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Credit: Image: CBS

Beloved soaps director was a friend to Joan Collins.

Soap opera director and former advertising agency vice-president Maximilian B. Bryer died on June 16 at his home in Las Vegas, his family announced. He was 98, and passed away in his sleep. Bryer was best known in the soaps community for directing episodes of As the World Turns and The Edge of Night.

He was married for 52 years to his wife Judith; she survives him along with daughters Samantha and Victoria, plus grandsons Benjamin and Nathan. He was born on January 21, 1922 in Flint, Michigan and was one of four children of European emigrants. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a 1st Lieutenant, fighting in World War II; later he received his Master’s degree in English from the University of Michigan.

His early career took him to New York City, where he worked on one of the earliest television networks, DuMont, as a floor manager. He directed at CBS, then joined Benton & Bowles advertising agency and moved to Los Angeles. There, he oversaw West Coast television production and produced commercials for products including Charmin, Pampers, Canada Dry; his spots included actors Red Skelton, Angie Dickinson, Ron Howard, Don Knotts, Richard Burton and Joan Collins, who is godmother to his granddaughter Victoria. His wife Judy worked as Collins’ personal assistant on Dynasty. Bryer also directed a documentary tied to the 50th anniversary of the Academy Awards in 1978.

Collins tweeted a photo of herself with Bryer on his 95th birthday in 2017, writing “Happy 95th #birthday to my dear friend Max Bryer, here with wife Judy and daughters Samantha and @vdade!”

Bryer’s funeral will be held on July 17 at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City. Anyone wishing to contribute to his memory can send funds to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds cancer research for children.

We send Bryer’s family and friends our deepest condolences. Take a look though the gallery below to remember other soap opera alums who have passed this year… and get all the latest headlines and news by signing up for’s newsletter now.