Actress and musician Martha Byrne was born on December 23, 1969 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She began acting at a very young age, first appearing on the Broadway musical Annie, where she played the role of orphanage resident July. She then moved on to the screen, appearing in several television programs as well as films. Her film debut was in 1982, starring in the thriller drama The Eyes of the Amaryllis. The same year, she made her television debut, starring in the television movie Drop-Out Father. She’s also played roles in shows such as Kate & Allie, Doogie Howser M.D., Silk Stalkings and Murder, She Wrote.
Byrne is, however, perhaps best known for her role on the daytime soap As the World Turns. She joined the show in 1985, assuming the role of “poor little rich girl” Lily Walsh from Lucy Deakins. She left the show in 1989 and returned in 1993. Her character is one half of one of the show’s popular supercouples, when she was paired with stable boy Holden Snyder (Jon Hensley). Her tenure in the show focused on their budding romance, and eventual marriage. At one point, Byrne took on double roles, when she played Lily’s long lost twin, Rose D’Angelo.
Byrne was nominated eight times for a Daytime Emmy award, winning in 1987 and 2001. She left the show in 2008, after show producers refused to guarantee that she would appear in the same number of episodes as the previous year. Her role has been taken over by Noelle Beck.
Byrne is also an accomplished musician. Her first eponymous album was released in 1996. Her second album, Woman Thing Music, was a subject of controversy as her album was only available with the purchase of cigarettes. She later left her music label, as she did not want to be associated with a product that might encourage underage smoking. She has since released a third album, The Other Side, in 2006.