James E. Reilly Remembered

The October 12 passing of former DAYS OF OUR LIVES and PASSIONS head writer James E. Reilly has stunned the industry. His longtime friend and agent Jonathan Russo, who confirmed Reilly’s death to Soap Opera Weekly, shared, “We spoke an hour or two hours a day for almost 15-20 years. We did the math — 27 years. He was a towering figure in the industry. He deserved my time and attention. He wanted it and we were friends. We liked to catch up.”

“He never ran out of thoughts or ideas. He never repeated himself unless it
was intentional so he didn’t lose viewers. He never had other people submit
story ideas ever. He sat down and laid out and presented stories and layouts
for two shows. This is an amazing accomplishment,” Russo continued.Ken Corday (Executive Producer, DAYS): “The DAYS OF OUR LIVES family is
deeply saddened by the recent passing of James E. Reilly. Our thoughts and
prayers are with his family. Jim was not only an ingenious storyteller who
changed the landscape of daytime drama, but he celebrated life with passion,
humor and an appreciation for the best it has to offer. He was an
inspiration for us all…and will be greatly missed.”Lisa de Cazotte (executive producer GH:NIGHT SHIFT, former EP PASSIONS): “Jim Reilly was not only a legend in our industry, but he was a great friend and mentor. His creativity, sense of humor and genius will be sorely missed. There will never be another like him and I am deeply grateful for the years
we spent working together on PASSIONS and for the joy he brought to my
life.”Deidre Hall (Marlena, DAYS): “Jim Reilly was a powerful presence who
brought forth brilliant and creative ideas. The passion and depth with which
he wrote the Possession story, and the Salem Stalker, made him not only a
fan favorite, but my champion as well. I respected the man and his work, and
I am deeply saddened they are gone from us.”Galen Gering (Rafael, DAYS; ex-Luis, PASSIONS): “Although I never got to
know the man well, I do owe him for creating a show that was an incredible
rollercoaster ride, spanning nearly a decade of creative storytelling the
likes of which daytime had never seen. It’s a terrible loss of a creative
force that in large part changed the face of traditional soap operas
forever.”Eric Martsolf (Brady, DAYS; ex-Ethan, PASSIONS): “To me he was the writer
who wasn’t afraid to travel the road less traveled. He was an innovator in
the soap genre, and composed characters and storylines that broke down
traditional barriers and walls.”Eva Tamargo (ex-Pilar, PASSIONS): “Even though I never got to meet him, I was blessed to speak his beautiful, inspirational and faithful words as Pilar for nine years. Jim will never know how much he helped me get
through some rough personal times while I was playing Pilar. Well, perhaps,
now in Heaven, he will know. My prayers are with his family at this most
difficult time. Que en Paz, descanses, Jim.”McKenzie Westmore (ex-Sheridan, PASSIONS): “We have truly lost a great man
who contributed to daytime is so many amazing ways. I was so blessed and
honored to be a part of one of his creations and portray a character he
created. He will be missed and all my thoughts and prayers are with his

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