|1966: SFT's Joanne and Stu celebrated Christmas with family and|
friends. 1986: In the final scene of SEARCH FOR TOMORROW,
Stu asked, "What is it, Jo? What is it you're searching for?"
Jo's reply: "Tomorrow. And I can't wait."
- Winston Churchill
"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...
1941: The final episode of radio soap opera THE GUIDING LIGHT aired on NBC Radio after its first cancellation. The network received 75,000 protest letters and the show returned 11 weeks later on March 16, 1942, running for four and a half more years on NBC Radio before being canceled again. CBS Radio picked up the show in 1947 and the series ran on radio and television until 2009.
Note: There are conflicting sources about whether this was truly GL's first time leaving the air. Some suggest it was off for a time during its second season as well.
1952: The final episode of BIG SISTER aired on CBS Radio.
1966: On ANOTHER WORLD, Sam Groom debuted as Russ Matthews. Russ returned to Bay City to do his internship at Memorial Hospital.
1966: On SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, Eunice (Ann Williams), Stu (Larry Haines), Marge (Melba Rae), Bob (Carl Low) and Patti (Gretchen Walther) were gathered at Jo's house for Christmas. Mary Stuart (Jo) played guitar as the girls sang "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella." Later, Jo sang "O Jesus, So Sweet."
1969: On DARK SHADOWS, Julia (Grayson Hall) played Quentin's music for Grant hoping he would regain his memory.
1979: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Deborah (Frances Fisher) became ill again after eating Mrs. Corey's fruitcake.
1986: On GUIDING LIGHT, Nick continued to work his Christmas magic in Springfield.
1986: The final episode of SEARCH FOR TOMORROW aired after a more than 35 year run on CBS (1951-1982) and NBC (1982-1986). Read Nelson Aspen's take on the end of SFT here. Watched the beloved final scene between Stu and Jo below.
1986: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Craig (Scott Bryce) asked Iva (Lisa Brown) to marry him.
1994: Actor Robert Emhardt, the original Mackenzie Cory on ANOTHER WORLD, died at age 80.
2000: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Lisa (Eileen Fulton), Kim (Kathryn Hays), Bob (Don Hastings) and Nancy (Helen Wagner) weren't really in the Christmas spirit until Chris surprised them with Penny's (Rosemary Prinz) arrival. Over at Tom and Margo's house, Lyla (Anne Sward) returned for a visit to talk Katie (Terri Conn) out of her sham marriage to Simon (Paul Leyden).
2006: Phillip Jeanmarie debuted in PASSIONS as Vincent at Chad and Whitney's wedding.
2007: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Alice (Frances Reid) remembered Tom (Macdonald Carey) at Christmas. In the final scene ever taped by Reid, she hugged a picture of her late husband and said, "Merry Christmas, Tom."
2008: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) walked Robin (Kimberly McCullough) down the aisle during her wedding to Patrick (Jason Thompson).
2012: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring) crashed the Quartermaine Christmas festivities.
Thanks to Stuart for sending in the item above.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
Donald Moffat (ex-Marcus, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Brooks, DALLAS) - 83
Colleen Dion (ex-Felicia, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL; ex-Leslie, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Brett, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-Ramona, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Evie, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW; ex-Cecilia, LOVING; ex-Dahlia, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 49
Gerald Hopkins (ex-Michael, THE BAY; ex-A.J., GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 48
Graham Shiels (ex-Cody, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 43
Jared Leto (ex-Jordan, MY SO-CALLED LIFE) - 42
Reichen Lehmkuhl (ex-Trevor, DANTE'S COVE; ex-Waiter, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 40
Kit Harington (Jon, GAME OF THRONES) - 27
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.