JANUARY 26, 1936-AUGUST 14, 2012


     Al Rabin, the long-time supervising executive producer and director of "Days of Our Lives", has passed away. Rabin died on Tuesday, August 14, 2012. He was 76.

     Alvin Rabin was born to Solomon and Fannie Rabin in Waukegan, Illinois on January 26, 1936. He started his career "in charge" early, as he was the President of his sophomore class at Waukegan High School.

     He began his daytime career as a production manager at "General Hospital" in 1965, and later began directing that show. Rabin then joined the "Days" staff as a director in February 1975. His first chance at producing came when "Days" expanded to an hour in April 1975. He did double duty as both a producer and director from 1975-1976, then went back to directing full-time. He continued to direct when he was named supervising executive producer in January 1980. He briefly left his position as executive producer in 1989, while he continued to be credited as a creative consultant. He returned in December 1989 and remained as supervising executive producer until June 17, 1992. Rabin received 9 Daytime Emmy nominations during his time at "Days."

     After leaving "Days", Rabin was executive producer of the short-lived "Valley of the Dolls" in 1994. He then retired from show business and enjoyed spending time with his family, doing lots of traveling and playing golf. He also developed a program at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, teaching young students to do video histories of their grandparents.

     In a 1990 interview, Rabin, who was instrumental in helping create the many supercouples of the 1980s, said that "I am convinced that Tom Horton loves Alice more than Tom loves himself. I am also convinced that Alice Horton loves Tom more than Alice loves herself. I think that's absolutely basic on this particular show, and when we have successful couples, that element is always true. It was true with Bill and Laura. It was certainly true with Doug and Julie. That element is absolutely basic to what the press calls 'the supercouples of Days of Our Lives."

     When asked in 1996 about returning to "Days", he said this: "I've been asked several times to come back. I look fondly with a tremendous amount of pleasure on the years I was there. For the most part, it was an absolutely wonderful time. But that was then, and now, there are other things that are just more rewarding for me, not that soaps weren't for me back then."

     In his 1996 interview with Soap Opera Weekly, he said his philosophy about doing the show was this: "Every day, every act, every scene, we always asked ourselves: What did we share with the audience?" In his speech upon receiving a Soap Opera Digest award in 1989, he gave special thanks to "Jim Young, who taught so many of us professionalism and dedication; Betty Corday, who taught so many of us loyalty and a sense of family; to my children, Beth, Jeff and Larry, who taught me about personal joy; and to my wife, Laura, who taught me openness, honesty and love."

     Rabin is survived by his wife, Laura; three children, Beth, Jefferey and Lawrence; and four grandchildren, Rebecca, Anna, Jake and Ella.  Services were held on Friday, August 17, 2012 at 10AM at Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries in Simi Valley, California.

I asked Don Frabotta, who played Dave the maitre d' on "Days" from 1974-1993, if he'd like to share some memories of Al. Don was gracious enough to do so, and here's what he wrote:

"I was very saddened to hear that Al Rabin passed away. To me and for me, Al Rabin was a very special person. I remember when he first came to "Days" and how he worked with people as a director. He respected the actor and their work. I always looked forward to going in, knowing that Al would be directing for that day, further knowing that it would be a fun and special day. I enjoyed watching him work with the actors. When he became executive producer, he chose to carry the banner of Betty Corday, treating the cast and crew as family. He took an interest in the person as well as the actor. He was kind, a good mediator and mentor. It was as executive producer that, for me, Al became very inclusive, bringing Dave more into the show and into the storylines even though Dave had no storyline of his own. Dave catered the weddings. Dave went to the weddings. Dave served breakfast in bed. Dave helped Alice in her detective work, at Alice's Restaurant. Dave was included in show things just as if he was a contract player. When Doug's Place on the Lake was being "refurbished" and Dave was not seen for a couple of months, I was assured by Al that I would be back, to be patient. True to his word, I was back and more fully involved. There is a word in Yiddish that, today, is part of our everyday vernacular: mensch - a person of honor and integrity. This was Al Rabin, to me and for me, and all those involved with the production of "Days of Our Lives."

Don Frabotta, 8/17/12

Al, on the left, was president of his sophomore class at Waukegan High School in 1952.

Soap Opera Weekly, October 15, 1996
"Missing In Action: Al Rabin" (Written by: Robert L. Schork)

The master telecast report of Al's first "Days" episode that he directed, which aired on March 7, 1975.

Al is promoted to his new role of producer for Episode # 2367, when "Days" expanded to an hour.
He remained a producer for over a year, before going back to directing full-time in 1976, eventually being promoted to Supervising Executive Producer in 1980.

Here is one of Al's Daytime Emmy nominations, for the 1982-1983 season, in the Daytime Emmy program from that year.

Daytime TV: Inside Days of Our Lives, April 1992
Behind-The-Scenes At Days Interview (Written by: Anne Marie Allocca)


Al accompanied the "Days" gang to the South Carolina remote, and was director for all the scenes shot there in 1989.