Kellie Martin, pop culture tree ring

Kellie-MartinImage Credit: Philippe Bosse/NBCWhat is Kellie Martin’s iconic role? The star of tonight’s The Jensen Project (tragically unrelated to EW’s own Doc Jensen) has had some distinctive characters, but depending on your age, odds are one has stuck with you a lot more. Generation X or older? You probably still see her in giganto glasses as Becca Thatcher on Life Goes On. Gen Y, or whatever less catchy term means “younger than Gen X”? You can’t see her without screaming “don’t get stabbed!” for in some sense, she will always be ER’s Lucy Knight. A little younger and a bit squarer, and perhaps she is Mystery Woman Samantha. I’m convinced of it! Age = association.

What other actors fit this kind of model? Jeff Goldblum? Martin Sheen? What say you, PopWatchers?

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  • lefty

    I think of 1) face on the milk carton obvi 2) that one where mary steenburgen is retarded. Something about sarah

    • Sarah

      I’m 22 and it’s definitely “Face on the Milk Carton” for me too! And then Lucy from E.R. comes in at a VERY close second.

  • annoyedjew

    Well, she just popped up on Drop Dead Diva in an awesome role!

  • Chloe

    Robin Williams.

  • Ceballos

    Yikes! I still can’t look at Kellie Martin without thinking of that chilling shot of John Carter lyign on the floor, looking over and seeing a terrified (and dying) Lucy Knight…15 years later, still gives me chills.

    Wouldn’t Dennis Hopper have qualified for this? Different age groups would know him from “Speed”, “Hoosiers”/”Blue Velvet”, “Easy Rider”, etc.

  • Lo

    I will always remember Kellie Martin for that Lifetime (of course) movie she did with Tory Spelling. She stabs her to death and takes over her life…
    Someone, what was the name of the movie!?

    • Schottzie

      Death of a Cheerleader

      • Lo

        THANK YOU. That movie was nuts and bananas (Mmmm now I want a frozen banana).

      • rose nylund

        favorite, i have it on tape.

  • Laura

    I remember her as Christy. Anyone else?

    • Jade

      Yep, me too!

    • Tarasa

      I loved Christy! Still sad that she & Tyne Daly didn’t coem back for the movies

    • Diana

      Me too! I was in what, middle school maybe and I thought that irish guy was ridiculously hot. But ofcourse Life Goes On…oh Sunday night tv.

    • disgruntled redhead

      I loved her as Christy.

    • Cynthia

      Oh yes, I really enjoyed Christy! I also associate her with her ER character, Lucy Knight.

    • Kim R

      Yes, Christie!! A great series not unlike Little House. Also ER and several movies.

    • Cat

      I totally watched “Christy” because I loved Kellie Martin from “Life Goes On”! Big fan.

  • LDN

    For whatever it’s worth: I’m 24 and I always think of her as the actress from the TV show “Christy.” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108725/plotsummary

  • Britt

    Joshua Jackson fits this model for me.
    my age (tail end of Gen X)= Charlie Conway.
    younger than Gen X by about 5 years*= Pacey
    Kids these days**= Peter Bishop

    * for this group he can also be known as “the gay guy in Cruel Intentions”, “That guy in The Skulls”, and “that guy from Urban Legend”
    ** According to men I know, he is also know in this generation and older as “that lucky bastard dating Diane Kruger”

    • Suri Jackson

      I love JJ, and am fortunate too have enjoyed in all roles. I probabaly fell in love with him as Pacey, and am still crazy about him. I too am jealous of Diane. I also happen to believe that he is Suri Cruise’s dad (Katie and Josh were together a couple of weeks before she met Cruise.)

      As for Kellie…She will always be Lucy from ER to me waaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!

    • Crystal

      Nice answer Britt!! Seconded!

    • Cynthia

      Ooh, that’s another good one. To me, he will forever be PACEY (aka the best thing about Dawson’s Creek).

  • Louise

    Kellie Martin as
    Christy with Stuart Finley MacLennan as the Doctor is my favorite TV series ever and not even mentioned! Not to mention all the other stars…Tyne Daly, Robert Foxworth, Judy Collins, Levar Burton, to name a few!

  • Lorie

    I’ve been a fan since Life Goes On. I wish she’d do more Mystery Woman TV movies. She & Clarence Williams III made a good team.

  • Duane

    I had a crush on her for years plus I am a dirty old man age 46 so I do not care and I hope it a series soon

  • orville

    Rob Lowe. To my generation he’ll always be a Brat Packer. Then there’s The West Wing. And then Brothers and Sisters.

    • amj

      I totally agree, for me I always think of St. Elmo’s Fire when I think of Rob Lowe.

      Another example is Michael J. Fox. I always think of Alex P. Keaton or Marty McFly but I am sure others don’t think of that if they are much younger.

      Then of course there is Christopher Lloyd…my parents think of Taxi and I think of Back to the Future.

      Then there is also John Cusack. I always think of Lloyd Dobler and newer kids might think of him as that guy in 2012.

      • MsSuniDaze

        Totally! Michael J. Fox will always be Marty McFly, and John Cusack will always be Lloyd Dobler. And Johnny Depp….fell in love with him on 21 Jump Street (and keep falling for him in every role since). :)

      • orville

        John Cusak will always be Lane from Better off Dead to me. I must have rented that from the local video store about 25 times back in the day. I’m waiting for the special edition DVD. I want my $2 worth.

    • Shannon

      Rob Lowe = Sodapop Curtis

      this will forever be how I remember Rob Lowe

  • dropper

    Becca Thatcher all the way. Becca and Jesse were one of televisions great tragic couples.

    • amj

      And, yes, I too think of Becca Thatcher.

  • Elizabeth W

    Face on the Milk Carton, for me.

  • Angelina

    Lucy Knight

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