Today in Soap Opera History (January 20)

1976: Pat wanted to stop seeing Faith on Ryan's Hope.
1981: Guiding Light's Jennifer made a courtroom confession.
1986: Santa Barbara's Mason was shocked his father was well.
1995: General Hospital's Monica met 11-year-old Emily.
"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...

1936: Radio soap opera Dan Harding's Wife premiered. It ran until on NBC Radio until February 10, 1939. Isabel Randolph starred as Rhoda Harding.

1958: On The Edge of Night, Roy Benson called Fitzsimmons to tell him trouble was brewing.

1967: On Another World, Liz (Audra Lindley) encouraged Danny to take Missy and split, even though she couldn't get Fred to help her unlock the trust fund.

1969: On Peyton Place, Dr. Michael Rossi (Ed Nelson) told Betty Harrington (Barbara Parkins) that she needed to keep Steven (James Douglas) away from her husband, Rodney (Rodney O'Neal).



1972: On The Edge of Night, Orin Hillyer (Lester Rawlins) offered Jim Fields (Alan Feinstein) money so that he and Liz (Alberta Grant) would move to Claybank.

Thanks to Jim for sending in the item above.

1976: On Ryan's Hope, Pat (Malcolm Groome) broke things off with Faith (Faith Catlin). "You're a wonderful girl, Faith, probably the nicest girl I know," Pat said, "but it's no good."



1981: On Guiding Light, Jennifer Richards (Geraldine Court) confessed on the witness that she was born Jane Marie Stafford. She also revealed Amanda Wexler McFarren (Kathleen Cullen) was her daughter, a product of her relationship with Alan Spaulding (Christopher Bernau).



Note: The episode was interrupted on the east coast with breaking news of the release of 52 American hostages in Iran after 444 days in captivity. Fans were furious to miss the climax of this story. President Ronald Reagan had been inaugurated earlier in the day.

1986: On Santa Barbara, Mason (Lane Davies) was shocked when C.C. (Jed Allan) revealed himself. "The doctor said you were improving but this is incredible," said Mason after dropping his glass. Mason then revealed he was the new CEO of Capwell Enterprises.



1992: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Sally Spectra (Darlene Conley) was excited about Clarke Garrison's (Daniel McVicar) latest designs.

1990: Actress Barbara Stanwyck died at age 82. She played Constance Colby in The Colbys.

1995: Amber Tamblyn debuted as Emily Bowen (later known as Emily Quartermaine) on General Hospital. In this episode, Paige invited Monica to her house where she met Emily. Meanwhile, Alan accused Edward of pitting AJ, Ned and Jason against one another just like he did with Alan and Tracy. Lila interrupted the fighting by announcing that Annabelle was pregnant.



Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2000: SOAPnet launched. It was one of two possible soap opera channels vying to get on the air at the time along with Soap City, whose cable network never came to fruition. ABC-Disney ended SOAPnet for good on December 31, 2013.

2004: On As the World Turns, Will Munson (Brett Groneman) was arrested for the murder of Rose D'Angelo. After her son's arrest, Barbara Ryan (Colleen Zenk) lashes out at Dusty Donovan and Lily Snyder, leading to her arrest for assult.

2010: On One Life to Live, Oliver Fish (Scott Evans) and Kyle Lewis (Brett Claywell) wanted to know who fathered Stacy Morasco's baby.



Celebrating a birthday today are:
Colleen Zenk
Arte Johnson (ex-Finian, General Hospital) - 87
David Lynch (Creator, Twin Peaks) - 70
Geno Silva (ex-Domingo, Days of our Lives) - 68
Colleen Zenk (Whit, Milgram and the Fastwalkers; Sofia, Tainted Dreams; ex-Agnes, Thurston; ex-Barbara, As the World Turns; ex-Nurse, Ryan's Hope) - 63
Lorenzo Lamas (ex-Hector, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Lance, Falcon Crest; ex-Burt, Secrets of Midland Heights) - 58
Tammy Taylor (ex-Hope, Days of our Lives; ex-Rosemary, Rituals; ex-Patty, The Young and the Restless) - 58
James Denton (ex-Mike, Desperate Housewives) - 53
Rainn Wilson (ex-Casey, One Life to Live) - 50
Stacey Dash (ex-Val, Single Ladies) - 49
Lisa Vultaggio (ex-Hannah, General Hospital) - 43
Deborah Kellner (ex-Pamela Rebecca, Dallas: J.R. Returns) - 39
Sal Stowers (Lani, Days of our Lives; ex-Cassandra, All My Children) - 30
Evan Peters (James/ex-Jimmy/ex-Kyle/ex-Tate, American Horror Story; ex-Jack, One Tree Hill; ex-Jesse, Invasion) - 29
Avery Phillips (ex-Young Quinn, Glee) - 11

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

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