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Veteran Soap Opera Director Larry Auerbach Dies: Won Daytime Emmy For OLTL, Steered Love Of Life for Nearly 30 Years

Courtesy/DGA

Courtesy/DGA

Iconic daytime drama director Larry Auerbach has died.

Auerbach, who is considered by many to be a pioneer in daytime television, passed away today in La Jolla, California at the age of 91 from complications of glioblastoma.  Auerbach helmed CBS’ Love of Life, from 1951 to 1980, which was its entire run. He directed the talents of Warren Beatty, Jon Voight, Jessica Walters,  Christopher Reeve, and Roy Scheider, who would all work on the series during the early parts of their careers.

Following Love of Life, Auerbach directed on a number of New York based soaps including: All My Children Another World , As the World Turns and One Life to Live.  It was at OLTL where he was very well known for his work, after his 29 years at Love of Life, so much so that he received a Daytime Emmy for directorial achievement in 1984.  It is estimated that Auerbach clocked over 3,000 hours as a daytime television director.   He was considered such a soap opera expert that Dustin Hoffman consulted with him on the film Tootsie, in which the actor played a soap opera star.

Larry was  also named a DGA Honorary Life Member in 2004, joining an elite group that includes Charles Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Warner, Lew Wasserman, and Jack Valenti and he received the union’s 1991 Robert B. Aldrich award.

DGA president Paris Barclay made the following statement today on the passing of Auerbach:  “Larry emerged as a vigorous presence right after the merger that created the modern DGA, diving headlong into a long career of service to the Guild and his fellow members.  Larry worked tirelessly, out of love for his Guild and his profession, to ensure better working conditions and stronger protection of creative rights for Guild members, and he was instrumental in raising the profile of daytime serial directors, the genre to which he dedicated his career.  Under his watch as National Vice President and a member of the Eastern Directors Council, Larry helped organize the renovation of the New York headquarters, and he played a major role in ensuring greater health and fiscal security for Guild members through the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plans.  He was a dynamo – a strong and powerful voice for our members for decades – and we will miss him greatly.”

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Share your thoughts on the passing of Larry Auerbach below: Did you watch Love of Life?  Do you remember his work from OLTL?

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Llanviewer717jimh(leave it to beaver)rocky83Mary SFvinman Recent comment authors
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Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I was a little kid and watched Love of Life with my mother. So, I’m sure I saw his work. If he was directing OLTL during the 1980s, I certainly saw and enjoyed his work. That was the era of Karen, the housewife hooker, and the fabulous Marco Dane. The Buchanan clan came to town. We got our first glimpse of the evil and hard to kill Mitch Laurence. Niki Smith returned. Dorian got a family in Herb and Cassie. A lot happened during that decade.

Thank you Mr. Auerbach for your wonderful work. RIP.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

My thoughts and prayers are with his family…if there is a daytime hall of fame he should be part of it…he was behind the scenes but he is a daytime legend!!! I loved Love Of Life!!!

vinman
vinman

Loved <3 Vanessa and residents of Rosehill, USA.

Lew S
Lew S

A true legend. Thanks for making soaps truly great, back in the day.

mike
mike

Soaps owe a great deal to him, his work on Love of Life helped steer the genre in new directions.

Iakovos
Iakovos

When such a revered leader in the industry passes, it makes me wish for “the good old days.” We are reminded just how great they were, even if we did not realize it then. Thank you, Larry Auerbach.

LLATWTFan
LLATWTFan

I watched Love of Life and I was very sad when it was cancelled. Larry Auerbach was on camera on the final episode in the last sad scene and it is very memorable. The director’s work is always visible. He helped make Love of Life a great and memorable show.

Mark in FLA
Mark in FLA

Wasn’t he seen at the end of the last episode of LOL leaving the director’s booth & walking thru the set one last time? He is to be saluted as a giant of daytime drama.

vinman
vinman

Also the passing of Ann Marcus (93)..writer for Peyton Place (’66) along with many others LIAMST, DOOL, GH, OLTL, KL, ..many others.In addition to have been creator head writer for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

vinman
vinman

Died December 3,2014

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Thats more sad news…i didnt know she passed…very talented writer…thanks for letting us know!

Mary SF
Mary SF

As fans most of our attention goes towards the actors and the writers, occasionally to a producer but rarely do we ever focus on soap directors. What they do contributes greatly to our enjoyment of our soaps. So as we “fade to black” on this pioneer soap director, let as all take a moment on Monday as we watch our favorite soap to thank the directing team of the soap in a manner you chose.

I will be raising a glass of eggnog and saying thank you for a job well done— and if I were a younger person I would post myself doing it on social media, but since I am not verse in such things, it will be private appreciation, but perhaps a soap director is reading this I will know this fan does respect the work they do.

Rest in peace Larry

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Very well said Mary SF. All the people who “male it happen” definitely desire our thanks.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

That’s make it happen.

rocky83
rocky83

Y&R terrible, fix this show if possible, how on earth is this soap #1 #Baffeling

All My Children

8 Years To The Day Of All My Children & One Life to Live Being Canceled; Still Considered By Many Worst Move For Daytime

It’s hard to believe that 8 years ago today on April 14th, 2011, the soap world, its fans, and the cast members, learned of the heartbreaking news that ABC, in one swift move, decimated its daytime line-up when they announced the cancellations of long running series, All My Children (which would end at its 41st year), and One Life to Live (which would ends its run in its 43rd year).

