|Jenny Gardner Nelson|
|Kim Delaney as Jenny Gardner Nelson|
|All My Children|
|Portrayed by||Kim Delaney|
|Current status||Former; Guest|
|Cause/reason||Appeared to Tad in spirit when he was in a coma|
|Cause of death||Died after her jet ski exploded|
|Residence||Pine Valley, Pennsylvania (at time of death)|
Jenny Gardner Nelson is a fictional character from the ABC soap opera, All My Children, portrayed by Kim Delaney from 1981-84, and again in 1994.
Jenny Gardner’s traumatic childhood came about from an abusive father and a detached mother who never knew how to say she loved her. Her mother, Opal, uprooted her to Pine Valley to reunite with her brother, Tad Martin, who had been adopted there. When they arrived, Tad was nowhere to be found. But, his adopted family, the Martins, opened the home to the Gardners. Jenny believed her mother to be suffering from a heart condition, and agreed to take on a job at a sleazy bar, Foxy’s. There she met Jesse Hubbard, a high school drop out who was down on his luck. Jenny recognized the potential in the street-wise teen. She was able to persuade him to re-enroll at Pine Valley High School on the contingency that she help him catch up on his studies. At PVHS, Jenny met Greg Nelson, a son of one of Pine Valley’s richest families. Jenny knew that they could never be together. This fact was made abundantly clear by Liza Colby, who believed that she deserved Greg.
Jenny’s life turned around with Greg in her life. She was in love. He pushed her to her potential, putting more faith in her than anyone in her life ever had. She entered the Miss Teen Pine Valley contest and was the immediate favorite to win. When the results were called out, Liza was declared the winner. But, Opal polled each judge individually and discovered something was amiss. Liza and Amanda Cousins had rigged the contest, and Jenny was the real winner. Liza pledged revenge. She confronted Jenny with articles that chronicled her father’s arrest. Jenny was filled with shame over her father’s deeds. His greatest crime was the rape of Ruth Martin. Jenny begged Liza to let the matter die, but she threatened to tell Greg if Jenny did not leave town. Jenny paid a visit to Ray in prison. The fear she felt in her father’s presence was still there. She immediately packed her bags and left for New York to pursue a modeling career. But life in New York was not as glamorous as it appeared. Jenny arrived at an audition, only to find it was for an adult video. When the producer tried to rape Jenny, Jesse broke in and saved her. Liza had accused him of rape forcing him to go on the run too. That summer, Jenny and Jesse found a new home way from the dramas of Pine Valley; though their hearts ached for the ones they loved to be with them. Erica Kane arranged for Jenny to work at a fashion house and introduced her to her modeling agent, Olga Swenson. Things were going well for Jenny when Jesse returned to Pine Valley to tell Greg why Jenny really left town. He was arrested for Liza’s rape. Jenny finally summed up enough courage to confront Liza. She was forced to admit to her lies again. Greg and Jenny reunited. By Christmas, they were engaged to wed. That New Year’s Eve, Greg rushed into the Martin home and warned everyone Ray had planted a bomb in the cellar. They heard a loud explosion outside. Ray died trying to disarm the bomb after learning Jenny was inside the house.
Though Jenny mourned her father’s death, she was excited to have Tad back in her life. They began to model together as a brother and sister team. But, Tad’s wayward ways threatened to ruin her good reputation in Pine Valley and New York. He played a pornographic film at the University Film Club, not knowing someone had placed Jenny’s face over the film. Jenny ran to the rooftop, as Greg chased her. Greg tried to reach for her, but missed and fell to the ground below. When Greg woke up, he was paralyzed. Jenny blamed herself for Greg’s current state. Greg’s depression strained their relationship. After graduation, she left once again for New York. In New York, Olga planned a new campaign for Jenny with a young model named Tony Barclay. They had instant chemistry, and began to go on couple shoots. Olga proposed a public engagement to boost their exposure. Before she agreed to go through with the plan, she needed to resolve issues with Greg. Greg admitted that he never blamed Jenny for his paralysis. He pushed Jenny away so that she would not be burdened with a cripple. Jenny returned to New York, unsure about her future. She realized she still loved Greg and wanted to marry him again. She sent him a letter, and anxiously awaited his response.
Jenny stood by the altar on her wedding day to Tony, ready to take the plunge. She had given up on Greg after he did not respond to his letter. When the priest asked if anyone objected to the union, Greg burst into the chapel. He ran to the altar, knocked out Tony, and begged to speak to Jenny. Enid and Amanda had kept the letter away from him. He still loved Jenny wanted to make her his wife for once and for all. Back in Pine Valley, Jenny and Greg finally married on Valentine’s Day. The couple and the Hubbards later invested in a joint venture, The Steampit Nightclub. Unbeknownst to Jenny, Tony had become obsessed with her. Jenny, Tad and Greg decided to take a vacation by the lake. Jenny insisted on using Greg’s new jet ski the next morning. While taking the first ride, the engine of the jet ski suddenly exploded. Tony had set it to combust so as to hurt Greg, but instead Jenny was its victim. Jenny was rushed to the hospital. Greg pleaded with Jenny to hold on, but her injuries were too severe. Before she died, she made Greg promise to move on with his life.
Jenny’s spirit visited Tad as he lay in a coma. Tad wanted to stay with her heaven. Jenny made Tad see all that he would be leaving behind, including his wife and kids.