Today in Soap Opera History (May 24)

1982: Days of our Lives' Salem Strangler killed Marlena, or so
viewers thought at the time.  1999: Pop group 98 Degrees sang
on As the World Turns. 1999: The final episode of Melrose
Place aired on FOX. 2005: Cassie Newman died on The
Young and the Restless.
"If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree."
― Michael Crichton

"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...

1966: "Mame" opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater. The show featured Frankie Michaels, the youngest Tony winner ever, who had been playing Tom Hughes on As the World Turns the previous two years. Michaels had just turned 11 when the show closed.

1978: Actor Barry Atwater, who played Dr. John Prentice on General Hospital in its early years, died at age 60.

1982: On Days of our Lives, the Salem Strangler murdered Dr. Marlena Evans. Actress Deidre Hall took phone calls at the NBC offices from angry fans outraged over the character's death. One call was from a nurse at a psychiatric hospital who told Hall she had to give patients tranquilizers because they were so upset over Marlena's fate. In a twist, the victim turned out to actually be Marlena's twin sister, Samantha, meaning Marlena survived. Two years later, Marlena named one of her twins (Sami) after her late sister.

1988: On General Hospital, Anna (Finola Hughes) walked out on Duke (Ian Buchanan) calling him a "little puppet" of the mob.



1988: On Santa Barbara, Gina (Robin Mattson) won $55,700 as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. "BLACKMAIL" was herr bonus round puzzle word.



1993: Radio writer and producer Carlton E. Morse passed away in Sacramento at age 91. Morse wrote, directed, and produced the popular radio soap One Man's Family.

1993: Actor Jack Denbo, who played Jack Clayton in Days of our Lives in the mid-1970s, died in an automobile accident.

1999: On As the World Turns, although Eddie had been fired from Alec Wallace's hot new nightclub, he and Georgia arranged a performance at the club by the pop group 98 Degrees. After the group performed "The Hardest Thing" to a packed club, Margo convinced Alec that he should reconsider his decision to fire Eddie.



1999: On Another World, Jordan Stark b(David Andrew Macdonald) elieved that Amanda (Sandra Dee Robinson) was the reincarnation of his first wife, and he lured her to a secret garden. He planned to coax the spirit of his former love out of Amanda's body so that they could be together forever. He also decided to blow up his headquarters, with Ally held captive inside the building. Rachel rescued Ally just in time, and Cameron caused Stark to vanish, leaving behind only a grizzly reminder. Nick continued to help Remy search for her mother, who might be a well-known Bay City resident currently in trouble.



1999: FOX aired the final episode of the original Melrose Place.



2004: On Guiding Light, Danny (Paul Anthony Stewart), following Salerno's orders, detonated the warehouse bomb intending to kill Eden not realizing that Michelle was in the building as well. The medical teams removed an apparently deceased Eden from the warehouse, however, all was not be as it seems. After Tony heard from Salerno that the explosion has occurred, he visited the crime scene, inadvertently locating Michelle among the debris.

2005: On The Young and the Restless, Cassie Newman (Camryn Grimes) died in the presence of her parents, Nick and Sharon (Joshua Morrow and Sharon Case).



Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

2006: Wayne Northrop made his final appearance on Days of our Lives. He was playing Alex North at the time, not Roman Brady, a character he originated in 1981 and played for the last time in 1994.

2008: Former daytime soap producer Robert Calhoun (As the World Turns, Guiding Light) died at age 77. He was the longtime partner of actor Farley Granger.

2012: Actress Kathryn Virginia Fuller, who played two different characters named Mabel on Days of our Lives, died at age 89.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Mart Hulswit (ex-Ed, Guiding Light; ex-Ralph, All My Children; ex-Harlan, One Life to Live; ex-Dr. Burke, Search for Tomorrow) - 76
Steve Carlson (ex-Jeffrey, Days of our Lives; ex-Josh, A New Day in Eden; ex-Gary, General Hospital; ex-Mark, Young and the Restless; ex-Sean, Santa Barbara) - 73
Priscilla Presley (ex-Jenna, Dallas) - 71
Eric Close (Teddy, Nashville; ex-Sawyer, Santa Barbara) - 49
Victor Browne (ex-Drew, One Life to Live) - 49
Dana Ashbrook (ex-Bobby, Twin Peaks; ex-Rich, Dawson's Creek) - 49
Greg Berlanti (Executive Producer, Arrow; Dawson's Creek; Dirty Sexy Money; Brothers & Sisters) - 44
Jason Pendergraft (ex-Blake, Army Wives; ex-Lance, As the World Turns) - 40
Jo Joyner (Tanya, EastEnders) - 39
Bryan Greenberg (ex-Jake, One Tree Hill) - 38

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email kevin@welovesoaps.com.

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