Soap opera writer Judi Ann Mason passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 54. Mason made TV history as one of the major African-American writers for the medium. She began her career at the age of 20 when her promising talent was recognized by Norman Lear who hired her on as a writer for the CBS sitcom, "Good Times." She became a staple of the TV scene of the 1980s and early 90s, working on diverse shows like "A Different World," "American Gothic," "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Sanford" and "I'll Fly Away." She also worked on feature films, co-writing 1993s "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit."

Mason spent years as the leader of the writer's development program for Guiding Light during the 1980s before moving on to become the Associate Headwriter for NBC's groundbreaking soap, "Generations." The show only ran from 1989-91 but it was the first soap opera to revolve around an African-American family and has retained a passionate cult following.

Mason was the author of more than 25 published and produced plays. She was one of the youngest playwrights to ever receive an off-Broadway production and even won the Norman Lear Award for her play, "Living Fat." She also took home the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award for "A Star Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hole In Heaven." She served as inaugural national honorary chair of the First Southern Black Theatre Festival in her hometown of Shreveport last year. Mason taught playwriting at numerous universities, including the University of Florida, Gainsville, and the University of Louisville and remained active as producer for stage and screen until her death.

The mother of two, Mason Synclaire Williams and Austin Barrett Williams, died of a ruptured abdominal aorta on July 8, 2009. sends our sincere condolences to her family and friends and salute her for her valuable contribution to the world of Daytime.