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Director Who Helped Make Santa Barbara Known Globally Through NBC Soap Opera Dies

A producer, writer, and director who helped make Santa Barbara a household name around the world through a fictional television soap opera set in the city has died.

Jeffrey Hayden was one of the directors of the NBC daytime series “Santa Barbara,” which won 24 Daytime Emmys during its nine year run.

The show aired in more than 40 countries, and was the longest running TV series in Russia, which aired it for 20 years because of its popularity. Although the series was fictional, it was credited with sparking an increase in international tourism to the city.

Hayden directed episodes of some classic early television shows, including “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Route 66,” and “Leave It To Beaver.”

He and his wife, actress Eva Maria Saint, had been married for 65 years. Hayden died at his Los Angeles home following a long battle with cancer. He was 90 years old.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.