|1933: The Romance of Helen Trent premiered.|
1987: Matthew Ashford debuted as Jack on Days of our Lives.
1985: Guiding Light's Reva almost ran into Josh at Cedars.
2008: All My Children's Reese and Miranda surprised Bianca.
― 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: The Romance of Helen Trent debuted over CBS Radio. The show aired 7,222 episodes during its run until June 24, 1960. Created by the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Anne Hummert, Helen Trent was conceived as the epitome of virtue in a world where behavior was usually judged in black-and-white terms. Helen Trent never smoked, drank, or swore—even her thoughts were pure. Virginia Clark played Helen until 1944, when Julie Stevens assumed the role of "queen of the soaps." The show was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990. It was the Hummerts longest-running series.
1964: On Another World, Pat (Susan Trustman) learned the infection she got after her abortion left her unable to have children. Five years later Pat's (played by Beverly Penberthy) sterility was "cured" with an operation and she had twins Michael and Marianne in 1970.
1967: CBS broadcast Love of Life in color for the first time.
1967: ABC aired the first color broadcast of General Hospital.
1968: Joan Crawford made the third of four appearances on The Secret Storm as Joan Borman Kane, substituting for her sick daughter Christina Crawford.
1975: On Ryan's Hope, Roger (Ron Hale) learned that Delia (Ilene Kristen) knew about Frank (Michael Hawkins) and Jill’s (Nancy Addison) affair, and told Jill that Delia did not want Frank to win the election. Mary (Kate Mulgrew) got Frank an electric wheelchair and Delia showed considerable interest in how it worked.
1981: Charles Paul's "Theme for 'As the World Turns'" was used for the final time as the As the World Turns theme song (after more than 25 years). "The World Turns On and On" debuted debuted the following Monday (November 2). Below is the opening, mid-show bumper and closing from the September 27, 1979 episode.
1981: On The Edge of Night, Jody (Lori Loughlin) reunited with Gavin (Mark Arnold) at the dance studio but Calvin (Irving Allen Lee) showed up and arrested him.
1981: On Dallas, Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) was awarded preliminary custody of John Ross. Mitch impressed a wealthy doctor when he saved the man’s wife from choking. Rebecca’s daughter Katherine visited. Pam went missing.
1981: On General Hospital, Port Charles tuned in to watch the Luke (Anthony Geary), Laura (Genie Francis), Robert (Tristan Rogers) and Tiffany (Sharon Wyatt) WLPC TV interview with Don Trevor, Weekend Anchor.
1985: On Loving, Trisha (Noelle Beck) pleaded with Cecilia (Alice Haining) for Steve's (John R. Johnston) freedom.
1986: On Santa Barbara, with Eden Capwell (Marcy Walker) drowning, Tori (Kristen Meadows) had flashbacks to Katie.
1987: On Falcon Crest, after Angela (Jane Wyman) and Richard (David Selby) individually maneuvered to meet the man behind the mysterious activity in the Tuscany Valley, they were both placed in precarious positions. Maggie (Susan Sullivan) couldn't understand Richard's reluctance to rely on the police. Angela forced Wilkinson to reveal Richard's ownership of lake property in Nevada. Emma, who agreed to write her autobiography, acquired a ghostwriter and personal manager, and headed for Hollywood. While Lance discovered that someone sabotaged his car, Vickie found herself among the homeless. An explosion destroyed the Gioberti home.
1987: Matthew Ashford debuted as Jack Deveraux in Days of our Lives. Ashford was the third actor to play Jack, following Joseph Adams and James Acheson. Ashford's first scenes were phone calls while Jack was on his honeymoon with Kayla.
1995: On Guiding Light, Amish Reva aka "Rebecca" (Kim Zimmer) took Abigail (Amy Ecklund) to Cedars Hospital.
1997: On Another World, Alexander Nikos (John Aprea) trapped Rachel Cory Hutchins (Victoria Wyndham) in a sarcophagus.
2007: ON The Young and the Restless, J.T. (Thad Luckinbill) suspected contractors at Clear Springs were getting kickbacks.
2008: On All My Children, Reese (Tamara Braun) and Miranda (Haley Evans) surprised Bianca (Eden Riegel) on Halloween.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
Marilyn Alex (ex-Molly, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Molly, The Young and the Restless) - 85
Trish Hawkins (ex-Mimi, Another World) - 70
Henry Winkler (ex-Postman/Intern, Another World) - 70
Harry Hamlin (ex-Jim, Mad Men; ex-Professor Chandler, Army Wives) - 64
Kathleen Cody (ex-Laurie Ann, The Edge of Night; ex-Sally, As the World Turns; ex-Cecilia, The Secret Storm; ex-Hallie, Dark Shadows) - 61
Gina Gallego (Mrs. Hernandez, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; ex-Jane, Days of our Lives; ex-Diandra, Rituals; ex-Santana, Santa Barbara; ex-Gina, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Melina, Generations; ex-Alicia, Flamingo Road) - 60
Shanna Reed (ex-Terry, Texas; ex-Adrienne, The Colbys) - 59
Brümilda van Rensburg (ex-Louwna, Egoli) - 57
Kristina Wagner (Felicia, General Hospital) - 52
Dominique Jennings (ex-Virginia, Sunset Beach) - 50
Nia Long (ex-Kat, Guiding Light) - 45
Matthew Morrison (ex-Will, Glee; ex-Adam, As the World Turns) - 37
Sarah Carter (ex-Margaret, Falling Skies) - 35
Fiona Dourif (ex-Casey, True Blood) - 34
Shaun Sipos (ex-David, Melrose Place) - 34
Clémence Poésy (ex-Eva, Gossip Girl) - 33
Eva Marcille (ex-Tyra, The Young and the Restless) - 31
Janel Parrish (Mona, Pretty Little Liars) - 27
Tequan Richmond (T.J., General Hospital) - 23
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.