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General Hospital's Retiring Scribe Shelly Altman on #Friz, Favorite Storylines, and Mentors

Shelly Altman

Retiring General Hospital co-head writer Shelly Altman gave Soap Opera Digest her exit interview. She detailed her long career in daytime, which has spanned Another World, One Life to Live, GH, and The Young and the Restless, and her storyline yeas and nays.

Altman joined Another World but began working with Jill Farren Phelps on One Life to Live. She told SOD:

"Jill Phelps, the producer at Another World, moved to One Life and wanted me there. Jean [Passanante] was coming into Another World,  [as head writer]. She and I had never met and she wanted to work with writers that she knew. There was a writer at One Life who wanted to leave, and our agents literally negotiated, like, a baseball trade."

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She also discussed her struggle to balance veteran actors and newbies on the canvas, admitting:

"We actively set out to texturize the canvas and use as many characters as we could in each story. It is a challenge with that many characters." 

Altman expressed desire to have done more with the story of Aidan Spencer (Jason David)'s sexuality, but contentment with the love story between Franco (Roger Howarth) and Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst). She said:

"When we first put Franco and Liz together, there was an outcry about that. But we felt committed to it. We felt, 'This is a good story and this is a story we just want to tell.' If you really, really believe in the story, you have to tell it despite negative criticism." 

Read the full interview in the latest edition of SOD, on stands now.