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Former OLTL and Dark Shadows Writer Sam Hall Has Died: Co-Wrote Karen's Courtroom Confession Classic On One Life!

Courtesy/YouTube

Courtesy/YouTube

Over the weekend, news that legendary soap scribe Sam Hall had passed away at the age of 93 on Friday September 26th, began to circulate in a very quiet way via his son Matthew’s personal blog! 

Hall was responsible at coming in to ABC’s Dark Shadows at a critical juncture in 1967 and giving the Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) storyline a much needed lift where many say he saved the show at that point from cancellation!

Hall was married to actress Grayson Hall, who eventually would find her way to Dark Shadows as s Dr. Julia Hoffman, an eccentric blood specialist who would discover that Barnabas was a vampire!  Grayson died in 1985 at the age of 62.  Sam was with Dark Shadows until 1971.  “I’ll never escape Dark Shadows,” he said in a June 2005 interview. “Never, never!”

Later, Hall joined former Dark Shadows scribe Gordon Russell over at One Life to Live in 1978 and remained a head writer there until 1984.  Gordon and Sam wrote one of One Life to Live’s most memorable story; Viki Lord’s  (Erika Slezak) 1979 trial for the murder of Marco Dane (Gerald Anthony).  During the trial, housewife Karen Wolek (played by Judith Light) revealed, in a heartbreaking emotional meltdown, that she was working for Marco as a prostitute.  The episode earned Sam and Gordon a Daytime Emmy nomination, and Judith Light won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress.  The duo also created the Buchanan family which remained prominent for decades after Hall left One Life to Live

Courtesy/ABC

In January 2014, Sam Hall filed a lawsuit against ABC in New York state court  claiming he had not been paid the weekly royalties he was owed for the showing of  Prospect Park’s online reboot of One Life to Live via iTunes, Hulu and other services.  According to the complaint, ABC made a deal in 1984 with Wildercliff, Ltd. for Hall’s writing services. The agreement was said to have entitled Hall to a weekly royalty “as long as the One Life to Live series is broadcast.”

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Hall went on to also write for General Hospital, Santa Barbara and even started his career in the soaps with The Brighter Day!

So share your thoughts on the passing of Sam Hall below  …. and on his contributions to One Life to Live and Dark Shadows!

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ChristyMBmomof3mgb357dmrA Baptiste Recent comment authors
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jimh(leave it beaver)
jimh(leave it beaver)

Dark Shadows had many flaws in its storylines and unexplained character departures(later explained in tv guide by Sam Hall after shows cancelation) but DS which remains my favorite soap ever was still fun, very entertaining, escapism five days a week!!!

vinman
vinman

Still watching “Karen’s” Judith Light confession, brings me back to that courtroom in Llanview, Pa……..GREAT WRITING AND GREAT ACTRESS!!! “RIP” SAM HALL!!

Mark
Mark

Dark Shadows was so good and I had no idea he wrote that scene for Judith light who rocks!! She is the only reason to watch the Dallas reboot!

KK Davis
KK Davis

RIP Mr. Hall

Henrietta Boyd
Henrietta Boyd

R.I.P. ANOTHER REAL WRITER LOST THANKS FOR THE GREAT STORIES !!

su0000
su0000

Dark shadows was before my time..
but!
I broke my leg and a friend gave me the link to Dark Shadows, full series, I was bored from being down..So, I watched and I could not stop watching!!
I had to watch 6 episodes or more a day..!!
Sam Hall thanks for the best entertainment I could have ever hoped for while housebound, Dark Shadows is truly unforgettable..
You were a phenomenal writer!! Dark shadows will never fade away..

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

That was good stuff on OLTL! Well done, Mr. Hall.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Thank you Mr. Hall for your contributions to our beloved OLTL. Watching Karen’s courtroom confession gives me chills even today. RIP.

JLH
JLH

Thanks for some great stories and memories, Mr. Hall! Rest in peace.

davlestev1
davlestev1

R.I.P Mr.Hall …Legendary!!

Laurie
Laurie

Dark Shadows was before my mind, but I remember my mom raving about that courtroom scene and Judith Light for years after it aired. I was a kid when I first saw it and pulled it up not long ago to re-watch it on youtube. It was every bit as great as I remember it. Really, that kind of drama and the build-up to it is really defines what a soap should be. Seems that scene really propelled Judith Light’s career & changed her life. Wouldn’t you love to have THAT on your resume? I wish there were still writers like Sam Hall.

Alicia Douffet
Alicia Douffet

My condolences to the family of Sam Hall. OLTL was my favorite soap opera. He was a great writer and did it with perfection. RIP Mr. Hall.

A Baptiste
A Baptiste

How lovely to recognize the man who wrote Karen Wolek’s/Ms. Light’s quintessential scene. It may have revealed a sensational topic, but stood for the lack of self-esteem and even self-loathing that so many of us may have had at the time, as did Karen. That’s why our hearts were broken, and we rooted for her, as we secretly rooted for ourselves. We were a nation of evolvement when it came to self-love and Mr. Hall’s writing may have tapped into our collective pain and hopeful evolution. God bless.

dmr
dmr

The OLTL courtroom scene with Judith Light (as Karen Wolek) is daytime television at its best! I’ve watched the scenes on YouTube (as they were before my time) and they are riveting!

mgb357
mgb357

Wow – two great pieces of television art. Thanks for the opportunity to remember.

