As the World Turns: Colleen Zenk Pinter’s Account of the Final Days

Colleen Zenk PinterLast Week, the cast and crew of As the World Turns recorded their final episodes. The CBS soap opera has been cancelled after more than 50 years on the air and the series finale will air on September 17th.

Actress Colleen Zenk Pinter, who plays Barbara Ryan on ATWT, has been with the soap since 1978 and has seen her character go through a lot of changes. Understandably, leaving the fictional community of Oakdale is an emotional experience. She shared the final moments with her Twitter followers.

June 21st: “Just read the last script..So beautiful… How can we get through it?.. A puddle of tears.”

June 23rd: “Here I go… One last day of love & angst in Oakdale, Illinois…my last day of Barbara…”

June 23rd: “Barbara’s set is only a memory…”

June 23rd: “Almost gone… Two more scenes as Babs… The walls are bare. The drawers are empty.”

June 23rd: “It’s a wrap……ATWT…..xoxoxoxoxox”

June 24th: “I am an unemployed actor for the first time in 32 years… what a wonderful run it was!!!!”

June 24th: “But… Rehearsals begin soon! …A new NY musical! …SUMMER STOCK NYC!! …Details later!”

What do you think? Any memories of Pinter’s performances on ATWT that stand out to you?

Canceled and renewed TV show

24 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Shirley says

    To not have ATWT is like a day without sunshine….no matter how bad things were in my life, I could always “turn” to ATWT and forget about my own problems. My mother, my sister and I always watched it back in 1956 – now they are both gone – this show was connected to all 3 of us and it makes me feel like I have another death in my family. All of my life was associated with ATWT – getting married, raising children, losing loved ones, and all the while, watching this “make believe” family every day. Good to know that “Carly” will be at least seen on the Y&R and hope that some of the other characters will follow suit. Lucinda will be missed – I read where she is moving to the Netherlands to be with her boyfriend and will do local work there…what a loss not to have her quirky personality in our lives. It almost seems like “it was supposed to be” when Helen Wagner passed away a few months ago – what timing. The end of Oakdale and it’s beloved citizens will be a long time sad event for me.

  2. penny b. says

    It is truely a real dissappointment. I too, have been watching it since I was a young girl & now that I am retired & was looking forward to watching my favorite soap, it is no longer. Shame on proctor & gamble for not making sure it was taken on by another sponser. There are people still in the world that are plain tired of reality shows & game shows. TV will not be the same without As The World Turns & as the job market goes, there are more good people out of a job. Shame on CBS also for not picking it up.

  3. pat hamilton says

    i cannot believe that as the world turns in really going to go off of the air after all of these years. it is my favorite soap opera, and i shall miss it something awful. i am sure that many people will be saddened by its’ passing. i know that life has to go on, but this is a real disappointment. i am 62 years of age, and i started watching it with my mom when i was a young girl. kudos for all of the good work that you have put into it over the years. god bless you all and may you all go on to find other things that are worthwhile in your lives. pat hamilton, a fan.

  4. Dee Brandvig says

    Like many of your other past viewers, I began watching ATWT as a child, with my mom. She had never watched/listened to soaps because they were running stories and she didn’t know who anyone was. When ATWT started on TV she didn’t know it had been on radio for years and so thought the story was new. She began to watch it on its first day and I remember Nancy in some of the first scenes, talking to Penny and Ellen….what a fond memory, now. Who would have thought I would still know all these ‘people’ when I was 64! I think it’s a terrible mistake to have cancelled the show, but I recognize that millions of senior citizens are not given priority, even though we control a good portion of the economy and are actually home in the daytime to see the commercials that supported the show. Of course, you understand we won’t watch the game show that replaced The Guiding Light, don’t you? I don’t want to hear the loud background music and the stupid jumping up and down and screaming. We have dozens of channels to choose from now, we are not trapped by the networks as we used to be. The good thing is that you’ve now given us a 2 hour hole in the middle of the day…time for a whole movie.

  5. Sonia Benel says

    I came to the US in 1956; when my grandmother came in 1959 she would have be translate ATWT for her. I laugh now at the memory of her arguing with me if she could not accept that I translated the words correctly – she would say, “Oh no, Lisa would never say that?”
    But over the years when I was home from school, then as a teacher off for the summer, I would catch up with Oakdale stories. VCR made it possible for me to watch it all year round!
    The show was my “therapy” – a fun and relaxing distraction from life’s problems. I LOVE the show and all the characters – even the “evil” James Stenbeck. When he left the show I emailed him and he answered! how exciting that was for me. I found out he has a Hispanie background (as I do). And he told me how much he appreciated nurses throughout his illness ( I am a nurse).
    I am still in denial that it will soon end. No other show can replace it…..for sure!!!

  6. Christy says

    I’ve watched ATWT since I was a toddler and we got our first TV. I remember so much about the early days. I know it’s just fiction, but, the show was important. You always wondered what Lisa was going to do next, and who she was going to marry next. Women would meet and discuss the show like it was family members. I’m a little disapointed that they haven’t brought back all surviving members of the original core families. Especialy for this last few weeks. We’d like to know what Annie and Jeff did with all those kids. And did Betsy and Steve make it? What did Penney end up doing with her life? And where did Duncan MacKechnie end up? I don’t know how James Stenbeck kept coming back from the grave. Then, what’s my favorite Babs memory? I guess it’s the love story with her and Gunnar. I’m proud that so many of the villains saw the errors in their ways, and so many became good guys.

  7. says

    I am heart broken with the cancellation of As the World Turns. The writers and actors deserve better. I hope they all find jobs soon. All My Children could use all the writers of As the World Turns for that soap, and for The Bold and Beautiful.