At the time, ABC announced it would move to more lifestyle/entertainment series to replace these dramas.  In its place came The Chew and The Revolution, neither show is still on the air today.  Executives at that time pointed to research saying that times are changing and that their decision was “guided by extensive research into what today’s daytime viewers want,” and blame, in part, “the changing viewing patterns of the audience” for the axing of AMC and OLTL

Then ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons had joked to Deadline about the big announcement that he: “Pre-entered the witness protection program prior to today’s events.”  He added that “The demise of the two venerable soaps was actually a year in the making.  A year ago, we started to look at our projections where the ratings for the soaps would go.  When those projections came in pretty discouraging, the network began to aggressively develop replacement shows, 15 of them.  Four of the 15 were picked up to pilot: The Chew and The Revolution and two others, a talk show and a dating show. Originally, the idea was to cancel only one daytime drama.  The way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift.”  Of note is that when it went off the air, One Life to Live was in third place among its competitors in the ratings.

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The press release that came with the cancellations stated: “To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history both shows will conclude in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.”

Following the cancellations daytime reeled. The mainstream was sure it meant the endings of the soaps, period.  However, four shows illustrated that is not true at all.  For Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless all remain, and still whether they are up or down in their numbers/ratings, they remain relevant and important to the enduring daytime viewing audience.

Sadly, as with any shows, the end of ABC’s AMC and OLTL meant loss of jobs for so many working in front of the camera and behind the scenes. One Life was the last soap opera in production in New York at the time.  AMC was already being shot in LA to cut costs to save it.

Still in 2019, if you venture on to social media, especially Twitter, you see fans constantly missing its stars and the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, wanting this wrong rectified.  Although Prospect Park tried to revive the show with their online versions, eventually after legal battles that went on for a few years, ABC now retains the right to these properties,

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The good news is that many favorites from AMC and OLTL have found success and been hired on other soap operas, bringing their followings with them, whether it be on-screen, or in the writing, producing, directing or crew departments.

So, do you think the loss of AMC and OLTL consolidated daytime and made the remaining shows stronger so they would not be touched or canceled?  Do you think ABC should try to mount a resurrected AMC and OLTL or an amalgamation of the two?  Do you remember where you were when you learned the two soaps were cancelled? Was this the worst misstep of all-time for daytime? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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All My Children

George R. R. Martin’s “Leak” Of New Hulu Series WILD CARDS Featuring Eden Riegel, Thorsten Kaye. and Greg Rikkart

April Fool’s Day started off with a bang today when Eden Riegel (Ex-Bianca, AMC) posted a photo of herself with Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Greg Rikaart (Ex-Leo, DAYS)  in a very intriguing image.  See above pic!  As it turns out, it’s said to be from behind the scenes from some leaked footage of the upcoming Hulu series, Wild Cards.

The premise of Wild Cards is based on the sci-fi anthology series edited by George R. R, Martin, best known for writing the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels, on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based.  Riegel’s husband, Andrew Miller is the showrunner attached to the upcoming series.

On Martin’s website he teases the set-up of the “leaked” video clip:  “This was not supposed to go public.. Everybody (Well, everybody that has been paying attention knows that we are developing two Wild Cards as a series for Hulu  Andrew Miller has taken the reins as showrunner, a writing staff has been hired, and they have been hard at work for months.  What was NOT supposed to be known is how far they’ve come.  Not only have some scripts been finished, but the first show has gone into production and has been shooting.  That was supposed to be a deep dark secret, however.   We wanted to surprise the world. It’s hard to keep secrets in Hollyweird, however.  And now it appears that some of the rough footage has been leaked by person or persons unknown”

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Meanwhile, Riegel sent out a series of tweets: “Hooo boy…cat’s out of the bag! Fans, please don’t judge our show based on these leaked videos!! The effects are going to knock your socks off. And my costars, and , are doing the best work of their lives!”  That was followed by, T”hank you for the chance to work with you on your first foray into soaps! I am humbled and honored. We won’t let you down.” And then, “I’m probably not allowed to share this with all the NDAs I signed, but damnit I’m just so proud of the team!  think we are breaking new ground for soaps. So proud to work with you!”

Now below, check out the Wild Cards “leaked footage” and let us know if you think of the …. um … drama! Comment below.  And one more thing … Happy April Fool’s!

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All My Children

WATCH: All My Children Reunion On Strahan & Sara

On Monday’s episode of ABC’s Strahan & Sara, the show welcomed several stars of the beloved All My Children for a reunion, of sorts. Joining hosts Michael Strahan and Sara Haines were Susan Lucci (Erica), Walt Willey (Jack), Cady McClain (Dixie), Jacob Young (JR) and Jill Larson (Opal).

While it was wonderful to see the stars from Pine Valley again, it was also a painful reminder that this network, ABC, canceled the show, and had put in its place – The Chew, and now Strahan & Sara – since canning the series.   In fact, as you will see on the clips below, many of the crew who work on this talk show were once the crew for All My Children.

During the segment, Susan Lucci was tested to see if she remembered all of Erica Kane’s wedded names.  Later, Walt Willey and Susan re-created the final scene of the ABC version of All My Children between Erica and Jack, where Jack walks out on her.  However, this time, they have Jack changing his mind and coming back to Erica and sealing their relationship with a kiss – a moment of closure that never happened (since the show moved to online via Prospect Park).

In addition, Cady McClain and Jacob Young re-created the infamous Dixie “dying from eating poison pancakes” scene, as JR watches his mother die, only this time she lives.

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It’s always great to see these veteran performers, but Strahan & Sara is trying to capture the soap viewers to put eyeballs on their show by bringing in talent from the show that sadly and wrongly went off the air.

Watch the clips below from the All My Children reunion below.  Then, let us know what you thought of it via the comment section below.

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