|1979: ATWT's Lisa wanted Hester fired. 1979: Lucille continued|
to obsess over Amanda's life on GL. 2000: Peggy publicly
shamed her husband on EASTENDERS. 2009: OLTL's Dorian
arranged a mass same-sex wedding event.
― J. Norman Cousins
"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...
1931: MYRT AND MARGE premiered as a primetime soap opera that followed the lives and escapades of two chorus girls. Creator Myrtle Vail (Damerel) pitched the idea to the Wrigley chewing gum makers, naming her lead characters Myrtle Spear and Marge Minter. MYRT AND MARGE became the first radio series Wrigley sponsored. The show moved to daytime in January 1937 (a few weeks before THE GUIDING LIGHT premiered) and ran until 1942. Vail revived MYRT AND MARGE as a syndicated series from 1946-1947. You can listen to the very first 1931 episode here.
1964: British soap CROSSROADS premiered on ITV. Set in a fictional motel near Birmingham, England, the show was originally broadcast between 1964 and 1988. The series was revived by Carlton Television in 2001, but was again axed in 2003.
1970: On ANOTHER WORLD, Steve (George Reinholt) met Alice (Jacqueline Courtney) for dinner and revealed he had a surprise waiting for her when she returned to Bay City.
1979: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Lisa (Eileen Fulton) wanted Bennett to fire Hester Pierce (Ann Stanchfield). He gave Hester the night off instead.
1979: On GUIDING LIGHT, Lucille (Rita Lloyd) worried about what Ben (Stephen Yates) might tell Amanda (Kathleen Cullen) about his "accident" at their house.
1981: AS THE WORLD TURNS debuted its "The World Turns On and On" opening.
1982: BROOKSIDE, a British soap set in Liverpool, premiered. The show ran for 21 years until November 4, 2003. There were 22 seasons and 2,915 episodes.
1984: Actress Sharon Gabet gave birth to her first child, one week after the announcement about THE EDGE OF NIGHT being canceled. Gabet had to shorten her maternity leave in order to tape her final scenes as Raven opposite Larkin Malloy's Sky.
1988: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Julian Jerome (Jason Culp) convinced Cheryl (Jennifer Anglin) that going to Robert (Tristan Rogers) with what she knew about Anna's fight with Olivia might make things worse for Anna (Finola Hughes).
1990: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Olivia (Tonya Lee Williams) continued to try to reach out to Drucilla (Victoria Rowell).
1995: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Barbara (Colleen Zenk) admitted to Hal (Benjamin Hendrickson) that she had an affair with Evan; Damian (Paolo Seganti) retrieved his son from his "mother," who jumped to her death; Jeremy (Eric Duane) told Dani (Ashley Williams) about the argument between Barbara and Nikki; Barbara talked to Kim (Kathryn Hays) about her predicament; Jeremy told Nikki (Jordana Brewster) that they could no longer see one another; and Orlena (Lynn Milgrim) asked Lisa (Eileen Fulton) to look after Damian and hinted that Eduardo's death may have been caused by something other than John's negligence.
2000: On EASTENDERS, it was Guy Fawkes Night, and the residents of Albert Square had gathered at The Queen Vic pub before the traditional fireworks display was to start. But Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor) had another kind of fireworks in mind as she maneuvered to publicly shame both her husband, Frank Butcher (Mike Reid), and her nemesis, Pat Evans (Pat St. Clement), by reading Frank's "leaving letter" out loud -- thereby exposing their extra-marital affair to everyone assembled, including Pat's husband, Roy (Tony Caunter).
Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.
2008: Popular Televisa telenovela FUEGO EN LA SANGRE finished its original 200 episode run.
2009: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, several same-sex couples, including Kyle (Brett Claywell) and Fish (Scott Evans), were married. In order to get the LGBT vote in the Mayoral race, Dorian (Robin Strasser) had set up the mass ceremony at Angel Square Park, which included her exchanging vows with Amelia (Tia Dionne Hodge).
2010: Former SEARCH FOR TOMORROW and DIRTY SEXY MONEY star Jill Clayburgh died at age 66.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
Rachel Ames (Audrey, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Audrey, PORT CHARLES) - 84
Stefanie Powers (ex-Jane, DOCTORS) - 71
Kate Linder (Esther, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 66
Lauren Vélez (ex-Elena, UGLY BETTY) - 49
Sean Kanan (A.J., GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Deacon, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Deacon, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL; ex-Jude, SUNSET BEACH) - 47
Brian Lima (ex-Charlie) - 46
Samantha Womack (Ronnie, EASTENDERS) - 41
Marisol Nichols (ex-Heather, GCB) - 40
Bren Foster (ex-Quinn, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Tony, HOME AND AWAY) - 37
Randy Harrison (ex-Justin, QUEER AS FOLK) - 36
John Pickard (Dominic, HOLLYOAKS/HOLLYOAKS LATER; ex-Neil, GRANGE HILL) - 36
Vanessa Ray (CeCe, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, ex-Teri, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 33
Guy Kent (ex-David, PASSIONS) - 26
Lindze Letherman (ex-Georgie, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 25
Katelyn Tarver (ex-Mercedes, THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER) - 24
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a piece of soap opera history for this daily column, please email it to email@example.com.