― 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...
1949: Irna Phillips' These Are My Children premiered on NBC. It was the first major network television soap opera. It ran weekdays at 5 p.m. until it went off the air just weeks later, on February 25.
1967: On Another World, Mary (Virginia Dwyer) and Jim (Shepperd Strudwick) were relieved knowing [The Guiding Light's] Mike Bauer got on a plane and left Bay City.
1968: On Dark Shadows, Barnabas (Jonathan Frid) was furious to awaken again as a vampire. Ben (Thayer David) had promised to drive a stake through Barnabas' heart, but couldn't go through with it. Ben explained that he was prevented by the witch, Angelique (Lara Parker), from keeping his word.
1974: On The Edge of Night, Nicole (Maeve McGuire) dreaded a visit with her imprisoned father, Benjamin Travis (Cec Linder), unaware he was dying.
1977: On Another World, Ada McGowan (Constance Ford) learned that her husband Gil (Dolph Sweet) was dead. When she received the news, Ada was reading a letter from Gil, who was in South America. Later, Ada held the letter and stood looking up the staircase, before slowly mounting it.
Thanks to Scott for sending in the item above.
1980: On Search for Tomorrow, Jo (Mary Stuart) contemplated a move to New Orleans with Martin (John Aniston).
1980: On The Edge of Night, April (Terry Davis) visited Margo (Ann Williams) to confirm Draper's innocence. All Margo could say was, "No."
1984: General Hospital star Denise Alexander confirmed she was leaving the show during an appearance on Good Morning America.
Thanks to Tricia for sending in the item above.
1985: On As the World Turns, Bob (Don Hastings) comforted a fearful Kim (Kathryn Hays) during a storm.
1992: On The Young and the Restless, Victoria (Heather Tom) received her first HIV test result.
1995: General Hospital star Stuart Damon was featured on ABC's "Soap Line" talking about Monica's breast cancer storyline. ABC aired these spots before GH during the O.J. Simpson trial.
1997: On Sunset Beach, Ben (Clive Robertson) made a shocking discovery after he was tossed in jail: Annie's (Sarah Buxton) body on the floor after apparently trying to hang herself.
2001: On The Young and the Restless, Nina (Tricia Cast) left Genoa City to move to Los Angeles.
2009: Actor Clint Ritchie died at age 70. He was best known to soap fans for his long run as Clint Buchanan on One Life to Live.
2011: On General Hospital, Michael (Chad Duell) admitted he had been raped in prison.
Carol Channing (Guest Star, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 95
Jessica Walter (Malory, Archer; ex-Tabitha, 90210; ex-Eleanor, One Life to Live; ex-Julie, Love of Life) - 75
Nolan Ryan (Guest Star, Ryan's Hope) - 69
David Mason Daniels (ex-Tyler, Capitol; ex-Jerry, Days of our Lives; ex-Danny, Falcons Crest) - 59
Kelly Lynch (ex-Laurel, 90210) - 57
Réal Andrews (Keith, The Bay; ex-Agent Trumble, All My Children; ex-Walker, As the World Turns; ex-Taggert, General Hospital; ex-Robert, Days of our Lives; ex-Danny, Santa Barbara) - 53
Timothy Stickney (ex-R.J., One Life to Live) - 51
Patricia Velasquez (ex-Karina, The L Word) - 45
Portia de Rossi (ex-Olivia, Nip/Tuck) - 43
Anna Silk (ex-Becca, Undressed) - 42
Kerry Washington (Olivia, Scandal) - 39
Valentina de Angelis (ex-Faith, As the World Turns) - 27
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email firstname.lastname@example.org.