In other sad news, legendary soap producer Gloria Monty
passed away on Thursday from cancer in Rancho Mirage, Calif. She was 84. Back in 1978, Monty took over as General Hospital
's executive producer when the ABC sudser's ratings were considered poor and cancellation was a very real threat. During her memorable tenure, this tough, ambitious auteur made GH
No. 1 by stepping up its sluggish pace, rustling up cash to spruce up shabby sets and introducing fan-fave supercouples like Luke and Laura, Frisco and Felicia and Robert and Holly.
"Gloria Monty transformed soap-opera viewing from a housewives' pastime to the
cool thing to do," says Jane Elliot
(Tracy). "As I was a beneficiary of that transformation, I will be eternally grateful and will miss her terribly. I can’t wait to see what she does with heaven."
Monty produced GH
from 1978-87 and again from 1991-92. Before that phenomenon, she began her career directing soaps like CBS's The First Hundred Years
and The Secret Storm
in the '50s and '60s. While directing NBC's short-lived Bright Promise
, she first worked with Anthony Geary
, Susan Brown
and David Lewis
, who all went on to long careers as beloved GH
characters, thanks to her.
With a heavy heart, this daytime devotee tips his hat to Ms. Gloria Monty. She's one of the greatest there ever was.