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. In 1985 she married writer Jack Shannon. They are still married and have one daughter, Ruth Shannon.
She 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.
Passanante attended Dartmouth College.
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.
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