Jay Hammer (born November 16, 1944 in San Francisco, CA) is a former American Actor and Writer. He is best known to soap opera audiences as freelance journalist Fletcher Reade on the now-defunct CBS soap opera The Guiding Light from 1984-1998. He perhaps is also best known for (briefly) playing the role of Allan Willis during the 1978-1979 season of The Jeffersons. He once appeared as celebrity guest on The (New) $25,000 Pyramid during a special week of shows titled "Battle of the CBS Soaps".
Hammer became the second and more well known actor to play the role of Allan Willis on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons. The character of Allan is the son of interracial couple Tom and Helen Willis (played by Franklin Cover and Roxie Roker). Jay made his debut on the series in the second episode of the fifth season (two-parted episode: "The Homecoming") but only appeared in eight of the season five episodes with the episode titled "Louise's Convention" marking his last appearance on the series. The show's writers felt the character of Allan Willis wasn't going anywhere and that being the reason Hammer was written out of the show.
He then made the move to daytime television, first playing the role of ranch forehand Max Dekker on the NBC soap opera Texas, first from February 19 to August 12, 1981 and again briefly on September 9 and October 9, 1981.
Hammer's other television appearances include guest-starring roles in The Blue Knight, Kojak, Sons and Daughters, Emergency!, and Adam-12. He also has a background in theater and his theater credits include off-Broadway productions of Passing Through From Exotic Places and Serenading Louie.
In March 1984, Jay landed the role of freelance journalist Fletcher Reade on the CBS soap The Guiding Light, he played this role for nearly 14 years as he left the series in March 1998. He returned briefly in the spring of 1999 and again during one of the show's last episodes before it's end in 2009.
Hammer has made two appearances on the Game Show circuit. In 1987, he appeared on a special week-long "Battle of the CBS Soaps" on the classic game show The (New) $25,000 Pyramid, his teammate was his Guiding Light co-star Leslie Denniston as they competed against As The World Turns stars Margaret Reed & Michael Swan, The Bold and The Beautiful stars Ethan Wayne & Bryan Genesse, and The Young and The Restless stars Melody Thomas Scott and Jess Walton.
In March of 1990, Jay appeared on a special "Soap Stars Week" on the daytime version of Wheel of Fortune (hosted by future Entertainment Tonight anchor Bob Goen). He played alongside his Guiding Light co-stars Kimberley Simms and James Goodwin. An article published on March 7, notes that Hammer donated his winnings to his alma mater: The University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.
He was married twice, first to Guiding Light head writer Pam Long, whom he first for five years before marriage. Since 1990, he has been married to Dene Nardi. He has four children (two with Long and two with Nardi), three sons and a daughter.
He resides in New York City where he runs and owns the Spring Lounge Bar in Soho.