Kendall Hart is a fictional character on the American soap opera, All My Children. Kendall is the daughter of the series' central character and originating villainess, Erica Kane. As one of daytime television’s most layered and popular characters, Kendall Hart was originally written as a complex villain and later, a herione. She was described as a "complicated bad girl", (Hart, Marla. ‘Erica Kane's Daughter Fashioned From Same Mold’. Chicago Tribune. 1994), "hell on wheels daughter", and called "the scheming daughter of the biggest schemer of them all, Erica Kane," ('Like Mother, Like Daughter.' Daytime TV. 1994), sharing similar multifaceted qualities that had launched Erica’s character into pop culture prominence. (Hart 1994) As "Pine Valley's teenaged troublemaker,” the character received popular viewer response ('Reader’s Notes: Who’s Getting the Most Letters.' Soap Opera Update. November 1 1994)(Hart 1994) and actress Sarah Michelle Gellar won a Daytime Emmy in the category of "Outstanding Younger Actress" for her portrayal of Kendall Hart in 1995.
Kendall Hart is reformed by the series into a heroine and reconciled for good with her families, developing close relationships with her mother and half-sister, while keeping some devious traits still intact. Kendall was a fan favorite under both Sarah Michelle Gellar (1993-95) and Alicia Minshew (2002-2011, 2013).
She was initially portrayed by then 15-year old Sarah Michelle Gellar during the character's first run from March 11, 1993 to July 3, 1995 and then by Alicia Minshew from January 7, 2002 to September 23, 2011. Minshew appeared as Kendall Hart on the Prospect Park's revival of All My Children in the second July 8, 2013 episode.
Character age, origins, and development
The idea for the character of Kendall Hart as a long-lost daughter for the well known character of notorious Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), one of All My Children's original villainesses, existed for years prior to the character's debut but producers had to wait until the right time in Erica's storyline to introduce her (Tracy, Kathleen. The Girl's Got Bite: The Original Unauthorized Guide to Buffy's World. St. Martin's Press. 2003). Described as the "saucy daughter" of "she-devil Erica Kane," (Pearlman, Cindy. ‘Waiting for Buffy.’ Chicago Sun Times. 1997) Kendall was fashioned after a younger version of Erica, explained as a “schemer who does the wrong things for the right reasons” and retaining sympathetic qualities alongside her devious traits in her drive for approval. (Hart 1994) (Tracy 64) 15-year old Gellar, bearing a resemblance to Lucci with the forceful personality and acting skill needed for the character, won the role over many teenaged actresses. (Tracy 64) Though viewed by some as "the second coming of Erica" and winning a Daytime Emmy for the role in 1995, Gellar departed in 1995 to pursue other projects. (Tracy 65) Kendall Hart was later played by actress, Alicia Minshew, from 2002-2013, who portrayed the character with many of these traits written to be kept intact even after Kendall’s reformation.
Details of the character's real identity were kept secret until they were revealed on screen a month after Kendall's debut. Gellar learned she'd be playing Erica Kane's long-lost child right after being cast but before she started filming (Tracy 64). In 2001, Minshew experienced a similar situation in which she wasn't told she was auditioning for the role of Kendall until after her screen test. (Alicia Minshew: Queen of Hearts. Soap Opera Town. 2002)
On March 11, 1993, Kendall was introduced to the audience as a waifish, starry-eyed 16-year old runaway wanting to meet her celebrity idol, Erica Kane, while her true identity is kept secret by the character and writers. Kendall's character was written to feel displaced in her life with her adoptive parents and dreams of a fantasy mother-daughter relationship with Erica, who she projects as a dream mother, but is hurt over Erica giving her up for adoption as a baby. Consequently, she seeks revenge against her mother as payback while longing for her mother's love and, driven by this need, Kendall acts out for attention. Erica and Kendall's mother-daughter relationship is portrayed as emotionally tumultuous and multifaceted with a push-and-pull dynamic. During the first month of Kendall's storyline, clues directed to the audience hinted at her true identity including noted similarities between Erica and Kendall, vague story references to a familial connection, Kendall's mysterious documents, questions about her identity, Mona's recognition of Kendall's birthmark and that Erica had been pregnant at 14 with a daughter she and Mona gave up for adoption.
In April 1993, Kendall was confirmed to the audience as Erica's long lost daughter. Shortly after, in a retroactive continuity of the show, it was revealed Erica was raped on her 14th birthday by movie star Richard Fields and this is when Erica became pregnant with her first child (Kendall). Due to timeline discrepancies involving the current audience remembering Erica had not been a pregnant teenager 17-years before and later, 16-year old Kendall being said to have been conceived in a then-written 23-24 year old rape, Kendall's character was later rapidly aged from her teens to 22-23 years old in the summer of 1993 (birth date revised to September 25, 1970). Upon the character's return in 2002, Kendall's birth date was revised back to September 25, 1976 under Minshew, reverting her age to her original birth date when she appeared as a 16-year old girl in the spring of 1993.
