Today in Soap Opera History (November 30)

1979: Miss Ellie saved Southfork on Dallas.
1981: Beverly McKinsey played Iris for the final time on Texas.
1981: General Hospital's Rick proposed to Lesley.
1987: Rebecca Budig debuted as Michelle on Guiding Light.
"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...

1965: On Peyton Place, Miss Choate (Erin O'Brien-Moore) mentioned to Betty Anderson (Barbara Parkins) that Stella Chernak's (Lee Grant) personnel file had gone missing. Miss Choate then caught Betty in the act of returning the file. Later, Miss Choate defended Betty to Mike (Ed Rossi). Note: You'll notice David Canary as Dr. Russ Gehring in the clip below.

1979: On As the World Turns, Betsy Stewart (Suzanne Davidson) encouraged her stepmother, Kim (Kathryn Hays), to go on her trip to Norwich for Lisa Colman's (Eileen Fulton) wedding, and not stay in Oakdale because of her.

1979: On Dallas, the Ewings discovered J.R. (Larry Hagman) mortgaged Southfork to finance his Asian deal. To stave off foreclosure, Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes) decided to allow Ewing Oil to drill on the ranch.

1981: Beverlee McKinsey aired for the final time as Iris Wheeler in Texas.

1981: On General Hospital, Rick Webber (Chris Robinson) proposed to his ex-wife, Lesley (Denise Alexander).

Thanks to Tricia for sending in the item above.

1983: On The Edge of Night, Heinrich Kraus (Gunter Meisner) was strangled by Spencer Varney (Richard Borg).

1987: Richard Biggs debuted as Marcus Hunter in Days of our Lives.

1989: Joseph Hardy was credited for the final time as executive producer of Loving. Mary-Ellis Bunim took over the following Monday.

1989: On As the World Turns, Tom Hughes (Scott Holmes) informed Emily Stewart (Melanie Smith) he had to bring charges against her.

1993: On The Young and the Restless, the body Olivia Barber (Tonya Lee Williams) and Drucilla Winters (Victoria Rowell) had to identify at the morgue turned out to not be their mother, Lillie Belle.

1995: Rebecca Budig debuted as Michelle Bauer on Guiding Light.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

1998: Actor Philip Sterling died at age 76. His soap roles included George Hayes in Guiding Light, Rafe Carter in Somerset and Another World, and Johnny The Hitman in The Edge of Night.

1997: On Sunset Beach, Meg Cummings (Susan Ward) walked in just as her sister, Sara (Shawn Batten), asked Maria Torres-Evans (Christina Chambers) why she was lying to Ben and Meg.

2005: On All My Children, Greenlee Smythe (Rebecca Budig) left Pine Valley. This ended Budig's first run on the soap. She was replaced by Sabine Singh, but returned to the role in January 2008 with much fanfare from ABC, who touted her as "The Real Greenlee" in promos.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2010: Actor Ted Sorel died at age 74. He played Eric Luvonaczek in Guiding Light and Alfred Taft in Ryan's Hope.

2013: Former The Young and the Restless actor Paul Walker died in a tragic car accident in Santa Clarita, California.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Martin E. Brooks (ex-Paul, Love of Life; ex-Arthur, General Hospital; ex-Edgar, Dallas) - 90
Nada Rowand (ex-Kate, Loving) - 79
Sherilyn Wolter (ex-Elena, Santa Barbara; ex-Celia, General Hospital; ex-George, Guiding Light; ex-Taylor, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 64
Mandy Patinkin (Saul, Homeland) - 63
Kevin Conroy (ex-Jerry, Another World; ex-Bart, Dynasty; ex-Chase, Search for Tomorrow) - 60
David Lee Russek (ex-Sean, The Young and the Restless; ex-Chip, Another World; ex-Christos, Guiding Light) - 47
Jessalyn Gilsig (ex-Terri, Glee; ex-Jessalyn, Imaginary Bitches; ex-Gina, Nip/Tuck; ex-Shelley, Friday Night Lights) - 44
Elisha Cuthbert (ex-Kim, 24) - 33
Christel Khalil (Lily, The Young and the Restless) - 28
Jimmy Deshler (ex-Rafe, General Hospital) - 21

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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