The Opening Credits


The Original Version: 1970-1990
The original version premiered with the show in 1970 and would last two decades, until the 20th Anniversary in 1990. It is the longest lasting All My Children Opening.

The Opening began with a leather bound book on a platform. A hand of a woman would reach over and open the book. The identity of this hand would remain a mystery. It is said to either be the hand of the late Kay Campbell (ex-Kate) or Ruth Warrick (Phoebe).

The music was composed by Dina Paul and was a soft melody of flutes and piano that sounded like a child's lullaby. The opening went through one major transformation in its run. Rosemary Prinz (ex-Amy) was the only character to be featured in the opening. She was on the show for only the first six months. She was a very popular soap star at the time and Agnes Nixon hoped to use her popularity to her advantage on the show. When she left, no other faces would be featured; rather the book would be opened to a page with the show's title and some flowers in the top right corner.

The original version of this opening would become a rare commodity as a storage house fire damaged most of the episodes before 1976. The show was always recorded in color, but the only surviving copies where on black and white kinescope or emmy reels the various stars had at home.

The Falling Pictures Version: 1990-1995
This version premiered with the 20th Anniversary of the show on January 2, 1990. Then Executive Producer Felicia Behr challenged conservatives by jumping on the pop song bandwagon of other soap opera themes of the time. Billy Barber and Bob Israel composed the song for the opening sequence. It was a mixture of saxophone, key board, and the hot licks of an electric guitar. It was in stark contrast to the soft spoken song of years past. This sudden change was all in hopes to increase the ratings of the show that was in a slump through most of the late eighties.

The visuals of the opening sequence where stunning, especially for the day in which it was created. It always opened with a span across a mantel of framed pictures with the "veterans" of the show starting with original cast members Ray McDonnell (Joe) and Mary Fickett (ex-Ruth) originally with their onscreen children, then Julia Barr (ex-Brooke), then David Canary (Adam & Stuart), then original cast member Ruth Warrick (ex-Phoebe) and the late Louis Edmonds (ex-Langley). Michael E. Knight (Tad) would be the only cast member to be featured twice in the same opening version. His first shot was the opening picture with the elder Martins, and his second was shared with then onscreen wife Cady McClain (ex-Dixie).The opening then pans to a series of pictures strewn across a table followed by pictures falling from the sky. At the end, Susan Lucci (Erica)'s picture falls from the sky onto the last page of the family album, as it closes.

One very significant fact of this opening was the number of recurring players that were featured. Since so many photos could be featured on one screen, they where able to add pictures outside of the contract cast. Also, the original version had many group and couple shots. With the ever-changing relationships on soaps, this concept became extinct.

The White Version: 1995-2002
Executive Producer Felicia Behr premiered a new All My Children opening in time for their 25th Anniversary on January 5, 1995. It retired the still very new Falling Pictures version, expanding on its theme of family heirlooms and individual cast shots. It is also the show's first venture into multiple openings so that each person could be featured for a longer time. It also began the tradition of the openings being before the first act of the show.

The music was composed by David Benoit. It was a loud combination of piano and saxophone. It was much more upbeat than its predecessor. The music underwent one change into toned down version that lasted from 1997-1998. That summer, the original music returned. Eventually a new, even more upbeat version premiered.

The opening garnered its name because of the white washed scenery that moved around in the background of the opening. They were all interiors and exteriors of famous places in Pine Valley including the Martin home, Wildwind, and the Chandler Mansion. Various objects would fade in, including a pen and ink well, chess pieces, leaves, and a pocket watch. The most important of these objects was a string of pearls and a locket necklace that indicated which version of the opening was being presented that day.

Throughout the opening, individual cast shots would fade in against the white background. The first person was always Susan Lucci (Erica), who was featured in a silver frame. When the opening began, all the shots that opened horizontally had a black border around it. The pictures where also taken from recent episodes and did not move. In 1996, the pictures would be replaced by shots taken specifically for the opening. The pictures would remain still until 1997 when the borders were dropped and the stars were able to pose inside of them. At the end of the opening, Agnes Nixon's handwriting wrote out the words from the All My Children bible, and a book closed on the last picture.

