Warren Buffett drawn back to soap opera intrigue

LOS ANGELES Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:37pm EDT

1 of 3. Investor Warren Buffett (L) and actress Susan Lucci pose for a picture in this undated handout photograph released by ABC television March 19, 2008. Buffett appears in an upcoming episode on the ABC daytime drama television series 'All My Children' as he comes to character Erica's aid, played by Lucci. The episode is set to be telecast May 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Fenn/ABC/Handout

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, recently ranked as the world's richest man, will be drawn into a fictional insider-trading scandal in an upcoming appearance on the TV soap opera "All My Children."

Buffett, 77, will play himself in an episode set to air during the May "sweeps" ratings period. It will be his second guest turn on the ABC daytime drama, a show spokesman said on Wednesday. His first appearance was in 1992.

Buffett and the creator of "All My Children," Agnes Nixon, are friends, and the investment magnate is a fan of the show, said the spokesman, Mike Cohen.

"He's been waiting for an invitation to come back, and he was speaking to Agnes, and they made it happen," Cohen told Reuters.

Buffett's part is being written into a story line of the show involving the character Erica Kane, the vixen entrepreneur and self-styled media mogul played by series veteran Susan Lucci.

Lucci's character recently pleaded guilty to insider trading -- a crime she unintentionally committed -- but ended up a fugitive when another convict she was handcuffed to escaped en route to prison.

Cohen said Buffett will enter the plot after Erica's capture and imprisonment when he is called upon by their mutual friend, Opal (Jill Larson), to use his influence to try to leverage a deal on Erica's behalf. The outcome, however, is not what Erica had anticipated.

Cohen said Buffett will be paid the union scale salary as a "day player" for his role, roughly $700.

Buffett told Nixon recently that he never cashed his check from his 1992 appearance. Instead, he had it framed as an office memento with a photograph from his day on the set, according to Cohen.

Earlier this month, Forbes magazine ranked Buffett, the head of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, as the world's wealthiest man with an estimated personal worth of $62 billion.

"All My Children" is one of the longest-running dramas on U.S. television, airing weekdays for 38 years on ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Co.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Xavier Briand)

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