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Agnes Nixon
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Screenwriter
    (December 10, 1922-September 28, 2016)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Birth name was Agnes Eckhardt
    Soap opera writer and producer
    Head writer for ‘Search for Tomorrow,’ ‘Guiding Light’ and ‘Another World’
    Created the shows ‘One Life to Live,’ ‘All My Children’ and ‘Loving’
    Won five Daytime Emmys for writing
    Inducted into the Television Hall of Fame (1992)
    Working on multiple shows simultaneously resulted in the occasional script error, such as setting a scene for ‘Another World’ at the coffee shop of Cedar Hospital – the hospital in ‘The Guiding Light.’
    She refused to join the Writers Guild of America, claiming that she was worried that a guild strike could force her stop writing while still being required to produce the shows.
    She made jokey cameos in significant episodes of her soaps, such as appearing in the 35th anniversary episode of ‘All My Children’ as a board member of Pine Valley Hospital who inspires a character to remark, ‘The way she’s talking, you’d think she built the town with her own bare hands.’
    When she went into labor, she brought a dictaphone with her so she could keep working from the hospital.
    Her hand opened the photo album for the opening montage of ‘All My Children.’
    With ‘One Life to Live,’ she created the first daytime soap with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse characters.
    She was one of the first daytime soap writers to tackle controversial issues, including divorce, abortion, homosexuality and AIDS.
    She won a Sentinel for Health ‘Pioneer Award’ for a 1962 story line on ‘Guiding Light’ designed to encourage women to get pap smears for early detection of uterine cancer – despite network restrictions that kept her from using the words ‘uterus’ ‘cancer’ and ‘pap smear.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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