Today in Soap Opera History (April 17)

1967: Barnabas Collins first appeared on Dark Shadows.
1978: Ryan's Hope's Pat was furious with Delia.
1985: Guiding Light's Beth and Lujack made love.
2009: One Life to Live's Talia was murdered.
"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...

1942: The final episode of Frank and Anne Hummert's Orphans of Divorce aired on the Blue Network.

1967: On Dark Shadows, Jason confronted Willie (John Karlen) about his suspicious interest in the Collins family history. Victoria told Elizabeth that she was uncomfortable having Willie at Collinwood. Elizabeth agreed, and told Jason she would give him money to get Willie out of town. Jason took the cash but then couldn't find Willie. As it turned out, Willie was in the Collins family crypt trying to open Naomi Collins's coffin. By accident, Willie found a secret room in the mausoleum. Venturing in, he saw a chained coffin. Willie opened it to investigate the contents, and discovered a horror that would change his life forever.

This was the first appearance of the character of Barnabas Collins. Jonathan Frid, the actor who portrayed Barnabas throughout the remainder of the series, did not appear until the next episode. All we saw of Barnabas was his left hand (portrayed by Tim Gordon).



1978: On Ryan's Hope, after figuring out that Delia (Ilene Kristen) had faked being blind, Pat Ryan (Malcolm Groome) told Delia that their trip was over and they were going home on the next flight. She tried to blame Faith Coleridge but he said it was their marriage that was the problem.



1979: On Guiding Light, Holly Thorpe (Maureen Garrett) was upset when an article about her ex-, Roger (Michael Zaslow), in the Springfield Journal made him seem like a doting father and loving son. Later at Cedars Hospital, Roger couldn't resist striking up a conversation with Bert Bauer (Charita Bauer).



Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the clip above.

1984: On The Edge of Night, Calvin Stoner (Irvin Allen Lee) wanted one more chance to take down the guys who killed Michael Gallagher.



1985: Jed Allan aired for the final time as Don Craig on Days of our Lives. In the episode, Don had forgotten to mail off his income tax returns and left to mail it (and never came back). When Allan debuted on indie soap The Bay in 2011, his character (who hailed from Santa Barbara, an homage to the soap he worked on after Days) walked into his daughter's house with a hand full of mail.



1985: John Wesley Shipp debuted on As the World Turns as Douglas Cummings.

1985: On Guiding Light, Beth Raines (Judi Evans) and Lujack Luvonaczek (Vincent Irizaary) made love for the first time.



Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the clip above.

1985: On General Hospital, Frisco (Jack Wagner) and Tania (Hilary Edson) were thrilled when Tony Jones (Brad Maule), finally opened his eyes.



1990: On The Young and the Restless, Leanna Love prepared for her big television debut.

1997: On Another World, Vicky Hudson's (Jensen Buchanan) curiosity about Bobby Reno's (Robert Kelker-Kelly) past continued to build.

2006: Longtime As the World Turns star Henderson Forsythe died at age 88. He starred as Dr. David Stewart in the series from 1960 to 1990. Before ATWT he played roles in From These Roots and The Edge of Night.

2009: On One Life to Live, Starr and Cole vowed to discover the cause of their daughter's death. Roxy gave Stacy Morasco the infamous "Bag of Blood" that was needed to help cure Shane's leukemia. Mayor Lowell wanted Bo and Nora to arrest John McBain for the KAD murders after John's fingerprints were found on a knife used to attack Blair. Later, while patroling La Boulaie to protect Marty with Fish, Talia Sahid (BethAnn Bonner) was murdered by the KAD Killer.



Celebrating a birthday today are:
Michael Forest (ex-Nick, As the World Turns; ex-Jim, The Young and the Restless; ex-The Catlins) - 87
Charles Frank (ex-Peter, Falcon Crest; ex-Jack, Emerald Point N.A.S.; ex-Jeff, All My Children) - 69
Sean Bean (ex-Paul, Missing; ex-Eddard, Game of Thrones) - 57
Joel Murray (ex-Fred, Mad Men) - 53
William Mapother (ex-Ethan, Lost) - 51
Henry Ian Cusick (ex-Stephen, Scandal; ex-Desmond, Lost) - 49
Kimberly Elise (ex-Estella, Soul Food) - 49
Choppy Guillotte (ex-Louie, Sunset Beach) - 49
Timothy Gibbs (ex-Kevin One Life to Live; ex-Gary, Another World; ex-Dash, Santa Barbara) - 48
Jennifer Garner (ex-Sydney, Alias) - 44
Victoria Beckham (Herself, Ugly Betty) - 42
Monet Mazur (ex-Brandee, Days of our Lives) - 40
Lindsay Hartley (ex-Cara, All My Children; ex-Arianna, Days of our Lives; ex-Theresa, Passions) - 38
Alaina Huffman (ex-Dinah, Smallville) - 36
Luke Mitchell (ex-Romeo, Home and Away; ex-Chris, Neighbours) - 31
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 29
Tessa James (ex-Nicole, Home and Away; ex-Anne, Neighbours) - 25

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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