Today in Soap Opera History (May 24)
Posted by Roger Newcomb
On this date in...
1966: "Mame" opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater. The show featured Frankie Michaels, the youngest Tony winner ever, who had been playing Tom Hughes on AS THE WORLD TURNS the previous two years. He had just turned 11 when the show closed.
1978: Actor Barry Atwater, who played Dr. John Prentice on GENERAL HOSPITAL in its early years, died at age 60.
1982: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, The Salem Strangler murdered Marlena. Actress Deidre Hall took phone calls at the NBC offices from angry fans outraged over the character's death. One call was from a nurse at a psychiatric hospital who told Hall she had to give patients tranquilizers because they were so upset over Marlena's fate. In a twist, the victim turned out to actually be Marlena's twin sister, Samantha, meaning Marlena survived. Two years later, Marlena named one of her twins after her late sister.
1984: On GUIDING LIGHT, Bert (Charita Bauer) learned she had a blood clot in her foot, and Nola (Lisa Brown) had a "Wizard of Oz" fantasy.
1988: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Anna (Finola Hughes) walked out on Duke (Ian Buchanan) calling him a "little puppet" of the mob.
1993: Radio writer and producer Carlton E. Morse passed away in Sacramento at age 91. Morse wrote, directed, and produced the popular radio soap ONE MAN'S FAMILY.
1993: Actor Jack Denbo, who played Jack Clayton in DAYS OF OUR LIVES in the mid-1970s, died in an automobile accident.
1999: FOX aired the final episode of the original MELROSE PLACE.
1999: On ANOTHER WORLD, Jordan Stark (David Andrew MacDonald) believed that Amanda (Sandra Ferguson) was the reincarnation of his first wife. He lured her to a secret garden where he planned to coax the spirit of his former love out of Amanda's body so they could be together forever.
2004: On GUIDING LIGHT, Danny (Paul Anthony Stewart), following Salerno's orders, detonated the warehouse bomb intending to kill Eden not realizing that Michelle was in the building as well.
2006: Wayne Northrop appeared on DAYS OF OUR LIVES for the last time. He was playing Alex North at the time. He had last played Roman Brady in 1994.
2008: Former daytime soap producer Robert Calhoun (AS THE WORLD TURNS; GUIDING LIGHT) died at age 77. He was the longtime partner of actor Farley Granger.
2012: Actress Kathryn Virginia Fuller, who played two different characters named Mabel on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, died at age 89.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
Mart Hulswit (ex-Ed, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Ralph, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Harlan, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Dr. Burke, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW) - 73
Steve Carlson (ex-Jeffrey, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Josh, A NEW DAY IN EDEN; ex-Gary, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Mark, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Sean, SANTA BARBARA) - 70
Priscilla Presley (ex-Jenna, DALLAS) - 68
Eric Close (Teddy, NASHVILLE; ex-Sawyer, SANTA BARBARA) - 46
Victor Browne (ex-Drew, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 46
Dana Ashbrook (ex-Bobby, TWIN PEAKS; ex-Rich, DAWSON'S CREEK) - 46
Greg Berlanti (Executive Producer, ARROW; DAWSON'S CREEK; DIRTY SEXY MONEY; BROTHERS & SISTERS) - 41
Jason Pendergraft (ex-Blake, ARMY WIVES; ex-Lance, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 37
Jo Joyner (Tanya, EASTENDERS) - 36
Bryan Greenberg (ex-Jake, ONE TREE HILL) - 35
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.