Today in Soap Opera History (July 7)

1975: Ryan's Hope premiered on ABC.
"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...

1947: On Lora Lawton, Lora (Jan Miner) continued to worry about Peter. The Frank and Anne Hummert radio soap opera ran from 1943 to 1950 on NBC.

1954: On Portia Faces Life, Portia (Frances Reid) was busy taking non-stop phone calls.

1966: On Dark Shadows, Bill Malloy (Frank Schofield), manager of the Collins Fishing Fleet, warned Elizabeth (Joan Bennett) that Burke wanted to take everything the Collins family owned.

1971: On Another World, when Alice (Jacqueline Courtney) returned to Bay City, Steve (George Reinholt) was the first to greet her at the airport.

1975: Daytime soap opera Ryan's Hope premiered on ABC. Created by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer, the early years of Ryan's Hope are considered by many critics and historians to be one of the best eras ever on a soap opera. The show remained on the air until January 13, 1989. When SOAPnet started rerunning old episodes from the beginning, a whole new generation of fans discovered the series.

Note: Ryan's Bar and the character of Delia (Ilene Kristen) can still be seen from time to time on General Hospital.

1978: On Ryan's Hope, Siobhan (Sarah Felder) was welcomed home by her family.

1983: On All My Children, a pregnant Angie (Debbi Morgan) weighed her options.

1984: Hum Log, Indian television's first soap-opera, premiered on Doordarshan, India's national network, then the only television channel in the country. The series, which ran for 156 episodes, told the story of a middle class family and its struggles and aspirations.

1988: On General Hospital, Cheryl (Jennifer Anglin) confessed to Robert (Tristan Rogers) about what Scott had been planning with Meditech, and how he had been blackmailing her.

1992: Patrick Muldoon debuted as Austin Reed in Days of our Lives.

2003: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Nick (Jack Wagner) revealed to Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) that Massimo was his father.

2003: On All My Children, just as Erica (Susan Lucci) was having memories of her rape, Bianca (Eden Riegel) was grabbed by Michael Cambias (William deVry) at Myrtle's. Michael raped Bianca in the next episode.

2011: ABC formally confirmed Prospect Park's plans to license All My Children and One Life to Live and air them on the web.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Carmen Duncan (ex-Iris, Another World; ex-Lisa, As the World Turns) - 73
Jean LeClerc (ex-Jeremy, All My Children; ex-Jeremy, Loving; ex-Peter, One Life to Live; ex-Antoine, As the World Turns; ex-Jean Marc, The Edge of Night; ex-Gui, The Doctors) - 67
Jill Farren Phelps (Executive Producer, The Young and the Restless; Former EP of Hollywood Heights; General Hospital, Guiding Light, Santa Barbara, Another World, One Life to Live) - 63
Cindy Eilbacher (ex-April, The Young and the Restless) - 57
John J. Dalesandro (ex-Mr. Trask, Generations) - 57
Billy Campbell (ex-Darren, The Killing; ex-Carter, The O.C.) - 56
Reggie Rock Bythewood (ex-R.J., Another World) - 50
Amy Carlson (ex-Josie, Another World; ex-Harley, Guiding Light) - 47
Jorja Fox (ex-Gina, The West Wing) - 47
Christian Camargo (Michael, House of Cards; ex-Mark, Guiding Light) - 44
Kirsten Vangsness (ex-Meredith, Pretty) - 43
Hamish Linklater (ex-Jerry, The Newsroom) - 39
Ben Baur (Alex, Hunting Season)
Julianna Guill (Becca, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce) - 28
Jamie Johnston (ex-Peter, Degrassi) - 26
Dylan Sprayberry (Liam, Teen Wolf) - 17

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


  1. Wow! Ryan's Hope premiered 40 years ago! Hard to imagine that. 40 years.

    And I actually watched the very first episode. Was just a kid, but I was excited about the idea of seeing a soap opera from the very beginning.

  2. In the clip of Portia Faces Life was that Mary Fickett (Ruth Martin AMC), who comes to the door? If so funny that she is going on about a character named Phoebe she doesn't like! Was 10 yrs old taking swimming lessons the summer when Ryans Hope premiered. Would get home from the lake just as it started.

  3. OMG! Just finished clip saw in credits it was Mary Fickett!

    1. Great to see Frances and Mary 61 years ago! :)

  4. I didn't know Frances Reid was on another soap opera before doing Days of our Lives.

    1. Ms. Reid played Grace Baker (Jeff's mother) on ATWT, where Ted Corday was a producer. She also appeared on Edge of Night.

    2. Wow!!! I didn't know that. Thanks, I wish I could see those episodes of her earlier years on other soaps.

    3. Wow!!! I didn't know that. Thanks, I wish I could see those episodes of her earlier years on other soaps.

  5. Is that Sally Gracie playing the part of Phoebe?

  6. Is that Sally Gracie playing the part of Phoebe?

    1. Yes. Are you watching Sally Gracie on The Doctors reruns on Retro TV?

    2. Yes I am and recognized the actress immediately

  7. Yessss For Ryan's Hope. I Still Miss It All These Years Later. :-(

    Thanks For The Clips, Roger!

    Brian :-)