Former ‘One Life To Live’, ‘Dark Shadows’ Scribe Emmy-Winner Sam Hall Has Died At 93, Highlight Hollywood News
Sam Hall, who wrote for such soap operas as Dark Shadows, Once Life to Live and Santa Barbara, died Friday after a short bout with pneumonia in Rhinebeck, N.Y. He was 93. Mr. Hall, a five-time Daytime Emmy Award nominee and Peabody Award winner, was married for 33 years to the late Grayson Hall, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination for playing Judith Fellowes in John Huston’s The Night of the Iguana (1964).
She also portrayed parapsychologist Julia Hoffman, who futilely attempted to cure Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) of his vampire tendencies, on Dark Shadows and appeared on One Life to Live as well. She died in 1985.
Sam Hall joined the ABC gothic soap Dark Shadows in 1967 and penned more than 300 episodes, often collaborating with writer Gordon Russell.
He co-wrote the screenplays for the features House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows, filmed during production of the TV show, and worked on a short-lived Dark Shadows primetime revival for NBC in 1991.
After the original Dark Shadows was canceled in 1971, Hall segued to ABC’s One Life to Live, taking over as a head writer from series creator Agnes Nixon. Hall initiated a memorable arc in the early 1980s in which an emotional Karen Wolek (Judith Light in an Emmy-winning turn) admitted under cross-examination on the witness stand that she was working for the murdered man, Marco Dane (Gerald Anthony), as a prostitute. He also introduced the villainess Dorian character (most famously played by Robin Strasser) as well as the Buchanan family.
A native of Carrollton, Ohio, Hall attended Dartmouth and served during World War II in the Battle of the Bulge. Early in his career, he wrote for such anthology series as Studio One in Hollywood and Playhouse 90 and an early TV soap, CBS’ The Brighter Day. Later, he worked on the 13-part 1976 PBS miniseries The Adams Chronicles.
His son Matt, an author and associate vp/editorial for the medical advertising agency Hobart Forte, wrote for One Life to Live and on the return of Dark Shadows in 1991.
Hall’s survivors also include his daughter-in-law Cecilia and grandsons Caleb and Jed.