Today in Soap Opera History (May 8)

1967: Dark Shadows' Barnabas bared his fangs (upside down).
1981: The art auction began on General Hospital.
1987: Days of our Lives' Harper arrived in Salem.
2008: Noelle Beck debuted as the new Lily on As the World Turns.
"History never looks like history when you are living through it."
― John W. Gardner

"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...

1964: At the end of the very first week of Another World, Alice (Jacqueline Courtney) told Granny Matthews (Vera Allen) that her parents and Russ drove to Oakdale. Another World, was originally planned as a spin-off of CBS' As the World Turns before ending up on NBC.

1967: On Dark Shadows, Barnabas (Jonathan Frid) entered Maggie's (Kathryn Leigh Scott) bedroom through the french doors. He stalked over to her bed and bared his fangs. Jonathan Frid inserted his fangs upside down, appearing more frightening than originally intended.

Note: This episode was double numbered with 226 (225/226) in order to correct the out of sync numbering caused by the AFTRA strike pre-emption that shifted 206 a day forward, in order to keep the production numbers balanced with the calendar, i.e. Friday episodes ending in a 5 or 0.

1981: On General Hospital, the "funny little statue" disappeared when the lights went out at the art auction.

1984: On Guiding Light, Phillip (Grant Aleksander) clashed with Darcy (Robin Johnson), who threatened him and Beth (Judi Evans). Meanwhile, Lujack (Vincent Irizarry) enjoyed a swim with Beth and was impressed with her sexiness. "Brooke Shields is sexy, Mindy's sexy, I'm just your everyday kind of girl," Beth told him.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the item above.

1985: Gimme a Break! actor Dolph Sweet died at age 64. His soap roles included Gil McGowan on Another World and Harry Constable in The Edge of Night.

1987: Joseph Campanella made his first appearance as Senator Harper Deveraux on Days of our Lives.

1990: On Santa Barbara, the police were closing in on Eden (Marcy Walker). Cruz told Sophia that Eden was the prime suspect in the jewelry heist.

2008: Noelle Beck debuted as Lily Snyder on As the World Turns.

2008: Actress Dorothy Green, who played Jennifer Brooks on The Young and the Restless, died at age 88.

2008: Longtime daytime director Allen Fristoe (One Life to Live, Another World, The Edge of Night) died at age 84. Fristoe was married to longtime All My Children star Mary Fickett.

2009: Rapper/actor Snoop Dogg made a guest appearance on One Life to Live.

Jeanne Cooper
2013: Lengendary actress Jeanne Cooper died at age 84. For more than 39 years she played Katherine Chancellor on The Young and the Restless. Her son, Corbin Bernsen, said she passed away "peaceful with my sister by her side, in her sleep."

Cooper received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1993 and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys in 2004. She finally won the Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actress in 2008, and was nominated nine other times. She was also nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards during her career, one in 1961 for her work on Ben Casey, and the other in 1987 for her recurring role on L.A. Law, playing Corbin Bernsen's mother.

Watch classic clips of Cooper's work here.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Eileen Barnett (ex-Stephanie, Days of our Lives) - 69
Pamela Peters Solow (ex-Peggy, The Young and the Restless) - 65
David Keith (ex-John Allen, Lone Star) - 61
Melissa Gilbert (ex-Shari, Nip/Tuck) - 51
Cheryl Richardson (ex-Jenny, General Hospital) - 51
Julianne Morris (ex-Greta, Days of our Lives; ex-Amy, The Young and the Restless) - 47
Kam Heskin (ex-April, Coastal Dreams; ex-Sheridan, Passions; ex-Caitlin, Sunset Beach) - 42
Enrique Iglesias (Guest Star, The Young and the Restless) - 40
Matthew Davis (Alaric, The Vampire Diaries) - 37
Stephen Amell  (Oliver, Arrow; ex-Scott, Private Practice; ex-Adam, Dante's Cove) - 34
Elyes Gabel (ex-Rahkaro, Game of Thrones) - 32
Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix, General Hospital)

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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