Legendary Soap Opera Producer Paul Rauch Dead


 




Reports are coming in that legendary and controversial soap opera producer Paul Rauch has died. Rauch was one of the most prolific daytime television professionals ever, having served as showrunner for Another World, One Life to Live, Santa Barbara, Guiding Light and most recently, The Young and the Restless. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

 

41 Responses

  1. Profile photo of alstonboy4315
    alstonboy4315

    His death is sad. I despised how he tastelessly fired Michael Zaslow during his battle with ALS, but he’s gone now, so I see no need to drag his name, or his body of work through the mud. May he rest in peace.

  2. Profile photo of sodsince16
    sodsince16

    I will always associate Mr Rauch with OLTL in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

    In particular the dreaded Eterna storyline. It was emblematic of the Rauch-era with huge sets, a large cast and a crazy story. But, it was pure soap. Few remember that the point of the Eterna story was to get Vicki to remember her long lost daughter Megan. This was the first time that a woman had a long lost kid on soaps; given the obvious limitations set forth by reality. So, to resolve a way for Vicki to have given birth without remembering it, Eterna was born. Two decades later when Vicki found her other long lost kid (Natalie), there was no such story, and it was much more convoluted. (By the way, where else but a soap could a woman who has forgotten the birth of two out of her five kids be called a hero?).

    Mr Rauch was often quoted about how much value he wanted to give the audience. He would never have produced a soap where actors changed in the bushes and used production offices as sets. So, say what you will about the stories told under his regime, but Paul Rauch cared about soap fans like few others have or will in the history of the genre.

  3. Profile photo of Kendall Troy
    Kendall Troy

    I, too, remember OLTL from when I was a kid. I was young and thought Eterna was magical. After all, Tina (Andrea Evans) was there, how could it not be something worth watching? Those couple of years were heaven in my mind. Tina over the waterfalls, trapped at the lighthouse, Eterna. So sad…R.I.P.

  4. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    That final scene of Santa Barbara with some asshole that I didn’t even know arrogantly sauntering off through the spotlights infuriated me enough to find out who the asshole was.

    No respect for him in life. No respect for him in death.

  5. Profile photo of blake3b
    blake3b

    This surprised me! It is unfortunate, he sure knew how to make a soap opera very beautiful that’s for sure! When he took over at Guiding Light in late 1996 it was a big change! No more horrible, cheap clothes for the characters/actors to wear, better hair and makeup, great lighting, great directing, etc. He got rid of the characters like Zachary the angel and Lucy, and he brought back Jenna and Harley and I thought he was smart to do all of that. Though I didn’t agree with him getting rid of Alexandra, firing Michael Zaslow, and getting rid of Amanda. And all of 1997 was one of the best years of GL, it was such a beautiful show and so many great stories going on.

    And I know no one liked his time at Y&R but I loved how he made it beautiful again, and I really loved it when he took Nick, Sharon, and Phyllis to Paris. That’s been the only time I watched Y&R for a long period of time, before and since.

  6. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    ROFLMAO at Gord’s venom! However…

    RIP Mr. Rauch. He produced some of the greatest, some of the worst, some of the most controversial, some of the most entertaining and some of the most human daytime drama in the history of the genre. For better or for worse, he was both risk taker and visionary, something the world at large needs more of…

  7. Profile photo of SwanQueen59
    SwanQueen59

    Oh, Gord, nah! Don’t think so. At least I won’t. ;) If anything I will raise a glass and say “There was an honest soap and television lover who cared enough to put his thoughts out there, whether pro or con, and stood by them.” (Sorry if that comes off as a bit morbid! :~ )

    As for Paul Rauch despite the (very big), mistake that was letting MZ go, I have fond memories of GL during his tenure. Besides the aforementioned returns of Harley and Jenna, one of my favorite big budget extravaganzas was Cassie (LW) and Richard’s (Bradley Cole), wedding. Now that was a production! (Even if the bridesmaids dresses were horrible, LOL!)… 0:)

  8. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    :beer: SwanQueen59! Thanks for understanding (J. Bernard, too!). I’m reading all of the pros and cons about him, even though I stick to my curmudgeonly attitudes. If you’ll be my Penolope Pitstop, I’ll be your co-pilot anytime! :-)

  9. Profile photo of SwanQueen59
    SwanQueen59

    Gord-Hmm. I’m actually pretty good at being a navigator. And I can read a trip-tick from AAA. Managed to not get lost in LA last Summer. Does that count, LOL? Now if it were a real race, I would not be able to guarantee a good result, LOL!… 0:)

  10. Profile photo of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    RIP Paul Rauch. The man was a legend and is from the era where soaps looked glamorous. He deserves the recognition he gets for being an important figure of the daytime drama genre. Almost every soap writer/producer has made questionable decisions or had bad blood with certain actors at some point in their tenure

    Ahh, the infamous closing credits for the Santa Barbara finale. Some have made it seem like the stamping out of the cigar was akin to the man bending over and shitting on the set. When I finally saw the clip a few years ago, it never quite lived up to its infamy IMO. Is it entirely possible that his action was a bit of an inside reference for the cast and crew to understand? He was known for being on the production floor as well as his cigars. Maybe to them it wasn’t offense. I’ve always wondered what the people from SB thought of it.

