"Irna Phillips wanted to show people as they were with 'As the World Turns.' In all our various forms: the good, the bad, and the indifferent. She felt that this was what was interesting about people. That was her goal, and that is why the show has worked for nearly fifty years."
About This Interview
In her two-hour Archive interview, actress Helen Wagner (1918-2010) describes breaking into acting on the New York stage and in experimental television. She talks about her appearance as a regular on the short-lived Charlie Ruggles sitcom The World of Mr. Sweeney. She discusses the role for which she is most associated, that of "Nancy Hughes" on As the World Turns, a role she has played for nearly fifty years, the longest running character to date in the history of television. She describes the production of As the World Turns including its transition from "live" to tape, story plot lines, and working with her longtime co-stars. She talks about various moments from the show from uttering the series' very first line ("Good morning dear, what would you like for breakfast?") to playing a scene "live" while unbeknownst to her CBS broke in to announce the shooting of President Kennedy. She talks about her continued work on the series and how the show has evolved over the years. Karen Herman conducted the interview on October 6, 2004 in Mt. Kisco, NY.