Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wes Kenney Dead at 85

H. Wesley Kenney
Television producer and director H. Wesley Kenney died on January 13, 2015. He was 85.

Wes Kenney was best known for his work on soap operas, directing The Doctors (the last live show he ever worked on), producing and directing Days of Our Lives from 1968 to 1979 before becoming co-executive producer of The Young and the Restless from 1982 to 1987. Y&R won Daytime Emmy Awards as Outstanding Drama Series in 1983, 1985 and 1986. From 1987 to 1989, Kenney replaced the legendary Gloria Monty as executive producer of General Hospital.

Kenney won seven total Daytime Emmy Awards including three at the 1st Annual event in 1974.

When Days of our Lives faltered after the switch from 30 minute episodes to 60, Kenney returned to the show to fix their production problems and he changed the way daytime dramas were scheduled and filmed from that point forward.

On Twitter, longtime Days of our Lives stars Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes (Doug and Julie) expressed their condolences:

"Just heard the sad news that Days Producer/Director Wes Kenney went to his rest yesterday," Seaforth Hayes wrote. "Wes was SO important to DOOL and our lives! My relationship to Wes Kenney goes back to the mid-50s when he was in NYC directing a TV series called My True Story. We did one together! Wes Kenney was an Emmy Award winner who directed hundreds of Days episodes in the 60s and 70s. He directed Doug's first appearance. Wes Kenney was not only talented, he was an energetic, creative, loving man. He was one of the 16 people at our wedding; to us he's an icon! Wes Kenney produced the first Doug/Julie wedding (in 1976); Al Rabin was the Director. Wes asked us to use our own wedding vows. Wes Kenney produced the wonderful DOOL Variety Show; Al Rabin directed, Ann Marcus was the Head Writer, Jack Bunch staged the numbers."

Kenney's other credits included Filthy Rich (1982), Big John, Little John (1976), Far Out Space Nuts (1975), All in the Family TV series (1974–1975), Distant Early Warning (1975), Murder in the First Person Singular (1974), My Favorite Martian TV series (1965), Your First Impression (1962) and Rocky King, Inside Detective (1950-1954).

"I was an average guy, who with great luck was able to be successful," Kenney said in an interview with the Archive of American Television. "I think that's as much as I can say. I love people. I love actors. I love doing the dramatic shows. So that's how I'd like to be remembered, working with terrific people, great talented people."

Watch Kenney's Archive of American Television interview below:





Part 3 starts off with a great story from Kenney's directing days at The Doctors involved Elizabeth Hubbard, who played Dr. Althea Davis.



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