Today in Soap Opera History (October 25)

1982: Another World's Buzz Winslow died in Wyoming.
1988: General Hospital's Anna lost her baby.
1990: Another World's Jake raped Marley, then got shot.
2000: All My Children's Vanessa and Arlene were busted.
"More and more, I tend to read history. I often find it more up to date than the daily newspapers."
― Joe Murray

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1937: Radio soap opera Stella Dallas made its debut as a local show in New York City. The 15-minute drama, with Anne Elstner in the title role, was picked up by the NBC Radio network beginning June 6, 1938, and aired weekdays afternoons through 1955.

1971: Chris Bohn debuted as Dr. Jason Aldrich on The Doctors.

'Coronation Street' Favorite Jean Alexander Dead at 90

Jean Alexander
Coronation Street actress Jean Alexander died on October 14, just three days after her 90th birthday. She passed away peacefully in her hospital bed after being admitted earlier in the week.

Famous for her headscarf and curlers in the role of Hilda Ogden, the actress spent 23 years on the soap as the archetypal working class Northern woman. The character was hard-edged busybody but furiously house-proud, particularly of the flying duck ornaments which adorned a mural - or "muriel", as Hilda told guests - in her front room.

Her niece, Sonia Herald, told the Daily Mirror the actress had been taken ill just as family and friends planned to celebrate her 90th last weekend.

"It is such a shock," she said. "She had been feeling a little poorly and had gone in for some tests." Alexander was discharged from hospital and allowed back to her care home, where she had lived since 2014 after suffering a minor stroke. "But on Tuesday she was still not too good and it was decided she might be better going back into hospital,’ Miss Herald said. I saw her last week and she seemed weak and a bit tired but this was still a shock. The hospital phoned me and said they were very sorry but Jean had passed away."

She first appeared in Coronation Street in 1961 as landlady Mrs. Webb, returning three years later as Hilda, and went on to win a Royal Television Society Award in 1985 for the role.

"It's unbelievable that people are still so fond of Hilda," she said after winning the poll. "We had so many wonderful individual characters when I was in the show, Ena Sharples and Elsie Tanner come to mind, so to be picked out from amongst that crew is very, very flattering."

Famed for her catchphrase "Ta-ra, chuck", pub cleaner Hilda Ogden was unexpectedly taken to the UK's heart. A thorny relationship with husband Stan Ogden, played by Bernard Youens, helped the characters go down in British television history. After Stan's on-screen funeral - following Youens' death from a heart attack in 1984 - Alexander departed from the normal comic nature of her role. Hilda broke down at the sight of her late husband's abandoned spectacles, leaving viewers in tears themselves.

Alexander also played Aunty Wainwright, the money-grabbing local junk shop owner, on the long-running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine, from 1988 to 2010.

She is survived by nieces, Sonia and Valerie, and her brother, Kenneth Hodgkinson.

'General Hospital' Actor Marc Anthony Samuel to Guest Star in 'NCIS: Los Angeles' on October 30

Marc Anthony Samuel
Marc Anthony Samuel, who has played Felix DuBois on ABC soap opera General Hospital the past four years, will be checking into primetime on Sunday, October 30 in an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles.

In "Home Is Where the Heart Is," after a maintenance man saved the life of a lieutenant commander, the NCIS team uncovers his dark past which puts a local teenager in danger. Also, Sam (LL COOL J) must decide which colleague to take to the Los Angeles football game.

Samuel plays Navy Lieutenant Commander George Owens. He previously played Marine Private First Class James Hall in 2012 on parent show NCIS.

NCIS: Los Angeles airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

'Days of our Lives' Alum True O'Brien to Guest Star on 'Code Black'

True O'Brien
Former Days of our Lives actress True O'Brien recently guest-starred as Stella in OWN's Queen Sugar. She will be back in primetime on Wednesday, November 9, on an episode of the CBS drama Code Black.

In the episode, Malaya (Melanie Chandra) must inform a college student who regains consciousness at Angels Memorial that she's the victim of a rape, and Willis and Campbell butt heads over a terminally ill woman who wants to end her life on her own terms.

Annabeth Gish guest stars as Geraldine, the mother of the terminally ill girl; Richard Lewis guest stars as Stewart, a stand-up comedian who collapsed while on stage, and Stephen Culp (ex-Dan, One Life to Live; ex-Tom, Another World) returns as Desmond Leighton, Angus and Mike's father. O'Brien plays Joy Samton.

O'Brien joins Days as Paige Larson in 2014, and played the role until the character was murdered by the Necktie Killer last year.

Today in Soap Opera History (October 24)

1985: Siobhan married Max on Ryan's Hope. 1988: Another World's
Felicia married Mitch. 1988: Guiding Light's Rick married Meredith.
2003: A candlelight vigil honoring Macy was held on B&B.
"More and more, I tend to read history. I often find it more up to date than the daily newspapers."
― Joe Murray

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1958: Australia's first television soap opera, Autumn Affair, premiered on Network Seven station ATN-7. The series was canceled in less than a year..

1979: On As the World Turns, Dr. John Dixon (Larry Bryggman) showed up at Kim Stewart's house where her step-daughter, Betsy, was having a party with loud music and friends drinking wine.

NEWS: Jensen Buchanan, Justin Hartley, Eric Braeden, Victoria Rowell, Bryan Cranston, Pablo Azar, Jeff Bezos

Jensen Buchanan, photo via Santa Maria Times.
Jensen Buchanan pleads not guilty to DUI crash charges
Buchanan, charged with felony DUI in a head-on collision just outside Buellton in May, pleaded not guilty in Santa Maria Superior Court on October 14.

Buchanan (Vicky on Another World, Sarah on One Life to Live, et al) appeared with defense attorney Meryl Chambers, who entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of her client. Deputy District Attorney Tiffany Dix is prosecuting the case.

Judge Patricia Kelly ordered the actress to remain at the sober living facility and continue wearing the SCRAM (electronic monitoring) bracelet on her ankle until further review next month.

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos watched Days of our Lives as a kid
Before he was a tech titan worth $70 billion, Bezos said he spent his childhood summers on a ranch with his grandfather watching the soap opera Days of our Lives.

Eric Braeden offers The Young and the Restless brass input on his character, Victor Newman
“To be frank with you, I think that over the last few years, the scales tipped toward [Victor] being a bad guy,” Braeden tells Soap Opera Digest. “And, I have asked them to kindly not pull back on it but to remember that Victor always justifies his actions because something preceded it.”

Victoria Rowell speaks out about her discrimination lawsuit against CBS and Sony
“Here in Hollywood, I have long championed diversity,” says Rowell, who played Drucilla Barber Winters for years on The Young and the Restless. “Not only for African-Americans, but for all minorities, for gender bias, et cetera.”

The upcoming trial is set to take place on April 17, 2017, and Rowell is confident that she’ll be pleased with the outcome.

“I believe that I will prevail,” she says.

Justin Hartley on Ellen.
This Is Us star Justin Hartley Strips Out of His Shirt for a Good Cause
In partnership with Ulta, Ellen DeGeneres asked the recent Young and the Restless alum up to get hit with water balloons during Thursday's episode of her daytime talk show, all in the name of breast cancer research.

The objective was simple—Hartley sat tight in a chair while DeGeneres and her other guest, Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams, took turns pulling sticks from a Jenga-styled contraption. As they pulled out the sticks, the balloons began dropping on the Hollywood hunk's head.

Watch Hartley's appearance on Ellen below.

Former daytime writer Suzanne Johnson shares experiences at Oswego State
Johnson, a story lead for Pocket Gems’ Episode Interactive mobile gaming app, spoke to students about her career on October 10.

During her career, Johnson worked her way up from an assistant to the vice president of programming and talent development for ABC Daytime for almost 20 years. She wrote for All My Children and oversaw One Life to Live.

General Hospital awkwardly works in mention of Marvel Comics movie Doctor Strange
Product placement has been popularized in the entertainment industry these days to boost promotion. This often happens between shows or films under the same mother company to help endorse a certain product. As for the unexpected Doctor Strange mention on General Hospital recently, viewers slammed the crossover for being totally irrelevant and obvious.

In a conversation of Ned Ashton (Wally Kurth) and Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero) where the former expressed his sweet talk to the latter saying "I missed you," Olivia blurted out, "Well, Dr. Strange is about to hit theaters pretty soon." The conversation went on with Ned saying, "You may be surprised to hear this, but if I can't see that movie with you, I won't see it." The scene ended with Olivia kissing Ned.

GH airs on ABC, which is owned by Disney, which owns Marvel, which is distributing Doctor Strange.

Y&R alum Darius McCrary cast in Lee Daniels' Star
McCrary (formerly Malcolm on Y&R) has booked a recurring role opposite Queen Latifah in new Fox series Star, created/executive produced by Lee Daniels and Tom Donaghy. Set in Atlanta, Star revolves around three talented young singers (Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O’Grady) who navigate the cutthroat music business on their road to success. McCrary will play Otis Leecan, a nasty piece of work who’s obsessed with his foster daughter Simone (O’Grady). He will do everything in his power to drag her back from Atlanta after she runs away. He’s clever, manipulative and dangerous. But he’s met his match in Simone and her sister Star (Demorest).

Bryan Cranston reflects on his soap opera start on Loving
"There was something that happened when I turned 25, and I got a job in New York on that soap opera [Loving]. It wasn’t necessarily the soap opera that did it for me, it was the timing. I felt like I crossed a threshold. I felt like I belonged, that I wasn’t fooling anybody and deserved to be there. Even though that’s the Joe Stuart period where [the Loving producer] fired me unceremoniously. But even then, as you saw, I was licking my wounds, and I went to Central Park and saw the marathon and felt, I’m going to do this next year. And I did."

Jon Hamm and Jimmy Fallon get dramatic for Tonight Show soap opera sketch
Called In the Dust of Night, Hamm and Fallon played two friends and business partners who always find themselves in dramatic situations – usually ones that involve a cheating scandal with Fallon’s girlfriend. What truly separates this from other soap operas, though, is the turtle riding around the set in a toy car during takes.

Nutri-Brex prices surge in China following appearance on soap opera Ode to Joy
Weet-Bix, which is known as Nutri-Brex in China and U.K., is a cereal in the form of a biscuit. The cereal, which is highly popular in Australia and New Zealand, has been on the shelves in China for eight years.

It was only with its appearance on the popular Chinese soap opera Ode to Joy earlier this year, however, that millions more discovered the brand, spurring demand that emptied local supermarket shelves.

"We were doing okay then but then along came this opportunity and we just saw this huge spike in sales," Mark Roper, international business manager at Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing, which produces Weet-Bix, told CNBC's Street Signs on Wednesday.

Mary Boylan was Plattsburgh’s little known treasure
Boylan's credits included two daytime soap operas: The Secret Storm (playing Katie Logan) and As the World Turns.

He Stars in a Spanish-Language Soap. Why Is He Driving for Uber?
Pablo Azar, the green-eyed Mexican telenovela star, stepped out of a limousine and walked down the red carpet at an awards show here last year amid the usual celebrity mayhem. Cameras flashed. Fans shouted. Azar, 34, smiled broadly and walked inside.

But after the awards show, Azar did something his army of admirers would never have imagined: He changed out of his suit, climbed behind the wheel of his car and started his shift as an Uber driver, a job he relies on when he’s between acting gigs to pay his bills.

Azar's credits include Reina de corazones and Marido En Alquiler.

Netflix breaks up with Mexico’s Televisa in the most soap-opera way possible
The beginning of a recent Netflix Latin America ad explained to viewers that the streaming content company has just parted ways with Mexico’s main television station, Televisa. The video showed a preppy-looking young man with slicked-back hair, buttoned-up shirt and a high-pitched voice. He looks devastated. A young woman walks into the room.

— What is it, my love? Why the long face?

— Netflix took off my favorites series...

Netflix is making fun of what was some of its own most-watched content. The break-up means that Netflix no longer offers the content that Televisa was supplying, mostly soap operas. And it has chosen to tell viewers about it in the funniest way possible. The message is clear: “We are eliminating the soaps, but leaving you other much more interesting series.”