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Helen Wagner

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Helen Wagner

Helen Wagner (born September 3, 1918) is an American actress. She was born in Lubbock, Texas.

She has played matriarch Nancy Hughes on the soap opera As The World Turns, with only a few interruptions, since the show's debut in 1956.

Her role would qualify her for the longest-running continuing television role, but she has taken some breaks, both voluntary and involuntary. After six months in the role of Nancy, show creator Irna Phillips fired her. After an overwhelming consensus was reached to hire her back, Irna did so begrudgingly.

Wagner left the show again in the early 1980s. Then-producer Mary-Ellis Bunim wished to take the show in a different direction; the show fell out of the top slot in the daytime Nielsen ratings, and Bunim wished to gear the show toward the younger generation by showcasing the Hughes family less. Wagner and co-star Don MacLaughlin walked away from the show after vocal dissent in the press. She returned to the role in 1985. After many years of little to no part in story, she returned to the screen with a pivotal role in a 2004 storyline, revolving around her grandson's marriage to na´ve teenager Alison Stewart (Jessica Dunphy).

Although she has played the role for almost fifty years, she has never won a Daytime Emmy Award for her work. She was finally awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for her role on the show in May 2004.nl:Helen Wagner

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