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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.”

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)
Guest
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
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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
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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
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KK Davis

RIP Mr. Hall

Henrietta Boyd
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Henrietta Boyd

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

su0000
Guest
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
Guest
KansasGuest

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

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

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

JLH
Guest
JLH

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

davlestev1
Guest
davlestev1

R.I.P Mr.Hall …Legendary!!

Laurie
Guest
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… Read more »

Alicia Douffet
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
mgb357

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

RIP.

MBmomof3
Guest
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
Guest
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!

General Hospital

OLTL Favorite Susan Batten to Guest-Star on General Hospital

A very familiar face to the town of Llanview and the beloved One Life to Live, will be appearing on your screens this week on General Hospital.

Susan Batten (Ex-Luna Moody, OLTL) will make a few guest appearances in scenes with Sasha played by Sofia Mattsson.

According to the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstand now, Batten will play the role of home shopping-star Flora Gardens!

Batten former boss, Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) called Susan and said about the role: , “Okay, there’s this character named Flora Gardens.”  To which Susan responded, “Does she have teeth?”   After the two shared a laugh, Susan said “yes’ to the role.

OLTL fans will remember Luna’s torrid relationship with Max Holden (James DePaiva).

The actress/writer/producer reported that she was a ‘still very nervous’ acting on soap again (she last appeared on One Life in 2012), but said once she got into the rhythm of the shooting and delivering the lines it was all good.

So, looking forward to seeing Susan on GH? Comment below. But first, take a moment to stroll down memory lane in this clip from OLTL, when Max proposes to Luna.

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Breaking News

49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Winners Circle (Photos)

Friday night at the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, the night’s big winners in daytime drama, talk shows and more, shared their first moments of their victories in the press room where they were greeted by the paparazzi, journalists and electronic media outlets from around the country.

Getting their first snaps with Emmy gold were General Hospital winners: Frank Valentini (Drama Series), Nicholas Alexander Chavez (Younger Performer), Jeff Kober (Supporting Actor), Kelly Thiebaud (Supporting Actress) along with Allison Reames Smith and Phideaux Xavier (Directing Drama Series).

Days of our Lives was represented with a win for Ron Carlivati and his writing team, while The Bold and the Beautiful long-running cast member, John McCook finally received the Lead Actor top prize, while The Young and the Restless’ Mishael Morgan made Daytime Emmy-history taking home the gold in the Lead Actress category.  Talk show host, Tamron Hall celebrated her win as well.

Take a look at some of those moments in our ‘Winners Circle’ Photo gallery below.

Now, let us know, which of these winners were you most happy to see receive a gold statuette? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Photos: JPI

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News

Peter Bergman Signs 5-Year Deal with The Young and the Restless

Some of the hottest news on Daytime Emmy night was the reveal that 23-time Daytime Emmy nominee, and 3-time Emmy-winner, Peter Bergman is staying put at The Young and the Restless for quite some time to come, in fact, at least five more years.

Bergman, who plays Genoa City staple, Jack Abbott, has inked a new five-year deal to stay with the CBS daytime drama series, which is a significant contract in the world of soaps.  The usual contact for actors is somewhere between one and four years, with thirteen-week or twenty-six-week cycle, if the show were to not pick up an actors option.

While Y&R has been renewed thus far through the 2024 TV season, it would seem this move to ensure Bergman is sticking around as the show moves past its 50th year on the air, is a vote of confidence by Sony Pictures Television and CBS that the top-rated daytime drama will live on.

Deadline first reported the contract news.  Peter joined Y&R back in 1989, after first successful soap foray on All My Children as Dr, Cliff Warner.

So, what do you think about Peter signing on for five more years at Y&R? Comment below.

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