Kendall Hart is the daughter of Erica Kane. Then portrayed by 15-year old Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kendall first came to Pine Valley as a teenage runaway in early 1993 to meet her mother and idol, Erica Kane, hoping for a dream mother-daughter reunion after discovering Erica is her mother from her adoption papers. Erica's mother, Mona Tyler, had a teenaged Erica give her baby daughter up for adoption to the Harts, a loving couple from Florida. When she held the infant, Mona noticed a birthmark on her granddaughter's neck. This prompted Mona to recognize Kendall as Erica's baby girl she and Erica placed for adoption to the Harts in hopes of providing her baby with a good life. It is revealed Kendall is Erica's first born child who Erica gave birth to after she was raped on the night of her 14th birthday by her idol and father's friend, movie star Richard Fields. Upon the revelation of Kendall's true identity, Erica welcomed the young woman into her life as her daughter and the two worked to develop a healthy mother-daughter relationship.
When Kendall begins to ask questions about her biological father, unaware he is a rapist, Erica tries to protect her from the truth but Kendall eventually learns his identity. Erica forbids her daughter from finding out anything else about him but, feeling the urge to uncover the unanswered parts of her questions and confront him, a distressed Kendall resolves to find him and is aided by her step-father, Dimitri Marick, who she has a crush on. After much drama between mother and daughter when Erica discovers her husband helped her daughter find Richard Fields and she lashes out at them, a distraught Kendall loses her virginity to her friend, Anton Lang, after being rejected by her step-father, who she had a crush on. Hysterical and upset over possibly being pregnant, Kendall goes to her mother and falsely implies that her step-father raped her. Believing he raped Kendall and suffering from hallucinations of her own rape, Erica accuses Dimitri of raping her daughter and stabs her husband. After more drama ensues between the two, in which Kendall lashes out at her mother due to being hurt by their history, she makes peace with her mother, Erica, and the two reconcile. Kendall leaves Pine Valley in mid-1995 to take care of her adoptive mother, Alice, after her father, Bill, died from heart problems.
In January 2002, Erica went on trial for the murder of Frankie Stone, Bianca's girlfriend. Needing someone to help incriminate her, Erica called in an eager Kendall (Alicia Minshew, 2002-2011, 2013), half-wishing that Kendall will not betray her in hopes she really has changed. Newly embittered, Kendall testifies against her mother. Amicably split from Del, Kendall became involved with Ryan Lavery and later, Aidan Devane. Kendall meets Greenlee Smythe during this time, her then-frenemy, rival, and on and off best friend. Kendall, with Greenlee, Mia Saunders and Simone Torres, formed a cosmetics company called Fusion.
Kendall ends up in a relationship with Michael Cambias, who uses an unsuspecting Kendall to take over her mother Erica's, company, Enchantment, but she ends things when she senses menace behind his charms. Michael attempts to rape Kendall and Erica but while mother and daughter save each other from Michael, he rapes Kendall's sister and Erica's other daughter, Bianca, who became pregnant (leading to the birth of her first child, Miranda). Kendall's relationship with her mother, which had grown stronger during this time, is again strained because of her (secretly faux) claim of marriage to Michael. Shortly after, Michael turned up dead. Kendall is made the primary suspect in his murder and was put on trial but it is revealed Kendall was covering for her sister, Bianca, who had killed Michael in self-defense and blacked it out. Kendall, Erica, and Bianca (who had grown very close to Kendall) all tried to protect each other throughout the trial. Realizing the truth behind Kendall's actions and the lengths she had gone to to protect their family, Erica becomes close to her daughter again and they have an extremely close mother/daughter relationship but Kendall's budding friendship with Greenlee is shattered.
Kendall began dating Ryan again. However, when she shut Greenlee out of Fusion because of Greenlee's actions against her during her trial for Michael Cambias's murder, Ryan gave Greenlee his shares to even the playing field. He went on to propose to Greenlee in an effort to help her out at Fusion, which caused an infuriated Kendall to lock her nemesis in a room to stop the marriage. Kendall attempted to marry Ryan herself, but he chose Greenlee after realizing what Kendall had done.
To help Kendall be on equal footing at Fusion with Greenlee, Zach Slater offered to marry her and give her his shares of Cambias Industries. Over time, Zach and Kendall's relationship turned into deep romantic love while Kendall's friendship with Greenlee began to mend. Eventually, the two became so close that they considered themselves "sisters."
Kendall went on to have two children. Her first, Spike Lavery, was born May, 2006 and her second, Ian Slater, was born July 2007.
After having left Pine Valley briefly, she returned, wanting to find out who caused her mother's plane to crash and resume her relationships, including her friendship with her ex, Ryan, and her best-friend/rival, Greenlee. Kendall still found herself in trouble but stayed in Pine Valley to get her life and Fusion back on track.
In 2013, it is revealed she and Zach divorced and Kendall is living away from Pine Valley with Spike and Ian.
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