TV Pioneer Passes: Larry Auerbach Dies at 91

Larry Auerbach was the man, the director, behind soap operas. He was a television pioneer as he helped usher in a new era of soap operas with Love of Life. Auerbach passed on Saturday from complications of glioblastoma in La Jolla, California. He was 91-years-old.

Larry was a member of the Director’s Guild of America (DGA), who issued a press release announcing his passing. DGA President Paris Barclay gave a heartfelt statement after learning of Auerbach’s death.

“Larry worked tirelessly, out of love for his Guild and his profession, to ensure better working conditions and stronger protection of creative rights for Guild members, and he was instrumental in raising the profile of daytime serial directors, the genre to which he dedicated his career….He was a dynamo – a strong and powerful voice for our members for decades – and we will miss him greatly.”

Larry served as the guild’s National Vice President from 1987 to 1989. The TV pioneer was a member of DGA for more than 65 award-studded years. In 2004, Auerbach was made a lifetime honorary member of the guild.

Larry Auuerbach directed Love of Life for 28 years, from 1951 to 1980. Which started as a live 15-minute show. At the end of the last episode, Larry was shown moving from set to set, turning off the lights.

According to CBS News, Auerbach helped reform soap operas. Under his influence, the shows went from 15-minute live broadcasts to taped hour long programs.

Love of Life was not his only soap opera. Auerbach also directed other daytime dramas such as All My Children, As The World Turns, and Another World. He won a daytime Emmy for One Life to Live.

The LA Times reports that Larry was seen as an soap opera expert and mentor.

“He was considered such a soap opera expert that Dustin Hoffman consulted with him on ‘Tootsie,’ in which actor played a soap opera star.”

In a related Inquisitr article, the world of country music also lost an iconic figure recently when Dawn Sears passed at 53-years-old due to lung cancer.

Larry Auerbach is survived by his wife, Gale, and his son, Scott. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Larry really was a daytime TV pioneer, devoting his life to his craft. For 50 years his influences could be seen in the soap opera world. You will be miss, Larry Auerbach.

[Image via DGA]