|1966: A ghost emerged from Josette's portrait on Dark Shadows.|
1978: Lucy was devastated when Gary & Val left Dallas again.
1982: Karen Fairgate met Mack Mackenzie in Knots Landing.
1985: General Hospital's Frisco was determined to go undercover.
― 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...
1955: Actor James Dean died in a car crash at age 24. The Rebel Without a Cause star had connections to a number of people who would one day work in the world of soap operas, including director Lela Swift (Ryan's Hope, Dark Shadows) and writer William Bast (co-creator of The Colbys).
1966: On Dark Shadows, David Collins (David Henesy) took Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) to the Old House to show her the ghosts. After they left, a ghost emerged from the portrait of Josette Collins.
1978: On Dallas, J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) set his brother, Gary (David Ackroyd), up to fail in a Ewing Oil business deal and he ended up leaving town, despite Valene (Joan Van Ark) begging him to stay for Lucy's (Charlene Tilton) sake. When Val asked J.R. what her future was in Dallas, J.R. told her, "Well, $5,000 and an escort out of the state?" She asked him if there were any other options to which he replied, "An escort out of the state." Lucy was devastated to be without her parents again.
This was David Ackroyd's final appearance as Gary Ewing. He was unavailable to play the role when CBS decided to sping Gary and Valene off to Knots Landing, so Ted Shackelford took over as Gary in December 1979.
1981: On The Edge of Night, Damian Tyler (Christopher Jarrett) arrived at the Whitney mansion and caught Carlo Crown (Albert Owen), who was stealing the pocketwatch Sky Whitney (Larkin Malloy) had removed from Gunther Wagner's (David Froman) body after shooting him.
1982: On Knots Landing, Karen Fairgate (Michele Lee) met U.S. attorney Marion Patrick "Mack" MacKenzie (Kevin Dobson) after barging into the Federal Prosecutor's office, where he was handling Sid's case.
1985: On General Hospital, Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) told Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) and Grant Putnam (Brian Patrick Clarke) he was washing his hands of Frisco Jones (Jack Wagner), while Felicia Cummings (Kristina Wagner, then Kristina Malandro) was upset that Frisco was missing.
1986: Another World viewers saw the face of the new Victoria Love for the first time. Actress Rhonda Lewin has debuted in the role a week earlier but her face wasn't seen until this episode, the day after Ellen Wheeler, who played the character originally, left the show.
1994: Actor Sydney Walker died at age 73. He played Dr. Bruce Banning on The Guiding Light in the early 1970s.
1999: On As the World Turns, Margo Hughes (Ellen Dolan) visited Cass Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer) at his law office in Bay City to find out more about the identity of Eddie Silva's father, Alec Wallace.
2005: On Passions, at his wedding to Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald (Lindsay Hartley), Alistair Crane (John Reilly) told the guests he had a gift for all of them.
2008: On As the World Turns, Carly Tenney (Maura West) resuscitated Jack Snyder (Michael Park) and told him that he walked in James Stenbeck's trap.
2011: On Days of our Lives, John Black (Drake Hogestyn) was arrested for embezzlement, securities fraud, and misappropriation of pension funds.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
Barbara Knox (Rita, Coronation Street) - 82
Elizabeth Burr (ex-Barbara, Days of our Lives; ex-Noreen, Loving) - 74
Marilyn McCoo (ex-Tamara, Days of our Lives) - 72
Ellen Parker (ex-Maureen, Guiding Light) - 66
Barry Williams (ex-Hannibal, General Hospital; ex-Greg, The Bradys) - 61
William Christian (ex-Derek, All My Children; ex-Marshall, Another World) - 60
Susan Keith (ex-Shana, Loving; ex-Cecile, Another World; ex-Sam, One Life to Live) - 56
Debrah Farentino (ex-Sloane, Capitol) - 56
Eric Stoltz (ex-Daniel, Caprica) - 54
Andrea Roth (ex-Catherine, Ringer) - 48
Ashley Hamilton (ex-Cole, Sunset Beach) - 41
Stark Sands (Dash, Minority Report) - 37
Lacey Chabert (ex-Bianca, All My Children; ex-Claudia, Party of Five) - 33
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email email@example.com.