Today in Soap Opera History (October 12)

1953: Valiant Lady premiered on CBS.
1979: As the World Turns' Lisa was spooked
1981: David Canary debuted on Another World as Steve Frame.
1993: Days of our Lives' Jack Deveraux left Salem.
"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...

1950: NBC aired the final primetime episode of Hawkins Falls, one of network television's first successful soap operas. The show premiered in June 1950 as an hour-long weekly nighttime drama in a summer replacement slot but was cut back to a half-hour in August until the end of its run. Hawkins Falls returned to the air in April 1951 as a fifteen-minute weekday soap for NBC.

1953: Daytime soap opera Valiant Lady premiered on CBS-TV. The series--created by Allan Chase, produced by Leonard Blair, and directed by Ted Corday, Herb Kenwith and Ira Cirker--was sponsored by Toni and General Mills. Nancy Coleman (later Flora Campbell) starred as Helen Emerson, widow of an inventor and mother of three children, who found a source of income in the lock washer her husband had devised. The prestigious cast included James Kirkwood Jr., Sue Randall, Earl Hammond, Dolores Sutton, Helen Wagner, Jerome Cowan, Martin Balsam, Margaret Hamilton, Abby Lewis, and Lawrence Weber.

Susan Seaforth and Bill Hayes
1964: On Another World, Pat (Susan Trustman) assured Mary (Virginia Dwyer) that she and Tom had an "understanding." A month later he would be dead.

1974: Days of our Lives co-stars Susan Seaforth (Julie) and Bill Hayes (Doug) were married in real life. Less than two years later their characters were finally married on the show.

1979: On As the World Turns, Kim Stewart (Kathryn Hays) and and her stepdaughter, Betsy (Suzanne Davidson), moved into a townhouse in the same complex as Dr. Bob Hughes (Don Hastings), who prepared for his trip to London. Meanwhile, things started to get spooky for Lisa Colman (Eileen Fulton) at The Willows.



1981: Elizabeth Taylor taped her first scenes at General Hospital which aired in November.

1981: On The Edge of Night, Geraldine Whitney (Lois Kibbee) fainted which stopped Spencer Varney (Richard Borg) from catching Jody Travis (Lori Loughlin) and Gavin Wylie (Mark Arnold) in Sky and Raven's bedroom.



1981: David Canary debuted as "Edward Black" (later revealed to be Steve Frame) in Another World.



1981: James Reynolds taped his first Days of our Lives episode, which aired on October 29.

1984: On Search for Tomorrow, Cagney McCleary (Matthew Ashford) protested his innocence after the police brought him to talk about the payroll robbery. Later, Cagney admitted signing a document that turned out to be rental agreement for the van used in the robbery.



1984: Tom Hallick aired for the final time as Maxwell Hathaway in Days of our Lives. Hallick was an original cast member of The Young and the Restless. He made a one-day return visit to Y&R on September 26, 2014.



1984: On Another World, just as Donna Love (Anna Stuart) confronted "Cecile" (Julie Osburn, who played Kathleen dressed as Cecile), someone shot "Cecile" in the back. Note: The shooter turned out to be Ross, who wreaked havoc on a number of fronts in 1984. Kathleen was protected by a bulletproof vest.



1985: The Young and the Restless star Melody Thomas (Nikki) married producer Ed Scott.

1988: On General Hospital, Amanda Barrington (Anne Jeffreys) gave Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring) divorce advice.



1993: Matthew Ashford left Days of our Lives and the role of Jack Deveraux. The part would be recast with Mark Valley and Steve Wilder before Ashford eventually returned in 2001.

1995: David McLean, who played Craig Merritt in Days of our Lives, died at age 73. McLean appeared for years on television commercials as the Marlboro Man.

1999: On General Hospital, Det. Marcus Taggert (Real Andrews) believed Katherine's fall was not accidental but murder. Stefan Cassadine (Stephen Nichols) told Laura Spencer (Genie Francis) that he planned on telling police that he and Katherine were arguing, and when he pushed her away from him after she lunged at him, she fell off the parapet.

2001: On As the World Turns, Paul Ryan (Scott Holroyd) was impressed by Carly Tenney's (Maura West) designs, but she wasn't happy when he admitted he had not told his mother, Barbara Ryan (Colleen Zenk) that Carly was working for BRO.



2006: Kyle Brandt aired for the final time as Philip Kiriakis in Days of our Lives. Note: The character of Philip will be returning to Days soon, played by John-Paul Lavoisier.



James E. Reilly
2008: Longtime soap opera writer James E. Reilly died at age 60. He won an Emmy and a WGA Award for his work on Guiding Light, but he is probably best remembered these days for his stints as head writer of Days of our Lives and Passions (which he created). He also at time wrote for The Young and the Restless, Sunset Beach, Ryan's Hope and General Hospital. He consulted with The Bold and the Beautiful, and earned a consulting producer credit with both Days of our Lives and Passions.

2011: Actress Patricia Breslin died at age 80. Her soap roles included Laura Brooks on Peyton Place and Meg Bentley in General Hospital.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Heidi Vaughn (ex-Phoebe, The Edge of Night) - 74
Carla Borelli (ex-Reena, Texas; ex-Reena/Barbara, Another World; ex-Mary, Days of our Lives; ex-Connie, Falcon Crest) - 73
Carlos Bernard (ex-Vicente, Dallas; ex-Rafael, The Young and the Restless) - 53
Marie Wilson (Bree, Days of our Lives; ex-Meg, As the World Turns; ex-Karen, Port Charles) - 41
Brian J. Smith (Will; Sense8; ex-Max, Gossip Girl) - 34
Tyler Blackburn (Caleb, Pretty Little Liars; ex-Caleb, Ravenswood; ex-Ian, Days of our Lives) - 29

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

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