Michael Malone, who won a Daytime Emmy for head writing One Life to Live in 1994, has died. His passing was reported by fellow daytime scribe and former OLTL colleague Jean Passanante on Facebook.
Michael Malone, A Beloved Writer And Friend, RIP
“I want to write about my adored, extraordinary friend Michael Malone who died last night,” Passanante wrote on Facebook. “Right now, though, I’m just trying to adjust to the impossible idea of a world without him. ‘And when he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars…'”
According to Dignity Memorial, Malone passed away on Friday, August 19 at his home in Clinton, Connecticut. He will be buried in the cemetery of St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
A Loving Family
A date of birth was not listed in Malone’s death notice however, it is said that he was born in 1942, which meant he was either 79 or 80 years old. He is survived by his wife, Maureen Quilligan, his sister Sheila Waller, his brother David Malone, his five nieces and one nephew, Lisa, Kelly, Tom, Shannon, Shayna, and Addie; his daughter Maggie, son-in-law Matt, and his 6-year-old granddaughter Maisie.
The scribe was new to daytime when he was hired by OLTL executive producer Linda Gottlieb to craft tales for the citizens of Llanview. Malone wrote for OLTL from 1991-96. He’s best remembered for writing Marty Saybrooke’s rape and the subsequent trial which won Daytime Emmys for Hillary B. Smith (Nora), Susan Haskell (Marty), and Roger Howarth (Todd; now, Austin, General Hospital), and Malone himself as head writer.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write this,” Smith shares with Soap Hub. “How do you honor a man that gave you so much? He gave me Nora, he gave Nora a beau called Bo. He wrote an Emmy Award-winning story for me to play with other Emmy Award-winning actors. He wrote me emotions to play that were so complex, I could only let them consume me. He wrote women with brains and hearts, with courage and fear and all of it wrapped up in bravado. He wrote me a character that I had to aspire to become. He wrote and we came to life. Thank you Michael Malone. You are the best of Times’ Witness!” (Times Witness was one of the many books written by Malone.)
OLTL fans recall Smith’s emotional, passionate tour-de-force as Nora Buchanan, an attorney who came to the chilling realization that the clients she was defending in a rape trial were, in fact, guilty. The scene, which can be viewed here, helped Smith take home the gold in 1994.
During his stay in Llanview, Malone also created the off-beat character Luna Moody (Susan Batten) and delved into the long-running feud between Victoria Lord (Erika Slezak) and Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser). Actor Thom Christopher, who won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role as OLTL’s Carlo Hesser in 1992, wrote on Facebook that Malone was a “grand man of words and creative ideas. His words are written on the winds of memory for a number of actors.”
Michael Malone Left And Returned To OLTL
After leaving OLTL, he moved over to Another World, which he wrote starting in 1997. In 2003, Malone returned to OLTL and incorporated his novel writing into the show. He wrote the book The Killing Club, which tied into the show’s storylines. The book was published in 2005 with the authors listed as Marcie Walsh (Kathy Brier) and Michael Malone. During its first week of publication, the novel rose to #16 on The New York Times Best Seller list for Hardback fiction. It later hit the No. 11 spot on the list.
Malone also won a Writers Guild Award in the Daytime Serials category for his work on OLTL in 1993. In addition to making his mark on the daytime world, Malone was a teacher and instructed a class of 300 students at Duke University in a course titled American Dreams American Movies. He also penned several novels. Malone was in the process of writing a fourth book in his Cuddy and Justin series when he fell ill with cancer.
A lover of cooking, musicals, jazz, dancing, and justice for all unfairly incarcerated, Malone spoke out against the death penalty and raised awareness about AIDS, Lupus (which Marty Saybrooke battled), and LGBTQ rights.
Malone’s family has asked that donations be made in his memory to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a charity to which he gave for over 40 years. Soap Hub sends deep sympathy to Malone’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.