Remembering Douglas Marland: Highlights of a Great Career

  Douglas MarlandMay 5, 1935 – March 6, 1993Loving

By Patrick Erwin

As an actor:

— Doug appeared in a 1956 episode of Playhouse 90 called Forbidden Area (as Marland Messner, his real name).

— In 1973, he appeared on As The World Turns, playing Lisa’s doctor, Eric Lonsberry, during the infamous “phantom fetus” storyline.

— Doug also appeared on the Irna Phillips soap The Brighter Day.

As a writer:

— Doug’s writing career began in his late 50s, after stints as a director and producer of various plays and musicals.Another World

— After attending a soap-writing seminar sponsored by Procter & Gamble, he was hired as an associate writer to Harding Lemay on Another World (mid-1970s).

— Doug became head writer of The Doctors (1976-1977).

— He was hired by Gloria Monty to become head writer for General Hospital. During his stint at GH (1977-1979), he created the Quartermaines and wrote for Luke and Laura.

—  After briefly writing ATWT in 1979, P&G hired Doug as head writer for Guiding Light, where he remained until a creative conflict with producer Allen Potter prompted him to resign in 1982.

— Later in 1982, he co-created A New Day in Eden for Showtime, and in 1983, he and Agnes Nixon co-created Loving for ABC.ATWT

— Doug became head writer of As The World Turns in 1985, and remained head writer at ATWT for eight years, until his death in 1993.

Daytime Emmy Awards:

— Won in 1975 as part of the writing team of Another World; won as head writer for Guiding Light in 1981 and f1982.

— Nominated for best writing for ATWT in 1986, 1989, 1991 and 1993.

— Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.


  1. Gotta make a correction here (unfortunately): Doug Marland won two writing Emmys for “Guiding Light” (1981 and 1982). “GL” has won the writing Emmy six times (tying the record established in 1984 by “Ryan’s Hope”): 1981, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1993, and 2007.

    “GL’s” win in 1982 was, I believe, under Marland, who had crafted those Nola Reardon movie fantasies. (Former soaps critic Alan Carter mentioned some time ago Marland score two victories for “GL”.)

    Marland, unfortunately, never won a competive writing Emmy specifically for “As the World Turns” which, come to think of it, hadn’t won a writing Emmy at all until Hogan Sheffer took the reigns and led the series to its first-ever victory in 2001. “ATWT” has won the writing Emmy four times: 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005.

    I want to say to Marlena and Patrick: Thank you both so much for this tribute to Douglas Marland (1935-1993).

    By the way: In another thread, I responded to Marlena and mistakenly stated Patrick’s last name as Ewing. It’s Erwin. Patrick Erwin. My apologies for that, Mr. Erwin.

    Once again, thanks to both of you, Marlena and Patrick!

    Patrick says: DS0816, you are absolutely right, and thanks for pointing out my error. Marland won for 1981 and 1982 at GL. And his 1993 Lifetime Achievement Award was erroneously listed by several sources as an award for the ATWT writing team. It’s shocking, isn’t it, that he never won for best writing at ATWT? I know the show won Best Show several times during those years.

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