All My Children's 82-year-old creator, Agnes Nixon, is known for penning pioneering story lines for daytime, and she told Entertainment Weekly it's the controversial story lines surrounding AIDS, abortion. and coming out she hopes will be her legacy.
"All the socially relevant stuff, like the story line about AIDS. The lesbian and gay story. Because of my having grown up in Nashville, Tenn., a very segregated city, being able to have integrated the show was to me the most important thing."
In 1983, All My Children made history by becoming the first daytime drama to have an openly gay main character. Four years later, the show became the first to have an HIV-positive character.
Actress Ellen Wheeler won an Emmy for playing Cindy Chandler, who contracted HIV from her drug-addicted husband. The show aired a number of education-based episodes on how to prevent infection.
Nixon's crowning achievement, she thinks, came in 2000 when she decided that Erica Kane's daughter Bianca would come out of the closet. The story line was met with controversy but went on to win Emmys for both Eden Riegel (Bianca) and for writing.
"When Erica's daughter, Bianca, came out as a lesbian, I got letters from gay women saying, 'If only I had seen this show when I was a teenager,'" Nixon says. "Eden Riegel became one of the most popular young actors on daytime. I had the sense to wait, to know that there'd be a lot of people who were prejudiced, homophobic, so we had to wait until we could make her Erica's daughter. You have to be sneaky sometimes, because viewers wanted to watch and see what Erica's reaction would be." Read the full interview here.