Today in Soap Opera History (July 30)

1984: Guiding Light's Reva Shayne declared herself "The
Slut of Springfield" in the country cub fountain after getting
 fed up with Josh's mistreatment of her.
"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...

1957: NBC Radio aired the final episode of Hilltop House. The show had run on and off since November 1, 1937.

1968: On Dark Shadows, after trying and failing to kill Barnabas (Jonathan Frid), Cassandra (Lara Parker) continued to age rapidly, thanks to Nicholas.

1984: Daytime soap opera Santa Barbara premiered on NBC.
1984: Daytime soap opera Santa Barbara, created by Bridget and Jerome Dobson, premiered on NBC. In the first episode, Joe Perkins (Dane Witherspoon), who had always claimed his innocence, was released from prison after spending five years in jail for the murder of Channing Capwell, Jr.; Joe headed toward Santa Barbara with the intention of clearing his name; Kelly (Robin Wright), Joe's former girlfriend, celebrated her engagement to Peter (Stephen Meadows); a mystery woman tried to keep Joe from reaching his home town; Minx Lockridge (Dame Judith Anderson) attempted to have C.C. Capwell (Peter Mark Richman) arrested on bogus charges; Ted (Todd McKee) brought Laken (Julie Ronnie) to his sister's party; and Santana (Ava Lazar) wanted revenge against Joe.

1984: On Guiding Light, fed up with Josh's (Robert Newman) treatment of her, Reva (Kim Zimmer) declared herself "The Slut of Springfield" at the Springfield Country club.  The scene was one of the most unforgettable in daytime television history.  Zimmer won her first Emmy the following year but did not submit this episode for consideration.

1986: On Santa Barbara, Santana (Gina Gallego) was about to confess to Cruz (A Martinez) that she ran over Eden with her car, until she realized her headlight had been fixed. Jon Lindstrom made his last regular appearance as Dr. Mark McCormick.

1990: Actor Karl Weber, who played Arthur Tate in Search for Tomorrow in the 1950s, died at age 74.

1991: On Another World, Cass (Stephen Schnetzer) and Kathleen (Julie Osburn) wanted Ryan (Paul Michael Valley) and Frankie (Alice Barrett) to give up their Signet investigation.

1992: On The Young and the Restless, a teenaged Victoria Newman (Heather Tom) had gone to Chicago to secretly marry older man, Ryan McNeil (Scott Reeves). With the wedding over, she thank her loyal friend, Brandon Collins, for helping her with the ruse to fool her parents as to what she was really doing there. But before exiting, Brandon (a very young Paul Walker) had something to say to the newlyweds.

Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

1996: The Chieftains appeared on One Life to Live, playing a gig at Rodi's.

1997: On Another World, Jake (Tom Eplin) postponed his answer to Vicky's (Jensen Buchanan) proposal, and Cass (Stephen Schnetzer) got Toni (Rhonda Ross) to admit on the witness stand that she could be wrong about Nick (Mark Mortimer).

2001: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) begged Thorne (Winsor Harmon) for another chance.

2007: Tammin Sursok debuted as Colleen Carlton on The Young and the Restless.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
William Wintersole (ex-Mitchell, The Young and the Restless; ex-Ted, General Hospital) - 84
Ilene Kristen (Delia, General Hospital; ex-Liza, The Bay; ex-Roxy, One Life to Live; ex-Delia, Ryan's Hope; ex-Norma, Loving; ex-Madeline, Another World) - 63
Victor Slezak (ex-Andy, Guiding Light; ex-Silas, As the World Turns - 58
Richard Burgi (Paul, General Hospital; ex-Henri, Devious Maids; ex-Chad, Another World; ex-Karl, Desperate Housewives; ex-Philip, Days of our Lives; ex-Glenn, As the World Turns; ex-Randy, One Life to Live) - 57
Laurence Fishburne (ex-Josh, One Life to Live) - 54
Vivica A. Fox (ex-Maya; Generations; ex-Carmen, Days of our Lives) - 51
Terry Crews (Lonny, The Newsroom) - 47
Lilly Melgar (Janice, The Bay; ex-Lily, General Hospital; ex-Claudia, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 45
Simon Baker (ex-James, Home and Away; ex-Sam, E Street) - 46
Ben Jorgensen (ex-Chris, As the World Turns; ex-Kevin, All My Children) - 44
Victor Alfieri (ex-Giovanni, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Gianni, Passions; ex-Franco, Days of our Lives) - 44
Christine Taylor (ex-Margaret, Dallas) - 44
Hilary Swank (ex-Carly, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 41

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


  1. My college roommate had a little brother named Mason who was named after Mason Capwell. His mother was a diehard 'Santa Barbara' fan.

  2. People can say what they want about Kim Zimmer - I know she's not to everyone's taste - but those fountain scenes were absolutely perfect in every way. That was the kind of acting where you forgot you had a TV screen between you and them.

  3. Wow. Hard to image it was 31 years ago Reva baptized herself. Such a memorable scene. Also didn't realize that was done as counterprogramming to the debut of Santa Barbara. That's what I love about the soap history column.

    On a different note, Richard Burgi is currently playing Paul Hornsby on GH.

  4. I tuned into the first episode of Santa Barbara, and could not get past the first 15 minutes, I did however start watching the following year in July of '85. Was a huge fan up until the summer of '91, when the Dobson's won the law suit and started writing again. It was truly awful, and was finally cancelled in early '93.