Agnes Nixon, who was behind a string of successful TV soap operas, including creating “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” has died. The New York Times reports that Nixon died Wednesday in Rosemont, Pa.
Her family said she died of pneumonia resulting from Parkinson’s disease. Nixon was 93.
Nixon “introduced uterine cancer, venereal diseases, child abuse, AIDS and other societal terrors into the weekday fantasy worlds of millions of daytime viewers,” The Times notes.
“In a career that paralleled the rise, enormous popularity and gradual decline of soap operas in the last half of the 20th century, Ms. Nixon fashioned many of television’s most popular daytime shows, drawing on a rich imagination to find the great and small human dramas lurking just below the surface of American life,” The Times reports.
Her scripts in the 1950s for shows including “The Guiding Light” and “Search for Tomorrow” offered an escape for the show’s mostly female audiences, providing “a glimpse of dashing lives, handsome cads, passions run amok, dark secrets and terrible betrayals,” The Times notes.
“But in the 1960s and ’70s she virtually reinvented soaps, creating for the ABC network ‘One Life to Live,’ ‘All My Children’ and other shows infused with social relevance and politically charged topics like racism, abortion, obscenity, narcotics, the generation gap and protests against the Vietnam War.”
Here’s a featurette created a couple of years ago by Broadcast Pioneers in connection with its bestowing honors on Agnes Nixon …