Writers Info

For the first time online, here is complete information, alphabetically, on the 32 head writers (plus the original unaired pilot writer) in "Days of Our Lives" history. For more information, please visit the head writer archive.

Richard Jeffrey Allen
Tenure: 1990-1991, 1992
Born November 13, 1959 in New York City...married Sheri Berkson...Emmy nominated as a staff writer for "Days" in 1987...has also written for "General Hospital", "One Life to Live", "Another World" and "As the World Turns" (where he won two Emmys in 2001 and 2002)...currently lives in Texas where he is the chairman and professor of the film department at Texas Christian Univeristy in Fort Worth.

Sheryl Jeanne Anderson Thomas
Tenure: 1982-1986, 1992-1993
Born June 27, 1948 in Los Angeles, California...married Paca Thomas...during her first tenure as co-head writer at "Days", helped create many long-running characters including Bo Brady, Victor Kiriakis, John Black, Kimberly Brady, Shane Donovan and Steve "Patch" Johnson...Emmy nominated four times at "Days" (won once as a staff writer in 1976)...also has written for "General Hospital", "Falcon Crest", "Guiding Light", "Another World" and "Santa Barbara" (where she won an Emmy in 1991)...lives in Los Angeles, California.

Anne Howard Bailey
Tenure: 1989-1990
Born July 26, 1924 in Memphis, Tennessee...started writing for television in 1950 on "Armstrong Circle Theatre"...also wrote for "Bonanza", "National Velvet", "87th Precinct", "Family", "General Hospital", "Santa Barbara" (where she won an Emmy in 1989)...also won a primetime Emmy for "The Trial of Mary Lincoln"...created the short-lived soap "How to Survive a Marriage" in 1974...died in Rancho Mirage, California of congestive heart failure on November 23, 2006.
  
William Joseph Bell
Tenure: 1966-1975
Born March 6, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois...to earn money during college, he wrote scripts for a Chicago radio station...married Lee Phillip in 1954...wrote for "The Guiding Light" and "As the World Turns"...co-created "Another World" in 1964 and "Our Private World" in 1965...joined "Days" as head writer in 1966, saving the show from cancellation, and stayed as a story consultant until 1978...created both "The Young and the Restless" (where he won five producing Emmys in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1993, and 2004 as well as three writing Emmys in 1992, 1997 and 2000) and "The Bold and the Beautiful"...four-time Emmy nominee for "Days", winning in 1976...died in Los Angeles, California from complications of Alzheimer's on April 29, 2005 at the age of 78.

Peter J. Brash
Tenure: 2002-2003
Born July 16, 1954...has written for "Ryan's Hope", "Another World" and "Guiding Light" (where he won an Emmy in 1990)...Emmy nominated for "Days" in 1999...stayed with "Days" as a staff writer through March 1, 2007...lives in New York.

Lorraine Broderick Delehanty
Tenure: 1999
Born January 17, 1949 in Andover, Massachusetts...married Ronald Delehanty...once taught English as a Second Language...was an associate dean and professor at Wesleyan University...began her daytime career as a writer for "All My Children" from 1979-1991. She has also written for "Guiding Light" (1992-1993), "Another World" (1994-1995), "All My Children" (1995-1997), "As the World Turns" (1998-1999), "Port Charles" (2000-2001), "One Life to Live" (2001-2004), "Guiding Light" (2004-2005), "All My Children" (2010-2012). Broderick has been nominated for 15 Daytime Emmy Awards, winning six times (1985, 1988, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998). She returned to "Days" as a breakdown writer in August 2012.

Paula Frances Cwikly
Tenure: 2002-2003
Born April 29, 1961 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania...was NBC's director of daytime programming...has written for "Sunset Beach" and most recently for "As the World Turns" (where she won an Emmy in 2005)...lives in Toluca Lake, California.

Margaret Frances De Priest
Tenure: 1982-1984
Born January 25, 1932...began career as an actress on "The Edge of Night"...co-created the short-lived "Where the Heart Is" in 1969...head writer for "Days" (Emmy nominated in 1984 and 1985), "General Hospital", "Another World", "One Life to Live", "All My Children" and most recently "Sunset Beach"...lives in California.

Ruth Albertina Brooks Flippen
Tenure: 1980
Born September 14, 1921 in Brooklyn, New York...married actor/comedian Jay C. Flippen...won an Emmy for "Oh Baby, Baby, Baby."...wrote scripts for "Bewitched", "My World and Welcome To It", "The Odd Couple" and "Gidget" as well as several "Gidget" movies...her final stint was at "Days" for a month in 1980...died in Marina del Rey, California of heart illness on July 9, 1981 at the age of 59.

