Friday, December 9, 2011

COUNTDOWN: Top 30 Soap World (Auto)Biographies, from Mona Bruns Thomas to Christina Crawford, Judy Lewis to Bill & Susan Hayes

We mentioned new memoirs by Kim Zimmer and Susan Lucci in our Cyber Monday list of merchandise to check out. Now we are expanding that list looking at life stories from the world of daytime dramas. Check out our Top 30 list below:

1. "Both of Me" by Mary Stuart

2. "Eight Years in Another World" by Harding Lemay

3. "From the Raven to the Dove" by Sharon Gabet

4. "The Confessions of Phoebe Tyler" by Ruth Warrick and Don Preston

5. "Please, Spell the Name Right" by Jed Allan

6. "I'm Just Sayin'!: Three Deaths, Seven Husbands, and a Clone! My Life as a Daytime Diva" by Kim Zimmer

7. "As My World Still Turns: The Uncensored Memoirs of America's Soap Opera Queen" by Eileen Fulton, Desmond Atholl and Michael Cherkinian

8. "Like Sands Through The Hourglass" by Bill & Susan Hayes

9. "Changing Shoes" by Tina Sloan

10. "Mommie Dearest" by Christina Crawford

11. "The Quality of Mercy : An Autobiography" by Mercedes McCambridge

12. "Uncommon Knowledge" by Judy Lewis

13. "The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir" by Diana Welch, Liz Welch, Amanda Welch and Dan Welch

14. "The Days of My Life" by Macdonald Carey

15. "All My Life: A Memoir" by Susan Lucci

16. "Whistling Girl" by Ann Marcus

17. "The Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives" by Ken Corday

18. "Forgiving Troy: A True Story of Murder, Mental Illness and Recovery" by Thom Bierdz

19. "The Bennett Playbill" by Joan Bennett and Lois Kibbee

20. "By Emily Possessed" by Mona Bruns Thomas

21. "Tune in Tomorrow" by Mary Jane Higby

22. "Did I Miss Anything?: Memoirs of a Soap Opera Star" by Terry O'Sullivan

23. "Forever Female" by Pat Crowley

24. "Inside Inside" by James Lipton

25. "Minabelle : The First Glamorous Soap Opera Queen" by Ralph Hutchins

26. "Arlene Francis: A Memoir" by Arlene Francis

27. "The Bunny Years" by Kathryn Leigh Scott

28. "Playing With Fire" by Robert LaSorda

29. "Late, Late at Night" by Rick Springfield

30. "All The Days Of My Life (So Far)" by Alison Sweeney

BONUS: (updating with reader recommendations)
"Not That Man Anymore: (A Message From Michael)" by Susan Hufford & Michael Zaslow

"Time Steps: My Musical Comedy Life" by Donna McKechnie

"On Stage & In Shadows: A Career Memoir" by Marie Wallace

"Big Lou: The Life and Career of Actor Louis Edmonds" by Craig Hamrick

"Grayson Hall: A Hard Act to Follow" by R.J. Jamison

"As My World Turns" by Eileen Fulton

"Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway" by Farley Granger & Robert Calhoun

"The Cancer War" by Anthony Herrera

Now that you've seen our list, what do you think? Add your own recommendations in our Comments section below.

Some of these items might be great Christmas gifts for the soap fans on your list.

- WLS Interview Archive: Harding Lemay
- AS THE WORLD TURNS ON DVD: Eileen Fulton Reminisces
- INTERVIEW: Kathryn Leigh Scott Reflects On DARK SHADOWS and Tells Us About Her New Book, "Dark Passages"
- WLS Interview Archive: Bill And Susan Seaforth Hayes
- WE LOVE SOAPS TV 3.01 Kim Zimmer Tells All In New Book "I'm Just Sayin'" (Season 3 Premiere)
- Judy Lewis Dead At 76; Starred in THE SECRET STORM & GENERAL HOSPITAL; Produced TEXAS; Wrote SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, Daughter of Loretta Young & Clark Gable
- INTERVIEW: GL's Tina Sloan Talks "Changing Shoes"
- WE LOVE SOAPS TV 2.48 Susan Lucci "All My Life" Book Signing


  1. I'm going to take it as irony that you misspelled Jed Allan's name above. :)

    I would respectfully submit Not That Man Anymore about Michael Zaslow's career and struggle with ALS.

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  3. In the autobiography/memoir category I'd add Marie Wallace's On Stage & In Shadows: a career memoir. It's about her life, especially in the theatre, but there are chapters on Dark Shadows and Somerset. Jonathan Frid wrote the foreward.

    In the bio category: Big Lou: The Life and Career of Actor Louis Edmonds by Craig Hamrick; and Grayson Hall: A Hard Act to Follow by R.J. Jamison. Again, lots of information on the New York stage scene these two wonderful actors were both involved in as well as soap work.

  4. Big Lou is an informative & entertaining book on a most informative & entertaining personality. I Love It!

    Brian :-)

  5. You should also add Eileen Fulton's original autobiography, "As My World Turns" to the list. The two books together give great insight into the world of soaps.

  6. Great choices. Keep 'em coming! :) Would love expand this list to be as comprehensive as possible.

  7. I haven't read it, but I've always been very curious to the late Anthony Herrera's memoir about his fight with cancer.

    And wasn't there one by the late Farley Granger?

  8. Your news item about Ricky Martin reminded me that he wrote a memoir last year entitled "Me." Also, Hunter Tylo wrote one over a decade ago called "Making a Miracle." (I have not personally read either of these books, so I can't really say exactly what they cover.)

  9. I enjoyed the one by Ann Marcus the best.

  10. I'm surprised that Kathryn Leigh Scott's first book, MY SCRAPBOOK MEMORIES OF DARK SHADOWS (1986) wasn't included. Her Playboy book only touched briefly on her DS days (she ended her Bunny career shortly after joining DS), although fellow Bunnies Susan Sullivan and Jackie Zeman are in it. On the other hand I'm glad that so many books from the DS gang made the list. I'm still waiting for Lara Parker to write her memoirs, though. And why wasn't Rebecca Jaamison's excellent biography of Grayson Hall "Grayson Hall: a Hard Act to Follow" also mentioned?

  11. Harding Lemay's is the best soap book ever. I own more than one copy and have read it many times. There's nothing like his "Another World." I really enjoyed Mary Stuart's book as well.

    A superb book that I don't see here is "One Life" by Ellen Holly. Good dish about her time on OLTL. Catty at times, touching at times. Highly recommended.

  12. Ed Zimmermann, Dr. Joe Werner on the Guiding Light from 1967-1972, wrote an excellent novel, LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON,based upon his experiences on the show. This great read is available on ebay and amazon.

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