Today in Soap Opera History (August 2)

1984: As part of an effort to counter-program ABC's
Olympic coverage, As the World Turns featured guest stars
Phyllis Diller, Whitney Houston and Jermaine Jackson.
"History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies."
- Alexis de Tocqueville

"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...

1967: On Another World, Ada (Constance Ford) pleaded with Rachel (Robin Strasser) to understand that her salary at Pierre's was all they had, but Rachel threatened to leave the hospital despite the health risk if she lost her pricey private room. Rachel railed at Ada for lying to her that her father was dead. "Everybody lies when they have to," Rachel said. "I know I do."

1968: On Dark Shadows, a distraught Adam (Robert Rodan) stabbed himself.

1968: On Peyton Place, Steven Cord (James Douglas) and Betty Anderson (Barbara Parkins) reconciled.

1978: On Another World, Willis Frame (Leon Russom) and Gwen Parrish (Dorothy Lyman) were married in a church wedding. Clarice McGowan (Gail Brown) was matron of honor. Gwen surprised some by walking herself down the aisle. Angie Frame (Maeve Kinkead), Willis sister-in-law and former lover, abruptly left the church during the ceremony, which later sparked an argument with her husband, Vince (Jay Morran). Liz Matthews (Irene Dailey) noticed Angie's departure, stood up and created a scene ("Angie left...did you see, Angie just left the church. She..."), prompting other guests, including Iris Bancroft (Beverlee McKinsey) to quiet her. Willis and Gwen's reception was held at Iris's penthouse.

Thanks to Scott for sending in the item above.

1979: On The Edge of Night, Louise (Evalyn Baron) managed to get Steve out of the house setting the stage for her to kill Paige (Margaret Colin).



1983: On General Hospital, Monica bailed on her dinner plans with Alan when they arrived at the restaurant and saw Jimmy Lee with Heather.



1984: On As the World Turns, Whitney Houston and Jermaine Jackson appeared and performed "If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful" as well as "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" at a Cinderella Concert. "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" songwriter Jimmy Dunne offered some interesting insider details in his blog:

Because the song was gaining popularity on As the World Turns, the producers involved me as an actor in the storyline of the series. In the episodes over a couple-month period, I supposedly wrote the song with Meg Ryan (my character name was 'Jimmy Dunne') – and Meg’s best friend, Tonya Pinkins, and I sang it as a gift to Betsy – at her wedding. (I was a groomsman.) The frenzy around the wedding episode was astounding; the wedding episode garnered the 2nd biggest audience in the history of daytime television – second only to Luke and Laura's wedding on General Hospital

The cast was great; Meg Ryan, Marisa Tomei, and I was dating, at the time, one of the other actresses on the show… Lots of fun.

The day after the wedding episode, a pillow company sold 10,000 pillowcases with the lyrics to "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do." The producers said requests for the song generated the greatest amount of mail in the history of the series.

Because the show wanted to capitalize on the interest in the song, they built it into the daily storyline over the following months. In the storyline, Betsy (Meg Ryan) was travelling in Vermont, and literally fell off a truck and had amnesia – and couldn't remember where she lived or who she was married to. (Only in the soap operas…) Meanwhile, in real life, the song was a #1 hit on the radio with Anne Murray and Dave Loggins (as a country version), so the producers/writers worked that into the storyline as well. In the series, Betsy heard Anne Murray's song on the radio, and knew she was somehow connected to the song. The deejay, on the radio, said the song was written by Jimmy Dunne. Betsy's mission became finding 'Jimmy Dunne.' She tracked my character down, her distraught hubby, and came back home to her town…

Phyllis Diller also guest-starred in a fantasy sequence as Marcy's (Marisa Tomei) Fairy Godmother. Christian LeBlanc (currently Michael Baldwin in The Young and the Restless) played Kirk McColl on ATWT at the time.



