Today in Soap Opera History (April 16)

1979: Guiding Light's Roger blackmailed Alan.
1984: Days of our Lives' Anna found Tony in a secret room.
1987: Calliope's dog Martha married Reg on Days.
1993: All My Children's Kendall revealed Erica was her mother.
"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...

1945: NBC Radio premiered radio soap opera Barry Cameron. Spencer Bentley starred as Barry Cameron, a veteran returning from three years of war. Richard Leonard and Peggy Blake were the the writers of the 15-minute show which lasted until October 11, 1946.

1975: On Another World, Dave told Alice (Jacqueline Courtney) they had a 10 year old girl in the emergency room whose parents, Peter and Janet Spencer, were just killed in a car crash on Route 43. A month later, Alice began thinking about adopting the girl, Sally Spencer.

1976: On Another World, Sharlene Frame Watts (Laurie Heineman) and Russ Matthews (David Bailey) phoned to tell Russ's sister, Alice (Susan Harney), they had just gotten married in San Francisco.

1979: On Guiding Light, Roger Thorpe (Michael Zaslow) continued to blackmail Alan Spaulding (Christopher Bernau), demanding a hefty sum of money in exchange for an affidavit that would put Alan in jail.

1980: On The Edge of Night, Raven (Sharon Gabet) was furious to find Calvin and Star babysitting Jamey.

1984: On Days of our Lives, Anna (Leann Hunley) found Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) in the secret room.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the item above.

1985: On As the World Turns, Don (Conard Fowkes) and Penny (Rosemary Prinz) toasted Bob and Kim at their wedding reception.

1987: On Days of our Lives, Calliope's (Arleen Sorkin) dog, Martha Bradford, married Reggie DuBois, the dog that got her pregnant.

1987: On All My Children, Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) told the police Joanna Chandler tied her up for taking Adam from her.

1991: On One Life to Live, Bo (Robert S. Woods) wondered what Jessica was doing in the woods.

1993: On All My Children, Kendall (Sarah Michelle Gellar) blurted out to Myrtle (Eileen Herlie) that Erica Kane was her mother.

1993: Miriam Parrish debuted as Jamie Caldwell in Days of our Lives.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Peter Mark Richman (ex-C.C., Santa Barbara; ex-Andrew, Dynasty; ex-Maynard, Dallas; ex-Lawrence, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 88
Anne Collings (ex-Florence, General Hospital) - 77
Anita Carey (ex-Joyce, Coronation Street) - 67
Robin Eisenman (ex-Kelly, Days of our Lives; temp-Nikki, The Young and the Restless) - 62
Scott McKinsey (Director, General Hospital; Former Director: General Hospital: Night Shift; Port Charles; As the World Turns; Guiding Light; Search for Tomorrow; Miss Behave) - 56
Michael Gill (ex-Dr. Hawkins, All My Children; ex-Grant, Guiding Light) - 55
Claire Beckman (ex-Silver, All My Children; ex-Sabrina, As the World Turns) - 54
Donna Alexander (ex-Kristen, Coronation Street) - 50
Gerardo Mejía (ex-Ramon, Santa Barbara) - 50
Toby Poser (ex-Amanda, Guiding Light) - 46
James Watson (ex-John, Fair City) - 45
Sean Maher (ex-Marcus, Make It of Break It; ex-Adam, Party of Five) - 40
Kelli O'Hara (ex-Leslie, All My Children) - 39
Nikki Griffin (ex-Jess, The O.C.; ex-Kelly, The Young and the Restless) - 37
Natalie Blair (ex-Carmella, Neighbours) - 31
Claire Foy (ex-Lady Persephone, Upstairs, Downstairs) - 31
Rhiana Griffith (ex-Aimee, Home and Away) - 30
Neil Haskell (ex-Male Dancer, One Life to Live) - 28
Lily Loveless (ex-Naomi, Skins) - 25
Alina Foley (ex-Claire, Days of our Lives) - 12

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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