Today in Soap Opera History (June 21)

1976: Deidre Hall debuted on Days of our Lives. 1984: Guiding
Light's Billy was out to destroy Reva.   1993: Days' Lucas
and Sami went on their first date.  1999: All My Children's
Erica got emotional with her friends.
"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...

1952: The first television version of One Man's Family aired for the final time. The once-a-week primetime take-off of the popular radio soap opera was brought back to TV in 1954 as a daily afternoon serial.

1966: Edward Mallory debuted as Bill Horton on Days of our Lives.

1976: Deidre Hall debuted as Marlena Evans on Days of our Lives. In the episode, Mickey Horton (John Clarke) was in a sanitarium and Marlena as the psychiatrist that treated him.

1978: On For Richer, For Poorer, Viola Brewster (Patricia Barry) begged her daughter, Laurie (Julia MacKenzie), not to show Megan Cushing (Darlene Parks) the pictures of Laurie with Jason Saxton (Richard Backus).

1984: On Guiding Light, Billy (Jordan Clarke) threatened to "destroy" his ex-wife, Reva (Kim Zimmer), who had just married his father. "This time it's gonna hurt," Billy told her.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the clip above.

1993: On Days of our Lives, Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) and Sami (Alison Sweeney) went on their first date. The episode also featured the new Days computer-generated opening sequence.

1994: Joshua Morrow made his first appearance as Nicholas Newman on The Young and the Restless.

1999: On All My Children, Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) called Myrtle (Eileen Herlie), Janet (Robin Mattson) and Brooke (Julia Barr) together to tell them all how much she appreciated them. This was the first scene Susan Lucci taped after winning a Daytime Emmy Awards for her 19th nomination.

2000: On As the World Turns, Jake McKinnon (Tom Eplin) had a flashback to a Jake/Vicky scene that had aired in June 1999 on Another World.

2002: Guiding Light's "Hold On to Love" theme aired for the final time.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2006: On Days of our Lives, Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) fainted after seeing Steve (Stephen Nichols).

2009: As the World Turns began using a title card instead of a full opening theme. The show would continue with this until its final episode.

2011: Actor Anthony Herrera died at age 67. He played roles in a number of daytime soap operas but was best known for his portrayal of James Stenbeck in As the World Turns.

2013: On Days of our Lives, Kristen DiMera (Eileen Davidson) drugged and raped Father Eric Brady (Greg Vaughan).

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Monte Markham (ex-Carter, Rituals; ex-Clint, Dallas; ex-John, Melrose Place) - 80
Mariette Hartley (ex-Claire, Peyton Place; ex-Mary, One Life to Live) - 75
Meredith Baxter (ex-Liz, Glee; ex-Kathryn's Mother, Switched at Birth) - 68
Michael Gross (ex-River, The Young and the Restless) - 68
Leigh McCloskey (ex-Damian/Michael, General Hospital; ex-Kurt, The Young and the Restless; ex-Mitch, Dallas; ex-Drake, One Life to Live; ex-Zach/Ethan, Santa Barbara) - 60
Blake Gibbons (ex-Coleman, General Hospital; ex-Eddie, The Young and the Restless) - 54
Blake Hammond (ex-Eric, Then We Got Help!) - 52
Doug Savant (ex-Tom, Desperate Housewives; ex-Matt, Melrose Place) - 51
Carrie Preston (ex-Arlene, True Blood; Elsbeth, The Good Wife) - 48
Maggie Siff (ex-Rachel, Mad Men) - 41
Will Thorp (ex-Chris, Coronation Street) - 39
Tom Chroust (Writer, Alles was zählt) - 38
Erica Durance (ex-Lois, Smallville) - 37
Chris Pratt (ex-Ché, The O.C.) - 36

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

1 comment:

  1. Very Happy Birthday To All These Great Soap Stars Today. Thanks Roger & Kevin!

    Brian :-)