Veteran soap scribe Claire Labine, the creator of ABC’s Ryan’s Hope and a winner of nine Daytime Emmy Awards, died this week at age 82. A cause of death has not been disclosed.
Labine’s venerable daytime-TV career began in 1970, writing for CBS’ Where the Heart Is and Love of Life. She was then courted to create a companion series for ABC’s General Hospital, the result of which was Ryan’s Hope, which revolved around an Irish family and would go on to earn eight Emmys, including two for Outstanding Drama.
In 1993, Labine was brought on to GH itself as headwriter, where she created the character of Sonny Corinthos and in turn gave unto soap opera history the supercouple of Sonny and Brenda. Her other GH hallmarks include the introduction of the Ward family, the Robin/Stone love story and — hold on, I need a Kleenex — the B.J. heart transplant storyline.
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During her time at GH — where she would collect another Emmy — Labine came up with the spinoff idea Heart and Soul, which was to center on the characters of Ned and Lois and be set in Brooklyn; ABC went with the Port Charles offshoot instead. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, she had headwriter stints at One Life to Live and Guiding Light.
GH vets Maurice Benard and Vanessa Marcil and OLTL alum Kassie DePaive have been among the actors who have remembered Labine via Twitter: