Today in Soap Opera History (September 5)

1960: Search for Tomorrow's Alison dealt with her mother-in-law.
1980: General Hospital's Monica faced a divorce decision.
1989: As the World Turns Paul shot his father, James Stenbeck.
2008: Hollyoaks' John Paul found Kieron's body.
"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...

1938: Radio soap opera Life Can Be Beautiful premiered on CBS, starting a successful 16-year run. Life Can Be Beautiful quickly became known to radio insiders by its initials, and widely referred to as "Elsie Beebe." It was the story of Carol Conrad (Alice Reinheart, and later Teri Keane), a disadvantaged child who--still in her teens--ran into the Slightly Read Bookshop seeking shelter and a hiding place from Gyp Mendoza (Waldemar Kappel, and later Paul Stewart), the town racketeer. The kindly old book dealer, Papa David Solomon (Ralph Locke), would soon become one of the great philosophers of daytime radio. Carol became "Chichi" and was installed on a pallet in the back room as the old man's ward. Fifteen years later, she was still there. The show was billed as "an inspiring message of faith drawn from life."

1960: On Search for Tomorrow, after talking things over with Joanne (Mary Stuart), Alison (Anne Pearson) endured an uncomfortable evening with her in-laws, the Metcalfs, who came over for dinner.



1967: CBS broadcast The Edge of Night in color for the first time.

1967: Marcella Martin aired for the final time as Flo Murray on Another World. Flo had killed Danny Fargo. Ralph Oliver also aired for the last time that day as Charlie Rushinberger.

1980: On General Hospital, Alan (Stuart Damon) told Monica (Leslie Charleson) she could leave but she wasn't taking the baby. "You've never been a bargain as a wife," Alan told her, "but let's see how you do as a mother."



1983: On Ryan's Hope, Jill (Nancy Addison) felt pangs of jealousy when she saw Frank (Geoffrey Pierson) with Rae (Louise Shaffer).



1985: On Santa Barbara, Assistant District Attorney Felicia Dalton (Phylicia Rashad, then known as Phylicia Allen Ayers) questioned Ted Capwell (Todd McKee) about the death of Steve Bassett. Joel Crothers (playing attorney Jack Lee) made his final television appearance before he passed away on November 6, 1985.



1989: On As the World Turns, Paul Stenbeck (Andrew Kavovit) walked in on his father, James (Anthony Hererra), attacking Emily Stewart (Melanie Smith) and shot him three times.



1989: On Guiding Light, Phillip (Grant Aleksander) told Lillian (Tina Sloan) he thought Beth could still be alive. Lillian she angrily refused to believe him.



1992: Irving Allen Lee, who played Calvin Stoner in The Edge of Night and Evan Cooper on Ryan's Hope, passed away at age 43. He died of AIDS-related lymphoma, according to his companion, John Uehlein.

1994: Marie-Alise Recasner debuted as Lynn Burke in Days of our Lives.

1996: Dallas executive producer Leonard Katzman died at age 69.

2002: MTV aired the final episode of Undressed, which gave viewers "a peek behind closed doors at the intricacies of modern relationships."

2006: On One Life to Live, Jessica (Bree Williamson) was integrated with Tess after her session with Dr. Jamison. She later told Nash (Forbes March) that she still felt Tess's feelings for him.



2006: MyNetworkTV, an upstart network launched by News Corporation, launched two with nightly serials. After the moderate success of Desire and Fashion House, ratings began to decline. The second pair of soaps, Wicked Wicked Games and Watch Over Me had decent ratings but not as successful as the debut telenovelas. By the time the third batch, American Heiress and Saints and Sinners, were shown, the ratings were disastrous and the format was phased out.

2008: On Hollyoaks, while Craig Dean (Guy Burnett) made a last ditch effort to win back ex-lover, John Paul McQueen (James Sutton), Niall Rafferty (Barry Sloane) was beginning his final revenge plot against the entire McQueen family. First up, Niall would drug and kill John Paul's fiancé, Kieron Hobbs (Jake Hendriks), and in doing so, would maneuver to have the ex-priest "hear his confession" before making his murder look like a suicide, thereby leaving John Paul wracked with guilt, thinking he was responsible for Kieron's death.



Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Bob Newhart (ex-Morty, Desperate Housewives) - 87
Carol Lawrence (ex-Angela, General Hospital) - 84
Johnny Briggs (ex-Fin, Echo Beach; ex-Tom, Holby City, ex-Mike, Coronation Street) - 81
William Devane (ex-Edward, Revenge; ex-Greg, Knots Landing) - 77
George Lazenby (ex-Logan, Rituals; ex-Reginald, General Hospital) - 77
Raquel Welch (ex-Dianna, Central Park West) - 76
Rod Arrants (ex-Travis, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Steven, The Young and the Restless; ex-Richard, Days of our Lives; ex-Austin, Another World; ex-Austin, Lovers and Friends; ex-Austin, For Richer, For Poorer; ex-Andre, Dallas; ex-Henderson, Falcon Crest) - 72
Rick Moses (ex-Jefferson, General Hospital) - 64
Bill Shanks (ex-Casey, As the World Turns; ex-Mark, Another World) - 58
Roberta Weiss (ex-Flame, Santa Barbara) - 55
Kristian Alfonso (Hope, Days of our Lives; ex-Lauren, Melrose Place; ex-Pilar, Falcon Crest) - 53
Michael McLafferty (ex-Brian, General Hospital; ex-Dr. Whitaker, Days of our Lives) - 44
Rose McGowan (ex-Teddy, Nip/Tuck; ex-Paige, Charmed) - 43
Davida Williams (ex-Jade, As the World Turns; ex-Lois, The Young and the Restless; ex-Days of our Lives) - 30

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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