Veteran soap writer Mary Ryan Munisteri has passed away at the age of 82. The scribe’s name is familiar to not only fans of Ryan’s Hope (which had a character by the name on it) but also from the writing credits from many other daytime serials.
Mary Ryan Munisteri – In Memoriam
According to Legacy, Mary Ryan Munisteri passed away peacefully at her Brooklyn, New York home on January 29. Her writing credits include Love of Life, Guiding Light, As the World Turns, General Hospital, Loving, and Ryan’s Hope.
Soap opera scribes posted tributes to their late colleague. “How I looked forward to every day I got to be in a room with the blazingly smart, creative Mary Ryan,” tweeted Courtney Simon (ex-Dr. Lynn Michaels, ATWT), and a Daytime Emmy-winning writer for many soap operas. “Who could not be captivated by her wry wit and backbone of steel. It was a sincere privilege to collaborate with her.”
“On my first stint writing for General Hospital in the late 90s, I was extremely lucky to be on the breakdown team with Mary Ryan…” wrote GH scribe Dave Rupel on Facebook. “Mary was incredibly smart, wickedly funny and just an all around terrific woman. How fortunate was I to have learned from one of the very best. This one breaks my heart. My condolences to Mary’s surviving family.”
Michele Val Jean, a writer for The Bold and the Beautiful and former writer at GH, also wrote on Facebook, “I am so sad! I loved Mary so much great writer great voice great humor great person RIP Mary!” Added Wendy Riche, former executive producer, “I am so sad! I loved Mary so much great writer great voice great humor great person RIP Mary!”
A graduate of Trinity College, Munisteri earned a graduate degree from Yale University with a M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) degree. Munisteri was real-life pals with the late Claire Labine, co-creator of Ryan’s Hope. Labine named the show’s lead heroine — Mary Ryan (Kate Mulgrew’s character) — after Munisteri.
Munisteri earned an impressive 25 awards during the course of her career. Most were for writing. She won both Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Writing Team (seven for Ryan’s Hope; one for GH) and Writers Guild Awards for Daytime Writing (8 for Ryan’s Hope). She also won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Direction for a Drama Series as a member of the One Life to Live directing team in 2014 for the show’s Prospect Park revival.
Munisteri is survived by her children Matt Munisteri (Carmela Marner), Ben Munisteri (James Bowyer), and Adele Munisteri (Andres Gleich), and two grandchildren, Arlo and Calla Gleich. The family will announce plans for a memorial service in the future. Soap Hub sends deep sympathies to Munisteri’s family and friends during this difficult time.