Remember Jesse Hubbard from ‘All My Children’? Better sit down before you see him today, age 66

All My Children became one of the most widely appreciated television series ever. Airing in 1970, the show went on to air all the way to 2013, and through the years, the audience got to see many great characters evolve. One of those was Jesse Hubbard, played by actor Darnell Williams.

Williams stared in hundreds of episodes of All My Children, before leaving the show. The Emmy award-winning actor went on to be a producer, as well as becoming a great musician.

So what does he look like today? And what does he do now? Here’s all you need to know!

Darnell Williams Jesse Hubbard Debbie Morgan

Darnell Williams was born on March 3, 1954 in London, England. He came from a military family, and when he was 7 years old, his family moved back to the US.

Darnell Williams – early life

Already as a young child, Williams loved television. And therefore, acting was his goal all the way from the start.

“It was television that lit the acting flame for me,” he recalled. “We’re talking back in the day when a family had just one TV set. I remember watching TV all the time, I asked my dad one day as a kid, ‘How do people get on television?’ I was fascinated by it.”

Darnell Williams dreamt about becoming an actor. However, that wasn’t his first step towards a creative type of job. He was also an amazing dancer, and he went on to dance professionally.

Between 1971 and 1975, Williams was a regular dancer for Soul Train. Following his time as a dancer, he wanted to pursue an acting career. He got some smaller gigs in televisions specials. But in 1981, he got his big break when he was cast as “Jesse Hubbard” in All My Children.

“My mom didn’t watch soaps when I was younger. She did start watching as I got older maybe around the late sixties, early seventies, she was definitely watching by the time I was a young struggling actor,” Williams recalled.

Darnell Williams Jesse Hubbard

“She was already a big fan of All My Children when I joined the show. It was really awesome for her when I started working there. It was awesome for my dad too and he wasn’t a soap fan.”

The character Jesse Hubbard appeared as the nephew of Dr. Frank Grant in the series. He had assumed custody of him after the passing of Jesse’s mother (his sister).

Jesse Hubbard – ‘All My Children’

Sure, Jesse was a popular character on the show as Darnell Williams got his big breakthrough. But it was also because he would form one of the big super couples on American soap television.

In 1982, the character Angie Baxter appeared, played by Debbi Morgan. And it didn’t take long before the two connected with one another. Jesse Hubbard fell deeply in love with Angie, and their love story won the hearts of all the viewers. 

The on-screen couple became so popular that they could barely go out in public.

“In those days, the show was taped like a play. We might get to the studio at 7:30 a.m. and be working into the night,” Debbi Morgan recalled.

“One day, Darnell and I were finished for the day and decided to see a movie on 42nd Street. After the movie, I hear this voice say, ‘That’s Angie, That’s Jesse’.” I did not know what was happening. The crowd kept getting larger and louder.”

“They started following us. Darnell says, ‘Run, Debbi.’ That is when we realized what was happening.”

Jesse Hubbard – Angie Baxter

No one – at least not the actors including Darnell Williams – understood the impact they would have on the American television landscape. He and Debbie became superstars, and still today, it’s hard to find any television couple that’s more popular than them.

It’s easy to say, Darnell and Debbi’s characters have prevailed.

“I don’t think there was any way for Debbi (Angie), Kim (Jenny), Laurence (Greg) or myself to fully know the impact we had back then,” Darnell Williams explained. “We had not braced for it. I did think landing the role of Jesse would be a turning point in my career but I couldn’t have dreamed of all that happened as a result.”

“The one thing I knew for sure, was that I was going to do my absolute best and that is what I did, or tried to do.” 

Darnell Williams became a household name as he starred as Jesse in All My Children. He won two Emmy Awards for his work on the show for Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role in a Daytime Drama Series (1983) and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1985).

With that, Williams also became the first Black actor to win two Emmys.

Darnell Williams and his co-star Debbi Morgan become Daytime’s first African American super couple in Jesse and Angie Hubbard. They paved the way for many other actors as well as directors going forward

After a little more than 50 episodes, Williams run on the show came to an end. His character “died” in 1988.

Return to ‘All My Children’

Even though Williams left All My Children. He would soon reunite with his fellow co-star Debbi Morgan. In fact, the two have worked together on many series, and in the mid-1980s, they hosted a dance show together called New York Hot Tracks.

In 1995, he starred in the spinoff series The City as the Jesse-look-alike Jacob Foster. And of course, he once again worked alongside Debbi Morgan, starring as “Angie.”

“Debbi and I clicked from day one. We love what we do and it just comes naturally,” Williams said.

“I’ve been married to Darnell/Jesse longer than any of my husbands,” Morgan added.

The character of Jesse Hubbard changed Williams’ life. And even though fans thought Jesse had passed away, it turned out that wasn’t the case at all.

In 2008, Williams returned to All My Children as he returned to Pine Valley and reunited with Debbi Morgan’s character “Angie” to the delight of all hardcore fans.

“When I made the decision to leave All My Children, I just thought it was time. I thought it was time 3-4 years before but I allowed myself to be talked into staying for a couple more years,” Darnell Williams explained.

Darnell Williams

“Actually, I was working on All My Children as a segment director when I got the call asking if I would be interested in returning as Jesse. I’m telling you directing daytime television is not an easy job. I can’t even imagine what it’s like today with the COVID protocols.”

“I was grateful to have been given the opportunity to direct but I remember directing the actors and thinking, ‘You all don’t know how good you have it.'”

Music career

He added, “I was sort of in that frame of mind when they called to tell me they were thinking of bringing Jesse back. My response was, ‘Yes, I’ll do it.'”

In 2011, All My Children was canceled for good after airing for more than 40 years. Two years later, the show had a short reboot for one season, but it didn’t last long.

So what has Darnell Williams done since then? Well, as mentioned earlier, he did some directing as well as some smaller acting gigs.

Not only can he dance and act, but he can also sing. In fact, Williams had a small hit back in 1983. He released the R&B song Pure Satisfaction, which peaked at No. 67 on the Billboard chart.

Recently, he has focused on his passion for music.

“I used to hear my dad singing around the house all the time. He would sing songs from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. He had a great voice,” Darnell Williams recalled. “And for the last couple of years, I’ve been honing this craft and working on some standards myself.”

“Lately, I haven’t been able to rehearse as much as I would have liked. It’s challenging in so many ways for everyone right now. But I’m hopeful that we will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometime this year. I’m optimistic things will get better because we could all use some healing.”

There are many actors and actresses that forever will be connected to one specific role. For Darnell Williams, Jesse Hubbard has pretty much been with him his entire career, and we absolutely love how passionate he is about his work.

Darnell Williams really did an amazing job on All My Children, and we are so happy to see that he’s still doing great.

Please, share this article with friends and family on Facebook to honor him and his work!