RIP.

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

My condolences to the Hall family & friends. Mr. Hall provided the very best in daytime drama entertainment. Dark Shadows and One Life to Live are my all time favorites soaps. I have many fond memories of watching these shows with my mom & sisters. I started watching when I was pre-K and still remember my sister peeling my fingers away from covering my eyes as Barnabas Collins creeped from the shadows. Ah, sisters. Gotta lov’em.

R.I.P. Sam Hall & thanks for the memories!

Christy
Christy

How great is it that he was such a big part of two wonderful projects! No matter how old I get, those are two of my favorite shows and those courtroom scenes with Karen are permanently etched in my memories. I always think of that storyline whenever I see Judith Light!

News

Felicity Huffman Reports To Prison To Serve Sentence For College Admissions Scandal

Former Desperate Housewives star, Felicity Huffman, reported to a federal prison to start to serve her 14-day sentence for her participation in the college admissions scandal that saw affluent parents use illegal means including bribery to get their children into elite educational institutions.

On Tuesday, Huffman surrendered herself to authorities at the low-security Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California which is said to be 35 miles east of San Francisco.  Felicity actually entered the prison facility earlier than her court-ordered date of October 25th.

Coincidentally, the prison that Huffman is serving her sentence also housed very well-known inmates including: Patty Hearst, Heidi Fleiss, and Sara Jane Moore, who attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975.  Forbes Magazine named the facility one of America’s top 10 “cushiest” prisons back in 2009.

Unlike former Edge of Night actress, Lori Loughlin, who was also caught up in the scandal and has plead not-guilty to charges levied against her and her husband, Huffman did pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to arrange for her daughter’s SAT score to be falsified.  In addition, Huffman was fined $30,000, and must perform 250 hours of community service and spend a year on probation.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling of the District of Massachusetts, who is the the supervising prosecutor, said Loughlin should expect a tougher sentence than Huffman if she is convicted during an interview on a Boston TV station expressing: “I don’t think I’d be giving away any state secrets by saying we would probably ask for a higher sentence for her than we did for Felicity Huffman.”

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Felicity actually was the first parent sentenced in the entire admissions scandal that broke several months ago.

Huffman told the judge during her sentencing, “I was frightened. I was stupid, and I was so wrong.”

So, what do you think of the 14-day sentence and that Felicity is already beginning her jail time? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Camila Banus Talks Stabi’s Heartbreaking Love Story; Matthew Ashford Melissa Reeves Chat On JnJ Reunion On ‘Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast’

In the latest can’t miss ‘Inside Salem: Days of our Lives‘ podcast, two major interviews are the focus of the episode.  First, Camila Banus who had been turning in bravura performances as Gabi, discusses with host. Michael Fairman, her reaction to finding out that Brandon Barash (Stefan) was being killed-off the NBC soap opera, now that Gabi’s love, Stefan is brain-dead.

The duo who became so popular as “Stabi” reveals why Gabi and Stefan’s love/hate relationship worked so well, and those sexed up love scenes.  Later in the interview Camila discusses her recent scenes with Sal Stowers (Lani) where Gabi wants Lani to get down on her knees and beg for forgiveness for Lani shooting Stefan, even though he got in the line of fire to save his mother, Vivian (Robin Strasser).  In addition, Camila talks about working with Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie) and how Julie hurled some minority slurs at Gabi shortly before her heart-attack.

Then in a very special roundtable chat, Matthew Ashford (Jack) and Melissa Reeves (Jennifer) chat with Fairman about playing those key scenes where Jack rescues Jennifer from Dr. Shah, hits his head, and then finally his memories come flooding back.   The duo known as ‘JnJ” talk about their storied on-screen history, and tease what may happen in the next leg in their storylines.

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To listen to the latest episode of ‘Inside Salem’ download it now on iTunes here, or head on over to NBC.com/Inside Salem.

So, what did you think of the conversations with Camila and Matt and Melissa? What do you hope happens next for Gabi  … for Jack and Jennifer? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Launches ‘State of Mind’ Website

Over the weekend, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny Coinrthos) had been teasing on social media that he was about to debut on Sunday.  Well, it’s here! Benard has launched his brand new website, MB’s State of Mind (www.mbstateofmind.com).

On the site homepage is Benard’s mission statement.  The two-time Daytime Emmy-winner expressed: “State of Mind to me means being 100% present, feeling completely at peace inside of you, not letting your thoughts control your life and always looking for ways to be the best that you can be.”

The new site features merchandise including:’State of Mind” t-shirts in various colors, as well as way to pre-order Maurice’s upcoming memoir, Nothing General About it.   In addition, Benard shares his “Sunday Sessions” in a special section, as well as his upcoming tour dates, with more content to come.

Maurice released a video talking about how ‘State of Mind’ came to him one night following an anxiety attack.

As many know, Benard is a mental health advocate having been very open about his own struggles with mental illness over the years, and how he wants to continue to dispel the stigma of those who battle with it.

The new site offers links to three organizations close to Maurice: Nami (National Alliance of Mental Health), Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, and the International Bipolar Foundation.

Maurice released a video talking about how ‘State of Mind’ came to him one night following an anxiety attack.  Watch it below.

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Make sure to check out Benard’s new site, and let us know if you might be picking up one of the “State of Mind” shirts for yourself via the comment section below.

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