Gloria Monty

Gloria Monty (August 12, 1921 - March 30, 2006) was an American TV producer working primarily in the field of daytime drama. Monty attended the University of Iowa, New York University, and Columbia University, where she earned her master’s degree in drama.

Theatre Work

In 1952, she married writer and editor Robert O'Byrne, with whom she had founded a New York theater group, Abbe Theater School. With O’Byrne, Monty directed summer stock productions and led acting and speech workshops, where her pupils included Marlon Brando, Bea Arthur and Tony Curtis.

TV career

After directing shows such as The First Hundred Years, The Secret Storm (for many years), and Bright Promise, she is best known for taking over the ailing ABC Daytime General Hospital in 1978 as Executive Producer. Fred Silverman gave Monty 13 weeks to turn the show around, with cancellation threatened if she did not succeed. It subsequently became the top-rated American daytime drama for a nearly a decade.

To accomplish this turnaround, she focused main storylines on younger characters to reach out to younger viewers, particularly the pairing of ingenue Laura Spencer (Genie Francis) and troubled criminal Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary, whom she knew from his stint on her previous series, Bright Promise). She gave the sets a more contemporary look and feel, and employed production techniques once used only in primetime. One major result of the "Monty Revolution" was the faster pace of the show, effectively doubling the number of scenes in each episode.

Under Monty's watch, GH rose to #1 in the ratings, with Luke and Laura's wedding being the highest rated episode in daytime history (about 30 million viewers). The Monty Revolution consisted of couples such as Luka/Laura, Frisco/Felicia, and Robert Scorpio/Holly. She and various Head Writers also created the Quartermaine family, Bobbie Spencer, Luke Spencer, Robert Scorpio, Anna Devane, and Robin Scorpio, and many others who would dominate the show in the 80's and early 90's.

She was also the executive producer of the primetime serial The Hamptons. She employed many former daytime performers for this show. The serial was unusual because it was videotaped rather than being filmed.

Monty left the GH in 1987 but returned in 1990. Although she had always been known for her tough, dictatorial attitude, her ideas no longer seemed in touch with the world of Port Charles and viewer expectations. In early 1991, she lured Anthony Geary back to daytime but went along with his demand to play a brand new character, Bill Eckert. An entire new family, the Eckerts (one member was played by former Broadway star Carol Lawrence, was ushered in, taking up four to five days a week of airtime while the Quartermaines were phased out (Monty wanted to get rid of the Quartermaines ). Monty also fired a popular actress Jennifer Guthrie, who played heroine Dawn Winthrop on the show, and appointed her sister, Norma Monty as Head Writer. The ratings began to erode; this combined with the refusal of stars such as Tristan Rogers, who played Robert Scorpio, to continue working with Monty, left ABC with no choice for firing her in 1992 and replacing her with Wendy Riche.

Monty produced several TV-movies based on friend Mary Higgins Clark's novels, and chaired the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission. She died on March 30, 2006, after a bout with cancer at age 84.

Positions Held

Bright Promise

  • Director (1969-197?)

Confessions of A Married Man

  • Director (1983)

The First Hundred Years

  • Director (1950-1952)

General Hospital

The Hamptons

  • executive producer (entire run)

Moonlight Becomes You

  • Co-Executive Producer (1998)

Remember Me

  • Co-Executive Producer (1995)

The Secret Storm

  • Director (1954-1969)

The Screaming Skull

Wide World Mystery

  • Director (1973-1975)

External links

  • IMDB profile

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