1984: On Santa Barbara, Joe Perkins (Dane Witherspoon) came face to face with his true love, Kelly Capwell (Robin Wright). Witherspoon died earlier this year at age 56. Co-star A Martinez described the actor as follows: "People who watched Santa Barbara in its earliest days will remember him as Joe Perkins, a character to which he brought a quiet grace and deep, bittersweet sense of soul. He was a singular, standup guy, loved and admired by many."



1984: On Guiding Light, Darcy (Robin V. Johnson) took Rick (Michael O'Leary) hostage at gun point so he could help an injured Lujack. Of Johnson, who is now retired from acting, Courtney Love once said, "I swear to God I've never seen an actress like this. She's Mick Jagger plus Marilyn Monroe."



1985: On Another World, Danielle DeLacy Wheeler, the 13-year-old sister of Ellen Wheeler, played Victoria Love in a flashback scene opposite Jamie Hager, the 11-year-old cousin of Tom Eplin, who appeared as young Jake McKinnon.

1991: Deidre Hall returned to Days of our Lives as Dr. Marlena Evans Brady after a four year absence.



1994: Wayne Nothrop made his final appearance as Roman Brady on Days of our Lives. Northrop returned to the show in 2005 but as a new character, Alex North.



1998: Actor Ralph Bell died at age 82. His soap roles included Brandon Spaulding in Guiding Light and Roderick Turner on The Edge of Night.

2002: On The Young and the Restless, Sharon (Sharon Case) and Nick (Joshua Morrow) promised to never lose sight of their love for each other again.

2003: Actress Lesley Woods died at age 92. Her many soap roles included Grandma Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful, Amanda Lewis Ewing in Dallas, Martha Needham on Knots Landing, Edna Hadley in General Hospital, Dorothy Kelly on Days of our Lives, Betty Wilson in All My Children, Evelyn Dark on The Edge of Night, Isabel Jones in Bright Promise, Andrea Whiting in Search for Tomorrow, and Mrs. Miller in Falcon Crest.

2007: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Ridge (Ronn Moss) told Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) that he wanted her to resign. Ashley asked for his forgiveness and told him she was not leaving Los Angeles or the company.

2008: Actor Charles H. Gray died at age 86. He played Bill Foster (father of Snapper, Greg and Jill) in The Young and the Restless.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Joanna Cassidy (ex-Katherine, FALCON CREST; ex-Sally, Dallas) - 69
Lisa Brown (ex-Nola, Guiding Light; ex-Iva, As the World Turns; ex-Carolyn, LOVING) - 60
Anthony Crivello (ex-Johnny, One Life to Live) - 59
Britt Helfer (ex-Lilly, Loving) - 55
Suzanne Davidson (ex-Betsy, As the World Turns; ex-Lori, How to Survive a Marriage) - 51
Mary-Louise Parker (ex-Ryan's Hope) - 50
Kathryn Neville Browne (Sandra, Empire)
Angel Boris Reed (ex-Angel, General Hospital; ex-Emma, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 40
Kevin Smith (Guest Star, Degrassi) - 44
Norma Maldonado (Karina, The Fosters; Valerie, Bloomers; Sukie, East Los High; ex-Marina, General Hospital) - 40
Christian Pedersen (ex-Frank/Sven, One Life to Live) - 39
Adam Mayfield (ex-Scott, All My Children) - 38
Nadia Bjorlin (Lara, Venice; ex-Chloe, Days of our Lives) - 34
Angell Conwell (Leslie, The Young and the Restless) - 31
Danica Stewart (ex-Jessica, Passions; ex-Maxie, General Hospital) - 31

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 editor@welovesoaps.com

3 comments:

  1. Roger, here's the link to the clip of Whitney Houston & Jermaine Jackson performing "Nobody Loves Me Like I Do" on ATWT on this date back in 1984 (their performance stats at 2:20)!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMtSXHn2kwE

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  2. And Roger, Wayne Northrop returned to DAYS to play Alex North in 2005, not 1995!

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  3. Willis and Gwen were an amazing couple. I love the detail about how scandalous it was at the time for a woman to walk down herself down the aisle. They were feisty and smart. Willis and Gwen both had well defined motivations based on their relationships with their families and kept their motivations until they left and were never spoken of again in Bay City

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