‘As the World Turns’: Where Is Martha Byrne Now?

As the World Turns actor Martha Byrne was one of daytime’s darlings. The star is best known for her role as Lily Walsh Snyder on the CBS soap opera. Byrne portrayed the beloved heroine from 1985 until 2008. Curious fans may wonder what Byrne is up to these days. Read on to find out.

'As the World Turns' actor Martha Byrne wearing a black dress and posing on the red carpet of a St. Jude's charity event.
Martha Byrne I Paul Zimmerman/WireImage

‘As the World Turns’ star Martha Byrne continues to work on soap operas

Byrne’s days on As the World Turns are long behind her; however, she hasn’t left the soap opera community. Following her departure from the show, Byrne went to work for another CBS daytime drama. In 2009, Byrne briefly worked as a scriptwriter for The Bold and the Beautiful. Byrne would then appear on the ABC soap opera General Hospital as Andrea Floyd.

RELATED: Why Was ‘As the World Turns’ Canceled?

In 2011, Byrne joined the cast of the web series Anacostia, where she plays Alexis Jordan. Her performance as Alexis earned her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a New Approaches Drama Series in 2015. Byrne would also work behind the scenes as a director and executive producer.

Aside from her work in daytime TV, Byrne is also a wife and mother. Byrne and her husband, Michael McMahon, live in New Jersey with their three kids: Michael, Maxwell, and Annmarie.

Rose to fame on ‘As the World Turns’

Byrne made her As the World Turns debut in May 1985, at the age of 15. Lily is introduced as the daughter of Lucinda Walsh (Elizabeth Hubbard), but her biological parents are Iva Snyder (Lisa Brown) and Josh Snyder (William Fichtner). Lily discovering the truth about her birth was a huge storyline during Byrne’s early years and earned her a Daytime Emmy for Younger Actress in 1987.

After four years, Byrne departed the show but returned in 1993. Lily became the soap opera’s new heroine, and her romance with Holden Snyder (Jon Hensley) made them a super-couple. Aside from her marriage to Holden, Lily also dated Dusty Donovan (Grayson McCouch) and married Damian Grimaldi (Paolo Seganti).

From 2000 to 2003, Byrne pulled double duty by playing Rose D’Angelo, Lily’s long-lost twin. Byrne’s performances as Rose and Lily earned her an Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy in 2001. After nearly two decades, Byrne left the show in 2008, and Noelle Beck was recast as Lily.

Why did she leave teh show in 2008?

Byrne’s departure from As the World Turns in 2008 was a huge story. A statement from the show revealed that contract negotiations between Byrne and producers had failed. Byrne later released a statement via NY Daily News giving her side of the story.

RELATED: ‘As the World Turns’ Was a Trailblazer In LGTBQ Representation In Soap Operas

Despite taking a pay reduction, Byrne was committed to staying with the show and requested the same number of episodes in their previous agreement. When contract negotiation stalled, Byrne hoped a resolution could be reached. However, the actor was surprised to learn the show was already recasting her role. “That was the end of any further negotiations for me. Unfortunately, what I thought to be a reasonable and workable request, the show determined unworkable.”

Two years after Byrne’s exit, the soap opera was cancelled in September 2010.