Ann Marcus

Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her nearly four-hour Archive interview, Ann Marcus (1921-2014) talks about her early interest in writing, which led her to become a "copy boy" at "The New York Daily News" and later a reporter/researcher at "Life" magazine. She describes her early, unsuccessful attempts at being an actress and her and her husband's determination to make it in Los Angeles. She recounts her earliest television-writing jobs on The Hathaways, Camp Runamuck, and Please Don't Eat the Daisies. She discusses breaking into soap opera-writing with Peyton Place and Love is a Many Splendored Thing. She recalls the syndicated serial The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts, which she co-created and co-executive-produced with her husband, Ellis Marcus. Marcus then discusses working with Norman Lear on the groundbreaking soap opera satire Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and the less successful All That Glitters. She speaks of how the television industry has changed for writers and comments on ageism she has encountered in more recent years. She also outlines her time writing for Knot's Landing, Falcon Crest and General Hospital. Karen Herman conducted the interview on November 16, 2001 at Ann Marcus' home in Sherman Oaks, CA.

"[I'd like to be remembered] as one of the few women who back forty years ago was able to start a career and maintain it for forty years. Had a lot of fun doing it. Lot of ups and downs. Made a lot of money, made a lot of friends, had a marvelously good time, and enjoyed what I did."  

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Ann Marcus on having a script for Lassie rejected
Ann Marcus on her attempt to integrate the cast of Peyton Place
Ann Marcus on working with Norman Lear on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on quitting Days of Our Lives over a controversial storyline 
Ann Marcus on getting fired from Falcon Crest and her "revenge"
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on being "copy boy" at The New York Daily News  
On being a reporter for Life Magazine; on her early interest in writing

Chapter 2

On moving from New York to Los Angeles; on her husband selling televisions; on her attempts at acting
On her early television writing career; on writing for The Hathaways; on early gender discrimination in television; on how writing for television has changed

Chapter 3

On writing for Please Don't Eat the Daises, Lassie, and Peyton Place
On I Love Lucy director Marc Daniels; on being head writer for Love is a Many Splendored Thing; on quitting Days of Our Lives over a controversial storyline

Chapter 4

On the cancellation of Love is a Many Splendored Thing; on working with actors on soaps; on the process of writing for soaps; on soap opera ratings and demographics
On meeting Norman Lear; on writing for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; on Louise Lasser as "Mary Hartman" in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Chapter 5

On Norman Lear's contributions to Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; on the cast and catchphrases of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
On Louise Lasser as "Mary Hartman" on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; on critical and popular reaction to Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; on leaving the series for Norman Lear's All That Glitters

Chapter 6

On becoming head writer for Days of Our Lives and establishing her own production company; on working with Days of Our Lives' actors
On creating The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts; on writing for Falcon Crest; on her production deal with Lorimar

Chapter 7

On how she came to write for General Hospital; on the 1988 writer's strike
On how she came to write for Knots Landing; on the demise of the freelance writing pool; on her autobiography

Chapter 8

On the importance of the Writer's Guild; on advice to aspiring writers; on how she'd like to be remembered
On B-roll photos from her career: a glamour shot of Ann Marcus, Marcus with her Emmy, at a buffet celebration, and a scene from Life and Times of Eddie Roberts; Marcus at her desk at the MGM Studio, with Ted Shakleford, with her husband Ellis, and with Donna Mills; a screenshot of her credit from General Hospital, and a photo of her husband Ellis
Shows

All that Glitters

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Ann Marcus on leaving Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman for All That Giltters
Ann Marcus on leaving Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman for All That Giltters

Days of Our Lives

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Ann Marcus on quitting Days of Our Lives over a controversial storyline
Ann Marcus on writing for Days of Our Lives

Falcon Crest

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Ann Marcus on being supervising producer for Falcon Crest

General Hospital

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Ann Marcus on how she came to write for General Hospital

Hathaways, The

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Ann Marcus on writing for The Hathaways

I Love Lucy

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Ann Marcus on I Love Lucy director Marc Daniels

Knots Landing

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Ann Marcus on how she came to write for Knots Landing
Ann Marcus on the plot and cast of Knots Landing

Lassie

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Ann Marcus on getting an script for Lassie rejected

Life and Times of Eddie Roberts

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Ann Marcus on creating The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts

Love Is a Many Splendored Thing

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Ann Marcus on writing for Love Is a Many Splendored Thing
Ann Marcus on the cancellation of Love is a Many Splendored Thing

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Ann Marcus on how she came to write for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on writing the pilot for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on Louise Lasser as "Mary Hartman" on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on the premise of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on working with Norman Lear on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on Norman Lear's contributions to Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on the cast of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on the catchphrases of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on the chicken soup episode of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on critical and popular reaction to Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on her favorite scenes in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Peyton Place

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Ann Marcus on how she came to write for Peyton Place
Ann Marcus on writing for Peyton Place

Please Don't Eat the Daisies

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Ann Marcus on writing Please Don't Eat the Daises
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Ann Marcus on the catchphrases of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Ann Marcus on her mentors

Diversity in Television

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Ann Marcus on quitting Days of Our Lives over a controversial storyline
Ann Marcus on her attempt to integrate the cast of Peyton Place

Minorities

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Ann Marcus on her attempt to integrate the cast of Peyton Place
Ann Marcus on her attempt to integrate the cast of Peyton Place

Pop Culture

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Ann Marcus on the catchphrases of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Television Industry

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Ann Marcus on ageism in the television industry
Ann Marcus on how the television industry has changed
Professions

Writers

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Ann Marcus on how writing for television has changed
Ann Marcus on the process of writing for soap operas
Ann Marcus on the difference between writing a daytime and night-time serial
Ann Marcus on advice to aspiring writers
Genres

Comedy Series

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Ann Marcus on writing for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on writing for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Ann Marcus on writing for Peyton Place
Ann Marcus on creating The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts
Ann Marcus on writing for Knots Landing
People

Macdonald Carey

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Ann Marcus on working with Macdonald Carey on Days of Our Lives

Marc Daniels

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Ann Marcus on I Love Lucy director Marc Daniels

Claudia Lamb

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Ann Marcus on Claudia Lamb as "Heather" on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Louise Lasser

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Ann Marcus on Louise Lasser as "Mary Hartman" on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on Louise Lasser as "Mary Hartman" on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Norman Lear

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Ann Marcus on how she came to work for Norman Lear on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Ann Marcus on Norman Lear's contributions to Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Mary Kay Place

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Ann Marcus on Mary Kay Place as "Loretta Haggers" on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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