Where are They Now? Marcus Patrick (ex-Jamal Cudahy, 2006)

 

Marcus Patrick took over the role of Jamal Wilson McIntyre-Cudahy in June 2006 after the character had been off-screen for almost 10 years, last portrayed by Amir Williams. Jamal's return to the canvas was a surprising move for fans as his on-screen mother, Livia Cudahy (Tonya Pinkins), was just dropped to recurring status in late 2005.

Marcus Patrick (ex-Jamal)

The character of Jamal had a very complex history. Tom and Livia Cudahy (Richard Shoberg and Pinkins) adopted him in 1993 after the death of his mother, Janine Wilson, due to complications with AIDS. Janine was a recovering drug addict, and Jamal recognized signs of the disease in new best friend Tim Dillon (Tom Michaels).

The most controversial storyline involving Jamal was his 1994 "divorce" from biological father, Alec McIntyre (Grant Aleksander). It was based on the controversial Gregory K. precedent. True to life storylines like this where a hallmark of All My Children in the early 1990's under then Executive Producer Felcia Minei Behr.

Unfortunately, Patrick got to play out very little of his character's history in his five month stay in Pine Valley. The storylines playing out were a far cry in complexity and realism compared to Jamal's storylines in the 1990s. Jamal was now, "a hero, going to Law school and rescuing battered women, while working shifts at a bar."

In Patrick's own words, "I was the token Black person in many scenes with few lines. My fans noticed."

All My Children approached Patrick for the role of Jamal. His only prior daytime television experience was the recurring role of Father Denny on NBC's defunct soap opera, Passions. He was in fact only one of two African American actors on contract with All My Children, the other being his onscreen cousin Tanisha Lynn (ex-Danielle Frye).

The show was in a creative slump in 2006, marred by sudden cast departures and critically panned writing. "I found it [the storylines] silly," Patrick said. He endured, "long days behind a bar, when that guy [Ian Buchanan's Dr. Greg Madden] was in a coffin over the microphone. I was thinking, 'What the Hell am I doing here?'"

Patrick spent most of his time onscreen tending the bar at CONFusion. (Pictured with Jeff Branson (ex-Jonathan))

Patrick's main storyline has Jamal working with an underground network to help women escape their abusive husbands. He helped Erin Lavery (Connie Staton) hide Annie Novak (Melissa Claire Egan) in Pine Valley after Annie learned her husband was a pedophile.

Some other members of the cast similarly had a hard time keeping a straight face with the outlandish storylines. "I have fond memories of working with them and laughing at some of the bogus stories we had to play out," Patrick said. He recounted how Jeff Branson (ex-Jonathan Lavery) would, "mess around asking to 'go poopie,'" while his character was feigning mental regression.

Patrick commuted to New York from Los Angeles and shot his scenes two days a week, making it hard for Patrick to feel like he fit in with the ensemble. Still he described the cast as, "all very nice people."

"They were all the most grounded, nice, actors I have worked with actually," Patrick said.

Patrick admired onscreen mother, Tonya Pinkins (Livia Cudahy) for her ability to think on the spot.

He was especially fond of onscreen mother, Pinkins. "Tonya is cool!" Patrick said. "She could show up and just memorize her lines on the spot and knock it out of the park. I think she was the best actor on the set." Veterans like Pinkins did their best to fill Patrick in about the complexities of Jamal's history on the show.

Patrick also liked the innovative hand held camera technique being used at the time. "It gave more freedom to attempt realism," Patrick said. "Soaps are so "blocked out" with tape on the floor every scene that actors have to hit. It becomes a game of hit the tape rather than be natural and act and feel." Though All My Children returned to their old camera technique, it has since been adopted by Guiding Light.

Still Patrick did not feel like he really fit in. "Soaps are always an environment of tension. I was ready for whatever came my way."

The cross country commute and lack of airtime lead to Patrick's decision to leave All My Children after only five months. "I was just another pretty boy on the show...short stay," Patrick said. "Jamal was a light skinned brotha brought in to provide a touch of color to the very heavily outweighed Caucasian cast."

"They were all the most grounded, nice, actors I have worked with actually,"

-Patrick refering to the ensemble cast.

"Soaps were not my passion. I guess because I have the "Soap" look they wanted me on the show. I have always wanted to be a film star and not (a television star)," Patrick said.

The role of Jamal was not recast despite Patrick's abrupt departure. The storyline was rewritten with Jonathan (Branson) taking on a larger role.

In 2007, he returned to daytime television with another short stint on Days of Our Lives in the contract role of Jett Carver . "(It was the) same stuff really. I had a better story involvement to begin with, but it eventually went south," said Patrick. "They may have been shocked by my PLAYGIRL."

Patrick as DAY's Jett Carver.

Patrick posed for PLAYGIRL magazine in 2007. Patrick is one of only a few celebrities to be featured with full frontal nudity in their photo spread. "I am a lot wilder than Jamal," said Patrick. "Just go to YouTube and type in my name... you can see how radical Marcus is."

Patrick continues to pursue opportunities to act in films, while working on his album and two scripts. Still, he does not regret his foray into daytime television. "It was a experience to see how a Soap Opera actor's life is really quiet stressful and not very well paid. It's an illusion as to how well they do," Patrick said.

"I'm glad I got the chance to experience it and am also glad I will not return to the Soap world. I'd rather be a trainer than a Soap actor. It pays better and your helping people while being your own boss."

 

For more on Marcus Patrick check out his Website
For more on Jamal Cudahy check out his Quick Guide Biography
Interview conducted on May 15th, 2008