The Inside Scoop! How Warren Buffett Became a Soap Star


Warren Buffett's big guest role on the ABC soap opera All My Children airs tomorrow (Friday, May 9).

Last March, (WBW post: Warren Buffett Returns to Daytime TV With 'All My Children' Cameo), Buffett taped a brief appearance in which he plays himself, coming to the aid of jailed Erica Kane, played by Susan Lucci. (Insider trading, of course.)

CNBC's Becky Quick was at the studio on that day. Here's her behind-the-scenes report from this morning's Squawk Boxon the longtime friendship that helped put Buffett on the small screen.

Becky Quick Narration: It's a familiar story.

(Law & Order boing boing sound effect)

Becky Quick Narration: A beautiful, powerful diva ...

(Law & Order boing boing sound effect)

Becky Quick Narration: ... brought down by an insider trading scandal.

(Law & Order boing boing sound effect)

Becky Quick Narration: But this time, it's even juicier. Erica Kane, the glamorous star of All My Children plays the diva.

And Warren Buffett, the richest person in the world, is the man she's hoping will ride to her rescue. It wouldn't be the first time Buffett's come to Erica's aid. Back in 1991, he and ABC's then-chairman Tom Murphy advised Erica on taking her cosmetics company public.

Erica: Well, couldn't I borrow?

Buffett: Have you ever thought of going public, Erica?

Becky narration: Since then, Buffett has appeared in two other All My Children episodes, but he hasn't been back to see Erica in almost 14 years. This woman is responsible for bringing them together: Buffett's friend Agnes Nixon, the soap opera queen who created All My Children and One Life to Live.

Becky: How did you two meet?

Agnes Nixon: Well, Tom Murphy, who was Chairman of the Board of Capital Cities and had bought ABC invited my husband and me to the Winter Olympics in Calgary, and had a lovely dinner the night before. And I was lucky enough to be seated next to Warren Buffet and it was rapport at first sight.

Warren Buffett: I'd like to correct that slightly. I begged Tom Murphy. I said, 'Can I sit next to Agnes Nixon?' And because we were the biggest shareholder he said, 'OK, Warren.' And by halfway through the course, I decided I was in love. (Laughter.)

Becky narration: She's also a longtime shareholder of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. She bought in right after that first meeting.

Nixon: Tom asked Warren, 'Are you going to the opening tomorrow?' And he said, 'No, I've got to write my annual report to my stockholders. And in my naiveté, I said, 'Oh, I've never... What is that?' (Laughter.) Stupid. And Warren said, 'Well, I'll leave one at the hotel for you in your box. And I stayed up that night reading it, laughing hysterically. Because, you know, his wonderful and irrepressible humor comes out everywhere. And so I said to my husband, 'Well, I've got to get his every year. We have to get some Berkshire Hathaway.'

Becky narration: It also got her thinking about Buffett's potential on the small screen.

Becky: What gave you the inspiration to put Warren Buffet into one of your programs?

Nixon: Well, it just, I don't know, I thought he'd be so great!

Buffett: I begged. (Laughs.)

Nixon: No, but it was just, and we had such fun doing it. And he's, well, he's one of a kind, right? I remember that one night early on, we had dinner at a lovely restaurant ... and Warren Buffet hailed a taxi cab.

Buffett: Well, I must have been splurging that night. I normally get on the subway! (Laughs.)

Becky Narration: The first time he was on, Buffett gave Erica some sound advice on an IPO.

Susan Lucci: They were my white knights.

Becky narration: This time, though, as Erica sits behind bars, it plays out a little differently.

Lucci: It wasn't the advice Erica was hoping for.

Becky narration: But, as always, Erica finds a silver lining.

Lucci: I like orange, so that's gonna be ok.


Spoiler alert! The advice Erica wasn't hoping for was revealed in the video shown to shareholders during the morning session of last weekend's Buffettstock in Omaha.

Current Berkshire price:

See Warren Buffett Watch on CNBC's The Call, most weekday mornings at 11:50a ET

Questions? Comments? Email me at