    Steven Kent was named right before Rauch in those finale credits. Is that SONY’s Steven Kent? Man, soaps are so insular behind the scenes.

  11. Profile photo of hey mon
    hey mon

    RIP, Mr Rauch. The inventor of Iris Cory, played by Beverlee McKinsey.

    One of the few people who could restrain MAB just a little (I have to believe that Paul R would not have approved of Shicktor). But he probably green-lighted Shadam, which is controversial to say the least.

    But, some of us shouldn’t be so nasty to his memory.

  12. Profile photo of marknsprmo
    marknsprmo

    The man was controversy walking around in a suit. Things he did on soaps had both positive and negative results. One thing he was instrumental in is raising the level visually. His sets were great. The lighting was great. The wardrobe was great. Really the things that producers are responsible for was great. He always gets the short end of the stick because of writing. When he was paired with a great writer (Lemay Harding) there was not any better soap. When he was paired with a bad writer, the show sucked. He was imperfect but unforgetable! RIP

  13. Profile photo of GaryJr
    GaryJr

    Ahh, the infamous closing credits for the Santa Barbara finale. Some have made it seem like the stamping out of the cigar was akin to the man bending over and shitting on the set. When I finally saw the clip a few years ago, it never quite lived up to its infamy IMO. Is it entirely possible that his action was a bit of an inside reference for the cast and crew to understand? He was known for being on the production floor as well as his cigars. Maybe to them it wasn’t offense. I’ve always wondered what the people from SB thought of it.

    Good question. I know a guy who worked high up. I’m going to ask him.

  14. Profile photo of Duchess
    Duchess

    RIP Mr. Rauch. I actually loved his Y&R and think it really went downhill when they got rid of him and gave all the power to MAB. I remember reading how he would actually be on the set and making improvements as he watched everything. He was truly devoted to the soap genre and I admire that.

  15. Profile photo of seanny
    seanny

    I’m sad to hear of Paul’s passing however controvesial some of his decision were. I am incredibly grateful for all the awesome OLTL stories he came up with for Erika Slezak’s Viki back in the 80’s. I really loved Eterna and thought I it ended prematurely. Also, Clint’s 1888 story, Viki’s trip to heaven, and frenemies Tina and Gabrielle. R.I.P.

  16. Profile photo of blake3b
    blake3b

    [quote=SwanQueen59]Oh, Gord, nah! Don’t think so. At least I won’t. ;) If anything I will raise a glass and say “There was an honest soap and television lover who cared enough to put his thoughts out there, whether pro or con, and stood by them.” (Sorry if that comes off as a bit morbid! :~ )

    As for Paul Rauch despite the (very big), mistake that was letting MZ go, I have fond memories of GL during his tenure. Besides the aforementioned returns of Harley and Jenna, one of my favorite big budget extravaganzas was Cassie (LW) and Richard’s (Bradley Cole), wedding. Now that was a production! (Even if the bridesmaids dresses were horrible, LOL!)… 0:)[/quote]

    I agree, I know he did some bad things like firing MZ, and the clone story but he was smart to get rid of Zachary the angel and Lucy Cooper right after getting there (and the Alan-Michael recast, though he was handsome and sexy as hell!) But he turned Annie into one of the most interesting characters in soap history (and the show’s first Emmy win for Best Actress in 8 years), bringing back Harley, Jenna, and Beth, etc.

  17. Profile photo of Greeneb2
    Greeneb2

    [quote=J Bernard Jones]ROFLMAO at Gord’s venom! However…

    RIP Mr. Rauch. He produced some of the greatest, some of the worst, some of the most controversial, some of the most entertaining and some of the most human daytime drama in the history of the genre. For better or for worse, he was both risk taker and visionary, something the world at large needs more of…[/quote]

    He also made poor Miss Ellen Holly’s last almost 2 years (1983-1985) on OLTL absolutely pure bulls*** hell!

    Brian >)

  18. Profile photo of Greeneb2
    Greeneb2

    [quote=Greeneb2][quote=J Bernard Jones]ROFLMAO at Gord’s venom! However…

    RIP Mr. Rauch. He produced some of the greatest, some of the worst, some of the most controversial, some of the most entertaining and some of the most human daytime drama in the history of the genre. For better or for worse, he was both risk taker and visionary, something the world at large needs more of…[/quote]

    He also made poor Miss Ellen Holly’s last almost 2 years (1983-1985) on OLTL absolutely pure bulls*** hell!

    Brian >)[/quote]

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