If you were an All My Children fan, you’ll know Debbi Morgan as Angie Baxter Hubbard, a role that won her a daytime Emmy award. But in real life, she’s a woman who lived with domestic violence for most of her life. Morgan recently shared some of her experiences with Oprah Winfrey on a segment of Oprah: Where Are They Now? In one chilling memory, Morgan recalls how her father kicked down their front door and choked her mother with a pole.
“My mother was trying to scream, but she couldn’t get anything out. It was terrifying to see that as a little girl,” Morgan told Winfrey. As an example of how childhood domestic violence can mar a person’s life, Morgan has been married to three abusive men, though she’s broken the cycle with her current husband, according to a story in People. Morgan’s memoir, The Monkey on My Back, was published in June 2015.
Mariska Hargitay: A TV Character With Real-Life Impact
Though she hasn’t personally experienced domestic violence, in her iconic role as Detective Olivia Benson on the long-running TV drama, Law & Order: SVU, Mariska Hargitay has lived, breathed — and solved — unspeakable crimes against women and children for the past 16 years. Her role has clearly gotten under her skin. In 2004, she founded the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national organization that has served more than 14,000 survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and the professionals who help them.
“Being around that subject matter every day seeps into my consciousness,” she told People magazine earlier this year. “When I first did research for my role on SVU, I couldn’t believe the statistics of abuse — and the letters I’d get from viewers disclosing their own stories,” Hargitay said. Joyful Heart participated in the No More initiative, which includes a series of public service spots starring more than 75 public figures, including Vice President Joe Biden.