As the World Turns: Kathryn Hays Recalls Shooting the Cancelled Soap’s Final Scene

As the World Turns endingAs many soap opera fans are well aware, As the World Turns has been cancelled after 54 years on CBS. The final scenes of the daytime drama were shot in June and are set to air next Friday, September 17th.

The folks at EW obtained an exclusive shot of the last scene to be taped. Appropriately, it features longtime stars Don Hastings and Kathryn Hays.

He’s played Dr. Robert Hughes on ATWT since October 1960, holding the record for the longest continuous role on US television. Hays has played Kim Sullivan Hughes since 1972 and worked on the now-cancelled Guiding Light series before that.

Hays described the end of filming and said, “The last day was poignant, and what was so incredible about it was how we shot pretty much in order that day. As each group finished with a scene, that would be the end of their involvement. But it wasn’t like tomorrow was another show, so the studio got really full.”

She continued, “By the time they got to our scenes with Don and myself, there was hardly any room for cameras or the boom. In a way, it felt like being in a theater. We don’t normally have an audience. The stage manager asked if it was going to be a problem for us, but we both said no. It was like everybody’s arm was around us. It was absolutely incredible, there was not a sound. It was like everyone was holding their breath. In a way, we were all doing it together.”

“When we finished, Don and I both spoke a little bit to everybody, and the whole As the World Turns family moved to the other end of big studio where they had the world’s longest table set up, covered with champagne glasses. On the way home, I said to my daughter that if you are gonna go out, this is the way to do it.”

What do you think? Will you be tuning in to see this venerable program sign off?

Canceled and renewed TV show

65 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Dale Whitehead says

    The music “The Prince of Tides (1991) was an excellent choice for last 5 minutes of the Finale. The nation seems to be dumbing-down, when these kinds of shows can’t at least be moved to another media outlet. Farewell to ATWT, from Omaha NE.

  2. Kathy says

    54 years! I am 66 and remember my mother and grandmother doing their ironing together while watching ATWT….I began when expecting my first baby and have been hooked ever since. The 2 PM slot was made for me….one hour of relaxation before two sons bounded through the door and the second half of my day began.
    I relished every story…wonderful writers you stayed up to date. Wonderful actors…so incredibly talented.
    When Nancy died (the same age as my mother) it was like losing a grandmother.
    I buried my mother September 17th at 2 PM (fitting?)….so I missed the last episode.
    I wish you all well and hope you all find work very soon.
    I am disheartened with CBS ….the game show interlude was insulting and The Talk?
    Even worse then The View….I couldn’t waste my time with it. I guess I will explore ABC now and try to get used to another show.
    A devoted fan of three generations.

  3. Trish says

    Be assured you and your show will be missed by many loyal viewers. I cannot believe no other venue picked the show to continue! What is wrong with CBS and Proctor and Gamble? The other networks have not cancelled any soaps. I hope all of the cast can have a followup reunion show at some point. It was a very sad day for all of us last Friday. Best of luck and success to all of you. Thanks for many years of enjoyment.

  4. Paula says

    Oh gosh, just reading Kathryn Hays’ comments about what it was like filming that last scene breaks my heart……..I’m so sad this wonderful beloved show is over. I’ve been an avid fan for over 30 years and I feel like such a big part of my life is gone. :(

    Thank you , ATWT, and most especially Don Hastings and Kathryn Hays for that marvelous, bittersweet and poignant ending.

  5. Christine says

    Still can’t seem to delete that final episode from the DVR. I’m really going to miss this show. So sad…it’s really over. Enjoyed many wonderful years, thanks!

  6. Elaine says

    After all the these years this show has been part of my life as long as I can remember. My mother started me on soaps. I remember watching As The World Turns, Guiding Light and Search for Tomorrow. I will miss this show alot. Where are the stars of the show going? There has not been much publicity about the cancellation. I assume some of them are retiring. Where can we find the others? Are they going to other soaps? I cried and I have saved the final edisode…………..

  7. Judy says

    You were extended family.Can we at least have a family reunion ? I will surely miss you.I remember watching you with my Mom. You were the first soap we ever watched. You all have a wonderful life , you made ours much fuller. Sincerely ,JudyStachler

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