Today in Soap Opera History (February 17)

1982: GH's Luke ran into his old friend, Johnny. 1983: KL's Ciji
was found dead. & 1987: RH's Max Dubujak fell to his "death".
1998: AW's Shane Roberts died following a car crash.
"A page of history is worth a pound of logic."
― Oliver Wendell Holmes

"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...

1953: On The Guiding Light, sBert (Charita Bauer) told Papa Bauer (Theo Goetz) that she was worried Bill (Lyle Sudrow) might have an affair with Gloria LaRue or even return to the bottle. Later, Papa advised Bill to be more loving and patient with Bert. Bill admitted he's not sure how faithful he could be to Bert with her domineering ways interfering.

1961: On The Edge of Night, Sara Karr (Teal Ames) ran out of the house after her two-year-old, Laurie (Victoria Larkin), had wandered into the street, followed by the sound of screeching tires and an impact.

1972: Robin Strasser returned to the role of Rachel Clark on Another World after leaving the soap two months earlier in December 1971. The announcer said: "Today, Another World welcomes back Robin Strasser in the role of Rachel."

"The role was too important to write out," said Paul Rauch, Another World executive producer at the time. "We had some heavy stuff coming up involving Rachel and we figured Robin was about the only one who could handle it. So we persuaded her."

1978: On One Life to Live, Karen (Judith Light) was assaulted in the alleyway behind the River Rat Bar.

1981: On Another World, Sandy (Christopher Rich) pushed Jamie (Richard Bekins) out of the path of a forklift but fell over the docks. At the hospital, Frankie (Harris Laskawy) told Russ that Sandy didn't have family in town or health insurance.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the clip above.

1982: On General Hospital, Luke (Anthony Geary) reconnected with an old friend from Elm Street, a boxer named Johnny Morrissey (Miles McNamara).

1983: On Knots Landing, Gary (Ted Shackelford) stumbled upon Ciji's (Lisa Hartman) corpse on the beach. Gary and Abby (Donna Mills) found out Ciji was pregnant at the time of her death. Gary was arrested for Ciji's murder.

1984: On Guiding Light, Beth (Judi Evans) revealed to Lillian (Tina Sloan) that Bradley had raped her.

Thanks for Jennifer for sending in the item above.

1987: On Ryan's Hope, in Bridgewater Joe (Walt Willey) pretended to be Robert and acted as if he was taking Siobhan (Carrell Myers) against her will. Jack (Michael Levin) arrived but was shot by Max (Daniel Pilon), who was the Overlord. Joe revealed himself to Max and the two of them faced out with guns drawn. Siobhan charged at Max, who fell backward off a balcony to his death in the raging water below. Note: Daniel Pilon returned to Ryan's Hope as Max in October 1988.

1989: On The Young and the Restless, Jill (Jess Walton) was outraged over Phillip (Thom Bierdz) going out to dinner with Nina (Tricia Cast).

1997: On Another World, Gabe (John Bolger) was fatally shot by a sniper. Cindy (Kim Rhodes) insisted that Grant was involved in the shooting. Meanwhile, Bobby (Robert Kelker Kelly) informed Vicky (Jensen Buchanan) that he had also seen Ryan and that Kirk's "imaginary friend" was none other than Ryan's ghost. Joe (Joseph Barbara) was made acting captain of the Bay City Police Force.

1998: On Another World, Shane Roberts (Robert Kelker Kelly) was only able to speak one word to Lila (Lisa Peluso) before he died: "Vicky". Donna (Anne Stuart) told Vicky (Jensen Buchanan) she must never tell anyone she was with Shane that night. Joe was able to reach Michael Hudson's car but Michael was already dead. Note: Nadine Stenovitch debuted as Josie Watts Sinclair in this episode.

1997: On As the World Turns, Lily (Martha Byrne) and Diego's (Bronson Pickett) wedding concluded. Lily had agreed to the ceremony in the hopes of getting Diego to confess his crimes. In front of the church, Lily angrily demanded to know what Diego did with her mother, and Diego admitted that he killed Lucinda. As a thunderstorm brewed overhead, a hysterical Lily pulled out the gun that she had hidden in her bouquet, but suddenly the lights went out. A shot was fired as thunder clapped, and when the lights came back on, Diego was lying on the ground with a chest wound, and soon thereafter, he died. Lily claimed that she killed him, but her gun was missing. Everyone was shocked when Holden (Jon Hensley) arrived on the scene with Lucinda, who was very much alive. Holden explained that they had been captured and then claimed responsibility for killing Diego. Both Lily and Holden were held at the police station, where gun powder residue was found on Lily's hands. Holden was released and Lily was arrested for killing Diego.

2004: On Passions, Gwen (Liza Huber) and Ethan (Eric Martsolf) were told Gwen could never have another child.

Today's Birthdays:
Hal Holbrook (ex-Grayling, The Brighter Day) - 90
Christina Pickles (ex-Linell, Guiding Light; ex-Elena, Another World) - 80
Don Scardino (ex-Chris, Another World; ex-Frank, Ryan's Hope; ex-Greg, All My Children; ex-Marty, As the World Turns; ex-Johnny, Guiding Light) - 66
Lynne Moody (ex-Florence, General Hospital; ex-Patricia, Knots Landing) - 65
Carole Davis (ex-Marguerite, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 57
Lou Diamond Phillips (ex-Juan, Jack & Bobby) - 53
Tuesday Knight (ex-Val, General Hospital) - 46
Kelly Carlson (ex-Kimber, Nip/Tuck; ex-Wendy, Melrose Place) - 39
Erin Cardillo (ex-Esme, Passions) - 38
Ashton Holmes (ex-Tyler, Revenge; ex-Greg, One Life to Live) - 37
Jason Ritter (ex-Mark, Parenthood; ex-Allan, Undressed) - 35
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (ex-Daniel/David, Dark Shadows) - 34
Jennifer Gee (ex-Susan, Days of our Lives) - 33
Darnell Lamont Walker (ex-Julian, Anacostia)
Chord Overstreet (Sam, Glee) - 26
Meaghan Martin (ex-Bianca, 10 Things I Hate About You) - 23
Sasha Pieterse (Alison, Pretty Little Liars; ex-Amanda, Heroes) - 19
Campbell Rose (Allie, Days of our Lives) - 11
Carolyn Rose (Allie, Days of our Lives) - 11

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email

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