|1953: VALIANT LADY premiered. 1979: Lisa Colman was spooked|
on ATWT. 1981: David Canary debuted on AW. 1993: DAYS'
Jack Deveraux left Salem.
― F.W. Maitland
"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...
1950: HAWKINS FALLS, one of network television's first successful soap operas, aired for the final time in primetime. The show premiered on NBC in June 1950 as an hour-long weekly primetime drama in a summer replacement slot but was cut back to a half-hour in August until the end of its run. HAWKINS FALLS returned to the air in April 1951 as a fifteen-minute weekday soap for NBC.
1953: Daytime soap opera VALIANT LADY premiered on CBS-TV. The series was created by Adrian Spies and written by Charles Elwyn. Helen Emerson was the central character during the show's four year run and was played by two actresses along the way, Nancy Coleman and Flora Campbell. AS THE WORLD TURNS legend Helen Wagner played Jane Lyman for a year.
1964: On ANOTHER WORLD, Pat (Susan Trustman) assured Mary (Virginia Dwyer) that she and Tom had an "understanding." A month later he would be dead.
1974: DAYS OF OUR LIVES costars Susan Seaforth (Julie) and Bill Hayes (Doug) were married in real life. Less than two years later their characters were married on the show.
1979: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Kim (Kathryn Hays) and Betsy (Suzanne Davidson) moved into a townhouse in the same complex as Bob (Don Hastings), who prepared for his trip to London. Meanwhile, things started to get spooky for Lisa (Eileen Fulton) at The Willows.
1981: Elizabeth Taylor taped her first scenes at GENERAL HOSPITAL which aired in November.
1981: David Canary debuted as "Edward Black" (later revealed to be Steve Frame) in ANOTHER WORLD.
1981: James Reynolds taped his first DAYS OF OUR LIVES episode, which aired on October 29.
1984: Tom Hallick aired for the final time as Maxwell Hathaway in DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Hallick was an original cast member of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.
1985: THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS star Melody Thomas (Nikki) married producer Ed Scott.
1988: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Amanda (Anne Jeffreys) gave Lucy (Lynn Herring) divorce advice.
1993: Matt Ashford left DAYS OF OUR LIVES and the role of Jack Deveraux. The part would be recast with Mark Valley and Steve Wilder before Ashford returned in 2001.
1995: David McLean, who played Craig Merritt in DAYS OF OUR LIVES, died at age 73. McLean appeared for years on television commercials as the Marlboro Man.
2006: Kyle Brandt aired for the final time as Philip Kiriakis in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
2007: German telenovela VERLIEBT in Berlin aired its 645th and final episode.
2008: Longtime soap opera writer James E. Reilly died at age 60. He won an Emmy and a WGA Award for his work on GUIDING LIGHT, but he is probably best remembered these days for his stints as head writer of DAYS OF OUR LIVES and PASSIONS (which he created). He also at time wrote for THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, SUNSET BEACH, RYAN'S HOPE and GENERAL HOSPITAL. He consulted with THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, and earned a consulting producer credit with both DAYS and PASSIONS.
2011: Actress Patricia Breslin died at age 80. Her soap roles included Laura Brooks on PEYTON PLACE and Meg Bentley in GENERAL HOSPITAL.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
Heidi Vaughn (ex-Phoebe, THE EDGE OF NIGHT) - 72
Carla Borelli (ex-Reena, TEXAS; ex-Reena/Barbara, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-Mary, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Connie, FALCON CREST) - 71
Carlos Bernard (Vicente, DALLAS; ex-Rafael, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 51
Marie Wilson (Shannon, MY SYNTHESIZED LIFE; Claire, THE BAY; ex-Katie; WORKSHOP; ex-Meg, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Karen, PORT CHARLES) - 39
Brian J. Smith (ex-Max, GOSSIP GIRL) - 32
Tyler Blackburn (Caleb, RAVENSWOOD; Caleb, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS; ex-Ian, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 27
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a piece of soap opera history for this daily column, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.