|1972: EMMERDALE FARM premiered. 1985: ATWT's Holden|
introduced himself as Lucinda's new stable master.
1985: Theo died on DAYS. 1992: DAYS' Isabella died.
― J. Frank Dobie
"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...
1939: Irna Phillips' THE RIGHT TO HAPPINESS, a spinoff of THE GUIDING LIGHT, premiered on the NBC Blue Network. The show initially focused on the character Rose Kransky from GUIDING LIGHT but eventually Carolyn Allen (played first by Eloise Kummer and then Claudia Morgan) took center stage. Carolyn remained the central character of the program (eventually becoming the most-married radio soap opera heroine, with four husbands) until the series ended on November 25, 1960, the day that network radio soap operas died.
1972: British soap opera EMMERDALE FARM premiered on ITV. Created by Kevin Laffan, EMMERDALE FARM was broadcast during daytime afternoons until moving to early evening in 1978. The show has been known simply as EMMERDALE since 1989.
1973: On ANOTHER WORLD, while listening to the audio tape of Steve and Alice, Iris (Beverlee McKinsey) said, "Oh, turn it off, Louise. I've had all I can take of that sentimental pair."
1974: Welsh-language television soap POBOL Y CWM premiered. Like EMMERDALE, it's still on the air today.
1979: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Marcia (Cynthia Bostick) was convinced Melinda was the woman with Doug. Meanwhile, cutout eyes in a painting followed Lisa (Eileen Fulton) at The Willows.
1985: Rusty Cundieff aired for the final time as Theo Carver in DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Theo was shot and killed by Richard Cates (Rod Arrants) and died in his brother Abe's (James Reynolds) arms.
1985: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Lily (Martha Byrne) instantly disliked Holden (Jon Hensley) when she and Dusty (Brian Bloom) met him at the stables.
1987: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Duke (Ian Buchanan) gave Anna (Finola Hughes) a luckenbooth brooch, a traditional Scottish love token given to brides before they get married.
1991: Joseph Gallison aired for the final time as Neil Curtis in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
1992: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Isabella Toscano Black (Staci Greason) died. Greason debuted in the role three years earlier on October 16, 1989.
1996: Actress Gertrude Flynn died at age 87. She played Anna Sawyer in early episodes of DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
1997: Actress Audra Lindley died at age 79. She played Liz Matthews on ANOTHER WORLD from 1964-1969. Her other daytime roles included Barbara Barnett in THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Sue Knowles in SEARCH FOR TOMORROW and Laura Tompkins in FROM THESE ROOTS.
2001: SMALLVILLE premiered on The WB.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
Lenka Peterson* (ex-Marie/Helen, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-Martha, A FLAME IN THE WIND; ex-Nurse Grady, RYAN'S HOPE) - 88
Michael Tylo (ex-Quint, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Matt, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Charlie, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Blade, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Sherman, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) - 65
Martha Smith (ex-Sandy, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 61
Ellen Dolan (Bag Lady, EMPIRE; ex-Margo, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Maureen, GUIDING LIGHT) - 58
David 'Shark' Fralick (ex-Larry, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 51
Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff (ex-Mari Jo, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 50
Missy Hyatt (WCW) - 50
Paul Sparks (Mickey, BOARDWALK EMPIRE) - 42
Kellie Martin (ex-Nicole, ARMY WIVES) - 38
Jeremy Jackson (ex-Young Derek, SANTA BARBARA; ex-Kevin, DTLA) - 33
Brea Grant (Bri, EASTSIDERS; ex-Daphne, HEROES; ex-Jean, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) - 32
Colton Shires (ex-Will, GCB; ex-Little Ethan, PASSIONS) - 17
* Peterson is the mother of Glynnis O'Connor.
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.