As the World Turns Star Helen Wagner Dead at 91

As the World Turns star Helen Wagner died Saturday at the age of 91. Wagner played matriarch Nancy Hughes on the CBS soap opera for more than half a century.

Helen Wagner was the first actor to speak on the debut of As the World Turns when the show premiered on April 2, 1956, opening the series with the line: “Good morning, dear.” Wagner played the role of Nancy Hughes for a Guinness World Record run of 54 years.

Helen Wagner on 'As the World Turns' (CBS)
Helen Wagner on 'As the World Turns' (CBS)

“All of us at As the World Turns are deeply saddened by Helen’s passing,” executive producer Christopher Goutman said in a press statement. “She is loved by generations of fans, and while we will miss her greatly Helen will always remain the heart and soul of As the World Turns.”

In addition to holding the Guinness World Record for playing the same television character for the longest time, Wagner also received a plaque on the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2004.

Wagner taped her last episode of As the World Turns in March. The episode aired on April 5.