All My Children alum Lee Meriwether is suffering from Alzheimer's

Posted Thursday, February 29, 2024 3:43:21 PM
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General Hospital's Maurice Benard gave fans a sad update about Lee Meriwether on his mental health YouTube show.

General Hospital star Maurice Benard champions mental health each week on his YouTube show, State of Mind, interviewing soap stars, mental health professionals, and others.

During the latest episode that dropped on February 25, Benard revealed something he learned from former guest Kyle Oldham, daughter of former All My Children star Lee Meriwether: the beloved Meriwether has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Meriwether played Ruth Martin on All My Children off and on from 1996 until the show left the ABC airwaves in 2011. Meriwether was the second actress to play the role of Ruth, taking over for Mary Fickett when Fickett chose to retire. Before that, she was well-known to primetime audiences for her role on Barnaby Jones, as well as for playing Catwoman in the 1966 Batman movie. Prior to her acting career, Meriwether was crowned Miss America in 1955.

Fans were shocked to hear that not only does the 88-year-old Meriwether have Alzheimer's, but her daughter does, as well. Benard promised fans that he would have Oldham on his show every few months.

"We decided that she was gonna come in so the audience could see with their eyes what Alzheimer's does to someone," Benard told fans. "So, I'll have her come in every six months or whatever it is."

In 2021, Benard won a Daytime Emmy for a story in which Sonny's father, Mike (played by Emmy winner Max Gail), was suffering from Alzheimer's. After announcing Meriwether and Oldham's diagnoses, Benard expressed his own sadness.

"I started to cry because I came to realize that there's gonna be a time when she can't come in," he added. "Who knows how long? A couple of years? It's going to be sad but beautiful."

On the same episode in which he discussed Meriwether and Oldham's Alzheimer's, he also interviewed GH star Vernee Watson, who also won an Emmy as part of Mike's Alzheimer's story.

Let's send best wishes to Lee Meriwether and her daughter, Kyle. We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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