‘Santa Barbara’ Star A Martinez Talks Cruz and Eden, Marcy Walker, Fans & More

SANTA BARBARA, (from left): Marcy Walker, A. Martinez, (1989), 1984-93.
© NBC/Everett Collection

They were one of the hottest couples in the soaps world in the 1980s — A Martinez and Marcy Walker — playing Santa Barbara’s beloved Cruz Castillo and Eden Capwell.

When Cruz first arrived in town in 1984 and helped the powerful and uber-rich Capwell family patriarch C.C. Capwell (played by Peter Mark Richman, Paul Burke, Charles Bateman and Jed Allan), fans immediately took to the handsome and charismatic character. Cruz would remain undeterred by the man’s overbearing ways when it came to his children, most particularly his vibrant daughter Eden (Marcy Walker), who Cruz was already familiar with, having had a secret affair with her in Europe.

Cruz and Eden’s love story was one of the hottest and heartbreaking (nothing is ever easy) in the soaps world. Their onscreen chemistry was undeniable, and fans loved every minute of it. Martinez credits much of his success in acting to his role on Santa Barbara and Marcy Walker.

“Not until Santa Barbara happened in 1984 that I started to really learn how to act. Ironically, I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t trust soap operas,” Martinez tells us. “I thought that was my agent giving up on me to tell me to go try out for the soap opera. But it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened in my work because the sheer volume of it forces you to sort yourself out. And on that show, I drew a great partner in this actress Marcy Walker.”

SANTA BARBARA, Marcy Walker, A Martinez, 1984-1993.

©New World Television/courtesy Everett Collection

Their characters’ tumultuous love affair decorated countless magazine covers over the years, and obsessed fans followed their storyline religiously.

While today the two have gone their separate ways, the overly humble and appreciative Martinez continues to light up the screen in new projects, including the April premiere of INSP’s Far Haven (debuting April 14 at 9pET), along with the still popular Longmire, where he played Jacob Nighthorse.

Walker, on the other hand, has pretty much retired from the spotlight and prefers a more private life. “It was so great to get to work with her. It was like one of the great strokes of good luck,” Martinez reflects caringly. “We don’t talk now, but I understand it. When I reach out to her, I don’t hear anything back. When I got into trouble in 2016 (I got into a trouble in the gym I was at when someone decided they wanted to get me kicked out of the gym) and I told the story, she came out of silence on Facebook. She had my back when I was in trouble. And other than that, we don’t talk too much. And I think that she is retired from the business. And my thought about it is that she’s entitled to her privacy. I think she understands that if I’m talking to her, I’m probably on some level going to try to get her to do something with me, to work with me, a reunion or something.”

We could only dream of a Cruz and Eden Santa Barbara reunion!

Santa Barbara, A Martinez, Marcy Walker

©New World Releasing/Courtesy Everett Collection

Martinez, who was nominated for a Daytime Emmy multiple times for his role and won in 1990 (his Emmy sits on his shelf in his living room), has connected with many fans of the soap. He was involved in a reunion cruise just prior to the pandemic in 2019, where people from all over the world gathered to travel together in the Caribbean.

“The whole point was to get together and just tell stories and hang out on this boat with people who had only one thing in common — they loved Santa Barbara. And it was just so wonderful to see,” Martinez shares. “For a long time, this woman named Candy in France was putting up videos of Cruz and Eden, and she was sort of on a mission to re-create their entire story on YouTube. … She has become a great friend of mine.”

Candy helped him find the original footage of one of his favorite episodes, where Cruz goes to a cave and uses a psychedelic his father had given him and embarks on an incredibly courageous and profoundly dramatic journey.

Candy’s collection is a loving tribute to two characters fans will forever cherish.

Best in Soaps
Want More?

Best in Soaps

June 2017

A sudsy issue that celebrates all your favorite soaps and stars that have kept us hooked for years!

Buy This Issue