Archive for the ‘"As the World Turns"’ Category

Soap Star Helen Wagner, Matriarch of “As the World Turns,” Dies at Age 91- Archive Interview Online

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Helen Wagner, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for her long-running performance as Nancy Hughes on As the World Turns since the show debuted in 1956, has died. She sadly misses the the series’ final episode by just a few months– its planned for a September 17th airdate. Her TV series career began with roles on several early-to-mid ’50s shows, including soap The Guiding Light, sitcom The World of Mr. Sweeney, and soap Valiant Lady. Once she landed in Oakdale though, it became her mainstay for 54 years.

Helen Wagner was interviewed by the Archive of American Television on October 6, 2004, viewable in its entirety at

Interview description:
Helen Wagner was interviewed for nearly two hours in Mt. Kisco, NY. Wagner described breaking into acting on the New York stage and in experimental television. She talked about her appearance as a regular on the short-lived Charlie Ruggles sitcom The World of Mr. Sweeney. She then discussed the role for which she is most associated, that of “Nancy Hughes” on As the World Turns, a role she has played for nearly fifty years, the longest running character to date in the history of television. She described the production of As the World Turns including its transition from “live” to tape, story plot lines, and working with her longtime co-stars. She talked about various moments from the show from uttering the series very first line (“Good morning dear, what would you like for breakfast?”) to playing a scene “live” while unbeknownst to her CBS broke in to announce the shooting of President Kennedy. She talked about her continued work on the series and how the show has evolved over the years. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on October 6, 2004.

CBS Cancels "As the World Turns" Ending its Over 50-Year Run

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Variety announced today that As the World Turns will end its run in September 2010. When Guiding Light aired its last episode on September 18, 2009 after a 57-year run on television, As the World Turns, which debuted on April 2, 1956, was the inevitable successor of the title “longest-ever soap opera”– but will now fall short of that “all-time” record. When As the World Turns goes off the air, General Hospital will replace it as the oldest soap on TV (GH debuted on April 1, 1963).

Both Guiding Light and As the World Turns were created by Irna Phillips, a pioneer of the form in radio and television. One of the driving creative forces behind As the World Turns was producer/director Ted Corday (later co-creator, with his wife Betty, of Days of Our Lives). In her Archive interview, actress Ruth Warrick one of As the World Turns’s first cast members described Ted Corday’s philosophy: “[he] used to say the art soap opera is to tie the most knots in the shortest piece of string. And everybody needs to be involved with everybody else. So you would be in a room and there are six people and somebody makes a statement, and you cut from face to face, and [with] each face you know what they’re thinking.”

Don Hastings’ Archive of American Television Interview Is Now Online

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

This is part two of Don Hastings’s six part interview, where he talks about Captain Video and his Video Rangers. Click here to watch the entire interview.

Don Hastings has played “Dr. Bob Hughes” on As the World Turns since 1960.

Interview Description:

Hastings begins by talking about his early years in theater and radio. He then talks about his television debut on the Du Mont network. He describes in great detail his regular role as the “the Ranger” on the popular Du Mont children’s television series Captain Video and his Video Rangers. He discusses his work in soap operas starting with The Edge of Night, where he played “Jack Lane” from 1956-60. He then chronicles his experiences on the series for which he is most associated, As the World Turns, where he has played the role of “Dr. Bob Hughes” continually since 1960. For ATWT, Hastings talks about the creative team behind the series and working with his long-time co-stars (and their character’s relationships), as well as his current shooting schedule and how he goes about learning his lines. He also compares the eras that the show has seen and talks about some of his favorite storylines.

Frances Reid’s Archive of American Television Interview now on Google Video!

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

Check out the latest addition to the Archive of American Television’s interviews:

Soap legend FRANCES REID!

Interview details:

Frances Reid was interviewed for one-and-a-half hours in Los Angeles, CA. She talked about her early career working in live television, and her first experiences working on daytime dramas, on programs such as Portia Faces Life and As the World Turns. She described in detail her longtime role as matriarch Alice Horton on the daytime drama Days of Our Lives from its inception to the present day. She discussed her many co-stars throughout the years on the show, notably Macdonald Carey, who portrayed patriarch Tom Horton. Reid explained the production process on a daytime drama, and touched on some of the memorable storylines featured on the show throughout the years. Finally, she briefly described her involvement in the actors union AFTRA, and noted how important it is for her to continue working. The interview was conducted on August 13, 2003 by Jennifer Howard.