Joe Shelby "Josh" Griffith
Tenure: 2015-2016
Born August 15, 1959 in New York...began his writing career with "Santa Barbara" from 1988-1991...co-created "Sunset Beach" in 1997...has also written for "One Life to Live" (1991-1995, 2003-2004), "As the World Turns" (2005-2006, 2009-2010), "General Hospital" (2009, 2011), and "The Young and the Restless" (2006-2008, 2012-2013)...served as a Co-Executive Producer on "The Young and the Restless" and was a Co-Executive Producer/Head Writer of "Hollywood Heights" in 2012...has won 5 Daytime Emmys (in 1989 and 1991 for "Santa Barbara", in 1994 for "One Life to Live" and in 2007 and 2014 for "The Young and the Restless"), and received a total of 13 Daytime Emmy nominations.


Charles J. Gussman
Wrote Original Unaired Pilot in 1965
Born June 29, 1913 in Kansas City, Missouri...started out writing for radio...also wrote for "Search for Tomorrow" and "Young Doctor Malone"...he wrote the unaired pilot episode script of "Days of Our Lives", which was shot in July, 1965...in his obituary, an old quote of his says "I gave the series its name...The big guys loved it because it didn't mean a thing"...as his obituary states, he fulfilled his dying wish of having his final words be memorable...just before dying he whispered "And now for a word from our sponsor"...he died in Holland, Pennsylvania on October 1, 2000 at the age of 87.

Elizabeth Louise Foss Harrower Seabold
Tenure: 1979-1980
Born May 28, 1918 in Alameda, California...during World War I, placed in an orphanage during the great flu epidemic...adopted by the Harrowers...married Harry Seabold...daughter Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie Williams on "Days")...wrote for "The Young and the Restless", "Ryan's Hope" and "Days" (nominated for Emmys in 1978 and 1979)...also acted in many movies and TV series such as "Days of Our Lives" (as Mrs. Calder in 1966), "The Gene Autry Show", "Dennis the Menace", "The Twilight Zone", "Perry Mason", "Batman", "Gunsmoke" and, in her final role, as Charlotte Ramsey on "The Young and the Restless" in 2003...died in Valley Village, California of cancer on December 10, 2003 at the age of 85.

Dena Anne Breshears Higley
Tenure: 2003, 2008-2011, 2015-Present
Born September 26, 1958 in Tulare, California...married Mark Higley (who also wrote for "Days" in 2004)...Emmy nominated 8 times, winning twice (2008, 2012)...head writer for "One Life to Live" from 2004-2007...returned to "Days" as head writer in August, 2015...lives in La Canada, California.

Nina Jeanne Dainty Laemmle
Tenure: 1980
Born November 20, 1910 in London, England...moved to America with her mother in April, 1935...married writer Ernest Laemmle in 1940...wrote for "Zane Grey Theater", "Marcus Welby, MD" and "Peyton Place" as well as "Days" in 1980 where she was famous for what has come to be called the "Valentine's Day Massacre", killing off many Salem characters during her brief run with the show...born in 1910 (earlier than any other "Days" writer in history), she lived to be 97...she died in California on August 12, 2008.

Leah Laiman Toporoff
Tenure: 1984-1989
Born August 29, 1946 in Tel Aviv, Israel...raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada...married Ralph Toporoff...Emmy nominated twice for her work on "Days" in 1985 and 1987...began her writing career with "General Hospital"...has also written for "Guiding Light", "One Life to Live" and was the final head writer for "Another World" in 1999...created the short-lived series "Tribes" in 1992...currently writes for "As the World Turns" (where she won an Emmy in 2001)...lives in New York City.

Thomas C. Langan
Tenure: 1999-2002
Born October 19, 1947...began career as producer at "The Young and the Restless" (won an Emmy as producer in 1986)...along with writing for "Days", he was also the co-executive producer...Emmy nominated six times (once as a lyricist in 1994; five times in a row as a producer from 1995-1999)...now retired, he lives in Englewood, Florida.

Michelle Poteet Lisanti
Tenure: 1980-1981
Born January 25, 1954 in Elmhurst, Illinois...began her writing career in 1979 and has previously written for "Texas", "Search for Tomorrow", "Guiding Light", "As the World Turns", "The Young and the Restless", "Port Charles" and, most recently, "One Life to Live." She was also the co-head writer of "Sunset Beach" for its entire run from 1997-1999. Was later a staff writer at "Days" from 1987-1994 and again from 2009-present...lives in California with her husband, Richard Lisanti, and two kids.

