Today in Soap Opera History (July 21)

1972: Victoria Wyndham debuted as Rachel on Another World.
1980: Edge of Night's Kelly had competition for Jody.
1986: As the World Turns' Nancy mourned her husband.
1987: Days of our Lives' welcomed a new Jack.
"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...

1962: Actor Les Damon died at age 54. His soap roles included Ed Palmerlee in The Edge of Night, Jim Lowell in As the World Turns, and Bruce Banning on The Guiding Light.

1965: On General Hospital, Dr. Steve Hardy (John Beradino) and Nurse Jessie Brewer (Emily McLaughlin) filled Mike Costello in on the latest developments with Angie.

1972: Victoria Wyndham made her first appearance as Rachel in Another World. She replaced Robin Strasser in the role.  Margie Impert had replaced Strasser originally but didn't work out so Strasser returned for a few months.  Strasser's Rachel was torn between Steve and Ted so she decided to take Jamie out of town for a week. In Wyndham's debut, Steve came to Washington to see Jamie. Rachel returned to Bay City a few days later. Wydham would play the role until NBC aired the final episode of the show on June 25, 1999.

Charles Durning debuted in the same episode as a recast Gil McGowan. He played the role four months before Dolph Sweet took over.

1978: Rita Lloyd debuted as Lucille Wexler in Guiding Light.

1980: On The Edge of Night, Kelly McGrath (Allen Fawcett) told Mike Karr (Forrest Compton) that he wanted to be more independent. After Jody Travis (Lori Loughlin) collapsed at the studio, Kelly offered to take over her shift at The Unicorn. Meanwhile, Larry Watts stalked "Kirk" and Emily at the amusement park.

1980: Texas actor Jerry Lanning debuted on Another World as Justin Marshall. Stephen D. Newman aired on AW for the final time as Mike Marshall. Mike called his children before he shot himself. He was only able to reach Paige's answering machine (Paige's voice was the first appearance by Texas actress Lisby Larson in the show).

1982: Stephen Schnetzer debuted as Cass Winthrop on Another World.

1986: On As the World Turns, Frannie Hughes (Julianne Moore) broke down over her grandfather's death. Nancy Hughes (Helen Wagner) was grateful Chris had a peaceful passing.

1986: On Another World, Vicky (Ellen Wheeler) admitted all the rotten things she had done to Jake (Tom Eplin) and Michael (Kale Browne).

1987: James Acheson debuted as the second Jack Deveraux in Days of our Lives, replacing Joseph Adams. Acheson lasted three months in the role, then was replaced by Matthew Ashford.

1988: On Days of our Lives, troubled teenager Eve Donovan (Charlotte Ross) was feeling insecure about fitting in and making new friends at school when Harris Michaels (a very young Steve Burton) approached her. What Eve didn't know is that Harris had just made her the object of a bet that he could score with "hooker chick."

Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

1989: Sherry Stringfield debuted as Blake Lindsey in Guiding Light.

1993: On General Hospital, Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon) insisted to his wife, Monica (Leslie Charleson), that he was not sleeping with Rhonda Wexler.

1997: On Days of our Lives, Laura (Jaime Lyn Bauer) tried to convince Marlena (Deidre Hall) that the man with Kristen was not Roman.

2008: On One Life to Live, Bo (Robert S. Woods) and Rex (John-Paul Lavosier) found themselves in 1968.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Patricia Elliott (ex-Renee, One Life to Live) - 73
Jordan Clarke (Colonel, Venice; ex-Billy/Tim, Guiding Light) - 65
John Martin (ex-Bill, Days of our Lives; ex-Hank, Sunset Beach; ex-Frederick, The Young and the Restless; ex-Jon, General Hospital) - 64
Jack Stehlin (ex-Davis, General Hospital) - 49
Alysia Reiner (Natalia, Orange if the New Black; Wendy, How to Get Away with Murder) - 45
Ali Landry (ex-Amur, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Kenzie, Sunset Beach) - 42
Jaime Murray (ex-Vivienne, The Beautiful Life; ex-Olivia, Ringer) - 39
Chrishell Stause (ex-Jordan, Days of our Lives; ex-Amanda, All My Children) - 34
Vinessa Antoine (Jordan, General Hospital; ex-Evi, Haven) - 32
Vanessa Lengies (ex-Sugar, Glee; ex-Sophia, Monarch Cove) - 30
Diane Guerrero (Maritza, Orange is the New Black; Lina, Jane the Virgin) - 29

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


  1. "Reva, Max is dead!" Was a big Texas fan and loved the rivalry between Ashley and Reva. Also would love to see Jamie Lyn Bauer return to Days, loved her on Y&R, and although no one was Laura to me like Susan Flannery, I felt she did a good job in the role of Laura.

    1. I've aways wanted Jaime Lyn Bauer back on Y&R, along with Prentiss Brooks, but I'm not sure the team there know about the character or history. Probably most fans remember JLB as Laura more than Susan Flannery but I think it would be amazing if Flannery made an appearance for DAYS 50th, along with Denise Alexander as Susan.

    2. Sadly true (Y&R). That would be fun to see those two back on Days!