminish after Edmund regained custody of Madeline.
The final straw came when Tad and Edmund deceived Dimitri into confessing all of his misdeeds, and Gloria overheard the entire conversation. Enraged at his deception, Gloria left him. Later on, after apologizing to Tad for being so taken in by Dimitri's lies, Gloria left town to sort out her life.
Return and reunitment with Dixie
In 1998 Adam Chandler needed Adam Jr to come home and along with him came Dixie, who refused to have anything to do with Tad at first. Tad's mother Opal had married Dixie's uncle Palmer and when things started to sour in their marriage, Tad and Dixie got together to help them out. After tailing Palmer to NYC, they found themselves sharing a hotel room. Their true feelings for each other finally surfaced and they kissed. Needing time to think things out, they make a plan to meet at the top of the Statler Building if they each decided they really loved each other and want to be together. Separately, they each decide that is what they want. Tad sits waiting to see if she'll show but while on her way to meet Tad, Dixie falls ill and wasn't able to make it. Tad believed she did not come because she had decided she didn't care after all. In reality, Dixie cared so much for Tad that she didn't want to burdon him with her health problems - a failed kidney and then a weak heart. They remained apart which was tearing Tad up inside. He longed to be with his true love Dixie again. With Liza's help, Tad soon learned about her condition and he went to her. He stayed by her side proving his undying love and then, once again, proposed marriage to her. She accepted and in 1999 Tad and Dixie remarried they were a happy family again.
Third marriage to Dixie
In 1999, Tad and Dixie married a third time and for a while things were perfect.
In the mean time, Liza has married Adam and when they began having marital problems, Tad conspired with Liza to take over Chandler Enterprises. They succeeded. That spring, Dixie discovered she was pregnant. Knowing it could kill her, Dixie decided to keep the pregnancy from Tad because she knew he would force her to terminate it. He did eventually find out and accepted her decision to carry the baby but the baby was not to be when that autumn she miscarried anyway.Dixie, now feeling restless, takes a job working as an assistant for renowned cardiologist Dr. David Hayward at the hospital. Tad, knowing a cad when he sees one, became wary of Dr. Haywards need for Dixies assistance every hour of the day. Tad has the opportunity to meet David's lawyer Leslie Coulson. She turns out to be the little sister of one of Tad's old highschool girlfriends. Leslie reveals to Tad that she had always had a crush on him. Soon, with Leslies unrequited love for Tad and Davids obsession for Dixie, the happy reunion of Tad and Dixie began to crumble, once again. With a little help from Davids experimental drug, Libidizone, Leslie and Davids little plan worked liked a charm: At a party where David had dumped his sex drug into the punch, Leslie was able to lure Tad to bed. Although he couldn't recall sleeping with Leslie, it still accomplished it's goal to put yet another wedge in the relationship of Tad and Dixie. Dixie grew closer to David not being aware of his involvement with the drug and what actually happened. When all was revealed Dixie left David and went back to Tad. Leslie went crazy and was sent away to a rest home. Later Tad brought Leslie back to town to help him get even with David but instead Leslie went all psycho on both Tad and Dixie and she almost killed Tad. Dixie, not understanding how Tad could have brought the menacing Leslie back into their lives for something as stupid as revenge lost her trust in Tad once more and they were divorced again in January 2002.
Death of Dixie and the aftermath
Shortly after the divorce, Dixie and Tad reunited once again and Dixie was soon pregnant. She wants to keep it secret knowing that there is no way now that Tad would allow her to risk her life once more carrying this baby. David secretly arranges for Dixie to stay at a special clinic in Switzerland where her heart and pregnancy can be monitored. Tad and Dixie's son JR are puzzled by Dixie's sudden disappearance. But Dixie stays in touch with David and eventually JR. Soon, when Dixie is close to her delivery date, and everything is going well healthwise, she decides to tell Tad everything and they make arrangements for him to be there for the birth of their long awaited daughter! With everything finally fitting into place and with their future looking brighter than ever before, Opal receives a phone call. As Tad settles onto the plane heading for Zurich, Opal who is at Brookes house tells her the horrible news she has just received. With tears in her eyes, Brooke boards the plane to tell Tad that there has been a horrible accident. She wants Tad to get off the plane but he won't. She tells him that Dixie has been killed in an auto accident. The car has gone over a cliff and nothing is left - they couldn't even find her body. Tad is devastated to say the least. Stuck to his seat, unable to move from shock, Brooke buys a plane ticket and the two of them head for Switzerland. They go to Dixies apartment where they find that she had prepared a special evening. A framed baby sonogram sits on the table with the name 'Kate Martin' on it. They gather up Dixies