Today in Soap Opera History (January 17)

1968: Dark Shadows' Barnabas kept Angelique's secret.
1980: ATWT's Dee and Ian arrived in Italy. 1988: Australian soap
Home and Away premiered. 2007: GH's Elizabeth made a confession.
"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...

1958: On The Edge of Night, Mike Karr (John Larkin) called Willy and asked him to put two investigators on Toni for protection.

1966: Charles Baxter debuted as attorney Fred Douglas on Another World.

1967: On Peyton Place, Lee Webber (Stephen Oliver) taunted Chris (Gary Haynes) at Ada's tavern. Later, Chris stole a gun.

1968: On Dark Shadows, Barnabas (Jonathan Frid) promised Angelique (Lara Parker) he would not to tell Josette about the witch.. Later, Josette (Kathryn Leigh Scott) read the biography accompanying the photo of her in the book she found in Victoria's room which said she "died by her own hand in the winter of that same year, 1795."

1980: Actress Barbara Britton died at age 60. She joined the cast of One Life to Live in 1979 as Fran Craig Gordon but soon after was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

1980: On As the World Turns, Dee Stewart (Jacqueline Schultz) and Ian McFarland (Peter Simon) arrived in Italy.

1980: On The Edge of Night, April (Terry Davis) told Draper (Tony Craig) about the dream she had the night before.

1988: Australian soap opera Home and Away premiered. The show is set in the fictional town of Summer Bay, a coastal town in New South Wales.

1996: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) arrived at Stephanie Forrester's (Susan Flannery) and confronted her with the letter written by Dr. Peters, who performed Bridget's paternity test. Stephanie listened to Brooke's ranting briefly but when Brooke told her, "You're just a pathetic excuse for a woman," Stephanie slapped her.

Thanks to Na'Vell for sending in the clip above.

1997: On Sunset Beach, Casey Mitchum (Timothy Adams) explained to Meg Cummings (Susan Ward) that he was not "S.B."

2007: On General Hospital, Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst) went to church and confessed to Father Ruiz she may never get the chance to tell Jason Morgan the baby was his.

2007: During the Television Critics Association winter press tour, NBC Universal Television president Jeff Zucker remarked that Days of our Lives would most likely not "continue past 2009." New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported in 2010 that an unnamed "honcho at another network" stated that "Zucker is a case study in the most destructive media executive ever to exist... You’d have to tell me who else has taken a once-great network and literally destroyed it."

2012: Krys Meyer debuted as the original Thomas "TJ" Ashford, Jr. on General Hospital.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Jane Elliot
Betty White (ex-Ann, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Brenda, Another World; ex-Santa Barbara; ex-Days of our Lives) - 94
James Earl Jones (ex-Jim, Guiding Light; ex-Jery, As the World Turns) - 85
Curt May (ex-Bryan, All My Children) - 71
Jane Elliot (Tracy, General Hospital; ex-Tracy, The City; ex-Carrie, Guiding Light; ex-Angelica, Days of our Lives; ex-Cynthia, All My Children; ex-Madge, A New Day in Eden; ex-Linda, A Flame in the Wind) - 69
Chris Whitesell (Breakdown Writer, General Hospital; Former Writer, Days of our Lives; The Young and the Restless; As the World Turns; Sunset Beach; Another World; Guiding Light) - 59
Joseph C. Phillips (ex-Justus, General Hospital; ex-Jed, The Young and the Restless) - 54
Denis O'Hare (Spalding/Larry, American Horror Story; Charles, The Good Wife; ex-Travis, Brothers & Sisters) - 54
Joshua Malina (David, Scandal; ex-Will, The West Wing) - 50
Naveen Andrews (ex-Sayid, Lost) - 47
Freddy Rodríguez (ex-Gio, Ugly Betty; ex-Rico, Six Feet Under) - 41
Diogo Morgado (ex-João, Laços de Sangue; ex-Eduardo, Sol de Inverno) - 35

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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