Today in Soap Opera History (November 20)

1978: Anthony Geary debuted as Luke Spencer on General Hospital.
1978: Rita Stapleton and Ed Bauer were married on Guiding Light.
1980: Donna Mills debuted as Abby Fairgate on Knots Landing.
2012: Edward Quartermaine passed away 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...

1929: Radio serial The Rise of the Goldbergs premiered on the NBC Blue network.

1944: The Frank and Anne Hummert soap opera The Strange Romance of Evelyn Winters premiered on CBS Radio.

1964: On General Hospital, Steve Hardy asked Audrey March to marry him.

1964: On Another World, in her jail cell Pat Matthews (Susan Trustman) wondered if she was there because she had aborted her baby.

1967: Dark Shadows introduced time travel to the show when Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) disappeared from a séance and went back in time.

1978: Anthony Geary debuted as Luke Spencer on General Hospital.  Geary has since won 8 Daytime Emmy Awards for his work in the role, and finished at #1 in the 50 Greatest Soap Actors of All-Time countdown.  He retired from GH in July.

1978: On Guiding Light, Rita Stapleton (Lenore Kasdorf) married Ed Bauer (Mart Hulswit) at Bert Bauer's house.

Thanks to Scott for sending in the item above.

1979: On As the World Turns, Ian McFarland (Peter Simon) lashed out at Dee Stewart (Jacqueline Schultz) after she filed his notes away then immediately apologized and pulled her into an embrace.

1980: On the Season 2 premiere of Knots Landing, Donna Mills made her first appearance as Abby Cunningham.

1984: On Search for Tomorrow, Jo (Mary Stuart) told her niece, Suzi (Terri Eoff), about her plans for a murder with merriment party. TR (Jane Krakowski) was disappointed by the adoption judge's decision. Warren paid another visit to Wendy (Lisa Peluso), who tried very hard to reject his advances.

1985: Dynasty spin-off The Colbys premiered. Miles Colby (Maxwell Caulfield) brought "Randall" aka Fallon Carrington (Emma Samms) home to meet the family.

1987: On The Young and the Restless, Janet (Maureen McDonnell) held a gun on Farren/Michelle (Colleen Casey) while Evan (John Shearin) tried to talk her down.

1995: ABC aired the 7,000th episode of One Life to Live, which featured a new opening sequence.

2007: On General Hospital, Jason (Steve Burton) and Skye (Robin Christopher) told Edward and Monica Quartermaine about Emily's death.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2009: Chuck Pratt was fired as head writer of All My Children. Pratt took over as the new head writer of The Young and the Restless earlier this year.

2010: Actress Geraldine Court died at age 68. Her soap roles included Jennifer Richards in Guiding Light, Jennifer Sullivan Ryan in As the World Turns, Ann Larimer in The Doctors and Mary Georgia in All My Children.

2012: On General Hospital, Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Eliot) did not want to believe it when her sister-in-law, Monica (Leslie Charleson), told her that Tracy's father, Edward, had died.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Mark Miller (ex-Randy, General Hospital) - 90
Robert Lipton (ex-Jeff, As the World Turns) - 72
Bo Derek (ex-Maria, Fashion House) - 59
Sean Young (ex-Meggie, The Young and the Restless) - 56
Ming-Na Wen (Melinda, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D; ex-Lien, As the World Turns; ex-Another World) - 52
Callie Thorne (ex-Dani, Necessary Roughness; ex-Elena, The Wire) - 46
Jason Thompson (Patrick, General Hospital; ex-Patrick, General Hospital: Nightshift; ex-Miles, Undressed) - 39
Nadine Velazquez (ex-Didi, Hart of Dixie; ex-Anna, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 37
Jeremy Jordan (ex-Jimmy, Smash) - 31
Ashley Fink (ex-Lauren, Glee) - 29
Rhys Wakefield (ex-Lucas, Home and Away) - 27

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


  1. Hasn't Anthony Geary won 8 Daytime Emmys?

  2. There were so many memorable events on this day.

  3. Ah the days when Bell, Alden, Sussman, and Corday (Betty), were all involved with Y&R.
    Also my favorite memory of Abby's early years on Knots was when she tricked her ex-husband into giving her custody of the kids, "No one messes with me!"

    1. I watched those Y&R closing credits earlier and got nostalgic for that creative team. It's really too bad Kay Alden, Sally Sussman or someone from Bill Bell's team is not involved with the show now.

    2. I'm sure Alden is available,,,she was one of their best. Not sure if she would be interested. Even Claire Labine would e a great addition.