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Claire Labine is an American soap opera writer and producer.

Early career

Although she originally aspired to be an actress, Labine eventually became a critically-acclaimed writer. She attended the University of Kentuckymarker where her major was journalism, but later she switched to playwriting major at Columbia University’s School of Dramatic Arts (now Columbia University School of the Arts). After graduating, she joined the writing staff of Captain Kangaroo. After writing for the show for two years, she was fired in 1968.

Labine's first foray into daytime was as a script writer for the CBS Daytime soap opera Where the Heart Is. After only a year at the show, she was promoted to the post of Head Writer in 1971, along with fellow writer and close friend Paul Avila Mayer. Although the duo increased the show's ratings their stint at the show ended in 1973, when CBS chose to take the show off the air.

Soon after the end of Where the Heart Is, she became Head Writer for another CBS soap, Love of Life. Once again she was paired with Mayer. The ratings for the show rose, which brought them to the attention of rival network ABC.

In late 1974, ABC Daytime approached Labine and Mayer, who were the Head Writers of Love of Life at the time, about creating a new soap opera. The network wanted a soap opera similar to General Hospital - even the proposed title of the new soap, City Hospital, resembled it. Labine and Mayer added a large Irish family to ABC's vision of the show - the Ryan family - and Ryan's Hope was created. While they were writing it, Ryan's Hope won six Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing and two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Program. In addition to this, Labine won a Writers Guild of America Award for each year that she wrote the show.

After ratings began to sag, Labine and Mayer were dismissed from the show in 1982 and replaced by their Associate Head Writer, Mary Ryan Munisteri. ABC asked both of them back in early 1983 when it became apparent that Munisteri's writing was not improving the ratings. Labine and Mayer were fired once again later that year.

During her absence from Ryan's Hope, Labine developed a soap for CBS that was entitled Celebration. This soap never made it to the air.

In 1987, Labine was asked by ABC to come back to Ryan's Hope. She accepted ABC's offer and remained with the show until 1989, when the show was cancelled.

1990s

In 1993, Labine returned to daytime as Head Writer of ABC's General Hospital. She brought the show much critical acclaim, and won her seventh Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing for her work on the show. She chose to depart the show in early 1996. During this time, she created a proposed General Hospital spin-off Heart and Soul, to star Wally Kurth and Rena Sofer in Brooklyn, NYmarker. The show was not picked up; Wendy Riche's competing Port Charles was ABC's choice instead.

Labine co-wrote (with Judith Pinsker) the 1995 New York Times bestseller General Hospital tie-in novel Robin's Diary, based in the AIDS storyline between characters Stone Cates and Robin Scorpio.

In late 1996, she was made Head Writer of ABC's One Life to Live because she had a year and a half left on her contract with ABC. She remained with the show until early 1998.

2000s

Most recently, Labine had a short stint at CBS' Guiding Light. She was Head Writer of the show from 2000 through 2001. Labine shared the reins of GL with her children, Matthew Labine and Eleanor Labine. Rumors abounded throughout Labine's tenure at GL that she, Executive Producer Paul Rauch, and Executive in Charge of Production Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin had frequent arguments about the show's direction. At one point, it was announced in the soap press that the Labines were departing, only to have the announcement recanted a week later. [104989] P&G did eventually replace the Labines the following year with writer Millie Taggart.

Positions held

Where the Heart Is
  • Co-Head Writer: 1971 - 1973
  • Script Writer: 1970 - 1971


Love of Life
  • Co-Head Writer 1973 - 1975


Ryan’s Hope
  • Executive Producer: July 1975 - June 1982
  • Head Writer: July 1975 - June 1982, January 1983 - November 1983, February 1987 - January 1989


One Life to Live
  • Head Writer: December 1996 - April 1998


General Hospital
  • Head Writer: March 1993 - March 1996


Guiding Light
  • Head Writer: August 2000 - July 2001


Awards

Daytime Emmy

9 Wins
  • (1995; Outstanding Writing; General Hospital)
  • (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983 & 1984, Outstanding Writing, Ryan's Hope)
  • (1979, Outstanding Drama Series, Ryan's Hope)
  • (1977, Outstanding Drama Series, Ryan's Hope)


12 Nominations
  • (1978, 1981 & 1982, Outstanding Drama Series, Ryan's Hope)

Writers Guild Of America

Wins
  • 1995, General Hospital
  • 1994, General Hospital
  • 1980-1983, 1986-1989, Ryan's Hope


Nominations
  • 2001, Guiding Light
  • 1996, General Hospital
  • 1979, Ryan's Hope

Other

  • Honored with Evelyn F. Burkey Award by the Writers Guild of America on February 19, 2005. The award was presented to her by friend Kate Mulgrew.
  • Connecticut College Gold Medal 1995 Inherit The Earth Award for General Hospital story line on environmental racism, a ground-breaking plot for daytime about a trash incinerator about to be located in a low income area featured icon Laura Webber in fight for social justice .


References




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