Today in Soap Opera History (November 22)

1963: A live episode of ATWT was interrupted by JFK news.
1984: Days of our Lives' Tony battled lookalike Andre.
1985: General Hospital's Anna and Robin reunited.
2010: All My Children's David was revealed to be alive.
"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...

1963: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The clip below features Walter Cronkite breaking into the live broadcast of As the World Turns at 1:40 p.m. ET to deliver the news that shots had been fired at President John F. Kennedy's motorcade in Dallas, with first reports indicating the president was seriously wounded. The news came too quickly for cameras to be ready. The third interruption of that day's As the World Turns episode was when the non-stop CBS News coverage began.

Dan Rather reported at 2:28 p.m. (on audio from Dallas) that the president was dead. The official confirmation of death was reported by Cronkite at 2:38 p.m. CBS News broadcast 54 hours and 53 minutes of uninterrupted coverage of the event and its aftermath beginning at 2:00 p.m. on November 22 and concluding at 11:37 p.m. on November 25.

1966: Susan Flannery made her first appearance as Laura Horton in Days of our Lives.

1968: Stage actress Betsy Durkin made her first appearance in Dark Shadows as governess Victoria Winters. When Alexandra Moltke abruptly left the show due to pregnancy, her pivotal character was in the middle of a major storyline and could not be written out. In Durkin's tenth episode, Victoria literally vanished, fading away, presumably returning to the 1700s, where she had met the love of her life during another journey through time.  Carolyn Groves played the character for a few episodes when they wrapped up her story for good.

1977: On The Edge of Night, Mike Karr (Forrest Compton) was sentenced for the murder of Beau Richardson.

1979: On The Edge of Night, Owen (Bruce Gray) read Eddie's letter which revealed he was Brian's father.

1982: Scott Palmer aired for the final time as Joshua Fallon in Days of our Lives.

1982: Christopher Goutman aired for the final time as George St. John in Texas. He had previously played Dr. Kirkland on the show in 1981.

1983: Gregg Marx aired for the final time as David Banning on Days of our Lives.

1983: On Guiding Light, Ross Marler (Jerry verDorn) visited Beth Raines (Judi Evans) to try to persuade her family to rescind the restraining order against Ross's nephew, Phillip Spaulding (Grant Alexander). Later, Phillip slipped a note under Beth's door.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the clip above.

1984: On Days of our Lives, Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) fought with his lookalike cousin, Andre, and the two of them ended up in quicksand, needing Stefano (Joseph Mascolo) to save them. Watch here.

1985: On General Hospital, Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) reunited with her daughter, Robin (Kimberly McCullough), outside the Port Charles Cannery.

1994: Actress Norma Donaldson died at age 66. She played Dr. Pauline Ravelle in General Hospital and Lillie Belle Barber in The Young and the Restless.

1995: On One Life to Live, after being shot in the previous episode things looked dire for Todd (Roger Howarth). Howarth's first run as Todd ended when the character famously opened his eyed to reveal he was still alive.

1996: Legendary actress Mary Stuart debuted as Meta Bauer on Guiding Light.

1996: Actor Mark Lenard died at age 72. The Star Trek actor's soap roles included Richard Ludwig in Days of our Lives, Peter Goodwin in Somerset, and Dr. Ernest Gregory in Another World.

1998: Actor Keith Amos died at age 36. He played Eric Nash in General Hospital.

1999: Longtime soap director Leonard Valenta died at age 75.

2010: On All My Children, a very much alive David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry) entered the courtroom just moments after a Judge Cressman (Kimberlin Brown) sentenced his wife, Greenlee (Rebecca Budig), to life in prison after being found guilty of David's murder.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Michael Callan (ex-Jack, One Life to Live) - 80
Carol Roux (ex-Missy, Another World; ex-Missy, Somerset; ex-Mollie, The Edge of Night) - 72
Richard Bergman (ex-Brett, Days of our Lives) - 65
Dani Minnick (ex-Rebecca, Days of our Lives) - 55
Mariel Hemingway (ex-Stephanie, Central Park West) - 54
Winsor Harmon (Thorne, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Del, All My Children) - 52
Michael K. Williams (ex-Chalky, Boardwalk Empire; ex-Omar, The Wire) - 49
Max Tapper (ex-Theo, One Life to Live) - 39
Josh Cooke (Joel, Hart of Dixie) - 36
Tyler Hilton (ex-Chris, One Tree Hill; ex-Reed, Single Ladies) - 32
Mackenzie Lintz (Norrie, Under the Dome) - 19

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

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