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Harding Pete Lemay: "Irna Phillips was a Terror"

In Part One of his must read interview with famed Another World scribe Harding Pete Lemay, We Love Soaps' Damon Jacobs finds out what it was like for the writer to work with the notoriously difficult Mother of Soaps, Irna Phillips. After Lemay was tapped by P&G to write for AW, based on the success of his memoir, the author needed someone to teach him the format of soap opera writing. P&G turned to Phillips. Here's what Lemay had to say about the experience:


I didn’t know how to do it. So they hired Irna Phillips to tutor me. Now Irna Phillips was a terror. She was a bitter, spiteful old woman. We didn’t get on at all. In the first place I didn’t agree with what she was doing as a writer. She thought people were either saints or sinners, they were all good or all bad. And I thought they were a mixture. So she was always screaming at me on the phone that everything I was doing was wrong. But the ratings suddenly began to go up. So P&G decided to keep me on and let her go because I couldn’t work with her. And then we were the first show to expand to an hour.

Be sure to read the rest of Part One of Jacobs' interview with Lemay, where the 87-year-old living legend talks about his struggles to attempt to bring diversity to daytime back in the 1970's.

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