July 5, 1942|
Woodbridge, Connecticut, U.S.
Connecticut College (BA)|
Yale University (MFA)
Louise Shaffer (born July 5, 1942) is an American actress, script writer, and author.
Shaffer was born in Woodbridge, Connecticut, where she showed an interest in acting early on in her life. After finishing high school, she attended Connecticut College for Women, then Yale Drama School. Shaffer is a coloratura soprano, and was trained at Juilliard.
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Throughout her life, Shaffer has appeared in numerous soap operas, including Search for Tomorrow where she played two separate roles; that of scheming Emily Rogers Hunter (1967–1968) and powerful businesswoman Stephanie Wilkins#2 (1984–1986), Hidden Faces (1968–1969), and Where the Heart Is (in which she played Allison Hathaway Archer Jessup) through the show's entire 3 1⁄2-year run. From 1975 to 1976, she was praised for her performance on The Edge of Night (where she played split personality Serena Faraday/Josie) who shot and killed her estranged husband Mark on the courthouse steps then was defended on an insanity plea. During the trial, the character's split personality was revealed, having been a victim of child abuse years before. Her "Edge of Night" stint as Serena/Josie is considered to be one of that mystery soap opera's best storylines.
In September 1977, Louise began her most recognized role was that of powerful journalism magnate Rae Woodard on Ryan's Hope, a role she played for 6 1/2 years, and then reprised for the show's finale in 1989. Her role of Rae saw her become a very wealthy widow within only a few months (during which time she had an affair with Roger Coleridge while her much older husband Bill was fighting for his life in the hospital) to stealing Frank Ryan away from his true love, Jillian Coleridge, to having an affair with her illegitimate daughter Kimberly's ex-boyfriend, Michael Pavel, and pulling a gun on them when she found them together and claiming she killed Michael to prevent Kim from being sent to prison. When Rae's old lover, Hollis Kirkland, was introduced onto the show, she briefly became the show's leading lady during the time when the show was nicknamed "Kirkland's Hope" because of the back-burner status of the Ryans. Following the ending of this storyline, Rae began a plot against Frank Ryan with the introduction of Judith Chapman as Charlotte Greer, whose father Neil MacCurtain was out to avenge an old vendetta against Ryan matriarch Maeve. It turned out that Rae had no idea of what the MacCurtains were up to, and ended up being stabbed when trying to stop Neil from going forward with his revenge.
Once this storyline concluded, Louise was taken off-contract but continued to make recurring appearances until early 1984 when she was hired for Search For Tomorrow. Her character of Rae had no real exit from the show, only said in passing to be traveling abroad. Ironically, on "Search", she was reunited with old "Ryan's Hope" love interests Michael Corbett (Michael Pavel) and Peter Haskell (Hollis Kirkland), although this time, Corbett played her hated son-in-law Warren Carter and Haskell played her ex-lover/business rival Lloyd Kendall. Veteran soap actress Lisa Peluso played her spoiled daughter, Wendy, taking over from where Kelli Maroney had as Kimberly on "RH". They were even given a similar romantic triangle as Kim and Rae had with Michael Pavel with Wendy and Stephanie fighting over sleazy Bela Garody (Lee Goddart). After the introduction of the wealthy Estelle Kendall at the end of 1985, Shaffer was written out as Stefanie became a murder victim of strangler Rivera in February 1986. In the summer of 1987, she was brought onto All My Children, playing Erica's evil stepmother, Goldie Kane who had appeared in Pine Valley under the alias Constance Keaton, the widow of Eric Kane (whom she had presumably coaxed into killing himself) and the mother of the suicidal Noelle Keaton who turned out to be the real Silver Kane. After returning to her home in Canada, she invited Erica up for a visit under the plot of having Silver (hypnotized by Dr. Damon Lazarre) kill her sister. When that failed, she shot Erica while she was pregnant with Bianca and fell off a boat during a struggle with her own daughter. Later on, she turned up in Pine Valley to plot revenge against Damon and posed as her own ghost to lure him to his death. Several years after her stint, Eric Kane was revealed to be alive, but Goldie was still in prison for her crimes. In the final episode of Ryan's Hope, Louise made a surprise appearance as Rae, insinuating to the newleyweds Jack and Leigh that she might consider returning to New York to resume the work she had left behind five years before. After several years as a script writer on various soaps, she had brief roles on Guiding Light as Lewis oil client Mrs. Humphreys (1993), and a stint as the judge in the Peter Lewis custody battle (1994).
She was nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Rae Woodard on Ryan's Hope; she won the award in 1983. In addition to her daytime roles, Shaffer also had a role on the short-lived Norman Lear serialized sitcom All That Glitters.
In addition to scriptwriting, Shaffer has written numerous books.
|Opening date||Closing date||Title||Role||Theatre|
|1964||The Beggar's Opera||Master, New York|
|February 26, 1966||February 26, 1966||First One Asleep,||Esther||Belasco|
|September 27, 1967||September 30, 1967||Keep It In The Family||Understudy||Plymouth|
|July 31, 1973||August 26, 1973||Two Gentlemen of Verona||Julia||Delacorte|
|March 17, 1976||March 28, 1976||The Boss||Playwrights Horizon|
|April 25, 1973||June 17, 1973||The Women||Second Hairdresser
|1967||Run For Your Life||Donna Sanders||Episode: "A Very Small Injustice"|
|1968||Hidden Faces||Maratha Logan|
|Where the Heart Is||Allison Hathaway Archer Jessup||Unknown episodes|
|The Edge of Night||Josie/Serena Faraday||Unknown episodes|
|1977||Kojak||Francie Foster||Episode: "Kojak's Day, Parts 1 and 2"|
|1977||All That Glitters||Andrea Martin|
|Ryan's Hope||Rae Woodard||549 episodes|
|1980||Quincy, M.E.||Mrs. Davenport||Episode: "Deadly Arena"|
|Search for Tomorrow||Stephanie Wilkins Wyatt #2||Episodes: 1.8574 and 1.8669|
|1987||Matlock||Elinor||Episode: "The Rat Pack"|
|1987||Police Story: The Freeway Killings||Laura Healey|
|1988||All My Children||Goldie Kane|
|1994||Guiding Light||Judge Tillman|
- All My Children (2000–2002)
- As the World Turns (1994–2000)
- General Hospital (1992–1993)
- Loving (1990–1991)
- Another World (1989)
- Ryan's Hope (1987–1989)
- Cherlin, Merrill. "Louise Shaffer:The Feminist is a Lady!". Afternoon TV. October 1978.
- Ross, Marilyn T. "Louise Shaffer:I Took a Year Off to Do a Play". TV Day Gosspip. November 1975.
- Goudas, John M (August 13, 1984). "Soap Opera Scene". Gadsden Times.
- Eubanks, Michelle Rupe (May 16, 2003). "Former Soap Actress Takes Foray Into Literature". Times Daily.
- Shaffer, Louise (1995). All My Suspects. Berkley. ISBN 978-0-425-14770-2.
- Shaffer, Louise (1996). Talked to Death. Berkley. ISBN 978-0-425-15407-6.
- Shaffer, Louise (2004). The Three Miss Margarets: A Novel. Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-375-76088-4.
- Shaffer, Louise (2006). The Ladies of Garrison Gardens: A Novel. Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-8129-6883-5.
- Shaffer, Louise (2007). Family Acts: A Novel. Ballantine. ISBN 978-1-4000-6063-4.
- Shaffer, Louise (2009). Serendipity: A Novel. Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-345-50209-4.
- Shaffer, Louise (2010). Looking for a Love Story: A Novel. Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-345-50210-0.