things and return home. Tad takes a long time to mourn the death of his beloved Dixie and their unborn daughter.2003: Tad begins to emerge from his dark place when he enlists his investigator skills to help Brooke find out if Maria Santos Grey is still alive. The woman known as Maureen Gorman does indeed turn out to be Maria and now he must find out how she lost her memory and who could have saved her from the plane crash. When it is revealed that David Hawyard is involved big time, Tad and most of Pine Valley go after him. Seems David found Maria and gave her his experimental drugs to save her life then sent her away and gave her a new name to protect himself. When David is freed from the criminal charges filed against him, Tad is angry. He really wants to see David behind bars for good. Meanwhile, Tad dates a wacky therapist by the name of Lysistrata, but it remains a platonic relationship. Tad decides to start up his P.I. business again after Adam fires him from his position at Chandler Enterprises. Liza with her new venture with some of the young women of Pine Valley, Fusion, soon call on Tad the P.I for help. Getting to do a lot of research for Fusion he gets to know the girls there well and finds himself slightly smitten with the marketing director, Simone Torres whom Tad sums up as one hot tamale. The begin a mutually exclusive ‘booty call’ type relationship, all in fun and very hot. When JR returns home after running off to join the Merchant Marines after news of his mothers death, Jr surprises everyone by presenting to them his new wife, Babe, a pretty blonde he met in port in San Diego. When Tad discovers that Babe seduced Jamie the very night she and JR returned to PV, Tad began an investigation on her. He located her mother, Krystal, and brought her back to PV with him. Tad had been helping Liza with her Adam problems and she was finding that her feelings for Tad were returning, and he was feeling some of the same in return. He was soon involved with both Simone and Liza. With Krystal Carey now in town and involved in the JR, Babe, Jamie triangle she started butting heads with Tad. But their fights always seemed to turn into hot passion. Now Tad was dividing his time between all three of these beautiful women. When Jamie calls him on how cadish that is, Tad breaks it off with all three, with Simone and Liza having had real feelings for him. His constant association with Krystal though makes her too hard to avoid. Tad and Krystal become a couple. 2004: Babe Chandler and Bianca Montgomery are both pregnant and they go into labor while stranded in a cabin in the woods. Bianca has a girl and Babe, a boy. Babes ex husband Paul Cramer, who flew his helicopter in to help, takes Babes son, telling her Biancas baby girl is hers and that Biancas baby has died. Babe having been drugged and almost passed out believes this, for awhile anyway. When she rememvbers that she did have a boy and that Bess must be Bianca’s baby Miranda, she and her momma decide to keep up the facade for the sake of JR who has fallen in love with who he believes is his daughter. When Tad suggests DNA tests after he suspects the baby might be Biancas, Krystal switches the results.Tad is convinced and he asks Krystal to marry him. She is racked with quilt and keeps putting him off. When Tad finds out about the deception he is angry but decides to keep their secret but for only a little longer. To make matters worse, it is discovered that Tad’s arch rival, David Hayward, turns out to be Babes biological father and he wants to bond with Babe and Krystal. When JR becomes mad at Babe and Jamie for their affair, JR gets sole custody of baby Bess. But that’s okay because Babe and Krystal have discovered that Babes boy is still alive and living with Pauls sister Kelly and her husband in Llanview. Jamie and Babe come up with a plan to kidnap her baby back and they set out as fugitives, checking in with Tad and Krystal periodically. Tad, even though he has mixed feelings, arranges for them to get new IDs and gets them passports to get out of the United States.
In 2005, it was revelaed Dixie was alive and well, but she died again in 2007 devastating Tad.
Death of Greg Madden and aftermath
On the episode in which aired Tuesday October 3 2006
, Tad Martin confessed to Dixie that he was the one who buried Dr. Greg Madden
alive in an attempt find out who adopted the child he had with Dixie and that Dixie had given up at birth.
Tad was deeply upset about this. Krystal comforted Tad and that comfort led to a night of sex. A few weeks later, Krystal was pregnant with Tad's baby. Krystal lied to everyone that the baby was Adam's. After Adam found out that Krystal slept with Tad, he had suspicions. Soon Krystal's world turned upside down. Dixie, Babe, J.R. and Adam knew that she slept with Tad and they all knew that the baby was Tad's. Krystal went into labor at the Chandler Mansion and Adam left her there. Tad warned Adam to stay away from their daughter Jenny Carey after she was born. Tad and Krystal got married and renewed their vows in order to keep Krystal away from Adam.
Finding his daughter Kate
After being shot by Robert Gardner, his biological uncle, he was rushed to the hospital and was reunited with Ghost Dixie
. She told him that their daughter needed him after she had lost her adoptive mother Julia Santos
. On June 11, 2008 Tad told Kathy that he is her father.