Veteran Soap Scribe Barbara Esensten Dead at 75

The soap opera community is mourning the loss of prolific writer Barbara Esensten. She was 75. Esensten, who alongside James Harmon Brown, wrote for Dynasty, All My Children, Days of Our Lives, One Life to Live, Port Charles, Guiding Light and Loving died on Nov. 14. Esensten and Brown also created the Loving spinoff The City, which ran on ABC during 1995-97.

Photo credit: Barry Morganstein/ABC 

8 Responses

  1. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    This is so sad! Despite being notoriously known as 1/2 of the team who cloned Reva Shayne, people forget that she was also behind the wonderfully done “Loving” murders of 1995 (which I was, unfortunately, unable to fully enjoy as a teenager, but thank God for YouTube), the complete and utter FABULOSITY that was “Guiding Light” in 1997, as well as reuniting Jesse and Angie in 2008 on AMC. It’s a shame. At least she got to live a long life and do what she wanted to do with it.

  2. Profile photo of seanny

    I’m sorry so to hear of Barbara’s passing. I will never forget the gift she and James give me by creating my favorite short-lived soap, The City. Also, as alstonboy noted they were behind the critcally acclaimed Loving murders. I had been eagerly awaiting Brown and Esensten’s next soapy project, but sadly the partnership has ended.

  3. Profile photo of blake3b

    Oh wow. I agree that she did great work, especially on Guiding Light, it was on fire all of 1997, and the following years were good also. The clone story was silly but according to Paul Raunch it was CBS that wanted GL to do that story.
    And I watched The City when I was young, I thought it was so cool that they were changing it from Loving to The City. And by killing off half of their cast and changing the sets and the location, and by adding Morgan Fairchild! It was really good.

  4. Profile photo of harlee490

    Yes they have a mixed results for me on GL some good some not good. They help create more depth with Annie, corrected the tangled mess of McTrashy and Ross ended up father of the twins, did a great story on Abby’s hearing implant, gave Dinah some of her best stories, Lizzie getting sick and result of James being born and Karl being shot by Lizzie, creation of Cassie, Drew\Jessie, Selena, Olivia, the Santos, gave Roger\Holly, Holly story of Nursery Rhyme stalker was very good, but I hated the whole Latino mafia family, only good thing was Danny\Michelle to come out that mess. I hated the clone, time warp painting was ridiculous, wrote out Vanessa, Fletcher, Alex, Nick, characters was horrible way to handle such veterans. I hated the San Cristobal stories the only thing good was the location shoots.

  5. Profile photo of alstonboy4315


    Great insight, but Esensten and Brown didn’t And write the “time warp painting” stories. And Nick McHenry was written out in 1996, before Esensten and Brown took over as headwriters.

  6. Profile photo of harlee490


    After thinking about it I was then questioning myself exactly on the time warp story and thought I was wrong but after you said that about Nick I’m like it was probably McTrashy’s time because she was there for a year…’95-’96. Sorry about the err but thanks for letting me know because I was going to look it up. ;)

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