With a career that spanned over five decades, Matthew Cowles was an American actor and playwright whose most notable role was Billy Clyde Tuggle on "All My Children" (ABC, 1970-2011). Cowles was born on September 28, 1944 in New York City. He was the son of actor and theater producer Chandler Cowles, who often worked with Italian-American composer and librettist Gian Carlo Menotti. At first, the son followed in the footsteps of his father as a theater actor. One of his first leading roles was the title character in the 1966 Broadway adaptation of James Purdy's comic novel, <i>Malcolm</i>. Three years later, Cowles made his television debut on the crime drama series, "N.Y.P.D." (ABC, 1967-69) and appeared in his first film, "Me, Natalie" (1969) alongside Patty Duke. Through the 1970s, Cowles had small character roles in films ranging from the New Hollywood classics "They Might Be Giants" (1971), "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" (1973) and "Slap Shot" (1977) to the exploitation favorite "The Happy Hooker" (1975). In 1978, he landed the role of the scheming Billy Clyde Tuggle in the hit soap opera "All My Children." Tuggle became a career-defining role for Cowles; he was nominated twice for a Daytime Emmy in 1978 and 1981; perhaps even more importantly, it was on set at "All My Children" that Cowles met his wife, future television star Christine Baranski. The couple married in 1983 and had two daughters. Over the next several decades, Cowles continued to act in both film and television and wrote several plays of his own. His last notable film role came in Martin Scorsese's psychological thriller "Shutter Island" (2010). When "All My Children" was revived in 2013 after ending its original run two years earlier, Cowles reprised his villainous role. It was perhaps fitting that his most notable role was also his last. Matthew Cowles died of congestive heart failure on May 22, 2014.