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Soap HW Ann Marcus' Memoirs "Whistling Girl"


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Has anyone read this? I didn't even know of its existance, until I came upon a reference by chance. Marcus always fascinates me--she's been with soaps since the 60s (at least), and has had notable success with several different styles of soaps, from late 70s Days of Our Lives, to 60s Peyton Place, to being a fan fave (it seems) at Knots Landing, to of course Mary Hartman Mary Hartman and the similar (flop) soap comedy L.A.T.E.R: The Life And Times of Eddie Roberts. I guess it's going for cheap on amazon.com used so I might as well give it a chance--there are so few books written by soap writers (Harding Lemay's is of course the main one I know of...)

http://www.amazon.com/Whistling-Girl-Ann-Marcus/dp/1880867001

One of the reviews says it doesn't give much insight, but...

Product Description

How does a woman balance marriage, kids, and a demanding career in the highly competitive field of writing for TV and still maintain a sense of humor and an almost normal life? Ann Marcus lets it all hang out in her warm and witty memoir, WHISTLING GIRL, in which she shares her often funny, sometimes scary, but always adventurous private and professional lives taking you behind the scenes on some of TVs most popular series, including PEYTON PLACE; KNOTS LANDING; FALCON CREST; SEARCH FOR TOMORROW; DAYS OF OUR LIVES; GENERAL HOSPITAL; SUSAN FARR, MD; WOMEN AT WEST POINT; ALL THAT GLITTERS; FERNWOOD 2NITE; MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN (for which she won an Emmy); and the mini-series RETURN TO THE CUL-DE-SAC.

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Was she pushed off DAYS? I wondered what happened there--I know Days started having major issues around that time.

A year back someone here said that there was some coup or something, for lack of a better term, and not long after this was when Elizabeth Harrower became headwriter.

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A year back someone here said that there was some coup or something, for lack of a better term, and not long after this was when Elizabeth Harrower became headwriter.

Exactly. IIRC, Ann Marcus talks about Harrower (although, she might not have mentioned her by name) going behind her back to TPTB and spreading malicious lies about her in order to get her off the show. Further, she does recount an incident where Mary Stuart confronted her for de-emphasizing her character (Jo) on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, but Marcus counters that P&G instructed her to shift focus of the show onto other, younger characters. And then there's what happened between her and then-ABC VP Josie Emmerich that resulted in her dismissal from GH. Emmerich did not care for her story projections, and Marcus was insulted after Emmerich called for a writers' meeting - one which included the co-head (Norma Monty, who was more of a figurehead), all the associate and breakdown writers, and story consultants - and then fielded suggestions from everyone but Marcus.

It seems the only positive soap-related experience she's had was at LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING. Otherwise, according to Marcus, she's often the victim of nasty backstage politics.

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I read it and retain a copy in my personal collection. Although is does not focus exclusively on soaps, the bulk of Ann's career has been in soaps both day and night, so she is able to offer fun facts and behind-the scenes gossip on shows like SEARCH, GH, LIAMST, DAYS, KNOTS, PEYTON PLACE, and FALCON CREST. In addition her own story, including her love and marriage with late husband Ellis, and chapters that touch upon life during World War II and her and her family being victims of anti-Semitic bigots, are well-written and heartfelt. Best of all is her recounting how Pat Falken Smith was a litigation-happy woman wrecking complete havoc from show to show, network to network! Ann said Pat was a great person with lots of talent...the only problem was that she loved to sue people!

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