Soap Writer Hogan Sheffer

Image: Brian Lowe/JPI

Passionate veteran soap opera head writer remembered. 

Well known for his award-winning work on As the World Turns, and for his work on Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless, soap scribe Hogan Sheffer has passed away at 61. The date and cause of death are not yet known. Long-time soap writer Tom Casiello confirmed the death of his friend in a Facebook post and paid him a lengthy tribute. Casiello met him at As The World Turns and wrote of him, “He was more than a mentor to me. He was a father figure.” Martha Byrne (Lily, As The World Turns) “What a loss. Hogan Sheffer was the head writer of ATWT in the early 2000s. He dove into the show’s rich history to give every story roots out of respect for our audience.”

Sheffer was born in York, Pennsylvania as Mark Wayne Sheffer on June 12, 1958. He was given the nickname Hogan from his younger brother, actor Craig Sheffer (Nightbreed), who thought he looked like pianist and composer Hoagy Carmichael.

Sheffer got his start in entertainment in 1986 as a freelancer and script analyst for several companies, including Mary Stuart Masterson’s (Fried Green Tomatoes) production company. He went on in 1997 to work for three years at DreamWorks as the Director of Screenplay Development. He headed up the development of screenplays for blockbuster films such as the space comedy Galaxy Quest and supernatural thriller What Lies Beneath. In 2000 he joined the CBS daytime soap opera As the World Turns and served as the head writer through 2005. Over this time the soap’s writing team won Outstanding Writing for a Daytime Drama Emmy in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004. The aging and ailing soap thrived under Sheffer’s direction, and he left on poor terms when after a 17-week hiatus the show decided not to renew his contract. He went on to serve as co-head writer at NBC’s Days of our Lives with Meg Kelly from 2006 until 2007, and his most recent job was as co-head writer at The Young and the Restless with Maria Arena Bell and Scott Hamner from 2008 until 2013. There he won his fifth Emmy as part of the CBS soap opera’s writing team in 2011. Sheffer also appeared as himself on several episodes in 2007 of SoapNet’s reality show I Want to be a Soap Star.

Soaps.com sends condolences to Sheffer’s friends and family and invites you to browse a gallery of other daytime stars we’ve lost in 2019.

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What a loss. Hogan Sheffer was the head writer of ATWT in the early 2000s. He dove into the show’s rich history to give every story roots out of respect for our audience. He valued the writers, actors and crew. He was always up for a cocktail and his sense of humor was deliciously devilish. His heart was full of love for both his TV family and his PA relatives. Those years in Brooklyn were perfection under Hogan’s leadership. The writers room door was always open for conversation. Phone calls after he watched one of your scenes that moved him…Flowers and stuffed animals would come after a particularly challenging storyline where he felt the same loss as I did. He called it as he saw it. Loved that honesty. He was beyond talented. He trusted me and our cast with his words and the audience went along for the ride. I’ll be forever grateful for having him come into my life. He lived life for the moment. His stories are left behind for us to share. 💔

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