A veteran director of television drama series who spent much of his long career working on New York-based soap operas has died. The Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports that Larry Auerbach died Saturday in La Jolla, Calif.
His son Scott told the newspaper that Auerbach died of complications from glioblastoma. He was 91.
Auerbach directed “Love of Life” throughout its nearly 30-year lifespan, the story notes. The soap opera, which debuted in 1951, featured actors including Warren Beatty, Christopher Reeve, Roy Scheider, Jessica Walter and Jon Voigt, as well as Sammy Davis Jr., who was a fan and guest starred in the 1970s, the report adds.
At the end of its run in 1980, the show’s head writer was Ann Marcus, who died earlier this month. She went on to write and help create the soap opera spoof “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”
During his 50-year career, Auerbach also directed episodes of the soaps “All My Children” and “As the World Turns,” and won a Daytime Emmy in 1984 for his work on “One Life to Live.”
The story notes: “He was considered such a soap opera expert that Dustin Hoffman consulted with him on ‘Tootsie,’ in which the actor played a soap opera star.”
The Directors Guild of America says in its profile of Auerbach: “As the director of the early CBS soap opera ‘Love of Life’ — from its first episode in 1951 to its finale 28 years later — Auerbach was associated with a single television program possibly longer than any other director. And through his longstanding participation in the DGA, he tirelessly pushed for the increased stature of soap opera directors and better working conditions for the entire directing team.”