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Barbara Esensten

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Esensten, Barbara Jean
March 7, 1937 - November 14, 2012
Award-winning news reporter, Emmy-winning soap opera writer Barbara Esensten passed away suddenly on November 14. Barbara is survived by her beloved husband, Michael Chambers, daughters Teri, Randi and Deena, and four grandchildren. Barbara attended UCLA, where she wrote for the Daily Bruin. She left UCLA to marry attorney Jack Esensten. After the marriage ended, Barbara pursued her professional career. doing freelance writing and volunteering at radio station KPFK. She then moved to KFWB, then KABC, and on-air radio news became her full-time career. Barbara was featured in the 1974 breast cancer documentary, "Why Me?" Producer Joe Saltzman said of Barbara, "Historians now say she was the first woman to do a breast self-examination in the nude in the history of television. And doing so saved thousands of lives. R.I.P. Barbara. I will never forget you." In 1987 Barbara and James Harmon Brown were hired as writers for "Dynasty" to make the show more vital and realistic. Along with Brown, Barbara went on to write for "Loving", "The City" (a show she co-created), "Guiding Light," "Port Charles," "One Life To Live," "Days Of Our Lives," and "All My Children." They were nominated for two WGA Awards and five Daytime Emmys, winning for "Guiding Light" in 1993, as well as being part of the "All My Children" team nominated earlier this year. Donations in Barbara's memory can be made to the .
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 12, 2012
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