Barnstable High graduate Marnie Schulenburg, star of 'As the World Turns' dies from cancer

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EDITOR NOTE: The date of death was updated to be May 17, 2022. 

Marnie Schulenburg, who starred on the soap operas "As the World Turns" and "One Life to Live," died, her representative confirmed. She was 37.

Schulenburg's manager Kyle Luker confirmed to USA TODAY that she died on Tuesday, May 17. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and Variety, Schulenburg died due to a complication from breast cancer.

"She was a light to everyone who knew her," Luker said.

Schulenberg graduated from Barnstable High School in 2002.

Barnstable High School Theatre Arts and Drama teacher Keith Caldwell remembers her exactly that way. He was also Schulenburg's cross country coach.

"She was one of the greatest big meet runners in the history of Barnstable girls cross country," Caldwell wrote in an email. "The bigger the meet — the more important the race — the better she would perform."

Barnstable High School senior Marnie Schulenburg models a Jovani-designed sequined dress with matching scarf from the Carriage Trade dress shop in Hyannis, in 2002.
Barnstable High School senior Marnie Schulenburg models a Jovani-designed sequined dress with matching scarf from the Carriage Trade dress shop in Hyannis, in 2002.

She was a member of the varsity team that won the All State championship in 1999. She was third for the team at the 2000 All State championship meet, finishing 25th overall in a field of 133 of the state's best runners, according to Caldwell. Schulenburg was named an Old Colony League All Star and was selected as a Cape Cod Times All-Cape Cod Cross Country All Star.

"Marnie was one of the brightest, most talented, and absolutely delightful student-athletes I have had the privilege of knowing," Caldwell wrote.

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She was a member of the 2001 Barnstable High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble when it won first place awards at the Roxbury Invitational Choral Festival in New Jersey, and first place in the Berklee Jazz Festival in Boston.

Retired English teacher Michael 'Mick' Carlon remembered Schulenburg as a classy, kind and empathic young woman.

"I remember a special needs student in class that the other students were shy to befriend," Carlon said. "Marnie wasn't. She had way of calming this student down and letting him know he had a friend. You don’t always see that empathy in teenagers."

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Years after Schulenberg became famous, Carlon ran into her on Main Street in Hyannis. She was the same humble, kind, wonderful Marnie, he said.

"Fame and success didn't change her," Carlon said.

Marnie Schulenburg arrives at the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Las Vegas Hilton on June 27, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Marnie Schulenburg arrives at the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Las Vegas Hilton on June 27, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Schulenburg married fellow actor Zack Robidas — who has appeared in the shows "Succession," "New Amsterdam" and "Sorry for Your Loss" — in 2013. They share a 2-year-old daughter, Coda.

In her last Instagram post on May 8, Schulenburg reflected on celebrating Mother's Day with breast cancer. One of the photos shows her wearing an oxygen mask while reading a book with her daughter.

"Here’s to remembering that nothing is permanent," Schulenburg wrote in the caption. "To soaking up the imperfections and that the best thing you can do for your child is make them feel loved, safe and supported just like my mother did for me. Screw the oxygen mask, just remember how to breathe."

Marnie Schulenberg was an all-star athlete at Barnstable High School, in 2000.
Marnie Schulenberg was an all-star athlete at Barnstable High School, in 2000.

Schulenburg opened up about her cancer diagnosis in 2020.

In a May post, before her 36th birthday, Schulenburg wrote: "I contemplate, 'How does one celebrate a birthday after a Stage Four Breast Cancer Diagnosis in the middle of a global pandemic while raising a 5-month-old?' "

"What kind of sick purveyor of my fate gave me the gift to bring life into this world only to try and take mine in its place?" she continued. "Zack and I vacillate between utter devastation and fierce determination. The narrative of the life we signed on for the day we married will never be the same. Now we must adjust, stay present and (expletive) fight. #cancersucks."

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According to IMDb, Schulenburg's first screen credit came from the soap opera "As the World Turns," where she played Alison Stewart from 2006 to 2010 following actress Jessica Dunphy, who performed the role from 2002 to 2005. In 2010, Schulenburg won a Daytime Emmy Award for her work as Stewart.

Schulenburg also played Jo Sullivan in several episodes of "One Life to Live" in 2009 and had appearances in the shows "The Good Fight," "Elementary," "Blue Bloods," "Army Wives," "Fringe" and more.

Cape Cod Times staff writer Denise Coffey contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Marnie Schulenburg, Barnstable High graduate, dies