Today in Soap Opera History (October 4)

1985: General Hospital's Frisco broke Felicia's heart.
1990: Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered on FOX.
2001: Chuck Pratt's primetime soap Titans premiered on NBC.
2010: Camila Banus debuted as Gabi on Days of our Lives.
"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...

1967: On Dark Shadows, Barnabas (Jonathan Frid) took Burke and Dr. Woodard down to the basement to show them the coffin, but it was not there.

1976: On Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Mary (Louise Lasser) recuperated at Fernwood Psychiatric Hospital after her nervous breakdown during her guest appearance on "The David Susskind Show." Mary received flowers from Susskind, and praise for pioneering new developments in nationally televised dementia. Meanwhile, Charlie recuperated from his operation after a recent shooting, and Loretta made an eerie discovery about one of his wounds. Later, Mary tried to pass herself off as a sane person by watching television, but she made an awesome, empowering discovery about the psychiatric ward's television set instead.

1979: On As the World Turns, despite Tom's (Tom Tammi) objections, Lisa (Eileen Fulton) left Oakdale with Bennett Hadley (Doug Higgins).

1985: On General Hospital, Frisco (Jack Wagner) passed Mr. Wu's test when he told Felicia he couldn't go back to his old life.

1985: On Days of our Lives, Melissa (Lisa Trusel) had conflicted feelings about Linda. Bo (Peter Reckell) and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) returned home.

1990: On Guiding Light, Phillip (Grant Aleksander) arrived and surprised Rick (Michael O'Leary) and Beth (Beth Chamberlin).

1990: Primetime soap opera Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered on FOX. The series, created by Darren Star, Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent, ran for 10 seasons and 293 episodes.

1995: On Another World, friends and family mourned the loss of Ryan Harrison.

2000: Primetime soap opera Titans premiered on NBC. The show, created by Charles Pratt Jr. and produced by Aaron Spelling, was canceled after 11 episodes (13 were shot). The cast included Casper Van Dien, Yasmine Bleeth, John Barrowman, Elizabeth Bogush (now Dr. Anderson on The Young and the Restless), Kevin Zegers, Perry King, Victoria Principal, Jack Wagner, Lourdes Benedicto, Ingo Rademacher, Josie Davis and Jason Winston George.

2007: The first season finale of General Hospital: Night Shift aired on SOAPnet.

2010: Camila Banus debuted as Gabi Hernandez in Days of our Lives.

2011: Actress Doris Belack died at age 85. On One Life to Live, she played Anna Wolek Craig (1968-1977), her most famous daytime character. She was also seen as Madge Murray (1966-1968) and Nora Simpson (1978) on Another World, Claudia Howard on The Doctors (1980), and Beth Bryson on The Edge of Night (1981). She had appeared on Edge of Night more than once before 1981 the Mrs. Bryson character, opposite Christopher Goutman's Sharkey, was her most memorable on that show.

2011: Sarah Brown debuted as Madison James in Days of our Lives.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Susan Sarandon (ex-Patrice, A World Apart; ex-Sarah, Search for Tomorrow) - 69
Meg Bennett (Soap writer for several soaps including General Hospital; ex-Julia, The Young and the Restless; ex-Megan, Santa Barbara; ex-Liza, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Allegra, General Hospital) - 67
Brynn Thayer (ex-Jenny, One Life to Live; ex-Kylie, General Hospital) - 66
Armand Assante (ex-Johnny, How to Survive a Marriage; ex-Mike, The Doctors) - 66
Mary Lynn Blanks (ex-Annie, As the World Turns; ex-Jenny, Loving; ex-Tara, All My Children; ex-Thelma, Another World) - 63
Wendy Makkena (ex-Katie, Santa Barbara) - 57
Mary Ellen Stuart (ex-Frannie, As the World Turns; ex-Jenny, Guiding Light; ex-Madison, One Life to Live) - 54
Marjolein Keuning (Maxime, Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden) - 53
Liev Schreiber (Ray, Ray Donovan) - 48
Jennifer Gatti (ex-Dinah, Guiding Light; ex-Angela, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Keesha, The Young and the Restless) - 47
Brandon Barash (ex-Johnny, General Hospital) - 36
Rachael Leigh Cook (ex-Devone, Dawson's Creek) - 36
Brad Bell (Cheeks, Husbands) - 30
Michael Charles Roman (ex-Al, One Life to Live) - 28

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

1 comment:

  1. Doris Belack also appeared as a friend of Bert Bauer who was murdered in the 1983 tv movie, "The Cradle Will Fall," which included characters from GL (Bert, Ross Marler, Lesley Ann, Hope Bauer, Lt. Wyatt and Ed Bauer).