Today in Soap Opera History (January 23)

1970: The Doctors' Julie stirred up trouble at Hope Memorial.
1976: Ryan's Hope's Faith realized what Kenneth was up to.
1981: Another World's Mac pleaded with Mitch for help.
2006: General Hospital's Bobbie threatened Tracy.
"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...

1939: Time magazine published a story about radio soap creators, Frank and Anne Hummert, explaining their prolific serial production operation (Blackett-Sample-Hummert Inc.). "By hiring dialogue writers, and not creators, the Hummerts save lots of money. Most serial writers in radio command $200 to $400 a week. For The Goldbergs, Gertrude Berg gets about $2,000. The Hummerts pay a minimum $25 per 15-minute script. Since most Hummert ghosts are glad to add caviar to bread-&-butter from other jobs, they have seldom squawked." Read the entire article here.

1968: On Another World, Mitchell Dru (Geoffrey Lumb, who also played the character on both As the World Turns and The Brighter Day) advised Alice Matthews (Jacqueline Courtney) not to conjure up trouble between her brother, Russ (Sam Groom), and his new wife, Rachel (Robin Strasser).

1970: On The Doctors, when Julie Forrest (Ginger Gerlach) helped nurse Amanda Buckley (Esther Benson) break into a lock box at the hospital, they found a coded list of illegal abortions.

1976: On Ryan's Hope, Kenneth (Ty McConnell) showed Faith (Faith Catlin) the room that he had dedicated to her and she realized that he was her secret admirer.



Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the item above.

1978: On One Life to Live, Marco Dane (Gerald Anthony) told Dorian Lord (Claire Malis) he needed to throw Karen. Dorian didn't want Karen around when her sister, Melinda, arrived the next day. "You know what they say," Dorian told him during a game of gin rummy.  "Happiness is fine, but it can't buy money."



1980: On As the World Turns, Lisa (Eileen Fulton) visited the site of the burned Wade Bookstore.



1980: On The Edge of Night, Mrs. Hinson (Lori March) told Draper the truth about Margo.



1981: On Another World, Jamie Frame taunted Zachary with the idea that Mitch Blake was alive and that he convicted an innocent woman. Later, Mitch fled when Mac Cory asked Mitch to help clear Rachel of murder.



1981: On Guiding Light, Amanda (Kathleen Cullen) was devastated to learn she had lost her baby.



1985: On Santa Barbara, a suspicious Joe Perkins (Mark Arnold) confronted Peter Flint about his motives.



1987: Larkin Malloy aired for the final time as Kyle Sampson on Guiding Light.

1992: Child actor Fred "Freddie" Bartholomew, who became executive producer of As the World Turns in the late 1970s, died at age 67. He was the EP of the 1980 ATWT episode featured above.

1994: Search for Tomorrow actress Sherry Mathis, who was a fan favorite during her seven year run as Liza, died at age 44 after a battle with cancer. She came to New York in 1971 and made her Broadway debut in the Stephen Sondheim musical "A Little Night Music." She also appeared in "Music Is," a 1976 musical by George Abbott, Richard Adler and Will Holt, which was based on Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." Mathis graduated from Memphis State University and returned to Memphis at the end of her life where her brother, William, was living.

2001: A Passions-themed book, "Hidden Passions: Secrets From the Diaries of Tabitha Lenox," was released. The book revealed new details about the residents of Harmony.

2003: On Days of our Lives, Salem celebrated Alice Horton's (Frances Reid) 90th birthday.

2006: Telenovela La Fea Más Bella ("The Most Beautiful, Ugly Girl") premiered, produced by Televisa as the second Mexican version of the popular Colombian telenovela Betty La Fea. The U.S. version of this show was ABC's Ugly Betty.b

2006: On General Hospital, Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman) tore into Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliot) after Tracy insulted Bobby's son, Lucas (Ben Hogestyn). "If you ever insult my son again, I will bitch slap you all the way to the Canadian border," Bobbie told her.



Celebrating a birthday today are:
Francesca James
Chita Rivera (ex-Melody, One Life to Live) - 83
Gil Gerard (ex-Alan, The Doctors) - 73
Francesca James (ex-Kitty/Kelly/Evelyn, All My Children; ex-Marcy, One Life to Live; Producer/Director) - 67
Richard Dean Anderson (ex-Jeff, General Hospital) - 66
Richard Gilliland (ex-Brent, Desperate Housewives; ex-Congressman Morganthall, Torchwood) - 66
David Patrick Kelly (ex-Noah, Gossip Girl; ex-Jerry, Twin Peaks) - 65
Antonio Villaraigosa (Guest Star, All My Children) - 63
Robert Funaro (ex-Eugene, The Sopranos) - 57
Peter Koch (ex-Harry, Dallas) - 54
Gail O'Grady (ex-Anne, Desperate Housewives) - 53
Mariska Hargitay (ex-Carly, Falcon Crest) - 52
Tiffani Thiessen (ex-Valerie, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 42
Geoffrey Wigdor (ex-J.J., Loving; ex-Eli, One Life to Live; ex-Ryan, Guiding Light) - 34
April Pearson (ex-Michelle, Skins) - 27
Brennan Bailey (ex-Andrew, Miss Behave) - 19
Jonathon McClendon (Chase, Days of our Lives) - 19

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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