Today in Soap Opera History (March 18)

1968: Dark Shadows' Bathia went up in flames.
1985: Australian soap opera Neighbours premiered.
1988: General Hospital's Duke was involved in a shootout.
2004: All My Children's Bianca went into labor.
"Mankind are so much the same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular. Its chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human nature."
― David Hume

"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...

1968: On Dark Shadows, Bathia Mapes (Anita Bolster) tried to drive Angeligue out but announced she had failed and feared for her life. She said she felt herself on fire then flames sprung up around her.



1977: On Another World, Liz Matthews (Irene Dailey) was upset when Alice (Susan Harney) and Pat (Beverly Penberthy) accused her of being instrumental in Russ and Sharlene's breakup.

1978: Actress Peggy Wood died at age 86. She played Dr. Kate Nolan on One Life to Live and Marcella Higgins on The Doctors and The Nurses.

1980: On The Edge of Night, Molly Sherwood (Jane Hoffman) tried to convince her daughter, Emily Gault (Margo McKenna), to have Draper Scott (Tony Craig) taken to a hospital.



1985: Australian soap opera Neighbours premiered on the Seven Network. The series was created by TV executive Reg Watson, who proposed the idea of making a show that focused on realistic stories and portrayed adults and teenagers who talk openly and solve their problems together. Watch the first four episodes below.



1987: Jane Elliot debuted as Anjelica Deveraux in Days of our Lives.



1988: On General Hospital, realizing that Duke Lavery (Ian Buchanan) had been set up, Julian Jerome (Jason Culp) rushed off to help. He arrived just in time to save Duke but was shot in the crossfire.



1992: Ed Prentiss, who was the announcer for Days of our Lives and played several roles on the soap, died at age 83.

1992: On Guiding Light, Alexandra (Beverlee McKinsey) worried that Alan-Michael (Rick Hearst) and the family would end up with egg on their faces if he couldn't handle Spaulding's oil division.



2002: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Sally Spectra (Darlene Conley) slapped Massimo and accused him of using her and pretending to care so she wouldn't reveal his secret. She warned Massimo that he was going to pay dearly.

2004: On All My Children, Bianca Montgomery (Eden Riegel) went into labor in the cabin with Babe by her side.



Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2005: Actress Virginia Kaye, who played Rose Pollock in The Edge of Night in the 1970s, died at age 83.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Marguerite Ray (ex-Mamie, The Young and the Restless; ex-Jane, Dynasty; ex-Sara, Days of our Lives) - 84
Kevin Dobson (ex-Mickey, Days of our Lives; ex-Harrision, One Life to Live; ex-Devin, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Mack, Knots Landing) - 72
J.G. Hertzler (ex-Gen. Stark, General Hospital) - 65
Alma Martinez (ex-Sharon, General Hospital) - 62
Grant A. Johnson (Director, Days of our Lives) - 54
Thomas Ian Griffith (ex-Catlin, Another World) - 53
Vanessa Williams (ex-Renee, Desperate Housewives; ex-Wilhelmina, Ugly Betty) - 52
Queen Latifah (ex-Sharon, Single Ladies) - 45
Sutton Foster (ex-Michelle, Bunheads) - 40
Brian Autenrieth (ex-Brandon, Santa Barbara; ex-Zachary, Days of our Lives) - 37
Danneel Ackles (ex-Shannon, One Life to Live; ex-Rachel, One Tree Hill) - 37
Vanessa Lee Evigan (ex-Brittany, The Young and the Restless) - 34
Cornelius Smith Jr. (ex-Frankie, All My Children) - 33
Kyle Downes (ex-Aaron, The L Word) - 32
Lily Collins (ex-Phoebe, 90210) - 26
Austin Recht (ex-Dylan, The Young and the Restless) - 24

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

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