Today in Soap Opera History (January 22)

1980: ATWT''s Jay tried to calm Carol outside the Wade Bookstore
fire.  1986: Dynasty's Krystle battled her look-a-like. 1986: GH's
Frisco worked on the Brownstone murder. 1993: Alison
Sweeney debuted as Sami on Days of our Lives.
"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, Toni Fescina was kidnapped by one of Sgt. Fitzsimmons' (Frank Sutton) goons.

1968: On The Doctors, Dr. Matt Powers (James Pritchett) was upset after reading Bunker's negative article about him and Hope Memorial in the morning paper.

1973: On Another World, Steve (George Reinholt) begged Mary (Virginia Dwyer) and Jim (Hugh Marlowe) not to take Alice's things away as it would remove the last traces of her presence in his house. Over dinner, Alice (Jacqueline Courtney) told Eliot (James Douglas) she was no longer in love with Steve and that he never really cared about her.

1980: On As the World Turns, the residents of Oakdale found out about the fire at the Wade Bookstore.

1981: On Guiding Light, after passing out in the courtroom, Amanda (Kathleen Cullen) lost her baby. She needed a blood transfusion from Jennifer (Geraldine Court) in order to survive.

1985: On Santa Barbara, a tied up Eden Capwell (Marcy Walker) fell off a cliff after a struggle with Peter Flint (Stephen Meadows).

1986: On Dynasty, Krystle Carrington had a vicious fight with Rita, her look-a-like. Linda Evans fights with herself in the clip below:

1986: On General Hospital, Frisco Jones (Jack Wagner) spotted Russell at the Bucket of Blood but Russell knocked Frisco down and took off just as Ted Holmes (David Doyle) arrived.

1993: Alison Sweeney debuted as Sami Brady on Days of our Lives.

2008: Actor Heath Ledger died at age 28. He starred in Australian soap opera Home and Away early in his career playing Scott Irwin. He also starred as gay cyclist Snowy Bowles in Sweat.

2010: Longtime All My Children star James Mitchell died at age 89. He joined the cast of AMC in 1979 as Palmer Cortlandt.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Randy Phillips (ex-Ira, The Edge of Night) - 90
Piper Laurie (ex-Catherine, Twin Peaks) - 84
Dwan Smith (ex-Irma, General Hospital) - 72
John Wesley Shipp (ex-Doug, As the World Turns; ex-Kelly, Guiding Light; ex-Carter, All My Children; ex-Eddie, One Life to Live; ex-Martin, Santa Barbara) - 61
Linda Blair (ex-Ally, Hidden Faces) - 57
Robert Mailhouse (ex-Brian, Days of our Lives) - 54
Brian Gaskill (ex-Dylan, Guiding Light; ex-B.J., As the World Turns; ex-Oscar, The Bold and The Beautiful; ex-Rafe, Port Charles; ex-Bobby, All My Children) - 46
Katie Finneran (ex-Nurse, All My Children) - 45
Gabriel Macht (ex-Tal, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 44
Balthazar Getty (ex-Tommy, Brothers & Sisters; ex-Nate, Pasadena) - 41
James Murray (ex-Sandy, Coronation Street) - 41
Beverley Mitchell (ex-Kaitlyn, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) - 35
Robyn Richards (ex-Maxie, General Hospital) - 29

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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