  8. Florrie Washburn says

    I watched from day one. I even took a job when my kids were all in school where I could have a lunch time so I did not have to miss the show. Lived in N.J. then and saw Eileen Fulton at the Papeer Mill Play House. Had ATWT to talk about to friends back east when we moved to beautiful Tulsa. I blame the death of the show on the writers. So many folks over 50 enjoyed logical story lines. Not many of late. Wished I could have buried Stenbach myself. Good luch and a wonder life to the cast.

  9. Cheryl says

    I love As the World Turns so much. I adore Barbara, profesionally and personally. I would so love to meet this courageous beautiful woman. I will miss you terribly and I wish so much we did not have to say goodbye to such incredible actors. Barbara & Henry, Will & Gwen… my absolute favourite couples of all time. Much love and happiness to all of you beautiful people.

  10. Dorothy Benge says

    I started watching ATWT with my mother when it came on the air in 1956. I too am in mourning at the thought that I won’t be able to visit with “my friends” each Monday through Friday. My birthday is this coming Thursday. I will be 65. I can not think of a better birthday present than to find out that a new home has been found for my show. To all the cast members, thank you so very much for all the hours of enjoyment you have given to all of your devoted fans. We love you. We will miss you greatly.

  11. Judith Dunn says

    I am in mourning! I have watched ATWT for 50+ years-it seems like a member of my family. I can’t believe it is nearing the end. I will miss the characters for a long time. I hope, as great as they are, they can find work somewhere!

  12. says

    AS THE WORLD TURNS has been a part of our family’s life from day one. My grandmother and mother watched the show; later, when I was in school and with the advent of VCRs, I watched the show with my mom.

    30 years later, as a grown-up with a wife and six children, we continue to watch the show and are heartbroken that it is ending soon.

    So many stories stand out in my mind as classic soap opera; as a matter of fact, ATWT, to me, defines the very term “soap opera” in that the stories have pretty much hewn true to the original vision set forth by creator Irna Phillips and the producers of the show, Procter and Gamble.

    However, since the question was posed, which Barbara stories stand out — I must say that Barbara’s past decade or so has been a pleasure to watch unfold. From the time she nearly perished in the warehouse fire and became a villainess, determined to ‘protect’ her family at all costs a la James Stenbeck, her narrative has been a fun one to watch – even as Barbara alienated nearly everyone in town at one time or another.

    Strangely enough, the past year with her cancer story and relationship with Henry Coleman have been two highlights in a remarkable 32-year history with the show. I think I’ve enjoyed her character’s development in recent months more than ever. And, certainly, Colleen Zenk Pinter’s openness in her dedication to the program, even in its last days, has meant so much to fans of the show.

  13. Tay says

    Another World went off the Air on Friday June 25, 1999 . The following Monday June 28, 1999 I started watching As The World Turns due in part to them allowing some of the cast members from Another World being mix in to their cast it was about maybe a week to a week in the half before they wrote “Jake Mckinnon” played by the wonderful actor Tom Eplin and “Vicky Hudson Mckinnon” played by the beautiful and talented Jensen Bucchanon O’brien, Cass Winthrop and his wife Lila Winthrop who’s real names
    I can not remember at this time being introduce to the cast of the show. I look at this show to be already and set for when they would make their first appearence to the show. It was quite different for me due in part that I had never look at this show ever in my life but the stories were good so I said well I guess maybe this will be my new soap to replace Another World. I establish this even before my Another World Characters were even introduce to the show. Then Vicky and Jake arrive they came right in to the storyline of the show, and later Cass and Lila they had only recurring roles on the show with them dropping Lila and keeping Cass and the Another world town of Bay City alive due in part that Cass did not move to Oakdale he would come to vist Jake and Vicky and sometime they would have Jake go to bay city to take care of things there. when they needed Cass represent them on a case they would sometimes go to Bay City to get him . They all fit right in with the cast of As the World Turns, Jake more than Vicky was the one to really fit and he was the one who stood out. So then the actress who played Vicky was not happy with her new job so she left the role for a new job on “General Hospital” So by the fall of 1999 they killed her off the show, I was a bit shock that they would have killed her off but I stayed looking at this show Jake was still on and by then I was to hook to stop watching they eventually paired him with different female Characters until they paired him with the very good actress Lesli Kay who played Molly Conely they had such the best chemistry ever, they even had the two characters to get married on top of that. When Vicky died she was pregnant with twins every one had though they died when Vicky died in a plane crash but come to find out Vicky had survied long enough to have given birth to both girls. Jake and Molly together rasied those babies as if they were his and her kids together I was like Vicky Mckinon who.? By then Molly was my new “Vicky.”( LOL) By the fall of 2002 they killed Jake Mckinon off the show due in part because Jake had no family and no ties to Fictional town Oakdale, I was like why they could have allowed Jake’s parents and siblings come on to the show to give him a good back ground but they didn’t he had even won a daytime emmy while being on As the World Turns but yet they killed him off any way. So I said to my self they only used us Another World fans long enough to get us all hook on to watching their show by bringing and keeping Another World cast members on the show temperaly until they would win us all over. And that they did, there was no way in the world I could stop watching and so now I will stop watching come Friday September 17, 2010 after 11years 20days of watching looking and laughting at this wonderfull great show it will truely be missed I Love You “As The World Turns” .

  14. Daniella Neveah Castro Simpson Brady Guitterazi Norbeck says

    i wish it was not being canned although the storylines in the past few years have sucked
    but barbara was a mean old hag but she also had a heart of gold
    i’m gonna miss all the atwt cast especially will and gwen
    it’s nice to know they are gonna come back with hallie
    she’s gotta be so big now awwww

    • Jamie says

      My world ended the day ATWT was cancelled! The entire cast was a family to me! I will miss them all and wish them all the very best of health, happiness and blessings!!

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