Monday, December 10, 2012

Paul Rauch Dead at 78

Former daytime executive turned legendary soap opera producer Paul Rauch died on December 10 in New York due to complications from blood clots.  He was 78.

Rauch served as vice president of CBS daytime programming in the early 1970s before leaving to take over as executive producer of ANOTHER WORLD (1971-1983). His partnership with head writer Harding Lemay (1972-1979) produced what is considered by many to be some of the best daytime soap opera in history. In our 2009 inteview with Lemay, he described Rauch as "one of the best producers, probably the best producer I have ever worked with."

He went on to produce ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1983 to 1991), SANTA BARBARA (1991-1993) and GUIDING LIGHT (1996-2002). His most recent work was as executive producer for THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS from 2008 to 2011.

Rauch also created ANOTHER WORLD spin-off TEXAS (1980) and LOVERS AND FRIENDS (1977), which transitioned into FOR RICHER, FOR POORER.

Rauch could be a polarizing figure in the industry. Our interviews over the years at We Love Soaps included much praise for the man, but also some biting criticism. At the end of the final episode of SANTA BARBARA in 1993, Rauch stomped out a cigar as the final image, angering fans and critics alike.

But there's no question of the huge impact Rauch made on the daytime landscape as an executive and producer for more than four decades.

ANOTHER WORLD's Harding Lemay, Victoria Wyndham, Paul Rauch
and Douglass Watson honored by NATAS in 1979
Rauch was nominated for eight Daytime Emmy Awards in his career, winning twice as a producer. In 1976 ANOTHER WORLD was named Outstanding Daytime Drama Series, and in 2001 RUN WITH THE FIELDS won as Outstanding Children's Special.

ANOTHER WORLD was the first daytime soap to expand to an hour daily and then to 90 minutes. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored the show in 1979 for being a leader in the industry.

Rauch also produced soap operas overseas including Russian primetime series POORY NASTYA and PUSHKIN.  He developed the drama series OCEAN FRONT and RENDEZVOUS in Poland.

In our 2010 interview with Rauch at the Daytime Emmys, we asked him what the biggest changes he saw over his years working as a producer.

"We’re not doing the kind of location work we used to do," Rauch said. "And that’s primary budget driven. But on the other hand, it’s caused us to become much more character driven than we were in the past."

In our 2011 interview, former ONE LIFE TO LIVE actor Thom Christopher may have said it best, "Paul Rauch wrote the book on daytime producing. I think the fact he thinks like an actor, he thinks like a director. Daytime is like doing an independent feature every day. What Paul did, and this is the key, is that Paul never got caught up in the process. He did the thing that gave him the best show. He combines the artistry, the creativity, the courage, and the technical process."

He is survived by his wife, Israela Margalit, a concert pianist and playwright; two children; two stepchildren; and three granddaughters.

- In Memoriam -- Those We Lost in 2012


  1. Replies
    1. My condolences to paul's two children, Tyler and Stacy,granddaughter,Ruby. So sorry for your loss. RIP Paul.

  2. Mr. Rauch made his mark all right, including making Ellen Holly's last almost 2 years on OLTL pure bulls*** hell!

    Brian :-)