Today in Soap Opera History (September 19)

1979: Word of Dan Stewart's death spread on As the World Turns.
1984: Days of our Lives' Eugene had a vibe about a plane crash.
1988: Guiding Light's Harley dreamed about the good life.
2008: Lisa Locicero debuted as Olivia on General Hospital.
"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...

1948: The Associated Press published a story about the role television might play in the soap opera. Below is an excerpt:

Some uncertainties in the situation were outlined by Adrian Samish, youthful president of Show Productions, Inc. The firm is the producing subsidiary of the Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample agency, which handles several day time programs currently high in the Hooper rating list.

Samish says one of the first questions that arises is, how can the housewife get her daily chores done and watch her favorite day time serial on television at the same time? Listening to the radio didn't present this problem.

Another major problem, he says, would be expense. It would cost far more to produce a day time serial for television than for radio. There's also the question, he points out, of whether television will expand to a full-time basis, like radio, or will become primarily a night time medium.

1969: On Another World, Fred Douglas ( Charles Baxter) married Susan Matthews (Lisa Cameron).

1977: On Guiding Light, Eve Stapleton (Janet Grey) accepted Ben McFarren's (Stephen Yates) marriage proposal. A November 24th wedding date is set, the anniversary of Eve's parents getting married.

Thanks to Scott for sending in this item.

1979: On As the World Turns, Nancy Hughes (Helen Wagner) received a phone call from Ellen Stewart (Patricia Bruder) telling her that Ellen's son, Dan Stewart, had died. The episode transitioned to the next day when Ellen returns to Oakdale from Wisconsin, along with her husband, David (Henderson Forsythe), Dan's wife and daughter, Kim (Kathryn Hays) and Betsy (Suzanne Davidson), and Kim's son, Andy Dixon (Jason Ferguson). Kim asked Bob Hughes (Don Hastings) to be a pallbearer.

1980: On As the World Turns, Jay Stallings (Dennis Cooney) died in a mine collapse.

1984: On Days of our Lives, Eugene Bradford (John de Lancie) told Bo Brady (Peter Reckell) that he had a vibe about an airplane crash.

1985: Tricia Cast made her final appearance as Christy DuVall on Santa Barbara.

1986: On Another World, Peter Love (Marcus Smythe) tried to set Jake McKinnon (Tom Eplin) up as a thief when he asked him to retrieve a gift during the engagement party for Jake and Peter's niece, Marley Love (Ellen Wheeler). Michael Hudson (Kale Browne) was able to foil Peter's attempt. Meanwhile, a judge ordered Mac (Douglass Watson) and Rachel (Victoria Wyndham) Cory let Mitch Blake (William Gray Espy) see his son, Matthew Cory (Daniel Dale).

1988: On Guiding Light, Harley Davidson Cooper (Beth Ehlers) fantasized about the good life.

1989: On As the World Turns, the state attorney decided Paul Stenbeck's (Andrew Kavovit) case would go before the grand jury.

1990: On The Young and the Restless, Nikki Newman's (Melody Thomas Scott) doctor told her she was pregnant.

2002: On Passions, Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald (Lindsay Hartley) told Gwen Hotchkiss (Natalie Zea) she was too stupid to realize that Ethan Winthrop was hers.

2006: Actress Elizabeth Allen died at age 77. Soap opera fans remember her fondly for her portrayal of Victoria Bellman in Texas, a role she originated on Another World before the spinoff series premiered on August 4, 1980. Allen also played Dr. Gwen Harding on Guiding Light.

2008: Lisa LoCicero debuted as Olivia Falconeri in General Hospital.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
James Lipton (ex-Dick, The Guiding Light; Former Writer, Captiol; Return to Peyton Place; The Best of Everything; Another World; The Edge of Night; The Guiding Light) - 89
David McCallum (ex-Maurice, As the World Turns) - 82
Randolph Mantooth (ex-Kirk, One Life to Live; ex-Hal, As the World Turns; ex-Richard General Hospital; ex-Alex, Loving; ex-Alex,The City) - 70
Jeremy Irons (ex-Rodrigo, The Borgias) - 67
Vladimir Horunzhy (Composer, Santa Barbara) - 66
Meg Wittner (ex-Ginger, Somerset; ex-Gloria, General Hospital; ex-Nancy, Melrose Place) - 65
Rex Smith (ex-Darryl, As the World Turns) - 60
Tonja Walker (ex-Alex, One Life to Live; ex-Marie, Guiding Light; ex-Grace, Passions; ex-Olivia, General Hospital; ex-Lisbeth, Captiol) - 55
Jennifer Cooke (ex-Morgan, Guiding Light) - 51
Thor Fields (ex-Erich, The Doctors) - 47
Selene Luna (ex-Monica, Ave 43) - 44
Alison Sweeney (Sami/ex-Young Adrienne, Days of our Lives) - 39
Kevin Zegers (ex-Damian, Gossip Girl; ex-Ethan, Titans) - 31
Peter Vack (ex-Casey, As the World Turns) - 29
Mandy Musgrave (ex-Chelsea, Days of our Lives; ex-Ashley, South of Nowhere) - 29
Katrina Bowden (ex-Britney, One Life to Live) - 27

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

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