Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Monday, 3 May 2010 13:33 UK

US soap veteran Helen Wagner dies at 91

Helen Wagner
Wagner was the only original cast member still in the soap

US actress Helen Wagner, best known as Nancy Hughes in the CBS soap opera As The World Turns, has died aged 91.

CBS said she had died on Saturday, but gave no further details.

Wagner spoke the show's opening words when it first aired in 1956. She holds the Guinness World Record for playing the same TV role for the longest time.

Wagner still featured in the show when it was announced in December it would be cancelled later this year. The last episode will go out in September.

In 1988, Wagner said in an interview that she wished her character had not receded into the background in later years.

"I don't like the making of Nancy into only an extra figure at parties," she said.

"She is too dynamic a person to be made into a ghost."

The show was the first TV daytime drama to run for half an hour rather than 15 minutes, and was expanded to an hour in the 1970s.

Print Sponsor

US soap cancelled after 54 years
09 Dec 09 |  Entertainment
US soap viewers demand gay kiss
03 Mar 08 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific