Today in Soap Opera History (September 24)


On this date in...

1915: Future GUIDING LIGHT Emmy winner, Larry Gates, was born.  He was best known to soap fans for his role as H.B. Lewis, but was beloved for his generous nature in his community as well.  Gates died in 1996 at age 81 from leukemia, and his wife, Judy, died in March 2009.  They left the town of Cornwall, Connecticut a bequested donation of $200,000, the largest bequest in Cornwall’s history.

1918: Audra Lindley, who played Liz Matthews on ANOTHER WORLD, and later starred as Mrs. Roper on THREE'S COMPANY, was born. She also had roles on FROM THE ROOTS, THE EDGE OF NIGHT and SEARCH FOR TOMORROW.

1921: Ed Bryce was born.   The father of AS THE WORLD TURNS star Scott Bryce, Ed played multiple soap roles but was best known as GUIDING LIGHT's Bill Bauer.  He died in 1999 at age 78.

1923: Former ALL MY CHILDREN and DARK SHADOWS actor Louis Edmonds was born. He died on March 3, 2001 at age 77.

1925: Actor Byron Sanders was born.  He played several daytime soap roles including Talbot Huddleston on ONE LIFE TO LIVE and John Randolph on ANOTHER WORLD.  He died in 2001 at age 76.

1946: Soap superstar Jacqueline Courtney (ex-Alice, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-Pat, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Diane, LOVING; ex-Kitty, THE EDGE OF NIGHT; THE DOCTORS; ex-Ann, OUR FIVE DAUGHTERS) was born. She died on December 10, 2010 at age 64. Read our exclusive reactions from her former ANOTHER WORLD co-stars George Reinholt and Robin Strasser.  Watch Steve and Alice's first meeting in the clip below:



1951: LOVE OF LIFE debuted on CBS, three weeks after SEARCH FOR TOMORROW. Both were 15 minutes (LOL would expand to 30 minutes in 1958). The show aired its final episode on February 1, 1980. None of the original actors stayed from beginning to end but director Larry Auerbach did. He went on to direct several other New York soaps before retiring the late 1990s. He was among those interviewed by Dustin Hoffman for the soap opera comedy, Tootsie. He's still alive today at age 89.

The first episode, with approximately six members in the cast, was produced live at Liederkranz Hall in New York City (it later became Studio 54). The show told the story of two sisters, Vanessa Dale Sterline and Meg Dale Hart, their family and friends in Rosehill. Sammy Davis Jr. was a vocal LOVE OF LIFE fan. Some of the biggest stars that game from the show include Warren Beatty, Peter Falk, Jessica Walter, Marsha Mason, Bert Convy and Richard Coogan.

1970: David Henesy aired for the final time as David Collins in DARK SHADOWS.  In the 1990 TV movie and 1991 revival series, David Collins was played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In the unaired 2004 pilot, he was played by Alexander Gould.  Gulliver McGrath played the role in the 2012 film adaptation directed by Tim Burton.

1980: Paul Keenan debuted as Tod Chandler in DAYS OF OUR LIVES, a role he would play for just over a year.  Keenan died in 1986 at age 31.

1987: On the Season 9 premiere of KNOTS LANDING, five weeks had passed since anyone saw Ben. Meanwhile, the crack in the cement at the Lotus Point playground got worse. Abby (Donna Mills) just wanted it patched, but Gary (Ted Shackelford) and Karen (Michele Lee) out voted her. The workmen removed the cement and found Peter's body. The show also debuted the painting version of its opening by Sandy Dvore, who also drew the opening sketches for THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS in its first 15 years as well as the Y&R logo that came after them.



2008: Irene Dailey, who played Liz Matthews on ANOTHER WORLD, died at age 88. She also starred on THE EDGE OF NIGHT. At 8, Dailey was dancing in vaudeville, and at 18 she was working in summer stock. With consistent bad luck, she kept winning parts in what she once said were 13 of Broadway’s worst shows. “Miss Lonelyhearts,” for example, had a nine-day run.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Larkin Malloy (ex-Sky, THE EDGE OF NIGHT; ex-Kyle, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Travis, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Dr. Weston, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 58
Paul Michael Valley (ex-Ryan, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-Cal, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Josef, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 46
Stacy Galina (ex-Kate, KNOTS LANDING) - 46
Megan Ward (ex-Kate, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 43
Michelle Ray Smith (ex-Ava, GUIDING LIGHT) - 38
Justin Bruening (Jamie, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 33
Ross Mathews (Chris, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 33
Nicholas Galbraith (ex-Zac, AS THE WORLD TURNS)
Spencer Treat Clark (ex-Steven, ANOTHER WORLD) - 25
Grey Damon (ex-Brian, THE NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING; ex-Hastings, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) - 25

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a piece of soap opera history for this daily column, please email it to editor@welovesoaps.com.

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