Today in Soap Opera History (October 9)

1979: As the World Turns' Bob received a strange call from Penny.
1981: Kristin was dead in the pool on Dallas.
1985: Melissa Reeves made her Days of our Lives debut.
2007: Timbaland performed on One Life to Live.
"More and more, I tend to read history. I often find it more up to date than the daily newspapers."
― Joe Murray

"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...

1957: On The Right to Happiness, Nurse Helen Mason (Ruth Newton) reported overhearing a racketeer's confession of drugging her patient which broke the defense of the fraudulent insurance claim case.

1967: On Dark Shadows, Dave Woodard (Peter Turgeon) told Julia Hoffman (Grayson Hall) that he discovered the "original" Barnabas Collins had a sister named Sarah. He then revealed he met and walked with Sarah (Sharon Smyth) in the mausoleum.

1979: On As the World Turns, Bob (Don Hastings) continued trying to connect with Penny, while Sheila attempted to spend as much time with Tom (Tom Tammi) as possible.

1981: CBS aired the fifth season premiere of Dallas. The identity of the dead brunette Cliff found floating in the swimming pool at Southfork was revealed to be Kristin Shepard. The clip below is the cliffhanger from the Season 4 finale.

1985: Melissa Brennan (now Melissa Reeves) debuted as Jennifer Horton in Days of our Lives.

1985: On the Dynasty episode titled "The Californians," the extended Colby family debuted with the introduction of Jason (Charlton Heston) and Constance (Barbara Stanwyck).

1986: Actor Michael Baseleon died at age 61. He soap roles including Dr. Tony Perelli in General Hospital and Slade on Flamingo Road.

1986: On Knots Landing, Karen (Michele Lee) escaped from Phil (Steve Giannelli) and reunited with Mack (Kevin Dobson).

1990: On Loving, Shana Vochek (Susan Keith) told Dane Hammond (Anthony Herrera) how much she hated him.

1995: On Another World, new police captain Gabe McNamara (John Bolger) laid down the law to his staff at the Bay City PD.

1995: On All My Children, Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) was unhappy after Wade Reynolds (Tom Tammi) let Liza Colby (Marcy Walker) keep her job at WRCW.

2006: On General Hospital, Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough) found her father, Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers), after Alcazar had him beat up.

2007: Timbaland, Keri Hilson, Sebastian and DOE guest-starred and performed on One Life to Live. "This is a new experience for me, I am looking forward to having a great time and sharing my music!" Timbaland said in a statement at the time.

2008: Indian soap opera Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii aired its final episode after 8 years and 1,700 episodes.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Gary Frank (ex-Mark, General Hospital) - 66
Sharon Osbourne (ex-Pam, Days of our Lives) - 64
John O'Hurley (ex-Christopher, Devious Maids; ex-Kit, All My Children; ex-Wheel of Misfortune Host, Sunset Beach; ex-Stehen, Santa Barbara; ex-Jim, The Young and the Restless; ex-Greg, General Hospital; ex-Douglas, As the World Turns; ex-Greg, The Edge of Night) - 62
Scott Bakula (ex-Lynn, Looking; ex-Trip, Desperate Housewives) - 62
Ellen Wheeler (Former Executive Producer of Guiding Light; ex-Marley/Vicky, Another World; ex-Cindy/Karen, All My Children; ex-Sarah, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Phyllis, Dark Shadows) - 55
James Hyde (ex-Sam, Passions, ex-Neil, Another World) - 54
Sarah Felder (ex-Siobhan, Ryan's Hope)
Jennifer Aspen (ex-Sharon, GCB) - 43
Kieren Hutchison (ex-Jonathan McKenna, Shortland Street; ex-Andy, One Tree Hill; ex-Jake, Monarch Cove) - 42
Dana Wheeler-Nicholson (Beverly, Nashville; ex-Angela, Friday Night Lights) - 38
Randy Spelling (ex-Sean, Sunset Beach; ex-Ryan, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 38
Brandon Routh (ex-Seth, One Life to Live; ex-Wade, Undressed) - 37
Spencer Grammer (ex-Casey, Greek; ex-Lucy, As the World Turns) - 33

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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