Today in Soap Opera History (April 7)

1966: Peyton Place's Steven prepared for his weddding.
1981: Another World's Sandy took care of Mac after an explosion.
1986: Santa Barbara's Kelly confessed to Nick before their wedding.
1989: Days of our Lives' Steve and Kayla became Gideon and Emily.
"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...

1966: On Peyton Place, Betty Anderson (Barbara Parkins) and Steven Cord (James Douglas) prepared for their wedding.

1976: On Another World, Emma Frame (Tresa Hughes) urged Russ Matthews (David Bailey) not to drag the police into Sharlene's disappearance.

1978: On One Life to Live, country singer Bill Anderson made his first appearance as the fictional Bill Anderson, a part he would play off and on for a few years. Aldo, being blackmailed by Brad Vernon, attacked Cathy in an attempt to get the ring off her finger outside the free clinic.

"I was a fish out of water when I was first hired to be on the show," Anderson blogged in 2010. "But Phil [Carey] and Clint [Ritchie] and Bobby Woods and Erika Slezak and Judith Light and others went out of their way to be extremely nice to me. Yes, the same Judith Light who was in her last days of doing daytime drama when I joined the cast, and who later went on to sitcom and movie success in California. She could cuss like a parrot on steroids, but never has anybody been more gently encouraging to someone than Judith was to me."

Thanks to Jeff for sending in the item above.

1980: On The Edge of Night, Dr. Gault lied to Draper (Tony Craig) about Draper being Kirk Michaels.

1981: On Another World, Mac (Douglass Watson) and Sandy (Christopher Rich) arrived to to warn Jamie (Richard Bekins) just as the bomb exploded in Mac's office. Later, Sandy called Mac "Dad" as he cradled him in his arms.

Brenda Benet
1982: Days of our Lives star Brenda Benet (Lee Dumonde) took her own life by a self-inflicted gunshot wound at age 36. Benet's Days of our Lives co-stars Bill and Susan Hayes reflected on Benet in our 2010 interview. Read it here. Read a newspaper article about Benet's suicide here.

1986: On Santa Barbara, Kelly (Robin Wright) told Nick that she slept with Dylan, who canceled their wedding. Elsewhere, Madeline Laurent (Terry Davis, in her final appearance) was deemed to be brain dead.

1986: On Knots Landing, Abby (Donna Mills) feared Olivia (Tonya Crowe) would commit suicide.

1989: On Days of our Lives, staying at the mansion Nick gave them, Steve (Stephen Nichols) and Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) found the Civil War-era diary of southern belle Emily, and they began reading the love story between her and Union officer Gideon.

1997: On Sunset Beach, Paula Stevens (Laura Harring) took samples of Elaine's (Leigh Taylor-Young) hair to be tested against hair found at the murder scene.

2009: On General Hospital, Jason (Steve Burton) ran into Robin (Kimberly McCullough), who was dealing with postpartum depression. Later, Patrick (Jason Thompson) found them in an embrace.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Stephen Bolster (ex-Ted, Another World; ex-Martin, As the World Turns; ex-Ken, Guiding Light; ex-Paul, Another World; ex-Bill, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Roger, One Life to Live; ex-Jerry, The Secret Storm; ex-Bart, The Doctors; ex-Mark, As the World Turns; ex-Jody, Young Doctor Malone) - 82
Wayne Rogers (ex-Slim, Search for Tomorrow) - 82
Patricia Mauceri (ex-Carlotta, One Life to Live; ex-Andrea, As the World Turns; ex-Angie, Another World) - 65
Alexandra Neil (ex-Paige, One Life to Live; ex-Ruby, Texas; ex-Dawn, As the World Turns; ex-Emily, Another World; ex-Rose, Guiding Light) - 60
Teri Ann Linn (ex-Kristen, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Kimberly, Dallas) - 54
Russell Crowe (ex-Kenny, Neighbours) - 51
Kevin Alejandro (Sebastian, Arrow; ex-Jesus, True Blood; ex-Dominic, The Young and the Restless) - 39
Matthew McKelligon (Jeremy, EastSiders)
Morgan Farris (ex-Jennifer, Friday Night Lights) - 25
Cristine Prosperi (Imogen, Degrassi) - 22

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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