|1975: One Live to Live's Tony and Pat got reacquainted.|
1984: Guiding Light's Lillian and Phillip mourned Beth.
1995: Y&R's Victor vowed to prove Nick didn't shoot Matt.
2003: "Death" came for Sheridan Crane on Passions.
― 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...
1932: General Mills-sponsored Betty and Bob debuted on NBC Blue radio. It was the first daytime show to be produced by Frank Hummert and Anne Ashenhurst. Married in 1935, the Hummerts became known as the "King & Queen of Soaps". Betty and Bob was the first true network soap opera on the air, using melodrama at its core.
1972: Victoria Thompson debuted as Janice Frame on Another World.
1975: On One Life to Live, Tony Lord (George Reinholt) got reacquainted with his ex-girlfriend and new editor of The Banner, as Pat Ashley. Pat was played by Jacqueline Courtney, who had departed Another World in July after playing Alice Matthews for 11 years. Reinholt played Steve Frame on Another World for seven years, and his pairing with Courtney as Steve and Alice was one of the most popular in soap opera history.
1975: Susan Oliver made her first appearance as the new Laura Horton in Days of our Lives, replacing Susan Flannery.
1977: On One Life to Live, Dorian (Claire Malis) told Pat (Jacqueline Courtney) she thought she could use some extra help since she was working on so many different assignments. Dorian recommended Edwina Lewis (Margaret Klenck) for the job.
1979: On As the World Turns, John Dixon (Larry Bryggman) pushed Jeff Ward (Robert Lipton) into seeking the Chief of Surgery position at Oakdale Memorial.
1985: On General Hospital, Ginny Webber (Judith Chapman) was convinced her baby was dead.
1985: On Knots Landing, Val (Joan Van Ark) told Gary (Ted Shackelford) she was naming her son Bobby after his late brother. The show never addressed the fact that Bobby Ewing's death on Dallas turned out to be just a season-long dream that Pam had.
1986: Gregory Mortensen debuted Paul Stewart on Days of our Lives.
1986: On Another World, Vince McKinnon (Duke Stroud) sent his amnesiac returned-from-the-dead wife, Mary (Denise Alexander), a photo album of family memories. Later, Vince visited Mary to ask her to move back home with him, but she told him she still loved Reginald Love (John Considine).
1986: On Guiding Light, family and friends gathered at Lillian Raines' (Tina Sloan) house to mourn the loss of her daughter, Beth Raines. Alexandra (Beverlee McKinsey) told Lillian she hoped Brandon (aka Lujack) was the angel that met Beth when she got to heaven.
1995: On Another World, Vicky Hudson (Jensen Buchanan) told Paulina Cory (Judi Evans) she was a fool if she let Jake McKinnon (Tom Eplin) go.
1995: On The Young and the Restless, Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) promised Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) he would do everything in his power to prove Nick's innocence in the Matt Clark shooting. Note: Matt had actually been shot by Amy Wilson.
1995: Jeff Griggs made his first appearance as Jude St. Clair on Days of our Lives.
2000: Gene Palumbo, former head writer of Guiding Light, Days of our Lives and General Hospital, died at age 54. He was also the co-creator of syndicated soap Rituals. In our 2011 interview with Sheri Anderson, she discussed working with Palumbo on Days in the early 1990s: "Gene Palumbo and I were brought it to write a spinoff for Deidre [Hall] called Manhattan Lives."
2003: On Passions, Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald (Galen Gering) begged Death not to let Sheridan die. Death decided it could take both their lives.
2004: Former Love of Life (and Superman) star Christopher Reeve passed away at age 52. He played Ben Harper on Love of Life in the mid-1970s.
2005: On As the World Turns, Lucinda Walsh (Elizabeth Hubbard) asked her daughters, Sierra Esteban (Mary Beth Evans) and Lily Snyder (Martha Byrne), to go home from hospital, where she was about to undergo a mastectomy.
2007: On As the World Turns, Dusty Donovan (Grayson McCouch) prevented Colonel Winston Mayer's (Daniel Hugh Kelly) second attempt to murder Luke Snyder (Van Hansis). Later, Noah Mayer (Jake Silbermann) was devastated to learn his father, Winston, had murdered Noah's mother, while Luke realized he couldn't feel his legs after being shot.
2014: On Days of our Lives, EJ DiMera (James Scott) was shot and killed by one of Clyde Weston's (James Read) men.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
Peter White (ex-Linc, All My Children; ex-Jerry, The Secret Storm; ex-Sanford, Love is a Many Splendored Thing; ex-Breslin, Dallas; ex-Arthur, The Colbys) - 78
Larry Lamb (ex-Archie, EastEnders) - 68
J. Eddie Peck (ex-Jake, All My Children; ex-Cole, The Young and the Restless; ex-Hawk/Rick, Days of our Lives; ex-Tommy, Dallas) - 57
Bradley Whitford (ex-Josh, The West Wing) - 56
Martin Kemp (ex-Steve, EastEnders) - 54
Sandra Canning (ex-Grace, Days of our Lives) - 50
Manu Bennett (Slade, Arrow; ex-Kirk, Paradise Beach) - 46
Mario Lopez (ex-Mike, Nip/Tuck; ex-Christian, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 42
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe (Jo, The Vampire Diaries; ex-Maggie, Another World) - 37
Dan Stevens (ex-Matthew, Downton Abbey) - 33
Lucy Griffiths (ex-Nora, True Blood) - 29
Aimee Teegarden (ex-Julie, Friday Night Lights) - 26
Louisa Lytton (ex-Ruby, EastEnders) - 26
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email firstname.lastname@example.org.