Today in Soap Opera History (May 1)


On this date in...

1937: Jackie Ormes, the first African American female cartoonist, created her earliest cartoon. It was an action, romance and soap opera comic featuring a Black heroine named Torchy Brown.

1939: Radio soap opera LOS JASMINES DEL '80 debuted in Argentina.

1968: On DARK SHADOWS, Joe ordered Willie to stay away from Maggie.

1969: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Alice (Frances Reid) told Julie (Susan Seaforth) that it's what we do after making a mistake that counts.



1972: Susan Sarandon debuted as Sarah Fairbanks in SEARCH FOR TOMORROW.

1972: Regina Gleason returned to DAYS OF OUR LIVES for one day as Kitty Horton.

Douglass Watson
1973: The character of Mackenzie Cory debuted on ANOTHER WORLD. Mac was played for the first year by Robert Emhardt and then by Douglass Watson for 15 years (see below).

1981: On the season finale of DALLAS, Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) found a brunette woman dead in the Southfork pool.  It turned out to be Kristin Shepard (Mary Crosby), Sue Ellen's sister and the person who shot J.R.

1989: Actor Douglass Watson, best known to soap fans as Mackenzie Cory in ANOTHER WORLD, died at age 68. He won two Daytime Emmys for the role that he played from 1974 until his death.  Watson also played roles on LOVE OF LIVE, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW and MOMENT OF TRUTH.

1992: Roberta Flack performed at Hamp and Gilly's wedding reception on GUIDING LIGHT.



Lee Mathis
1996: Lee Mathis died at age 44.  The actor attracted national attention in 1993 when he placed a $99 advertisement in Variety acknowledging that he was HIV-positive and seeking acting roles in order to maintain his Screen Actors Guild health insurance. Several casting directors responded, offering bit parts and eventually he landed a recurring role on GENERAL HOSPITAL. He played Jon Hanley, co-chair of the Nurses Ball, until his death.

2004: PASSIONS co-stars Lindsay Korman and Justin Hartley were married. Lindsay later starred on DAYS OF OUR LIVES and is currently playing Cara on ALL MY CHILDREN.

Helen Wagner
2010: Legendary actress Helen Wagner passed away at age 91. She spoke the first line on AS THE WORLD TURNS in 1956 and remained with the soap for most of the next 54 years until her death.  Wagner also played roles in THE GUIDING LIGHT and VALIANT LADY.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Judy Collins (ex-Judith, THE DOCTORS) - 75
Stephen Macht (ex-Trevor, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Joe, KNOTS LANDING) -71
Joanna Lumley (ex-Elaine, CORONATION STREET) - 67
Chris Henry Coffey (ex-Rex, GUIDING LIGHT) - 42
Julie Benz (ex-Robin, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) - 41
Bailey Chase (ex-Chris, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 41
Darius McCrary (ex-Malcolm, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 37
Ben Easter (ex-Carl, UNDRESSED) - 34
Farah Fath (ex-Gigi, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Mimi, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 29

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you have a tip on a bit of soap history on this date or future dates, let us know. Send an email to editor@welovesoaps.com.

5 comments:

  1. We Still Miss & Love You, Douglass Watson & Helen Wagner. Sigh!

    Brian :-)

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  2. Some additional May 1 birthdays:

    Paul Tulley (Larry Wolek, One Life To Live; Scott Bradley, Another World; John Leawood, Knots Landing; Mr. Miller, Dallas; Calvin Thompson, Falcon Crest; Father Wilson, Models Inc.) - 61

    Michele Conaway (Beth Maynard, General Hospital) - 56

    Matt Di Angelo (Deano Wicks, EastEnders; Francesco Alidosi, Borgia) - 26

    Caitlin Stasey (Rachel Kinski, Neighbours) - 23

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  3. @ Robert

    Nice to remember Paul Tulley! btw - He also played "Edward" - Nikki Reed's creepy next door neighbor and ultimately her psycho-stalker on Y&R back in the early 80s. And I remember it wasn't that long ago when Melody Thomas Scott was asked in an interview who her favorite villain on the show had been, and she still answered Paul Tulley's "Edward!"

    A photo of them on the set from that era:

    http://i43.tinypic.com/6fmw5w.jpg

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  4. I must look up that Torchy Brown from Dixie to Harlem comic strip. Amazing! I often learn so much reading this blog. Thanks.

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  5. Thanks for the added info on Paul Tulley, FoxCrane!

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