Cliff Warner and Nina Cortlandt

Cliff and Nina Warner (Peter Bergman and Taylor Miller).

Cliff Warner and Nina Cortlandt are fictional characters and a supercouple from the 1980s Cliff and Nina storyline on the American daytime drama All My Children. Cliff was portrayed by Peter Bergman, and Nina was portrayed by Taylor Miller.

The two characters were in a popular on-again/off-again relationship that spanned the entire decade. Within the story, although the couple split up numerous times, they end up marrying one another in four separate ceremonies, one being titled as "the most sumptuous wedding seen on daytime television up to that date".[1] For over twenty years, the pairing held the record for the most number of marriages to each other on a soap opera.

Cliff Warner
All My Children
Portrayed by Peter Bergman
(1979-1987; 1988-1989)
Duration 1979-1987; 1988-1989
First appearance 1979
Last appearance 1989
Created by Agnes Nixon
Profile
Occupation Physician
Residence Denver, Colorado
Nina Cortlandt Warner
All My Children
Portrayed by Taylor Miller
(1979-1984; 1986-1989; 1995-1996; 2010)
Heather Standford
(1984-1985)
Barbara Kearns
(1985-1986)
Duration 1979-1989, 1995-1996, 2010
First appearance 1979
Last appearance 2010
Created by Agnes Nixon
Profile
Residence Denver, Colorado

Contents

Storyline

Cliff Warner and Nina Cortlandt meet and fall in love while Cliff is working at Pine Valley Hospital in 1979. Nina's father, Palmer Cortlandt (James Mitchell), disapproves of their relationship, and plots over the years to break them up and keep them apart. Nina is a diabetic and develops retinopathy, which is making her go blind. Palmer refuses to let her know that there is a cure, knowing that she will break up with Cliff in order not to be a burden to him. Eventually, Cliff finds out about Nina's condition, and is able to get her treatment. They reconcile. In the meantime, Nina has met ne'er-do-well, Sean Cudahy (Alan Dysert), who works with Palmer to get Nina away from Cliff.

When nurse Sybil Thorne (Linda Gibboney), notices that Cliff is falling for Nina, she plots to get him all to herself. Cliff and Sybil make love, and Sybil ends up pregnant with his child. She alerts him to the fact just before his marriage to Nina in November 1980. Sybil ends up giving birth to a boy, named Bobby, and Nina eventually finds out the baby's parentage from Sybil; Nina files for divorce. Sybil is found murdered, and Cliff is arrested for the murder, but it is later found that Sean Cudahy is the killer.

Cliff and Nina reconcile and are remarried in 1982. Nina adopts Cliff's son, Bobby. However, Nina has started a secretarial job with Steve Jacobi (Dack Rambo), who is smitten with her. She battles with her attraction to him in an attempt to make her marriage to Cliff work. Nina is at Cortlandt Manor working with Steve one night when a thunderstorm causes a power outage. Despite her attempts to stay true to her husband, Nina and Steve make love that evening.

From then on, Nina becomes uninterested in Cliff and dreams about her sexual encounter with Steve, which leads to more lovemaking between the two. One day, Cliff catches Nina, but instead of making a fuss, he sneaks away. That evening, he informs Nina of what he knows and demands that they divorce.

Before going away on an assignment, Steve persuades Nina to go away with him so they can have some time alone. Their plane crashes, and everyone in Pine Valley, including Cliff, has assumed Nina is dead. She resurfaces unscathed in 1983, but Steve is very badly injured.

Nina tells Cliff that Kim McGuire, an associate of Steve's, has died, and she blames herself because Cliff was close with Kim. When Nina says that she should have died in the plane crash, Cliff takes her in an embrace and tells her, "I just thank God you're alive!" Cliff's new girlfriend, Devon McFadden (Tricia Pursley), sees the exchange of affection and runs off. Eventually, with her mother Ellen Dalton's (Kathleen Noone) urging, she leaves town to start afresh without Cliff.

Nina and Steve separate, but instead of being involved with Nina, Cliff becomes involved with Dr. Amy Stone (Catherine Christianson). When Dr. Stone is seriously injured by a drunk driver, Cliff is the only surgeon available to operate on her. Unfortunately, he cannot save her, and blames himself. However, Nina is there to pick up the pieces. They marry for the third time.

