Veteran soap opera director Larry Auerbach dies at 91

Larry Auerbach, center, who was the director of the soap opera “Love of Life” for its nearly 30-year run, had Sammy Davis Jr. as a guest star in an episode.

Emmy award-winning director Larry Auerbach, whose career was almost entirely in New York-based soap operas, died Saturday in La Jolla. He was 91.

The cause was complications of glioblastoma, said his son, Scott.

Auerbach was the director for the nearly 30-year run of “Love of Life,” which debuted in 1951 as a live 15-minute show. Actors Warren Beatty, Christopher Reeve, Roy Scheider, Jessica Walter and Jon Voigt all appeared on the program.

And one of the show’s fans, Sammy Davis Jr., guest stared in the 1970s.


The show’s head writer at its end in 1980 was Ann Marcus, who went on to help create the soap opera spoof, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.” She died earlier this month.

Auerbach also directed episodes of “All My Children,” “Another World” and “As the World Turns.” He won a 1984 Daytime Emmy for his work on “One Life to Live." 

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

Auerbach also served on the national board of the Directors Guild of America and in 2004 was named an honorary life member of the guild.


Get our daily Entertainment newsletter