Today in Soap Opera History (August 17)

1977: Leslie Charleson assumed the role of Monica on GH.
1992: Elizabeth Keifer debuted as Blake on Guiding Light.
2007: The 10,000th episode of One Life to Live aired on ABC.
2007: As the World Turns' Luke and Noah shared an historic kiss.
"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again."
― Maya Angelou

"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...

1933: On radio soap opera Ma Perkins, Ma (Virginia Payne) has found out about Cousin Sylvester's marriage proposal to Penny, and she wondered what kind of men the cousins were. Later that day, Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees appeared in his 1,308th consecutive Major League Baseball game, breaking the record held by Everett Scott since 1925. Gehrig would go on to play 822 more straight games, and his record would last until broken by Baltimore Orioles star Cal Ripken, Jr. on September 6, 1995.



1967: On Dark Shadows, Julia (Grayson Hall) warned Victoria (Alexandra Moltke) not to become too chummy with Barnabas (Jonathan Frid).

1967: On Another World, Sam Lucas (Jordan Charney) berated his niece, Rachel (Robin Strasser), for running to his sister/her mother, Ada, about their argument.

1977: Leslie Charleson debuted as Monica in General Hospital, replacing Patsy Rahn in the role. Monica's pairing with Alan Quartermaine ranked 20th on our 50 Greatest Soap Couples list in 2012. Charleson has earned four Daytime Emmy nominations for her work on GH and is the longest-running actor on the show today (Denise Alexander, Genie Francis and Kin Shriner started before her but have all come and gone multiple times over the years). Prior to joining GH, Charleson starred as Iris on Love is a Many Splendored Thing (1967-1970), Alice in As the World Turns (1966), and Pam on A Flame in the Wind (1965)

1981: On General Hospital, Laura (Genie Francis), Luke (Anthony Geary) and Robert (Tristan Rogers) looked for a way to keep warm. Meanwhile, Mikkos Cassadine showed off the center of his operation including "The Dust Chamber," and the lever that would stop the freezing process.



1984: On Days of our Lives, Bo (Peter Reckell) and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) got away with the prism with help from Alice and Howie.

1988: Victoria Shaw, who played Kira Faulker on General Hospital in the mid-1970s, died at age 53.

1992: Elizabeth Keifer debuted as Blake Thorpe in Guiding Light.



2001: Actor Gerald Gordon died at age 67. His soap roles included Nick Bellini in The Doctors and Mark Dante on General Hospital.

2007: ABC aired the 10,000th episode of One Life to Live. Beloved characters returned to Llanview to celebrate the life of character Asa Buchanan including Nathan Fillion (Joey Buchanan), Dan Gauthier (Kevin Buchanan), John Loprieno (Cord Roberts), Tonja Walker (Alex Olanov) and James DePaiva (Max Holden).

"10,000 shows is a remarkable achievement," said executive producer Frank Valentini, who started at One Life to Live in 1985 with episode 4209. "I am extremely proud to be part of a show that has been able to make such an enduring mark on popular culture."



2007: On As the World Turns, Luke Snyder (Van Hansis) and Noah Mayer (Jake Silbermann) shared their first kiss, an historic moment for a gay male couple of daytime soap operas.



Below is a segment of Entertainment Tonight that previewed the kiss.



2012: On EastEnders, teenager Ben Mitchell (Joshua Pascoe) was formally charged with the murder of Heather Trott and carted off to prison -- seemingly pleased that his best mate, Jay, had followed his instructions and given him up. (Note: The character of Ben returned to Albert Square last summer, played by soap newcomer Harry Reid.)



Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Julianna McCarthy
Julianna McCarthy (ex-Liz, The Young and the Restless; ex-Abigail, Dark Shadows) - 86
Jennifer Rhodes (ex-Leilani, The Young and the Restless) - 68
Julian Fellowes (Producer/Writer, Downton Abbey) - 66
Wesley Eure (ex-Mike, Days of our Lives) - 64
Kate McNeil (ex-Karen, As the World Turns) - 56
Orlagh Cassidy (Colleen, Empire; ex-Doris, Guiding Light; ex-Sloane, Another World) - 48
Tammy Townsend (ex-Wendy, Days of our Lives; ex-Denise, Switched at Birth; ex-Dana, Lincoln Heights) - 45
Mark Salling (ex-Puck, Glee) - 33
Bryton James (Devon, The Young and the Restless; ex-Luka, The Vampire Diaries) - 29
Brady Corbet (ex-Derek, 24) - 27
Austin Butler (ex-Sebastian, The Carrie Diaries; ex-Wilke, Switched at Birth; ex-Jones, Life Unexpected) - 24
Taissa Farmiga (ex-Zoe/Violet, American Horror Story) - 21

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

3 comments:

  1. People raved about Will and Sonny when they became a couple on DAYS, calling them the best gay storyline ever. Yet, Luke and Noah, for me, remain the best gay couple in daytime. Even quirky Reed and Luke were a better pair than what Will and Sonny have devolved into.

    Dan Gauthier was mentioned in OLTL's 10,000th episode. He is sorely missed in daytime. He's a fantastic actor and remains easy on the eyes. I'd love to see him again.

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  2. Luke and Noah. Magic. Simply the best that ever was or ever will be!

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  3. After the kiss the writers and producer of ATWT sidelined Luke and Noah with some of the most ridiculous storylines, and instead of having sex Luke and Noah were to jump around shirtless on a bed like they were eight year olds. ATWT showed no courage to explore this storyline in any realistic fashion, and caved to the pressure of homophobes.

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