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Ellen Jayne Wheeler|
October 9, 1961
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, director, producer|
Ellen Jayne Wheeler (born October 9, 1961 in Glendale, California) is an American actress, director and producer. She has appeared in several soap operas, including Another World and All My Children. In 1986, she won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series for her work as twins Marley and Vicky Love Hudson on Another World. In 1988, she won another Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Cindy Parker Chandler on All My Children. Wheeler's character was one of the first characters with AIDS on daytime television. Wheeler also made a memorable guest appearance as Phyllis Wicke in the 1991 primetime revival of the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows.
In 1998, she briefly reprised the role of Marley on Another World. Rather than have the same actress play the role of both twins, the show made the decision to have Wheeler, the first actress to play the twins, portray Marley, and have actress Jensen Buchanan continue to play Vicky; their differences in appearance (other than a considerable height and build difference which were never addressed) were explained by plastic surgery after Marley was disfigured in a fire.
Directing and producing
During the final season of Another World, Wheeler drew on her stage directorial experience and was invited by Executive Producer, Chris Goutman, to direct a few episodes of Another World. After the cancellation of Another World in 1999, she continued her focus on directing. While continuing to act, she directed several episodes of As the World Turns and finally became part of the directorial team at As the World Turns.
After two seasons with ATWT, Wheeler served for a time an associate producer at another Procter & Gamble serial, Guiding Light. After returning to ATWT and directing the show for several years, she was promoted to Executive Producer of Guiding Light in April 2004, serving until that show's September 2009 cancellation. Under her direction, the show named a new head writer, David Kreizman, and in 2008, she created a four-person head writing team; in addition to Kreizman, that team includes Lucky Gold, Chris Dunn and executive story editor (and eventual head writer) Jill Lorie Hurst.
Wheeler is credited with Guiding Light's transition to a new filming method. The show moved away from traditional three-camera filming in a "proscenium" stage setting, and in early 2008 began to broadcast episodes that were recorded on digital cameras. The show rebuilt smaller, more realistic sets in its studio and utilized several other interior and exterior sets in a New Jersey town (adjacent to New York City, where GL is produced).
In 2007, Wheeler launched Guiding Light's 70th anniversary (the longest running show in history) by volunteering her cast and crew on a charity and service campaign known as "Find Your Light", encouraging viewers to participate alongside actors, directors and crew members in work for the homeless and other deserving groups and individuals across the country.
Despite Wheeler's efforts to save the show, CBS cancelled the program on April 1, 2009. The final episode was broadcast on September 18, 2009.
- Actress: Karen Parker (1989)
- Actress: Cindy Parker Chandler (1987-1989, 2000, 2001)
- Actress: Sarah (1995; guest)
- Director (August 1999-July 2002 (hired by Christopher Goutman), January 2003-March 2004, February 4, 2010 – September 17, 2010)
- Actress: Marley Hudson (Cameos from 2000-2003)
- Actress: Phyllis Wicke (1991, five-episode guest appearance)
- Executive Producer (March 16, 2004 – September 18, 2009)
- Head writer (March 2008 – April 2008)
- Producer (July 2002 – January 2003)
Awards and nominations
- Daytime Emmy WIN (2007; Best Drama Series; Guiding Light)
- Daytime Emmy NOMINATION (2001-2003; Best Directing; As the World Turns)
- Daytime Emmy WIN (1988; Best Supporting Actress; All My Children)
- Daytime Emmy WIN (1986; Best Younger Actress; Another World)
| Executive Producer of Guiding Light