Another World Scribe Jan Merlin Died at 94

Image: NBC

The soap opera scribe was also a novelist and actor.

Soaps.com regrets to report another loss for the daytime community. Former Another World writer Jan Merlin passed away in Los Angeles on September 20. He was 94-years-old. His family reported the news, but no cause of death was revealed.

Jan Merlin was born and raised in New York City where he dropped out of school to join the Navy during World War II. Merlin married Patricia Datz in 1951, with whom he had a son, Peter Merlin, born in 1964. After Patricia’s death in 1986, he went on to marry Barbara Doyle in 1988 who he remained with until his death.

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Upon his return from the Navy, Merlin worked in summer stock and then enrolled in the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater. His first Broadway performance was with Henry Fonda (On Golden Pond) in 1949’s Mister Roberts. From there, Merlin performed in numerous on and off-Broadway shows, radio dramas, TV shows, and movies. His movie roles include Six Bridges to Cross, Hell Bent for Leather, Guns of Diablo and False Identity. His TV credits include Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, Dragnet, The Rough Riders, Laramie and A Child Lost Forever: The Jerry Sherwood Story which was his final role in 1992.

Merlin spent five years writing for the NBC soap opera Another World. He was part of the team that won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in 1975. Merlin would receive another nomination in 1977. In addition to his work in daytime, Merlin wrote several novels, including Gunbearer Part I, Gunbearer Part II, Gypsies Don’t Lie and Shooting Montezuma. His writings about Hollywood, which he co-authored with scholar William Russo, include The Paid Companion of J. Wilkes Booth, MGM Makes Boys’ Town and Frankie Thomas: the Eternal Cadet. In 2009, he was honored with the Southern California Motion Picture Council’s Golden Halo Award for his acting and writing.

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Soaps.com sends our condolences to Merlin’s family and friends. Remember all the soap opera alums we’ve lost in 2019 in our gallery below.