There was only one special version made for the premier. It featured characters from past and present including Laurence Lau (ex-Greg), Kim Delaney (ex-Jenny), Debbi Morgan (ex-Angie), Darnell Williams (ex-Jesse), Taylor Miller (ex-Nina), and Peter Bergman (ex-Cliff). The opening ended with a picture of Agnes Nixon. It was for the 25th Anniversary Special hosted by Carol Burnett (ex-Verla).

The Scrapbook Version: 2002-2003
This "Scrapbook Version" was in homage to the theme that premiered on the show's 20th Anniversary under Executive Producer Felicia Behr. This new modified version was done by Executive Producer Jean Daddario Burke. The show continued to run 2 versions of the opening with half the cast on one day, and the other the next.

The music was a toned down version of the 1990 theme composed by Billy Barber and Bob Israel. The loud saxophone had been replaced by the soft sounds of a piano. Many variations would be played through its tenure. They sometimes changed weekly.

This version introduced an idea that most ABC soaps where adopting, they added character names to the opening to help newer viewers pick up quicker on who was who. However, they did it in a very innovative way. Rather then just bold type the name like the other soaps, they had the characters sign their name to the picture. Agnes Nixon's words that she used in the All My Children bible are seen on the first page of the book.

There were basically 3 types of pictures upon the debut of the opening. The first type is a Polaroid photo with a small black and white still snapshot which appeared to be from actual episode footage. These pictures would turn into color pictures by the third update in 2003. The second kind was a basic photo frame with space for one character. The third form was a double frame so two characters could share one screen. As characters featured as "Polaroid" in the opening gradually left the show, no new Polaroid style shots would be added, only single and double photo frame shots. While the single and double frames are the only types of framed images featured in the opening, they are still at varying angles and distance from character to character. Some frames are angled diagonally in one direction, some angled in the opposite direction, some are entirely vertical.

At the beginning and the end of the opening, there is a book with flipping pages featuring past and present characters [1. Laura (Laura Allen) & Brooke (Julia Barr); 2. Adam (David Canary) & Colby (Kathryn Newton); 3. Stuart (David Canary); 4. Hayley (Kelly Ripa) & Enzo (Scott or Zachary Benes); 5. Trey (Sam Page); 6. Dixie (Cady McClain)]. Also is homage to the 20th Anniversary opening, this one had Erica Kane end both versions

The Family Album Version: 2003-present
All My Children premiered their new openings on May 30, 2004. Executive Producer Julie Carruthers kept a remixed version of the Bob Israel theme, and ensured the simplicity of updating the opening with new images. Unlike other openings, the whole cast would only be featured in one version.

This opening had deep roots in the history of the show. The shot began with a vintage picture of Susan Lucci as Erica Kane when she was just a teen. The camera then panned over various old photo albums. One of great notice was that for Ruth Warrick (ex-Phoebe Wallingford). It was filled with a slue of her older pictures. The camera then went to a shot of the open sky with many pictures falling from the sky, starting with that of Susan Lucci in a current shot. This was obviously in homage to the falling pictures version. Then, the barrage of individual shots began.

The images were characterized with three main types of pictures: one, a full screen picture; two, pictures falling from the sky; and three, full screen shots with a curtain layer over them. The last image was yet again Susan Lucci. The flipping pages of an album remained; however, the cover at the end was different from those in the past. It was still red in hue, but had a different font.
This opening was accompanied by new, live action bumpers. This was an all new aspect in daytime incorporated by all the ABC Soaps under President Brian Frons. The bumpers were same the images as those in the opening

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AMC Openings

Special thanks to David Smith and Jake Syapp for their contributions to this section.