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Today in Soap Opera History (April 1)


On this date in...

1963: NBC premiered a new daytime soap opera, the Orin Tovrov-created THE DOCTORS. The show, which was set in fictional Madison and revolved around the happenings at Hope Memorial Hospital, won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1972 for Outstanding Achievement in a Daytime Drama. It also won as Outstanding Drama Series at the very first separate Daytime Emmy ceremony. THE DOCTORS stayed on the air nearly 30 airing, with the final episode airing December 31, 1982. James Pritchett played Dr. Matt Powers for the show's entire run.

1963: GENERAL HOSPITAL, created by Frank and Doris Hursley, premiered on ABC. Read a flashback article recapping the first 12 years of stories here. Original cast members John Beradino (Dr. Steve Hardy) and Emily McLaughlin (Nurse Jessie Brewer) remained with the show for decades. GH was scheduled in the 1 p.m. ET timeslot which was a half hour that CBS gave to local affiliates (a break between THE GUIDING LIGHT and top-rated AS THE WORLD TURNS).

In the very first episode, Angie was distraught about the damage to her face from the accident; Peggy was frustrated when hospital business ruined a night out on the town with her fiancĂ©, Steve Hardy (Beradino); and the tension continued to grow in Jessie (McLaughlin) and Phil’s marriage. Watch the entire episode below:



1971: Michael Zaslow debuted as Roger Thorpe in THE GUIDING LIGHT.

1976: On ANOTHER WORLD, Rachel (Victoria Wyndham) told Iris (Beverlee McKinsey) no one intended to tell Mac the real reason she married Robert.

1980: On GUIDING LIGHT, Roger Thorpe (Michael Zaslow) fell to his death in Santo Domingo, slipping from the hands of his mortal enemy, Dr. Ed Bauer (Mart Hulswit). GUIDING LIGHT shot the scenes on location in Santo Domingo along with P&G sister soap, AS THE WORLD TURNS, which taped newly created flashbacks of Barbara and James.



1987: On SANTA BARBARA, Julia (Nancy Lee Grahn) told Mason (Lane Davies) he was the father of her baby.



1988: Eden (Marcy Walker) and Cruz (A Martinez) were finally married on SANTA BARBARA.



2009: CBS canceled GUIDING LIGHT.  The show, which premiered on radio on January 25, 1937, would air its final episode on September 18, 2009.

2010: Actor John Forsythe, who played Blake Carrington in DYNASTY, died at age 92.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Don Hastings is 79 today.  He's pictured here
with his wife, Leslie Denniston, in 2012.
Jane Powell (ex-Rebecca, LOVING; ex-Lisa, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 84
Don Hastings (ex-Bob, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Jack, THE EDGE OF NIGHT) - 79
Ali MacGraw (ex-Lady Ashley, DYNASTY) - 74
Denise Nickerson (ex-Amy, DARK SHADOWS) - 56
Jennifer Runyon (ex-Sally, ANOTHER WORLD) - 53
Traci Lind (ex-Pru, RYAN'S HOPE) - 47
Jessica Collins (Avery, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Dinah Lee, LOVING) - 42
Bryan Buffington (ex-Bill, GUIDING LIGHT) - 33
Randy Orton (WWE) - 33
Matt Lanter (Liam, 90210) - 30
Josh Zuckerman (Max, 90210; ex-Eddie, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) - 28
Jendra Jarnagin (Cinematographer, IN BETWEEN MEN)

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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