Dorothy Ann Goldstone Marcus
Tenure: 1977-1979
Born August 22, 1921 in Little Falls, New York...married Ellis Marcus...reporter for New York Daily News and Life Magazine...wrote for many TV series such as "Lassie", "Peyton Place", "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman", "Valerie" and "Falcon Crest"...head writer for "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing", "General Hospital", "Search for Tomorrow" and "Days" (Emmy nominee in 1978 and 1979)...released her memoir "Whistling Girl" in 1999...wrote the feature film "For Heaven's Sake" in 2006...died in Sherman Oaks, California on December 3, 2014 at the age of 93.
 
Marlene L. Clark McPherson
Tenure: 2011-2012
Born August 20, 1962 in Napa County, California...Marlene McPherson (formerly known as Marlene Clark Poulter) began her career at "General Hospital" from 1987-1991, where she worked her way up from an assistant to the producers, then to script continuity coordinator, and finally as a script writer. From 1991-1993, she was a dialogue writer for "Days", and later worked as a breakdown writer from 1993-1999. From 1999-2008, McPherson was a breakdown writer for the entire run of "Passions." In 2009, she co-created the "Swiss Family Robinson" pilot for ABC Family. She has been nominated for 7 Daytime Emmy Awards.

Beth Ellen Milstein
Tenure: 1992, 2016
Born February 27, 1957...began her "Days" career as an associate producer in the 1980's...has also written for "The Bold and the Beautiful", "Port Charles" and "Sunset Beach"...returned to the "Days" writing staff from 2006-2007 and again in 2016 as interim head writer...lives in Sherman Oaks, California.
  
Sally Louise Sussman Morina
Tenure: 1997-1999
Born September 2, 1956...married director Anthony Morina...created NBC's "Generations" in 1989...also has written for "Another World", "Freshman Dorm" and "Spyder Games"...Emmy nominated three times while at "Days" in 1997, 1998 and 1999...currently writes for "The Young and the Restless" (where she won an Emmy in 2006)...lives in Santa Monica, California.

Eugene Robert Palumbo
Tenure: 1991-1992, 1992
Born November 10, 1945...also wrote for "General Hospital" and "Guiding Light" (where he won an Emmy in 1982)...in his later years he went back to his first love of playing piano and conducting music...died in Florida of a head injury caused after he fell unconscious from a blood disease on October 10, 2000 at the age of 54.

Peggy Phillips Bucci
Tenure: 1965-1966
Born June 25, 1916 in New York City...professional writer and public relations specialist for Broadway for more than forty years...wrote the film "The Crimson Canary" as well as TV series such as "Lassie", "My Three Sons", "The Donna Reed Show", and was the first co-head writer of "Days" in 1965...authored four books, including her final work "My Brother's Keeper"...died in Dana Point, California of a stroke on December 27, 2004 at the age of 88.

Ryan Shigeru Quan
Tenure: 2016-Present

Born September 9, 1977 in Los Angeles, California...graduated from UCLA in 1999 and started off his soap career by winning Procter & Gamble's writing contest for college students. Quan was the writers' assistant for "Passions" from 1999-2005 and served as the show's website coordinator from 2005-2007. He joined "Days of Our Lives" on April 3, 2007 as the show's writers' assistant. He started doing double duty as a dialogue writer from September 2008-November 2008 and September 2009-March 2011. Quan did double duty as both a breakdown writer and writers' assistant from September 2011-September 2016, when he was promoted to head writer. He won his first Daytime Emmy Award in 2012 and has been nominated a total of four times (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015).

Thomas Frank Raucina
Tenure: 1984-1986
Born June 4, 1946 in Kenosha, Wisconsin...uses Racina as last name...Emmy nominated twice for "Days" in 1985 and 1987...has also written for "Search for Tomorrow", "General Hospital" (where he wrote Luke and Laura's wedding), "Another World", "Generations" and "Santa Barbara"...author of several mystery books, most recently "Deep Freeze"...lives in Palm Springs, California.

James E. Reilly
Tenure: 1992-1998, 2003-2006
Born July 29, 1948 in Bronx, New York...has written for many soaps, such as "Ryan's Hope", "Capitol", "General Hospital", "The Young and the Restless", "Guiding Light" (where he won an Emmy in 1993) and "Sunset Beach"...in July 1999,  he created "Passions"...has the second-longest tenure (8 years, 1 month) as the head writer for "Days"...Emmy nominated three times for "Days" (1994, 1997 and 1998)...appeared as himself in a "Days" spoof on "Friends"...was the creator and head writer of "Passions" for its entire run (1999-2008)...died after recovering from cardiac surgery on October 12, 2008 at the age of 60.

