Walt Willey attended Southern Illinois University, where he earned a degreee in Fine Arts.
In 1981, Willey left Illinois for New York to break into acting professionally. There, he was involved in numerous Off-Broadway productions, including Dust Off with Dan Lauria, and stints on Another World as James LaRusso and as Joe Novack on Ryan Hope. He joined the cast of ABC's All My Children in 1987, originating the role of lawyer Jackson Montgomery, whose devotion to his wife Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) and their extended family has proven to be a source of strength and unconditional support time and again.
Willey was a People's Choice nominee in 1992 and was named All My Children's Most Valuable Player by Soap Opera Update's Readers' Poll. He was again awarded this honor in 1993.