‘Guiding Light’ Producer Gail Kobe Dead at 82

An actress with more than 125 credits to her name, Kobe became a behind-the-camera force in daytime drama

Gail Kobe, an executive producer on "Guiding Light" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" has died. She was 82.

Kobe began her career as an actress, making guest appearances throughout the 1950s and '60s on popular television programs such as "The Twilight Zone,"  "Perry Mason,"  "Hogan's Heroes," "Gunsmoke," "Mission: Impossible" and The Untouchable." 

The Michigan-native was discovered by Cecil B. DeMille, who directed her in the biblical epic, "The Ten Commandments," and helped kick off a career that found her appearing in more than 125 films and television shows. She received an Emmy Award nomination for her work on the series "Dr. Kildare. "

After a final role opposite "Bewitched" star Elizabeth Montgomery in a well-received 1975 television movie "The Legend of Lizzie Borden," Kobe moved behind the camera, producing daytime dramas during the the 1970’s and 80’s.

She became a force in soap operas, executive producing not just "Guiding Light" and "The Bold and the Beautiful," but also "Days of Our Lives," "Another World" and the short-lived series "Texas."  She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on "Guiding Light."

Jonathan Del Arco, an actor on "The Closer" and "Major Crimes," said that he befriended Kobe over 20 years ago. She became an important mentor as he navigated Hollywood, telling him to "never quit" the business and giving him her own St Genesius medal (the patron saint of actors). They grew so close that he referred to her as "Aunt Gail."

"This mentor role is one she played to countless people in the industry, she was like a mother to so many of us and I was privileged to have known her and in the past to years when she was living at the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF) I was lucky enough to have spent  a great deal of quality time with her," Del Arco said. "She changed my life for the better and I will miss her terribly."

Kobe was honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars for her acting, producing, and humanitarian work.

She is survived by her cousins, Constance Orson, Casting Director Greg Orson, Carl Orson, Linda Abdelaziz, Michael Anderson, Diane Anderson Smith, and Judy and Dale Anderson. A service for Kobe will be held at the MPTF campus at the Louis B. Mayer Theater on August 18 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund.