Today in Soap Opera History (December 17)

1975: Frank told Delia he was leaving her on Ryan's Hope.
1993: A new Blair debuted on One Life to Live.
2007: The paternity of Victoria's baby was revealed on Y&R.
2007: General Hospital's Georgie was murdered.
"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...

1957: On The Edge of Night, Virginia Dalton (Cathleen Cordell) interrupted her husband Peter's (Stephen Elliot) call with the governor, insisting he fire Sybil Gordon (Priscilla Gillette). She later became furious when Peter ignored her warnings about associating with Bruce Thompson's people.

1968: On Dark Shadows, David (David Henesy) felt guilty for causing Roger's "accident."

1975: On Ryan's Hope, Pat Ryan (Malcolm Groome) tried to comfort his sister-in-law, Delia (Ilene Kristen), after his brother, Frank (Michael Hawkins), told her that he was leaving her.

1978: On Dallas, a trio of kidnappers held Bobby (Patrick Duffy) hostage for $1.5 million. Cliff (Ken Kercheval) delivered the money and secured Bobby's release, but they were almost shot when J.R. (Larry Hagman), Ray (Steve Kanaly) and several ranch hands ambushed the kidnappers.

1979: Peter Brouwer debuted as Brad Hollister on As the World Turns. Brad showed up at the Wade Bookstore just as it had closed. Lisa (Eileen Fulton) finally let him and he asked for a first edition of Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississippi." It turned out Lisa knew Brad's brother, Stan.

Note: Five months later, future Days of our Lives star Peter Reckell joined ATWT as Brad's younger brother, Eric Hollister.

1984: On Search for Tomorrow, Suzi (Terri Eoff) panicked when she realized Wendy (Lisa Peluso) took Jonah out of the apartment. Suzi later told Wendy she didn't want her around Jonah anymore.

1984: On Santa Barbara, Mason Capwell (Lane Davies) kept Peter Flint (Stephen Meadows) captive in a private hospital. Mason wanted Peter to hold a press conference to announce Mason did not murder Channing Capwell Jr. Peter agreed, for a price.

1986: On Capitol, Sloane (Debrah Farentino) and Hubie found Carla's (Maggie Sullivan) ransacked room and saw a notepad covered with the initials M.A.D.

1987: On Another World, Amanda Cory (Sandra Ferguson) was not happy to find Sam Fowler (Robert Kelker-Kelly) under the mistletoe with Cheryl McKinnon.

1987: Days of our Lives stars Frances Reid and Macdonald paid tribute to the late Betty Corday at the end of that day's episode. Mrs. Corday, who became executive producer of DAYS after her husband's (Ted Corday) death, passed away on November 17.

1987: On Knots Landing, Jill confronted Val, (Joan Van Ark) accusing her of putting on a manipulative "helpless" act and using the children as "bait" to get Gary back, which she angrily denied.

1991: ABC aired the 6,000th episode of One Life to Live.

1993: Kassie Wesley (now Kassie DePaiva) made her first appearance as Blair Cramer on One Life to Live. Mia Korf originated the role in 1991.

1996: On EastEnders, Grant and Tiffany's evening ended in disaster.

2003: On The Young and the Restless, Heather Tom aired as Victoria Newman for the final time. Victoria left Genoa City furious with Nick (Joshua Morrow) for turning Victor into the police.

Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

2007: On The Young and the Restless, the paternity results for Victoria's (Amelia Heinle) baby were revealed. DNA tests proved J.T. Hellstrom (Thad Luckinbill) was the father and not Brad Carlton (Don Diamont). With Victoria still in a coma, J.T. later decided to name the baby Reed as a tribute to Nikki Reed Newman, the baby's maternal grandmother.

2007: On General Hospital, Georgie Jones (Lindze Letherman) was murdered by the Text Message Killer.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Susan Watson (ex-Rita, General Hospital) - 77
Joel Brooks (ex-Judge Ramsey, The Young and the Restless; Venice; ex-Defense Attorney, Days of our Lives; ex-Robbie, Six Feet Under; ex-Joe's Driver, Ryan's Hope) - 66
Bill Pullman (ex-Oswald, Torchwood: Miracle Day) - 62
Barry Livingston (ex-Headmaster, Revenge) - 62
Clive Robertson (ex-Ben/Derek, Sunset Beach) - 50
Sean Patrick Thomas (ex-Solomon, Ringer) - 45
Sonia Satra (ex-Barbara, One Life to Live; ex-Lucy, Guiding Light) - 44
Sarah Paulson (Sally/ex-Bette/ex-Dot/ex-Cordelia/ex-Lana/ex-Billie Dean, American Horror Story; ex-Lydia, Desperate Housewives) - 41
Napiera Groves (ex-Bonnie, As the World Turns) - 40
Mark Lawson (Brody, One Life to Live) - 37
Mark Wystrach (ex-Fox, Passions) - 36
Veronica Lauren (ex-Cynthia, Days of our Lives; ex-Sarah, Dark Shadows) - 35
Emma Bell (ex-Emma, Dallas; ex-Amy, The Walking Dead) - 29
Mitchel David Federan (ex-Petey, All My Children) - 24

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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