Today in Soap Opera History (April 24)

1978: Ryan's Hope's Pat called Delia on her miscarriage deception.
1987: Days of our Lives' Patch made chili.
2007: All My Children's Zoe performed.
2009: Drew Garrett debuted as Michael on GH.
"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...

1959: NBC Radio soap The Woman in My House aired its final episode after an eight year run. One Man's Family creator Carlton E. Morse produced WIMH about the Carter family of Miami.

Carlton E. Morse
1959: Carlton E. Morse's long-running One Man's Family ended its run on NBC after 27 years.  Ma Perkins was the only American radio soap opera that produced more episodes.  Morse created over 40 radio serials during his career. In the 1980s he published a series of novels.

Morse claimed in a 1976 Associated Press interview that One Man's Family was not a soap opera. "It was a dramatic family show," he said. "Soap operas are written by hack writers. They have no characterization or plot. Until One Man's Family, there was no such thing as a family show. After we came on, everybody had to have one. That's when the soap opera came about."

1970: On Another World, Alice Matthews Frame (Jacqueline Courtney) tried to assure an upset Chris Tyler (Steve Harmon) that things would go back to normal after Steve Frame's memory returned.

1970: On Dark Shadows, in the mausoleum, when Alexis Stokes (Lara Parker) touched Angelique Stokes Collins' arm, Angelique woke up and told her that it would be Alexis who will be destroyed.

1978: On Ryan's Hope, Pat Ryan (Malcolm Groome) confronted his wife, Delia (Ilene Kristen), over the deception that led to their marriage. Roger Coleridge (Ron Hale) showed up and filled Pat in on the details that led to Delia's miscarriage.

Thanks to Scott for sending in the item above, and Jennifer for the clip.

1978: On One Life to Live, Cathy Craig Lord (Jennifer Harmon) reeled after a break-in at her apartment.

1981: On Texas, Barrett Marshall (Stephen D. Newman) overheard his wife, Ginny (Barbara Rucker), admit her love to Ryan Connor (Philip Clark) before she went to get some strawberry preserves. Later, Dr. Courtney Marshall (Catherine Hickland) advised Ryan that Ginny should have no issues carrying the baby to term, and Barrett locked Ginny in the cellar.

1985: On Search for Tomorrow, Stu Bergman (Larry Haines) attempted to console T.R. Kendall (Jane Krakowski), who feared Andrew Ryder (Adam Stoke) had rejected her.

1987: On Days of our Lives, after seeing her sister Kim (Patsy Pease) with Paul Stewart (Robert S. Woods), Kayla Brady (Mary Beth Evans) wondered to Jack Deveraux (James Acheson) if she should move on from Steve Johnson. Meanwhile, Steve (Stephen Nichols) helped his sister Adrienne (Judi Evans) by making "Patch's One-Eyed Chili."

1990: Actor Tom Rolfing, who played Cliff Tanner on Another World from 1977-1978, died at age 40. The character of Cliff left Bay City with Regine after they were married.

1995: The All My Children episode, in which Janet used a bomb, opened with a special message from the actress who played the character, Robin Mattson, referencing the recent Oklahoma City bombing in an attempt to alleviate fan concern about the story.

1995: Deborah Adair aired for the final time on Days of our Lives as Kate Roberts.

1998: Actor Frederic Downs died at age 81. He played Maggie's farm hand, Hank, on Days of our Lives for eight years.

1998: Eileen Davidson aired for the final time as Kristen DiMera during her first run on Days of our Lives in which she played multiple characters.  She returned to the soap in 2012 playing Kristen.

2003: The Friends episode, "The One With The Soap Opera Party," aired and featured guest stars Matthew Ashford, Kyle Lowder, Farah Fath, Alexis Thorpe and Ethan Erickson from Days of our Lives.

2006: SOAPnet began airing same day repeats of The Young and the Restless.

2007: On All My Children, Zoe Luper (Jeffrey Carlson) performed "The Me Inside" on Erica Kane's (Susan Lucci) talk show, New Beginnings.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2008: Mark Lawson debuted on One Life to Live as Brody.

2009: Drew Garrett debuted as Michael Corinthos III on General Hospital.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Shirley MacLaine (ex-June, Glee; ex-Martha, Downton Abbey) - 82
Michael Parks (ex-Jean, Twin Peaks) - 76
Michael O'Keefe (ex-Wally, Brothers & Sisters) - 61
John Vargas (ex-Rico, General Hospital; ex-Marcos, Santa Barbara) - 58
Aidan Gillen (Petyr, Games of Thrones; ex-Stuart, Queer as Folk)  - 48
Stacy Haiduk (ex-Patty, The Young and the Restless; ex-Jane, Days of our Lives; ex-Hannah, All My Children; ex-Colleen, Melrose Place) - 47
Melinda Clarke (ex-Amada, Nikita; ex-Faith, Days of our Lives; ex-Julie, The O.C.) - 46
Rory McCann (ex-Sandor, Games of Thrones) - 46
Damon Lindelof (Creator, Lost) - 43
Derek Luke (ex-Boobie, Friday Night Lights) - 42
Thad Luckinbill (ex-Nathan, Nikita; ex-J.T., The Young and the Restless; ex-Kyle, Undressed) - 41
Rebecca Mader (ex-Margaret, One Life to Live; ex-Morgan, All My Children; ex-Charlotte, Lost) - 39
Eric Balfour (ex-Gabe, Six Feet Under) - 39
Katherine Bailess (Kyle, Hit The Floor; ex-Nurse Waring, Sordid Lives; ex-Erica, One Tree Hill) - 36
Austin Nichols (ex-Julian, One Tree Hill; ex-Noah, Friday Night Lights) - 36
Sasha Barrese (ex-Lindsey, Undressed) - 35
Courtnee Draper (ex-Mary, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 31
Sean Rademaker (ex-Jonathan, Guiding Light; ex-Kirkland, Another World) - 26

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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