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Soap Opera Creator Betty Corday

November 20, 1987

Elizabeth (Betty) Corday, creator and executive producer of the first color daytime television soap opera "Days of Our Lives," has died of respiratory failure. She was 75.

Mrs. Corday, known to all in the industry as Betty, won a Daytime Drama Series Emmy for her work in 1978 and was nominated for three others. She died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

A former actress and casting director, Mrs. Corday created the television series in 1965 with her husband, Ted. When he died of cancer three years later, she took over production of the show.

Her son Kenneth currently is a co-producer of the series.

Mrs. Corday began her career on Broadway, where she was "in one flop after another," she once said. It was in New York that she met Ted Corday, who had left his law practice in Canada to pursue a career as a stage director. They were married in 1942 and began their theatrical collaboration.

Frances Reid, an original cast member of "Days of Our Lives," said Mrs. Corday was "absolutely marvelous with casting. She made it her business to know people."

Reid said Mrs. Corday initially had difficulty persuading NBC that she was capable of producing "Days of Our Lives."

"She finally got it firmly in her hands and kept it in the family for her and for Kenny," Reid said.

Mrs. Corday also is survived by another son, Christopher.

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