Actress Doris Belack, who played roles in a number of daytime soap operas from the mid-1960s to early 1980s, died of natural causes in Manhattan on October 4 at age 85.
On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, she played Anna Wolek Craig (1968-1977), her most famous daytime character. She was also seen as Madge Murray (1966-1968) and Nora Simpson (1978) on ANOTHER WORLD, Claudia Howard on THE DOCTORS (1980), and Beth Bryson on THE EDGE OF NIGHT (1981). She had appeared on EDGE more than once before 1981 the Mrs. Bryson character, opposite Chris Goutman's Sharkey, was her most memorable on that show.
When she left ONE LIFE TO LIVE after nine years in 1977, Belack said, "I asked for a clause that would enable me to be out for additional theater work. They didn't want to give it to me, so I left. I couldn't stay on the serial without the opportunity to do theater work also. They apparently failed to understand that an actor needs a change of stimulus to keep his work fresh."
In primetime, Belack presided numerous times on LAW & ORDER as Judge Margaret Barry, and made guest appearances on EVERWOOD, SISTERS, THE GOLDEN GIRLS, and numerous other shows.
Belack's feature film credits included Tootsie, in which she played the exasperated producer of the soap opera within the movie.
Her husband of 65 years, Tony Award winning producer Philip Rose, died just four months ago. She worked with him on shows including "Plaza Suite," her first after leaving ONE LIFE in 1977. Belack said at the time, "I trust his judgment completely. Occasionally we scream and yell, but we don't take our work problems home with us." They met during a Gilbert and Sullivan show.
A joint memorial for Belack and Rose will be held October 17 at noon at the Ambassador Theater. It will be open to the public.
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