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Agnes Nixon dies at 93

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Agnes Nixon, 88, of Rosemont, writer, producer and the creator of soap operas such as One Life to Live and All My Children, died Wednesday morning.

Ms. Nixon was a dominant force in daytime TV. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences called her "the grand dame of daytime serial drama" when she won lifetime achievement award at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2010 for her serials.

Ms. Nixon's shows were set in fictional stand-ins for the Main Line. All My Children was set in Pine Valley based on Bryn Mawr, while One Life to Live's Llanview was based on Ardmore. All My Children concluded in 2011 after 41 years on ABC (it aired until 2013 on the Online Network), while One Life to Live was cancelled in 2013.

“I am devastated to hear about the passing of the beloved Agnes Nixon. I am forever grateful to her,” Susan Lucci, who played Erica Kane on All My Children, said.

In 2010, Ms. Nixon named Erica Kane as one of her favorites of more than 150 major characters she created. "She does outrageous things, but the audience knows that as much havoc as she causes in the lives of others, she torments herself even more," Ms. Nixon said of Lucci’s character.

Mary Nixon, Ms. Nixon’s daughter, said her mother was a “pioneer” as a “working woman,” but it wasn’t until All My Children started when she was 15 that she realized what that meant. Until the show started in 1970, Mary said, Ms. Nixon mostly worked from home.

“She would go to New York every other weekend for meetings and she’d bring me Jordan almonds, candy from the train,” she said.

All My Children broke barriers by showing daytime television’s first on-screen lesbian kiss in 2003 and first transgender coming-out storyline in 2006.

“The thing as an adult that I look back on is she really made people look at stigma and people’s own feelings about a lot of important issues in her time and in our time,” Mary said. “She really wanted to help people learn and grow. It was more than just about how many marriages … [it was to help viewers] have a better understanding of life.”

A visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at McConaghy Funeral Home, 328 Lancaster Ave., Ardmore. A Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 at St. Thomas of Villanova Rosemont Chapel, 1229 East Lancaster Ave., Rosemont.

Donations may be made to National Parkinson Foundation, 200 SE 1st St., Suite 800, Miami FL 33131 or to Wilmer Eye Institute, 600 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21287.