Kenneth Mayer Rosen
Tenure: 1965
Born January 13, 1929 in New York...wrote for "Perry Mason", "Arrest and Trial" and "Day in Court", as well as being the first co-head writer of "Days" in 1965...later in his career wrote and produced documentaries and news specials...last worked on Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall documentary specials...died in Los Angeles, California of a heart attack on July 2, 1976 at the age of 47.

Anne Marie Schoettle Shaughnessy
Tenure: 1990-1991
Born October 5, 1959...married producer David Shaughnessy (brother of Charles "ex-Shane Donovan" Shaughnessy)...Emmy nominated twice as a staff writer for "Days" in 1985 and 1987...has also written for "The Bold and the Beautiful"...returned briefly to the "Days" writing staff in 2006...lives in California.

Mark Wayne "Hogan" Sheffer
Tenure: 2006-2008
Born June 12, 1958 in York, Pennsylvania...director of screenplay development at Dreamworks...head writer for "As the World Turns" (winning four Daytime Emmys)...received nickname of "Hogan" from his younger brother who, as kids, thought he looked like pianist/composer Hoagy Carmichael...he recently moved from New York to California to be closer to the "Days" studios in Burbank.

Patricia Anne Falkenhagen "Falken Smith" Fleischmann
Tenure: 1975-1977, 1981-1982
Born January 21, 1926 in Chippewa County, Minnesota...married Jack Fleischmann in 1968...worked as a junior screenwriter at Warner Bros., making rewrites and dialogue changes on the film classics "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant"...helped with writing the early episodes of "Bonanza", as well as writing for "Father of the Bride", "National Velvet", "Rawhide", "Perry Mason"...joined "Days" in 1966 and stayed with the show through 1977, returning briefly from 1981-1982 (Emmy nominated four times, winning in 1976)..created characters such as Marlena Evans, Roman Brady, Abe Carver, Stefano DiMera and Tony DiMera...later she was the head writer for "General Hospital", "Guiding Light" and "Ryan's Hope"...died in Los Angeles, California on May 19, 2001 at the age of 75.
 
Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr.
Tenure: 2011-2012
Born September 26, 1964...began his career as a breakdown writer for "Days of Our Lives" from 1998-1999...was one of "Passions" breakdown writers for the series' entire run from 1999-2008...he has been nominated for 3 Daytime Emmy Awards. 

Gary D. Tomlin
Tenure: 1980-1981; 2012-2015
Born March 6, 1950 in Indianapolis, Indiana...began his career as an actor on such shows as "Search For Tomorrow", "The Waltons" and "Another World". He switched to writing and was a dialogue writer at "Days" from February-October 1980. He was then the head writer (along with Michelle Poteet Lisanti) at "Days" from October 20, 1980-October 20, 1981. He later wrote for "Texas", "Search For Tomorrow", "Another World" and "Santa Barbara." Tomlin switched to producing in 1995 and had stints at "All My Children", "Sunset Beach" and "One Life to Live." From 2003-2008, Tomlin began the next phase of his career, as a director on "Passions." From September 2008-September 2011, Tomlin was the Co-Executive Producer of "Days." He has been nominated for 12 Daytime Emmy Awards, winning twice (in 1989 and 2002).
 
Christopher Joseph Whitesell
Tenure: 2012-2015
Born January 17, 1957 in Iowa Falls, Iowa...Christopher Whitesell has a long history in daytime, beginning in 1984 with "Guiding Light." He was on the writing staffs of "Guiding Light", "As the World Turns", "Another World" and "One Life to Live" before being named to his first co-head writing position, on "General Hospital", in 1997. From 1998-1999, he was the co-head writer on "Sunset Beach." Whitesell then was a breakdown and dialogue writer at "Days" from March 2000-March 2001. He later was co-head writer on "One Life to Live" from 2001-2003 and "As the World Turns" from 2003-2008. From October 2008-June 2011, Whitesell was the co-head writer at "Days." He wrote for "The Young and the Restless" from 2011-2012. Whitesell has been nominated for 14 Daytime Emmy Awards, winning five times (in 1986 for "Guiding Light"; 1994 for "One Life to Live"; 2004 and 2005 for "As the World Turns"; and 2012 for "Days").
 
 
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