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Emmy Winner and Noted Soap Opera Head Writer; Hogan Sheffer Passes Away At 61

Photo: NATAS

Over the last several hours, reports have broke that one of daytime’s most notable scribes has died.  Hogan Sheffer, who was head writer at As the World Turns, Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless has passed away at the age of 61.

Soap Hub, first reported the news via multiple sources, however, many writers who worked with Hogan during his tenure on the soaps have taken to social media to share their condolences and their grief and remembrances.

Sheffer’s appearance on the soap scene was unexpected, especially in a genre where it is often rare for new blood to take the reins at the head writer position.  Proctor & Gamble had decided to bring in Hogan after his work as the Director of Screenplay Development for DreamWorks, not because of his writing credits for a previous network soap.  He was given trial deal as a breakdown writer for the CBS soap and 10-weeks in became the beloved town of Oakdale’s new head writer.

Hogan and his then writing team were able to turn the classic, As the World Turns around.  The show went up in the ratings and during his time with the series ‘World Turn’s’ won two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, and he and the writing team picked up four Emmy victories all through 2000-2004.

Photo: JPI

Next, Sheffer landed in Salem as head writer of Days of our Lives along with Meg Kelly from 2006 through to the beginning of 2008.   He would later join The Young and the Restless and team up with then head writers: Maria Arena Bell and Scott Hamner, and eventually stay with the show till 2012.  During Sheffer’s time in Genoa City, Y&R also won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in 2011.

On Sunday, former WWE and daytime writer Tom Casiello, who was extremely close with Sheffer…  and who shared how Hogan gave him his start at writing in daytime, took to his Facebook page to pay tribute to a man who had such an impact on his life and many others.  It is worth the read here. 

Y&R writer, Sara Bibel tweeted: “Hogan Sheffer was a gamechanger for ATWT and daytime. Everyone I know who worked with him adored him. RIP”

And, iconic ATWT star, Martha Byrne (Ex-Lily) tweeted on Sheffer’s passing: “To say he was one of a kind would be a tremendous understatement. Our years at ATWT with Hogan at the helm were a rebirth for our beautiful show. Loved his writers, actors,crew. Blessed to have him on the first floor in Brooklyn ready to listen. Talented. Funny. Generous. RIP”

Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) also took to Twitter upon learning of the passing of Sheffer sharing: “I loved him, loved him, loved him… he was so good to me. Thank you for everything, Hogan. You were so loved. Especially, by me… Rest in peace…”

Michael Fairman TV will continue to bring you updates as the soap world mourns the loss of a creative force in our genre.  Share your condolences and thoughts on the death of Hogan Sheffer via the comment section below.

 

 

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Barbara from AtlantaclbMichael Tealedavlestev1LIS Recent comment authors
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LIS
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LIS

He was only 61. I think I watched all of the soaps he wrote for and saw most of his material. With so many changes in the industry, he seems like a throw back to another era. A different time, and to these aging eyes a better one. Rest in peace and godspeed.

davlestev1
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davlestev1

He was a good writer. I remember him from all his Head Writing stints. E especially Days because it was heralded as another of their umpteenth reboots. Stephanie came back as a race car driver. Billie cane back and was at odds with Hope. John was hit by a car in a rare outdoor shoot. That fly the skies story. And so on. Isn’t that also when Belle and Sean jumped off a ship holding Claire. That was hilarious even if it wasn’t him. And when he judged that next soap star competition. Sadly that was a car crash LOL.… Read more »

davlestev1
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davlestev1

Typos. You can’t comment with them. You can’t comment without them LOL.

Michael Teale
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Michael Teale

Like Michael and so many in the daytime drama industry, Hogan was indeed a breath of fresh air. He did so much for the industry and revitalized several shows that were floundering storyline wise.

May he RIP.

clb
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clb

Sad news. Hogan certainly resurrected As The World Turns. I remember when he accepted the Emmy for ATWT. Daytime needs to take a chance with new writers to come in and help the remaining four daytime soaps. Quit recycling the same old writers.

Barbara from Atlanta
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Barbara from Atlanta

You said a lot with that statement. I wholly agree with all of it.

As The World Turns

Kathryn Hays, John Aniston, Anne Heche & More Soap Alums Remembered During In Memoriam Tribute at 2023 SAG Awards

At Sunday night’s 29th Annual SAG Awards, the In Memoriam segment featured many a beloved soap star as well as so many familiar faces from film and television, who passed away in the past year.

