Today in Soap Opera History (July 17)

1989: Guiding Light's Josh and Reva were finally married.
"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...

1939: CBS Radio soap opera Woman of Courage premiered. Selena Royle starred as Martha Jackson, whose small-town life allegedly proved that "if ye have faith, nothing shall be impossible." The series, written by Carl Buss, ran until July 10, 1942.

1946: On syndicated radio soap opera Hearts in Harmony, Steve Parker and his fiancee Penny took a drive through the countryside around Rossville just a few days before their wedding.  Meanwhile, Jed told Johnny the FBI may be investigating Parker Industries. Hearts in Harmony premiered in 1941, and was sponsored by the Kroger grocery store chain,

1947: On radio soap opera Lora Lawton, Lora still reeled from a discussion with her husband, Peter Carver, when he came out of his coma and realized he was presumably guilty of a horrible murder. Meanwhile, Peter worried about his stability.

1969: On Another World, Dru (Geoffrey Lumb) told Alice (Jacqueline Courtney) that Steve (George Reinholt) had secret plans for her.

1978: Actor Thayer David died at age 51. He played several different roles in ABC soap opera Dark Shadows: Matthew Morgan, Professor T. Elliot Stokes, Sandor Rakoski, Count Petofi, Timothy Stokes, Mordecai Grimes, and Ben Stokes.

1981: On Another World, Blaine (Laura Malone) was acquitted when Zachary admitted to injecting Jordan with the anticoagulant that killed him.

1981: On General Hospital, Rick (Chris Robinson) and Lesley (Denise Alexander) read Laura's note stating she had gone away with Luke again.

1984: On Capitol, when Kelly (Jess Walton) refused to tell Judson (Rory Calhoun) what she was being blackmailed about he quit as her attorney.

1984: On All My Children, Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) became upset at Mike (Nicholas Surovy) when she saw the story he was writing.

1984: On The Edge of Night, Derek and Calvin tried to figure out which Monticello resident was responsible for the missing plastic formula and the death of two men.

1986: The 13th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards were presented on NBC. The Young and the Restless was named Outstanding Drama Series. The acting winners were David Canary, Erika Slezak, John Wesley Shipp, Leann Hunley, Michael E. Knight and Ellen Wheeler.

1989: On Guiding Light, Reva (Kim Zimmer) and Josh (Robert Newman) were finally married.

1990: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Bill (Jim Storm) insisted Taylor (Hunter Tylo) not let Caroline (Joanna Johnson) die.

1996: On General Hospital, Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) was furious at Laura (Genie Francis) when she confessed that the stranger who saved the life of baby Lulu was actually his brother, Nikolas. Elsewhere, Audrey talked with Kevin about Steve's death, and Jason found Robin at the bridge.

1998: Actor Joseph Maher, who played the original (Leonard) Brooks on Another World from 1976 to 1978, died at age 64. He also played Whitney Foxton on Guiding Light in 1978.

1998: Millicent Martin debuted as Lili Faversham in Days of our Lives.

1998: Actor Hugh Reilly died at age 82. He played Paul Martin, the father on Lassie for six seasons and later starred in The Edge of Night as Simon Jessup.

1999: "The All My Children Shoppe" kicked off on shopping channel QVC with a guest appearance by Susan Lucci. Merchandise featured on the program included college sweatshirts with the Pine Valley University crest, Pine Valley pins and a limited-edition Erica Kane Family Portrait Plaque featuring Susan Lucci's photo and autograph.

2001: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan) surprised Bridget Forrester with breakfast in bed, and a ring.

2003: On One Life to Live, Natalie (Melissa Archer) and Cristian (David Fumero) both dreamed about getting married, in a flashback filled episode to celebrate the show's 35th anniversary.

2007: Adrianna Léon (then known as Adrianne Leon) aired the final time as Colleen Carlton on The Young and the Restless.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2008: Legendary actor Larry Haines, best known for his long-running role as Stu Bergman on Search for Tomorrow, died at age 89.

2014: Actress Elaine Stritch died at age 89. Her soap roles included Mrs. DeGroot on The Edge of Night in 1983-84, and Wilma Bern, mother of Carlo Hesser and Mortimer Bern, on One Life to Live in 1993.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Diahann Carroll (ex-Dominique, Dynasty; ex-Dominique, The Colbys; ex-Dr. Cole, Diary of a Single Mom; ex-Jane, Grey's Anatomy) - 81
David Hasselhoff (ex-Snapper, The Young and the Restless) - 64
Richard Bekins (ex-Jamie, Another World; ex-William, One Life to Live; ex-Michael, As the World Turns) - 62
Alexandra Wilson (ex-Josie, Another World; ex-April, Loving) - 48
Eric Winter (ex-Dash, Witches of East End; ex-Luke, GCB; ex-Rex, Days of our Lives; ex-Eric, Undressed; ex-Jason, Brothers & Sisters) - 40
Mike Vogel (Barbie, Under The Dome; Zack, Bates Motel; ex-Dean, Pan Am) - 37
Sarah Jones (ex-Rebecca, Alcatraz) - 33
Brooke Kinsella (ex-Kelly, EastEnders) - 33
Caitlin Van Zandt (ex-Ashlee, Guiding Light) - 31
Kevin Riggin (ex-Rory, Days of our Lives) - 27

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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