Jean Passanante (born June 26, 1953) is an American television screenwriter best known for her work in daytime soap operas. Passanante got her start as an actress doing bit parts in the 1980s, including John Sayles's Return of the Secaucus 7.

Jean Passanante
(1953-06-26) June 26, 1953 (age 66)

Alma materDartmouth College
Years active1980–2017
Known forHead writer for:
Jack Shannon (m. 1985)
  • Bart Passanante
  • Alberta Passanante
Writing career
GenreSoap Operas

Early lifeEdit

Passanante was born on June 26, 1953 in St. Louis, Missouri[1] to Bart, a physician, and Alberta Passanante.[2] She graduated from Ladue Horton Watkins High School in 1971.[3] She attended Dartmouth College.[1]



Passanante was in 1980's Return of the Secaucus 7 and 1983's Lianna.[4][5]


Passanante got her start on soaps working as a staff writer on the ABC Daytime drama One Life to Live from 1992 to 1996. In 1996 she was promoted to the top position of Head Writer, only to be replaced in 1997. She remained as a staff writer until 1998, at which time she was made Co-Head Writer of the ailing soap opera Another World. Passanante wrapped up the show's 35-year run in June 1999. The next month, she relieved All My Children creator Agnes Nixon of head writing duties after Nixon was called in to temporarily replace Megan McTavish.

Passanante's contract with All My Children expired in 2001, and she was replaced by Richard Culliton. She was then hired by CBS' As the World Turns in 2001, where she served as Co-Head Writer (second in command to Hogan Sheffer) until she was promoted to Head Writer in early 2005; she continued in that role through the show's 2010 cancellation. Following the cancellation of "As the World Turns", Passanante returned to One Life to Live as Associate Head Writer, a role she last served in 1998, until its television cancellation in January 2012. From January 25, 2008 through April 17, 2008, ATWT episodes were written by non-union writers due to Passanante and her team participating in the WGA strike. It is speculated that Christopher Goutman and Vivian Gundaker took over as Head Writers. Passanante's post-strike episodes hit the airwaves on April 18, 2008.

Passanante was one of the writers who followed Ron Carlivati to General Hospital as breakdown writer from May 3, 2012 until November 25, 2013 when Passanante was named head writer of The Young and the Restless, working alongside Shelly Altman. Passanante's tenure was from December 23, 2013 to March 18, 2015, Passanante was also a breakdown writer for the show under Charles Pratt, Jr. from March 23, 2015 to June 18, 2015. In July 2015, Passanante and Altman returned to General Hospital as its co-head writers, replacing Carlivati.[6][7] On June 6, 2017, Passanante announced her decision to retire from General Hospital, stating: "It gets to be a time when it’s just time. [...] And it seemed like the right time. I do have other things that I’m interested in pursuing and I have a daughter who lives in Europe, who I want to visit whenever I can. I have been pondering it for a long time. It’s a pretty consuming kind of job and you need to get your head clear of it every once in a while. It’s been a great 27 years, or something like that — it’s a long time!".[8] She retired on July 27, 2017.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1985, Passanante married writer Jack Shannon. They are still married and have one daughter, Ruth Shannon.[1] Passanante's older sister, Joy Passanante, was born in 1947. She has another sister named Judy.[1][2]




Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1980 Return of the Secaucus 7 Irene Drama film written and directed by John Sayles [4]
1983 Lianna Rose Drama film written and directed by John Sayles [5]



Years held Title Position held Notes Ref.
1993–96 One Life to Live Associate Head Writer
1996–97 Co-Head Writer with Leah Laiman and Peggy Sloane
1997–98 Associate Head Writer
July 1998 – June 25, 1999 Another World Co-Head Writer The Last AW Writing Team:
July 1999 – January 2001 All My Children
January 2001 – August 2001 Head Writer
September 2001 – May 24, 2005 As the World Turns Co-Head Writer
May 25, 2005 – January 24, 2008 Head writer
April 18, 2008 – October 5, 2009 with Leah Laiman
October 6, 2009 – June 4, 2010 with David Kreizman
June 7, 2010 – September 17, 2010 with Lloyd Gold
September 10, 2010 - January 13, 2012 One Life to Live Associate Head Writer
May 3, 2012 – November 25, 2013 General Hospital
December 23, 2013 – March 18, 2015 The Young and the Restless Co-Head Writer
March 23, 2015 – June 18, 2015 Breakdown Writer
October 6, 2015 – October 6, 2017 General Hospital Co-Head Writer with Shelly Altman [6][9]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Daytime Emmy Awards:

  • Win, 2014, Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for The Young and the Restless
  • Wins, 2002, 2004 and 2005, Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for As the World Turns
  • Nomination, 2003, Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for As the World Turns
  • Nomination, 2001 and 2002, Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for All My Children
  • Win, 1994, Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for One Life to Live

Writers Guild of America Awards (WGA)

  • Win, 2015 and 2016, Best Daytime Serial for General Hospital
  • Win, 2007, Best Daytime Serial for As the World Turns
  • Nominations, 2005 and 2006, Daytime Serials for As the World Turns
  • Win, 2001 and 2002, Daytime Serials for All My Children
  • Win, 1992 for "One Life to Live"


  1. ^ a b c d "Jean Passanante". MyHeritage. Or Yehuda and Tel Aviv: MyHeritage Ltd. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Passanante, Joy (2002). My Mother's Lovers. Western Literature (1st ed.). Reno, Nevada: University of Nevada Press. ISBN 978-0874174953.
  3. ^ Ladue Horton Watkins High School website, "Distinguished Alumni". Accessed 08 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Return of the Secaucus 7". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Lianna". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  6. ^ a b SOD (July 24, 2015). "HEAD WRITER SWITCH AT GH". Soap Opera Digest. American Media, Inc. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  7. ^ Giddens, Jamey (July 24, 2015). "ABC Replaces General Hospital Head Writer Ron Carlivati With Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  8. ^ SOD (June 6, 2017). "GH Scribe Jean Passanante On Retirement: "It's Just Time."". Soap Opera Digest. United States: American Media, Inc. Odyssey Magazine Publishing Group Inc. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Passanante, Jean [@PFossil] (July 27, 2017). "Today is my last day at #GH and I'm retiring from writing soaps -- at least for now. Love and respect to all of you who adore the genre" (Tweet). Retrieved August 4, 2017 – via Twitter.

External linksEdit