OnStage Book Review: “My Life to Live” by Agnes Nixon

Brittany Strelluf

OnStage St. Louis Critic

I began watching “All My Children” on Spring Break during  my later college years. 
Every day without fail, “All My Children” came on at noon. I watched it at lunch and came to enjoy it very much.  I loved the fancy clothes, the characters, and of course, all of the drama that one expects from a daytime soap opera. 

I could always count on the stories of characters like Adam and Stewart Chandler,  Kendall Hart, Greenlee Smythe, Ericka Kane, Tad Martin, Jesse Hubbard, Angie Baxter, and my darling Opal to liven up my lunch hour.  The exploits of Pine Valley residents that spanned over several decades and entertained millions of loyal viewers was created by Agnes Nixon. 

Ms. Nixon accomplished an unbelievable dream in creating not one, but two high successful and entertaining TV shows. TV shows that ran every day over forty years and had huge followings.  For her work, Ms. Nixon received the Trustees Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She is a member of the Television Hall of Fame as well as the Soap Opera Hall of Fame. Ms. Nixon received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

So when I had the chance at a free copy of Ms. Nixon’s book “My Life to Live How I Became the Queen of Soaps When Men Ruled the Airwaves”  I didn’t hesitate for a second. 

Ms. Nixon always had a way of grasping her audience's full attention and drawing them into the story that they are watching. The same can be said about her autobiography.  Agnes Nixon’s life was as fascinating and topsy-turvy as her shows. 

Ms. Nixon  tells the stories of her family and loved ones with the same honesty,  passion and dramatic flare that she always had for the characters she wrote. I can really see how the experiences in her life influenced her work.  She writes about her earliest years in Nashville. She writes about her paper dolls, who served as the first stars of her work. She writes about all of the strong women-everyone from her mother to Mary Queen of Scots- who inspired her. She writes about her fears and of her deep love for her husband and children. She writes in a way that is dramatic, yet so very relatable. 

I highly recommend “My Life to Live”  not only to every “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” fan, but also to any aspiring script writer. This memoir is the last gift left to the world by the Queen of Soaps.