|Tara Martin Brent|
|Karen Lynn Gorney as Tara Martin|
|All My Children|
|Portrayed by||Karen Lynn Gorney|
(1970-1974; 1976-1977; 1995)
Mary Lynn Blanks
|First appearance||January 5, 1970|
|Cause/reason||Left town after following her runaway daughter, Kelsey Jefferson|
|Created by||Agnes Nixson|
(during marriage to Phil)
|Born||1952 (age 68–69)|
Tara Martin (previously Brent & Jefferson) is a Fictional character on ABC soap opera All My Children. She was last portrayed by Karen Lynn Gorney in 1995, the actress who originated the role. She is the only daughter of Joe Martin and his late wife Helen.
High School Troubles
Tara is part of one of founding families of Pine Valley, the Martins. In January 1970, the family was still reeling from the death of Helen Martin, Tara's mom. Tara lived with her father Joe, older brother Jeff and grandmother, Kate Martin. As a senior in high school, she fell head over heals in love with, Phil Brent. Though they made the perfect couple, Erica Kane also had her sights set on Phil. She would constantly play the damsel in distress card with Phil running to her aid. Though he told her nothing was going on between them, Tara was still jealous. When Phil discovered that his parents, Ruth & Ted Brent, weren't really his parents, but his aunt and uncle, he left Pine Valley after he graduated breaking their engagement. Tara had Chuck Tyler, Phil's best friend to lean on. Chuck also had feelings for Tara but she didn't return them. When Phil finally returned, he was suffering from amnesia and didn't love Tara anymore. At the same time, Erica had began dating Jeff and the couple married in 1971, much to Tara's dislike.
Marriage to Chuck
Tara and Chuck got closer though she still loved Phil. Thinking Phil would never get his memory back, Tara agreed to marry Chuck and she got the wedding of her dreams from Chuck's wealthy grandmother, Phoebe. On the wedding day, Nick Davis, Phil's biological father, told Chuck that Phil was still in love with Tara. The two got into an altercation and before Nick could tell Tara, Chuck collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital and Joe told him that his kidneys were failing. While keeping vigil by Chuck's bedside, Tara & Phil fell in love all over again. Joe tells Tara that it was her love that brought Chuck out of his coma. Torn with guilt, Tara rejected Phil to stay with Chuck. While recovering, Chuck began pressuring Tara to set another wedding date. She used his hospitalization as an excuse saying she wanted to wait until he was better. Tara had been secretly seeing Phil and no intentions of marrying Chuck at all. Phil proposed to Tara the night before he deployed to Vietnam. The couple said their vows on their own accord. Though it wasn't official, in Tara's eyes they were married and she promised to wait for Phil. Weeks later, Chuck was released from the hospital and Tara was prepared to tell him the truth when Ruth told her that Phil had been killed. Tara would later reveal to Ruth & Chuck that she was pregnant. Chuck decided to marry her anyway and the couple eloped and would raise the child as Chuck's. They welcomed a baby boy, Charles Phillip Tyler, IV in 1972. Tara was living the "American Dream", she was married to a future doctor and lived in a beautiful mansion.
Tara was torn in two again when she learned that Phil had been found alive. Chuck & Tara's fears came to pass when little Phillip needed a blood transfusion, and no one matched. Tara manipulated Phil, who was married to Erica, into donating blood. An angry Phil came to the Tyler estate one night and Ruth told him the truth and Tara confirmed it. Phil understood but he wondered if Tara still loved him. As happy as she was with Chuck, Phil had captured her heart and she divorced Chuck in 1975. Phillip began acting out and suffering from psychosomatic asthma attacks. Joe referred her to a specialist in Arizona. Tara rushed back with Phillip when she learned that Chuck had been attacked by a pimp and was near death. Seeing how much Phillip still loved his "father", Phil & Tara agreed not to tell him the truth. Phil & Tara finally married in December 1976 but Phillip ran away to be with Chuck.
Marriage to Phil
The couple had to come back early from their honeymoon when Phillip was involved in a car accident with a drunken Phoebe. Phil decided what was best for Phil was to cut the Tylers out of Phillip's life completely. Later Tara discovered she was pregnant again. Tara then asked to Phil to quit his job as a police officer for good. Her greatest fears were realized when he was shot in the line of duty. She turned to Chuck for support and Phil even told him to marry her if he died. Phil recovered and got back to work and while Tara's pregnancy got more difficult. Tara would constantly leave Phillip in Chuck's care which Phoebe didn't approve of. During an argument with Phoebe, Tara collapsed and when she awakened, Phil told her she miscarried.
In 1978, Ruth was raped by a crazed Ray Gardner. Phil was in a rage and Phillip changed his name Charlie in honor of Chuck. Tara began turning to Chuck a lot more when Charlie gave her problems. When Charlie was found vandalizing cars in the hospital parking lot, Phil told her that Charlie would have to deal with the legal consequences, but she insisted on helping Charlie on her own. She offered Phil a ultimatum: if he turned Charlie in, their marriage was over. Phil took Charlie to the police department, and moved out. Tara turned to Chuck once again, though he was married to Donna the prostitute. They began having an affair despite their marriages falling apart. Phil figured out about the affair on his own, but Donna found out she was pregnant, Tara ended the relationship. Chuck called Tara one night with shocking news that Phoebe revealed the truth about Charlie's parentage at Erica's party. Worried about Charlie's reaction, she sought Phil's assistance.
In 1979, Chuck was shot by Ray Gardner and Phil went after him. Tara was so terrified that she knew her feelings for Phil were real and told Donna that she wouldn't stand in her way anymore. Tara and Phil renewed their vows and Charlie finally adjusted to the truth. But, Tara was still worried about Phil's dangerous lifestyle. Phil took a job with the Federal Narcotic Bureau, forcing the Brents to move to Washington, DC. Before she left, Tara learned she was getting a new baby brother. However, their happiness was short lived when Phil went missing again. She moved back to Pine Valley and the only person she could turn to was Chuck.
Marriage to Jim
Though she was wrecked with guilt about being drawn to Chuck because of her promise to Donna, Tara had no one else to lean on. Tara began dating Dr. Jim Jefferson, Charlie's psychiatrist to help him deal with Phil's disappearance. In 1981, Phil was confirmed dead after the plane he was flying in was shot down. Tara mourned in Jim's arms. Jim later proposed to her and they married. Jim, Charlie & Tara moved to Portland. In 1985, all of the Martins, including Jim, Charlie & Tara returned to Pine Valley to bury Kate. Tara and Jim brought their baby girl, whom they named after her late grandmother.
In 1995, Kate diagnosed with Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. 16 Year old Kate ran away from home, and started going by the name Kelsey. She was pregnant by Palmer Cortlandt's grandson, Bobby Warner. Tara came after her troubled daughter. Kelsey claimed she left because Tara and Jim were having marital issues and she felt neglected. Tara arranged for Kelsey to stay with Joe & Ruth while she worked out her problems with her husband. The couple ultimately divorced.
In 2008, Tara called home telling Joe she was afraid to go into surgery alone. Joe flew to her side but lost his job as chief of staff while he was being blackmailed by me bwabwabwabwa
- Tara was a senior in highschol in 1970