Today in Soap Opera History (November 17)

1981: Luke and Laura were married on General Hospital.
"The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect is already in the cause."
― Henri Louis Bergson

"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...

1969: On The Doctors, Dr. Althea Davis (Virginia Vestoff) received a visit from her mother.

1979: On The Edge of Night, Steve Guthrie (Denny Albee) confessed to Deborah Saxon (Frances Fisher) he still loved her.

1981: On Another World, an argument ensued when Larry Ewing accused his wife, Clarice, of leading Jerry on before her rape. Later, they made peace and comforted each other. Barry Snider debuted as Joe Masterson in this episode.



1981: On General Hospital, Luke (Anthony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis) exchanged their wedding vows at the altar. As the ceremony concluded, Helena Cassadine (guest star Elizabeth Taylor), who was lurking in the background, put a curse on the newly married couple. Luke and Laura proceeded to get ready for their honeymoon and to toss the garter belt and bouquet to the anxious guests. As Laura threw the wedding bouquet, her ex-husband, Scotty Baldwin (Kin Shriner), snatched it from the guests' outstretched hands. Luke then took it upon himself to show Scott that Laura was now his wife and the two of them had a big fight. The newlyweds then left on their honeymoon, agreeing to put everything in the past and to start a new life together. 30 million viewers tuned in, the largest audience in daytime television history.



1981: On Flamingo Road, Fielding Carlyle (Mark Harmon) turned his attention to improving living conditions in Truro's impoverished barrio quarter. Meanwhile, Sam Curtis (John Beck) assumed responsibility for Alicia (Gina Gallego) and Julio (Fernando Allende) Sanchez, the adult children of one of his Cuban employees, who died at the construction site. Field learned the identity of the barrio's slumlord. Julio bristled at Alicia's reliance on Sam. Sam and Sheriff Titus Semple (Howard Duff) drew battle lines over their domain.



1986: On Another World, following an interruption from Reginald Love (John Considine), Michael Hudson (Kale Browne) and Donna Love (Anna Stuart) were married in the judge's chambers.



1987: Actress and producer Betty Corday died at age 75. She was as a producer for Pepper Young's Family and Young Doctor Malone, and a consultant for The Young and the Restless. In 1965, she co-created Days of our LivesDays of our Lives

1987: On As the World Turns, Hal Munson (Benjamin Hendrickson) told his wife, Barbara Ryan (Colleen Zenk) a ballistics report showed the bullet that killed James Stenbeck came from her gun.



1988: Justin Deas aired for the final time as Keith Timmons on Santa Barbara.

1989: On Guiding Light, Blake Spaulding (Sherry Stringfield) had her husband, Phillip (Grant Aleksander), committed to the mental hospital.



1993: On General Hospital, Tony and Luke spoke at Bill Eckert's funeral. Later, Damien Smith gave Bobbie a message for Luke.



Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

1995: On One Life to Live, Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser) had a heart-to-heart chat with Viki Buchanan (Erika Slezak) about Victor Lord.



1998: Actress Esther Rolle, best known for her role as Florida Evans in Good Times (and Maude), died at age 78. In 1971 she temporarily played Sadie Gray on One Life to Live when actress Lillian Hayman was unavailable.

1998: Actor Dick O'Neill died at age 70. He played Fred Wilkinson in Falcon Crest in 1987. A year later he guest-starred on Knots Landing.

2003: On Days of our Lives, Salem said goodbye to Abe Carver, Jack Deveraux, and Maggie Horton at a triple funeral service. Later, Bo Brady (Peter Reckell) found his mother, Caroline (Peggy McCay), had become the four victim of the latest Salem serial killer.



2004: On Guiding Light, Reva Shayne (Kim Zimmer) returned to the country club fountain after famously declaring herself "The Slut of Springfield" three decades earlier.  This time, Reve joined her long lost son, Jonathan (Tom Pelphrey), in an emotional confrontation.



2008: Actor John Napier, who played Cliff Williams in Search for Tomorrow, died at age 81.

2012: Actor and teacher Gene Bua died at age 72. Bua became a soap opera idol as Bill Prentiss on CBS TV's long-running daytime drama, Love of Life, where he met his co-star, Toni Bull. His other soap roles included Dr. Robert Monday in How to Survive a Marriage and Steve Slade in Somerset.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Curt Lowens (ex-Claude, General Hospital) - 90
Lauren Hutton (ex-Linda, Central Park West; ex-Liz, Falcon Crest; ex-Colette, Paper Dolls) - 72
James O'Sullivan (ex-Jerry, Somerst; ex-Jeff, All My Children; ex-Ralph, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Pete, One Life to Live) - 71
Stephen Root (ex-Bob, The West Wing) - 64
William R. Moses (ex-Morgan, The Secret Life of the American Teenager; ex-Cole, Falcon Crest; ex-Keith, Melrose Place) - 56
Dylan Walsh (ex-Sean, Nip/Tuck) - 52
Daisy Fuentes (ex-Tess, Loving) - 49
Leslie Bibb (ex-Amanda, GCB) - 41
Diane Neal (ex-Cynthia, Power) - 40
Darian Weiss (ex-Will, Days of our Lives) - 23

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

2 comments:

  1. I didn't realize anyone other than Elizabeth Hubbard ever played Althea Davis! Wow.

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    1. She has been airing the past few months on Retro TV's repeats of 'The Doctors' and she's awful IMO. I mean, as an actress she's fine, but as Althea, she's just all wrong. And the writing for her went way downhill. Luckily Hubbard will be back before too long. She is magic with Gerald Gordon.

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