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Viewing Single Post From: Oldest living former head writer passes away at 97
Jason47
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Just was doing some research and this was the first I heard of Ms. Laemmle's passing. She died in August 2008, but her death was not reported until November 2008, and I just found it online now (if it's been already posted in the past here, sorry for the repeat post).


Former "Days" head writer Nina Laemmle, who was with "Days" for 124 episodes from April 21, 1980-October 9, 1980 died on August 12, 2008. She was 97. Ms. Laemmle's death was not reported until recently. Laemmle is best remembered by "Days" fans for the Valentine's Day Massacre, when she wrote off many characters (including the Anderson family, Donna Craig, Samantha Evans, Bill & Laura Horton, Margo Horton, Robert LeClair and Steve Olson). She also created such characters as Liz Chandler, Tod Chandler and Jessica Blake and Joshua Fallon (Nick Fallon's parents). Laemmle is the tenth (of 27) "Days" head writers to have passed away (along with Anne Howard Bailey, William J. Bell, Ruth Brooks Flippen, Elizabeth Harrower, Gene Palumbo, Peggy Phillips, Kenneth Rosen, James E. Reilly and Pat Falken Smith).

Here is her obituary:

Nina Jeanne Dainty was born in London, England on November 20, 1910. She moved to the United States with her mother in 1935. In 1940, she married producer Ernest Laemmle, the nephew of Universal Pictures mogul Carl Laemmle. They had three children (Victoria in 1941, Michael in 1942 and Christopher in 1946). When her husband died in 1950, Nina took a job as a secretary in the film industry. She then worked in the story department at Four Star, Dick Powell’s television production company, from 1958-1963. From 1964-1969, Laemmle was the story editor of "Peyton Place", and one of the three writers who mapped out the prime-time serial’s complex plotlines. From 1969-1974, Laemmle worked as the executive story consultant on "Marcus Welby, M.D." She later wrote for "Tales of the Unexpected" in 1977 and her final stint came as "Days" head writer in 1980. Former WGA president Del Reisman issued this statement: "Stories were her passion. All manner of stories. Stories from celebrated literature. Stories from the headlines. Stories from her own considerable life’s experience. She applied this passion to whatever project she worked on, from the highly theatrical Peyton Place, serialized for years, to the clean, clear narratives of Marcus Welby, M.D., semi-anthological, a new story each episode. In the most professional sense, she was obsessed, and offered one hundred percent of her restless mind to all who worked with her and for her." Laemmle is survived by her three children.


Here's the obituary from http://classictvhistory.wordpress.com/2008/11/06/obituary-nina-laemmle-1910-2008/

Veteran television writer and story editor Nina Laemmle died on August 12 at the age of 97.

Laemmle held long-running positions as the story editor of several top television shows during the sixties and seventies. From 1964-1969, Laemmle was the story editor of Peyton Place, and one of the three writers who mapped out the prime-time serial’s complex plotlines (the others were Del Reisman and, for a time, Richard DeRoy). From there, Laemmle moved over to Marcus Welby, M.D., where she was the medical drama’s “executive story consultant” during its first five seasons. Following that, she worked on Quinn Martin’s short-lived Tales of the Unexpected (1977) and became a controversial headwriter of the daytime soap Days of Our Lives in the early eighties.

Prior to her stints on those series, Laemmle had worked in the story department at Four Star, Dick Powell’s busy television production company, from about 1958 until 1963. In that capacity she was credited as the story editor on much of Four Star’s output, including Richard Diamond Private Detective, The Zane Grey Theatre, Target: The Corrupters, and The Lloyd Bridges Show.

Most television story editors were freelance writers who took staff jobs occasionally. Laemmle was one of a handful of story gurus who functioned more like a book editor, forging supportive relationships with writers and working with them to develop their material during long, collegial conferences in her office. On Peyton Place, the show’s youthful writing staff was divided on the value of Laemmle’s motherly but rigorous story meetings: some found it stimulating, others stifling.

Laemmle sponsored the careers of dozens of talented young writers. When I spoke to her very briefly in 2005, Laemmle seemed especially proud of having given Robert Towne (Chinatown, Shampoo) one of his first assignments, on The Lloyd Bridges Show.

Laemmle was born in England on November 20, 1910, with the memorable maiden name of Nina Dainty. Later, in Hollywood, Nina married Ernst Laemmle, a producer and the nephew of Universal Pictures mogul Carl Laemmle. When Ernst Laemmle died in 1950, Nina took a job as a secretary in the film industry to support her three children.

Nina Laemmle’s colleagues described her in terms that evoked the stereotype of the genteel English lady: classy, reserved, private.

Christopher Knopf, past president of the Writers Guild of America and a talented Four Star contract writer during the early sixties, established himself at the studio after Laemmle invited him to write for The Detectives. In 2003, Knopf described for me the atmosphere that Laemmle helped to create at Four Star:

Nina was very, very creative and helpful with the writers. She loved the writers. You could go in and talk story with Nina. You could say, “I’ve got a problem with this script.” She’d say, “Come on, let’s have lunch.”

Being under contract, you went either to a producer - they usually came to you - or you went to Dick [Powell]. Or you went to Nina first and said, “What about this idea?”

You could work on anything. You’d do pilots. They were given to you sometimes, or you created them yourself. Maybe Nina would call you, or you’d go up to Dick or Nina. Everybody knew everybody. It was just wide open. There were no cliques out there.

Del Reisman, another former WGA president and Laemmle’s colleague on Peyton Place, issued this statement yesterday:

Stories were her passion. All manner of stories. Stories from celebrated literature. Stories from the headlines. Stories from her own considerable life’s experience. She applied this passion to whatever project she worked on, from the highly theatrical Peyton Place, serialized for years, to the clean, clear narratives of Marcus Welby, M.D., semi-anthological, a new story each episode. In the most professional sense, she was obsessed, and offered one hundred percent of her restless mind to all who worked with her and for her.
Edited by Jason47, Feb 20 2009, 02:26 AM.
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