Daytime dramas were well represented by remembering As the World Turns Kathryn Hays (ex-Kim), Days of our Lives’ John Aniston (ex-Victor) and Another World‘s Anne Heche (ex-Vicky/Marley).

Additionally, the SAG Awards package included: Ray Liotta (ex-Another World), Annie Wersching (ex-General Hospital), Stella Stevens (ex-General Hospital and Santa Barbara), Lisa Loring (ex-General Hospital and The Addams Family), Cody Longo (ex-Days of our Lives), Nichelle Nichols (ex-Y&R and Star Trek) and Bo Hopkins (ex-Dynasty).

Other notables included the late Olivia Newton John, Kirstie Alley, Raquel Welch, Barbara Walters, Richard Belzer, Leslie Jordan, Cindy Williams and more.

Irene Cara, who also passed away, not only was included in the montage, but her emotional song, “Out Here On My Own” from Fame was used as the backdrop for the In Memoriam tribute.

The 2023 SAG Awards ceremony aired live from the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles on Netflix’s YouTube channel.

The In Memoriam Tribute package was produced by Patrick J. Doody, as well as the Sally Field tribute and nominee highlights.

So, were you glad to see many soap stars included in the 29th Annual SAG Awards In Memoriam Tribute? Comment below.

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As The World Turns

ATWT Alum and ‘The Addams Family’ Favorite, Lisa Loring Dead at 64

Lisa Loring, who portrayed the recurring role of Cricket Montgomery Ross on As the World Turns from 1980-1983, and was best-known for her childhood acting role as Wednesday in the classic comedy The Addams Family from 1964-1966, has died at the age of 64.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the actress passed away January 28th from complications from a stroke, as result of high blood pressure.

Loring died aProvidence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California.  Lisa’s daughter, Vanessa Foumberg, shared in a statement: “She went peacefully with both her daughters (Vanessa and Marianne) holding her hand.”

In story on As the World Turns, Cricket had a sometimes competitive friendship with Betsy Stewart (then played by Meg Ryan) and had man troubles throughout her time in Oakdale. Cricket’s extended family consisted of Craig, Margo, and Katie, who all remained on the canvas after her exit.

Lisa also appeared throughout her career in series such as: Dr. Kildare, Barnaby Jones and Fantasy Island. 

She is survived by daughters Marianne and Vanessa, in addition to her grandchildren, Emiliana and Charles.

Share your remembrances and condolences for Lisa Loring in the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

As the World Turns Alum Rita Walter Dead at 71

We’re still losing so many beloved soap opera actors as 2022 comes to a close. Now comes word that former As the World Turns alum, Rita Walter (nee McLaughlin) passed away at the age of 71.  Walter had been diagnosed with Multifocal Glioblastoma, an extremely aggressive form of terminal brain cancer.

Rita had an 11-year-run as Oakdale’s Carol Deming Hughes Stallings Andropoulos Frazier.

The former actress-turned-optician, died on Christmas.  Rita’s brother, David McLaughlin revealed the news on the 26th which also happened to be the anniversary of Walter’s exit from the defunct CBS soap opera in 1981.

In his posting on Facebook, McLaughlin shared: “My sweet, loving sister Rita was called to Jesus today on Christmas day, his birthday. She was a well known actress as well as dedicated server of the Lord Jesus. May you rest in peace Sis, I love you forever. You’ve taken my heart with you.”

Photo: SOD

Before playing good girl, Carol Deming, who always found herself in distress as only a good heroine could do, Rita started her career as Patty Duke’s double on The Patty Duke Show, before getting her first foray into soaps with a role on The Secret Storm as Wendy Phillips.

We clearly remember when on ATWT, Carol was married to Jay Stallings, but Jay was having an affair behind her back. Carol also had failed relationships and marriages to Tom Hughes and Steve Andropolous.  Eventually, Carol left Oakdale after falling in love and marrying Reverend Norman Frazier.  In a case of life imitating art, Rita married Reverend Normal Walter in 1976.

Walter is survived by her three children, Brian, Jill, and Amy, and her husband, Reverend Norman.

Share your condolences and remembrances for ATWT’s Rita Walter in the comment section below.

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