Today in Soap Opera History (February 28)

Two legendary actresses died on this day in history:
Charita Bauer (1985) and Mary Stuart (2002).
"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...

1968: On Dark Shadows, Reverend Trask (Jerry Lacy) returned to his room with Victoria's belongings. Suddenly he heard chains rattling outside his room and called out, "Who is it?" He opened the door, but no one was there. He heard a woman's scream and ran back into his room and bolted the door, but he continued to hear the chains. Then Barnabas' voice called out to him, and again he shouted, "Who are you?" The voice told him that he was not going to hurt any more innocent victims. He would never live to see the hanging. Trask saw a skull instead of his face when he looked in the mirror and then blood dripped down the mirror from behind the frame. The voice shouted that she would live and he would die. Next he saw a floating hand with Barnabas' ring on it. The hand appeared and was about to grab Trask around the throat, but then vanished. The voice told him he would not die tonight or the next but very soon, "You are going to die!"

1980: On The Edge of Night, Miles (Joel Crothers) and Nicole (Jayne Bentzen) reunited.

1985: Guiding Light actress Charita Bauer died at age 62. She took over the role of Bert Bauer in 1950 when the show was still airing only on the radio. She was part of the original 1952 television cast, and played the role until her death. The tribute below was used in 1987 during GL's 50th anniversary week.

1985: On Days of our Lives, Bo Brady (Peter Reckell) proposed to Hope Williams (Kristian Alfonso).

1986: On Loving, Steven Sowolsky (John R. Johnston) saved Trisha Alden (Noelle Beck) from Spider at the Alden party.

1991: On Another World, Cass Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer) was convinced his dead wife, Kathleen (Julie Osburn), was alive after spotting her on a hospital security tape. Meanwhile, Joe Barron (Terrell Anthony) warned Kathleen they had to start travelling again before Cass was onto them but Kathleen wanted to stay in Bay City to find out who shot her cousin, Jake.

1996: On All My Children, Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight) warned Liza Colby (Marcy Walker) about Dr. Kinder.

1997: On SUNSET BEACH, Ben wanted Annie to tell him the whole story.

2002: Actress Mary Stuart died at age 75. She played Joanne in Search for Tomorrow for the show's entire 35 year run. Her final role was Meta Bauer on Guiding Light. The clip below is from GL's tribute to Stuart in April 2002.

2003: On Guiding Light, Springfield was on edge as the police prepared to trap Reva's stalker during a live broadcast of her talk show. Also, Olivia persuaded Phillip to protect her unborn child from Alan. At the hospital after a miscarriage scare, Olivia told Philip the child might be his; though warned by Alexandria of Olivia's intentions to use the baby to her advantage, he agreed to stand by her and the baby. Alexandria was annoyed when Phillip brought Olivia to stay at the Spaulding mansion. At the television studio, Frank, Gus, and Harley took measures to secure the studio against an attack by Reva's stalker, but Marah was reassured by Tony's added vigilance. Holly's unexpected attendance of the show spooked Reva and Josh. Though Cassie, Josh, Marah, and Shayne tried to convince Reva to call the show off, Reva proceeded with the plan to flush out the stalker. As Reva took the stage, Tony spotted a suspicious bag; he hurled it down the stairwell right before it exploded.

2005: On Days of our Lives, Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) disguised herself as Stan.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Kelly Bishop (ex-Grace, As the World Turns; ex-Freida, All My Children) - 72
Stephanie Beacham (ex-Martha, Coronation Street; ex-Iris, Beverly Hills, 90210; ex-Sable, The Colbys; ex-Sable, Dynasty) - 69
Bernadette Peters (ex-Leigh, Smash; ex-Jodie, Ugly Betty) - 68
Rick Lohman (ex-Gary, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Joel, Generations) - 67
Ilene Graff (Clora, Hart of Dixie) - 67
Cristina Raines (ex-Lane, Flamingo Road) - 64
Mark Lewis (ex-Kurt, Guiding Light; ex-Myles, Search for Tomorrow) - 59
Ali Larter (ex-Tracy, Heroes) - 40
Lena Cardwell (ex-Simone, Passions) - 34
Sarah Bolger (Princess Aurora, Once Upon a Time; ex-Mary, The Tudors) - 25
True O'Brien (ex-Paige, Days of our Lives) - 22

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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