“Wes Kenney knew funny,” says Norman Lear

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“Wes Kenney knew funny, harnessed it brilliantly and fed it to audiences regularly for a lot of years. He was also the dearest of men,” Norman Lear tells NATAS.

With 19 Emmy nominations to his credit, Wesley Kenney won seven Daytime Emmys as both producer and director for “Days of Our Lives,” “The Young and the Restless” and “General Hospital.” Among them, were outstanding daytime drama series Emmys for “Days of Our Lives” and “The Young and the Restless.”

“Every time Wes ran from the booth to the stage, everyone could hear him coming because he always had a pocketful of change that would announce his impending arrival,” recalls Emmy-winning producer/actress Lauralee Bell. “When I was brand-new on “The Young and the Restless,” I had to do a lot of modeling scenes and I definitely needed guidance. I’d hear the ratting of the coins that meant Wes was coming down and at first it terrified me. However, as I watched him imitate a supermodel, in a very exaggerated way, he instantly helped put me at ease. I then realized I was in the best hands ever. I came out of my shell and lost my fear of the camera due, in great part, to the amazing Wes Kenney.” Actress, Kate Linder, adds, “Wes was an amazing and talented man. He helped me bring Esther to life as my first producer when I joined “The Young & The Restless” in 1982. I will miss him.”

In addition to receiving nominations in 1988 and 89 for producing ABC’s General Hospital, he was also credited with directing episodes of “My Favorite Martian” and “All in the Family.”

Kenney, who met his wife, Heather North, on the set of “Days of Our Lives, died Tuesday at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica at the age of 89.

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