Today in Soap Opera History (July 31)

1984: Charles Shaughnessy debuted as Shane Donovan on Days 
of our Lives.   1990: Another World's Frankie and Cass married.
2003: Guiding Light's Ben Reade died.  2008: Molly Burnett made
her first appearance as Melanie on Days.
"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...

1967: On Another World, Pat (Susan Trustman) admitted to Mary (Virginia Dwyer) that she had kissed Mike Bauer (Gary Pillar) in the park before he left Bay City.

1967: On Dark Shadows, Willie admitted to Barnabas (Jonathan Frid) he was trying to tell Victoria the truth about him.

1980: On The Edge of Night, Logan (Joe Lambie) questioned Emily (Margo McKenna) about the night of the train crash.

1981: On Another World, Mac (Douglass Watson) walked into the Cory Cabin where Hannah (Madelon Thomas) and Lenny (Ed O'Neill, currently starring in ABC's Modern Family) were holding Jamie (Richard Bekins) hostage.

1984: Charles Shaughnessy debuted as Shane Donovan in Days of our Lives.

1984: On Guiding Light, Reva (Km Zimmer) and Josh (Robert Newman) finished their fiery confrontation at the country club fountain when H.B. (Larry Gates) arrived and took Reva home.

1984: On Santa Barbara, Joe Perkins' sister Jade (Melissa Brennan, now Melissa Reeves) and mother welcomed him home from prison.

1990: On Another World, Cass Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer) and Frankie Frame (Alice Barrett) were married.

1993: Guiding Light star Leonard Stabb (Hart Jessup) was injured in a hang gliding accident. Staab remained semi-comatosed for a period of time. To help defray Stabb's medical costs, his former One Life to Live co-star Jessica Tuck arranged for a benefit screening of Don't Stop Now, a new feature film that starred Tuck, Mad About You's Paul Reiser and Y&R's Doug Davidson.

"Leonard is a great athlete. But I guess the winds can change really quickly and you can get caught in a downdraft (when hang gliding)," Tuck said. With help, "maybe Leonard can soar back up."

In 2012, The Guiding Light Sentinel posted an update on Stabb. "Earlier this year, my good friend Marshall Hilliard (4th Hart) and I set out to find Leonard and we did! Leonard is doing great and living in California with his caretaker. He is able to walk and talk, but unfortunetly, the brain damage will always be there. Leonard faces some challenges, but he is doing very good and is very happy!"

1998: On Guiding Light, Dolly (Kim Zimmer) drank more of the aging serum.

2003: On Guiding Light, having confessed his crimes and made his final wishes known, Ben Reade (Matt Bomer) succumbed to his self-inflicted poisoning and died in the hospital.

Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

2008: Molly Burnett debuted as Melanie on Days of our Lives.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Don Murray (ex-Sid, Knots Landing) - 86
Victor Mohica (ex-Felipe, The Young and the Restless; ex-Dr. Borez, General Hospital; ex-El Hombre, ex-Ghost of Stefan, Dark Shadows) - 82
Geoffrey Lewis (ex-Lucas, Falcon Crest; ex-Uncle Bill, Dawson's Creek) - 80
Susan Flannery (ex-Stephanie, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Leslie, Dallas; ex-Laura, Days of our Lives) - 76
France Nuyen (ex-Dr. Chen, Santa Barbara; ex-Dr. Carroll, Knots Landing) - 76
Lane Davies (Mackenzie, The Bay; ex-Cameron, General Hospital; ex-Mason, Santa Barbara; ex-Evan, Days of our Lives) - 65
Dirk Blocker (ex-Chuck, Pacific Palisades, ex-Dan, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 58
Wally Kurth (Justin, Days of our Lives; Ned, General Hospital; ex-Sam, As the World Turns) - 57
Doug Wert (ex-Scott, As the World Turns; ex-Jeff, The Young and the Restless; ex-Wade, One Life to Live) - 54
Jay Bontatibus (ex-Rob, Days of our Lives; ex-Andy, General Hospital; ex-Tony, The Young and the Restless; ex-Russell, Another World) - 51
Dean Cain (ex-Rick, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 49
Amanda Stepto (Spike, Degrassi) - 45
Annie Parisse (ex-Julia, As the World Turns) - 40
Eric Lively (ex-Mark, The L Word) - 34
Rebecca Atkinson (ex-Karen, Shameless; ex-Stephanie, Coronation Street) - 32
Charlie Carver (Ethan, Teen Wolf; ex-Scott, The Leftovers; ex-Porter, Desperate Housewives) - 27

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

1 comment:

  1. Excuse me, but Geoffrey Lewis died a few months ago- LOOK IT UP!