Guest Author - Lynn McMonigal
There is an old saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Apparently the same thing can be said for Brooke English.
When Brooke hit Pine Valley in 1976, it didn't take viewers long to realize she was not the sweet, innocent little doll Aunt Phoebe believed her to be. Her teenage years were filled with rebellion, young love, and a steamy swim with her boyfriend in Aunt Phoebe's pool.
When the rebellious streak ended, Brooke became a respected member of Pine Valley society. She went on to be a renowned journalist and social activist. Yet her search for love continued. The search often led her into the arms of a man who had been rejected by Erica Kane. Brooke's choice of men led to a 30-year feud between the two women.
During her time in Pine Valley, Brooke was married four times--to Tom Cudahy, Adam Chandler, Tad Martin, and Edmund Grey. These marriages produced two children--a daughter, Laura, with Tom and a son, Jamie, with Tad. Laura was killed by a drunk driver and a second child with Tad was lost due to an ectopic pregnancy. Brooke never completely healed from these losses, though she did learn how to live with them. Eventually, she adopted a homeless teenager, also named Laura, only to nearly lose her when the young girl's heart failed.
Through all of Brooke's ups and downs, one thing remained the same: Julia Barr's excellence in the role. Whether mourning her child, flirting with Edmund or Tad, or fighting with Erica, Julia never let us down. She made Brooke real, transferring her love, anger, hatred, and pain in a convincing manner.
Without Brooke, Pine Valley will be missing something. Tad's best friend is gone. Jamie's mother isn't there. And there is one less person of integrity in the town.
The biggest disappointment is the way her departure was handled. So much could have been done. Brooke could have left town, using her investigative skills to find Tad and Dixie's missing daughter. She could have received a call from Laura that her health was taking a bad turn, and she needed her mother's help. Brooke could have moved to California to find Maria, Sam, and Maddie and tried to repair those relationships. Brooke could even have been the third victim of the Satin Slayer--investigating the deaths of Simone and Erin could have brought her too close to the truth and put her life in danger.
After all Brooke--and Julia--brought to All My Children in the past 30 years, she deserved a better send off than she was given.
Brooke, you will be missed. Come back soon.