Larry Auerbach, considered by many to be a pioneer in daytime television, died today at 91 in La Jolla, Calif. Auerbach helmed CBS’s soap Love of Life, from 1951 to 1980. Such faces as Warren Beatty, Jon Voight, Christopher Reeve and Roy Scheider would pass through the show during its lengthy time on the air. Given the never-ending cycle of soaps, it’s estimated that Auerbach clocked a notable 3,000 hours as a TV director. Following Love of Life, he helmed a number of New York based soaps including All My Children, One Life to Live, Another World and As the World Turns. Born in Mount Vernon, NY, Auerbach cut his teeth in the trade in Chicago during the late 1940s as the stage manager on Kukla, Fran and Ollie. Studs’ Place and the daytime soap, Hawkins Falls. He was named a DGA Honorary Life Member in 2004, joining an elite group that includes Charles Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Warner, Lew Wasserman Jack Valenti and he received the union’s 1991 Robert B. Aldrich award. Auerbach won a Daytime Emmy in 1984 for directing on ABC’s One Life to Live. DGA president Paris Barclay made the following statement today on the passing of Auerbach:
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“Larry emerged as a vigorous presence right after the merger that created the modern DGA, diving headlong into a long career of service to the Guild and his fellow members. Larry worked tirelessly, out of love for his Guild and his profession, to ensure better working conditions and stronger protection of creative rights for Guild members, and he was instrumental in raising the profile of daytime serial directors, the genre to which he dedicated his career. Under his watch as National Vice President and a member of the Eastern Directors Council, Larry helped organize the renovation of the New York headquarters, and he played a major role in ensuring greater health and fiscal security for Guild members through the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plans. He was a dynamo – a strong and powerful voice for our members for decades – and we will miss him greatly.”
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