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Agnes Nixon, OLTL and AMC
Topic Started: Mar 20 2009, 07:32 PM (4,469 Views)
cher62
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Fourth Installment
Previous:
Kassie DePaiva, One Life to Live

Posted Image
Agnes Nixon, creator of One Life to Live, is pictured with Robin Strasser and Erika Slezak at the 40th Anniversary Tribute
to One Life to Live at The Paley Center For Media on June 10, 2008. ©Steven Bergman.


Posted Image
Click for larger view


I believe in giving credit where credit is due. So I must pause to give props to Agnes Nixon, who made it possible for Robin Strasser to grace our screens.

"Agnes Nixon gave me my first job and that was on Another World. Agnes said she thought I was a young Anna Magnani," Strasser commented at a 40th anniversary tribute of OLTL, on June 10, 2008 at the Paley Center. "I’m the third and fifth person to play Dorian. It’s a part I was allowed to put my fingerprints on."


Posted Image
Strasser, with George Reinholt (Steve) David Bailey (Russ) and Jacqueline Courtney (Alice).
Photo from PGP Classic Soaps Blog


Strasser played the role of Rachel Davis from 1967-71 and again in 1972. She was part of one of the most celebrated triangles in Daytime history that involved Rachel, Steve Frame (George Reinholt) and Alice Matthews (Jacqueline Courtney). Later, when Strasser decided to return to Daytime, Nixon came through for her again by creating the role of Christina Karras Martin (1976 to 1979). (Excerpt below from "Back Where She Belongs" by Linda Rosenbaum)

Quote:
 
When Robin realized she was coming home (returning to NYC), her agent sent out the word she was available for a soap. Needless too say, the offers started flooding in again. But all she had to see was Agnes Nixon’s name connected with one of them to make her decision in a snap.

Why Agnes Nixon, the creator of All My Children, and why for that matter another soap? “I’ve always felt a very spiritual bond with Agnes, even before I knew her very well. She always seemed to know exactly how to write for me.

My only concern was that Christina would have to be Polly Perfect, this absolutely together lady, when I heard she was a doctor. I have a number of mannerisms and stuff stemming from my insecurities and nervousness, so any character I play has to have some eccentricity and vulnerability built in to work. But Agnes assured me that she had no interest in creating a perfect lady doctor character for anyone to play—that would be boring to her and to the viewers.”


Robin on AMC
Robin had a brief stint on AMC as Christina Karras Martin. This episode involves the wedding of Erica Kane & Tom Cudahy
that aired on ABC on September 6, 1978(Natalia Cigluti was born the same day) and on Soapnet in November 2001.
Added: June 04, 2007
From: Carmaker1
Run time 9:57


Of course when Robin left the part of Christian Karras, she moved on to her signature role of Dorian Cramer Lord on the Nixon creation, One Life to Live. She met with OLTL producer Joe Stuart. Strasser comments in a Soap Opera Digest interview on just how much she wanted the part:

Quote:
 
I told Joe I thought Dorian was a very interesting part, although [she seemed] destined to be a short part because she was a murderess, having killed Victor Lord. He said, "It didn't happen." I said, "What?" [He repeated,] "It didn't happen." I said, "Wait a minute. Everybody saw it happen." He said, "I am the executive producer and if I say it didn't happen, it didn't happen." So I became emboldened to say that while Dorian was a rich woman, she didn't have a sense of style about her and not a lot of humor. Would it be okay to tell the network we are going to give the audience a glimpse of what people love to see rich people do? Live excessively. And I added she should dress marvelously and flamboyantly, that there should be some campy humor when she screws up. Then maybe she can be around for two to five years. This was pretty gutsy! He didn't know that I was on the verge of a divorce and that I needed a job badly! 


Thirty years later, Strasser is still dazzling our screens as deliciously devious Dorian. And, she does not hesitate to give Nixon credit. Strasser (at the Paley Center tribute): "This morning, I thought about how there are only four daytime dramas left in New York City employing about 2,000 people. Out of the four shows, two are on ABC and both are created by Agnes Nixon."

Ms. Nixon was born Agnes Eckhardt in 1927. She attended Northwestern University. The celebrated writer and producer is best known as the creator of One Life to Live and All My Children. Nixon was a protege of writer Irna Phillips and was a writer for Proctor and Gamble soaps: As the World Turns, Search for Tomorrow, Guiding Light and later Another World.

When she left Another World, she left the tutelage of Phillips to create her own shows. By the mid 1960s, Nixon had created the bible for All My Children but execs passed on it and asked that she create a show with a contemporary tone. OLTL premiered in 1968 and reflected changing social structures and attitudes with Jewish characters, Polish-American families, and the first African-American leads, Carla Gray (Ellen Holly), and Ed Hall (Al Freeman, Jr.).

"I wanted to take soap operas out of WASP valley," Nixon said at the 40th anniversary tribute of OLTL at the Paley Center . "I wanted to have multi-racial and ethnic stories. I’ve always applauded the socially relevant stories over the years."

With the success of One Life to Live, Nixon was given the greenlight for All My Children, which began as a half-hour soap opera in 1970.

RELATED VIDEOS:
Agnes Nixon - Archive Interview, Playlist
Full 5-part oral history interview with soap pioneer Agnes Nixon. She speaks about writing with the legendary Irna Phillips on "Guiding Light," as well as creating and writing the successful "All My Children," "One Life to Live," and "Loving," among others. Conducted October 21, 1997 by Connie Passalaqua.

RELATED LINKS:
NOTES from the 40th anniversary tribute
The 40th Anniversary Tribute
Next--Michael Zaslow
Edited by cher62, Dec 28 2017, 06:30 PM.
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2010 Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement Award- Agnes Nixon
By StarKidzAMC
Run Time=5:56
Note: Robin Strasser is included in this clip.
Edited by cher62, Dec 28 2017, 06:34 PM.
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Robin tweeted Posted Image:
Quote:
 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ONE LIFE TO LIVE: greeting 2 cast/crew/and the many loyal fan/friends holding Block Party across street from studio. xxxooo's

July 7, 1968, prior to debut of her new ABC show: One Life to Live, Ms. Agnes Nixon (then Head Writer Another World) wrote article NY Times:

Ms. Nixon assessed FAN DEVOTION:"a very normal empathetic response that a good tale, well told, has held for time immemorial". True then/now

Agnes Nixon then extolled the soap "hook" component: THERE'S ALWAYS TOMORROW! She created OLTL/AMC. She was, and remains a generous genius.

THERE'S ALWAYS TOMORROW-Thank you Agnes Nixon, for giving us 2 of your finest creations: OLTL/AMC! You gave ME my career! Treasured GIFTS! 15 July 11
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robin strasser @robinstrasser
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In FAIRNESS #MichaelFairman contacted me re being in #2017DaytimeEmmyTributeToAgnesNixon I couldn't-but wish I could've-I owe her my career!
28 June 2017
Edited by cher62, Dec 28 2017, 06:36 PM.
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Strasser wins Soap Opers Digest Award, thanks Nixon.
Edited by cher62, Dec 28 2017, 06:37 PM.
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