In 1987, Cliff becomes involved in an international rescue for a war-torn South American nation. He is reported killed while attempting to deliver medicine. Nina goes to Martha's Vineyard to grieve, but an old friend, Matt Connolly (Michael Tylo), is there, and they make love. By the time they return to Pine Valley, Nina and Matt are married. Cliff shows up, having been only held prisoner, and he and Nina have a wild night of passionate lovemaking. When he finds out that Nina has been involved with Matt, he leaves her.

Nina finds out she is pregnant, a paternity issue arises, but Cliff is proven as the biological father of the child, and over some months a few more problems arise, including Cliff's abortive engagement to his doctor colleague Angie Hubbard (Debbi Morgan), but in the end, the Warners marry for a fourth time and leave town for a new life in Denver, Colorado.

Nina briefly returned to Pine Valley as part of All My Children's 40th anniversary celebration, which aired on January 5th, 2010, and again on April 20th, 2010 with her mother Daisy (Gillian Spencer) for Palmer's funeral.

Reception and impact

Cliff and Nina's romance enthralled viewers. Chicago Sun-Times, stated, "Nina's wedding to Cliff Warner is regarded as one of daytime's most-watched moments."[2] The pairing is considered to be one of soap opera's most notable romances. Within a year, Peter Bergman had been voted 'Most Promising Newcomer' by Soap Opera Digest magazine and enjoyed publicized attention as part of the couple. Following on the success of the Luke and Laura storyline on General Hospital, the writing staff at All My Children heavily promoted the star-crossed romance.[3] Soap Opera Digest noted Cliff and Nina as one of daytime's classic supercouples.[4] Soapdom.com listed Cliff and Nina's love story twice in their article The Exciting 80's.[5]

Victoria Gardens Theatre, when announcing their world premiere of ensemble member Claudia Allen’s play Unspoken Prayers, featuring Taylor Miller, stated that Miller "reached into the hearts of millions of viewers as Nina, and to this day, long after she is a daily presence on the show, she is constantly stopped on the street, asked how she is, and engaged in 'best friend' conversations."[6]

Public fascination with Cliff and Nina's romance was theorized by the All American Speaker's Bureau. The bureau commented on Bergman's soap opera history

His most notable role has been his portrayal of Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children, which he played from 1979 to 1987 and again from 1988 to 1989. His character helped form one of the serial’s first supercouples by falling in love and marrying Taylor Miller’s character, Nina Cortlandt. Soap columnists hypothesized that the two actors were so popular because they were the pinnacle of the image of the wholesome television couple, with their Nordic good looks, fair hair and blue eyes.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ Christopher Schemering (1985). The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. Ballantine Books. pp. 12 (specific page). ISBN 0345324595. 
  2. ^ Davenport, Misha (2003-03-30). "Actress finds fulfillment with new stage in her life". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  3. ^ "Peter Bergman Biography". hollywood.com. http://www.hollywood.com/celebrity/Peter_Bergman/195311#fullBio. Retrieved 2007-07-15. 
  4. ^ "Soap Star Stats: Peter Bergman". Soap Opera Digest. http://www.soapoperadigest.com/soapstarstats/peterbergmanbio/. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  5. ^ "The Exciting 80's". soapdom.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927005154/http://www.soapdom.com/content/view/2230/69/. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  6. ^ "Taylor Miller Back In The Limelight, Starring In Victory Gardens’ Unspoken Prayers, A New Drama By Claudia Allen About A Middle-Class Family Confronting A Loved One’s Murder". www.victorygardens.org. 2003-02-27. 
  7. ^ "Biography of Peter Bergman". allamericanspeakers.com. http://www.allamericanspeakers.com/speakers/Peter-Bergman/2287. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 

Further reading

  • Jennifer Hayward (1997). Consuming Pleasures: Active Audiences and Serial Fictions from Dickens to .... University Press of Kentuck. pp. 228 (specific page: Page 153). ISBN 081312025X.  Inside look at the controversy surrounding Cliff and Nina's love story when Cliff's interracial romance with character Angie Baxter began. Brief detail on the speculation that All My Children writers and executives tried to find a less controversial way to end the love story without creating vast outrage and to rather reconnect Cliff with Nina, as she was already outlined as his true love.

External links


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