American actor Walt Willey was born on January 26, 1951 in Ottawa, Illinois. After attending Southern Illinois University, where he graduated with a degree in sculpture, he moved to New York to pursue an acting career. He first played a bit role in an 1983 episode of the mystery series The Edge of Night. Two years later, he made his film debut, playing a minor role in the comedy flick Amateur Hour. In 1986, he joined the cast of the daytime soap Ryan’s Hope, where he played the role of Joe Novak, a role originated by Richard Muenz. He left the show in 1987, two years shy of its eventual demise.
Willey then joined the cast of All My Children, where he was finally given a chance to originate a role. He played the role of Jackson Montgomery, the brother of Travis Montgomery (Larkin Malloy). Initially introduced as an assistant to his brother’s senate campaign, he successfully gets revenge for events during his childhood, when their sister Christine was killed in an accident wrongly blamed on him. Later in the series, he becomes the district attorney for Pine Valley, and also has his own private firm. He also played this role in the short-live daytime soap The City.
Willey also has other forays. He appeared in the off-Broadway production of Dust Off, where he co-starred with Dan Lauria. He also ventured to stand-up comedy in 1989, performing in numerous venues across the country. He also regularly hosts charity fundraisers, and also heads his own, for the benefit of children’s charities. He received three nominations for the Soap Opera Digest Awards for his role in All My Children.