How All My Children's Dixie Led To General Hospital's Marty Having A Mysterious Southern Accent

The choices that actors make in their roles to create a unique character can seem endless; one after another, they build a personality and backstory that seems so real to many viewers and fans. However, sometimes choices and options can seem random, or like they come out of the blue, like Martin Grey's mysterious southern accent on "General Hospital."

Played by Michael E. Knight, who debuted in the role in 2019, the character of Martin Grey quickly became a fan favorite in Port Charles. However, Knight is no stranger to soap operas, as he played the iconic role of Tad Martin on "All My Children" opposite Cady McClain as Dixie Cooney, and he also appeared on "The Young and the Restless" in the role of Simon Neville. His previous experience on "All My Children" served him well when crafting the character of Martin Grey, and Knight has McClain to thank for his inspiration.

Knight copied McClain's Virginian accent

When Dixie was on "All My Children," one of the most distinguishing characteristics that she had was a southern accent, because the character was from Pigeon Hollow, West Virginia. As he was playing her long-time love interest Tad, Michael E. Knight had a lot of time to study exactly how Cady McClain sounded when she spoke in the accent. When Knight was cast as Martin Grey on "General Hospital," he felt like the character could benefit from a little extra pizzazz.

During a Fantasy Events Live interview, Knight was asked about how he came up with the accent for Martin and where it came from. He responded, "As I was running the lines, I kept coming up with this Virginian accent. I said to the producers, can I give this a shot?"

The powers-that-be gave Knight permission to play around with the accent, and Knight gave praise to McClain for finding out exactly how it should sound. "I'd listen to her for so many years. I got to do my own and it stuck. The show did come back to me after a week of my doing it and asked if I could tone it down."

Martin Grey has another connection to Knight's soap past

Martin's southern accent isn't the only connection the character has to "All My Children" and Pine Valley. With Michael E. Knight's surge to fame from playing Tad Martin, a reference to him was bound to come up later in his career. In an interview with Soap Central, Knight joked about the possible connection that his new "General Hospital" character has to his past role in "All My Children."

"Something that I found to be really quite humorous at one point was initially, when Frank wrote me an email and said, 'Okay, get this, you've got a character whose name is Martin Grey,' I thought that's one of the nice things about having been around since Jesus had a learner's permit: you can do an inside joke with the audience ... So, Martin Grey is a nod to Tad Martin."

Knight also joked about the possibility that Martin Grey was Tad Martin in disguise, who had arrived in Port Charles to stir up trouble. Even though the powers-that-be didn't totally veto that idea, Knight didn't think that it was likely to happen. However, never say never in the world of soap operas.