Today in Soap Opera History (November 21)

1980: Dallas' Sue Ellen remembered Kristin shot J.R.
1988: Santa Barbra's Julia stopped her wedding to "Mason".
1989: Another World's Sharlene and John married.
1995: One Life to Live's Todd was shot in Ireland.
"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...

1938: Radio soap opera Central City premiered on NBC Blue. The Blackett-Sample-Hummert serial told the story of a blue-collar manufacturing hub of 50,000 denizens. Elspeth Eric starred as Emily Olson with Van Heflin as Bob Shellenberger. Heflin was eventually replaced by Myron McCormick.

1957: On The Edge of Night, Billy Harper (Pud Flanagan) accidentally overheard Mary's (Anne Sargeant) confession that he was not Roger's son.

1977: On Guiding Light, unwilling to burden Ben McFarren (Stephen Yates) with her impending blindness, Eve Stapleton (Janet Grey) postponed their Thanksgiving wedding.

Thanks to Scott for sending in the item above.

1978: On General Hospital, Heather Webber (Mary O'Brien) was upset that her husband, Jeff (Richard Dean Anderson), didn't tell her Steven Lars' death certificate was a forgery.

1979: On As the World Turns, Tom Hughes (Tommi) revealed to Grant Colman (James Douglas) and Valerie Conway (Judith McConnell) that Jay Stallings (Dennis Cooney) had not been seen since last night.



1979: On Another World, Joey Perrini (Ray Liotta) and Eileen Simpson (Vicky Dawson) were married by Judge Waverly. Eileen died a few weeks later with a brain tumor.

1980: An estimated 83 million TV viewers in in the U.S. tuned in to the CBS primetime soap opera Dallas to find out "Who Shot J.R." Ewing (Larry Hagman). Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) figured out that it was her sister, Kristin Shepard (Mary Crosby), who pulled the trigger. Over 350 million viewers watched around the world.



1984: On Search for Tomorrow, Wendy's (Lisa Peluso) reaction to his passionate kiss stunned Warren. Later, Stephanie arrived at Wendy's apartment unexpectedly while Warren was there.

1988: On Another World, Dick Cavett guest starred as a hypnotist who tried to help Felicia Gallant (Linda Dano).



1988: On Santa Barbara, Julia Wainright's (Nancy Lee Grahn) wedding to "Mason Capwell" (Lane Davies) began but she stopped the ceremony. "Mason" was actually lookalike Sonny Sprockett.



1989: On Another World, John Hudson (David Forsyth) and Sharlene Frame Watts (Anna Holbrook) were married. Frankie Frame (Alice Barrett) caught the bouquet.



1990: On Days of our Lives, Tom (Macdonald Carey) felt blessed on Thanksgiving, leading to an "Always" musical montage of Tom and Alice (Frances Reid) highlights.



1994: On Another World, Grant Harrison (Mark Pinter) married Amanda Cory (Christine Tucci) in her hospital room at Bay City General.

1995: On One Life to Live, Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) was shot in Ireland.



1997: On As the World Turns, the Milltown Baptist Church burned to the ground. Several people in the congregation were injured including Lew McCloud (Monti Sharp), who ended up paralyzed, and his wife, who died.



2001: Actress Avril Gentles, who played DuAnn Demerest on One Life to Live in the early 1990s, died at age 82.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Joseph Campanella (ex-Jonathan, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Barry, Melrose Rose; ex-Harper, Days of our Lives; ex-Hutch, The Colbys; ex-Joe, The Guiding Light) - 92
Laurence Luckinbill (ex-Frank, The Secret Storm) - 82
Juliet Mills (ex-Tabitha, Passions) - 75
Deborah Shelton (ex-Mandy, Dallas; ex-Juliette, The Yellow Rose) - 68
Cherry Jones (ex-Judith, Awake) - 60
Nicollette Sheridan (ex-Edie, Desperate Housewives; ex-Paige, Knots Landing; ex-Taryn, Paper Dolls) - 53
Kellie Overbey (ex-Jenny, Guiding Light) - 52
Rib Hillis (Matthew, The Bay; ex-Jake, Port Charles; ex-Ethan, Passions) - 46
Dahlia Salem (ex-Claire, General Hospital; ex-Sofia, Another World) - 45
Victoria Gabrielle Platt (ex-Vicky, Guiding Light; ex-Corinne, All My Children) - 43
Brook Kerr (ex-Whitney, Passions) - 43
Cherie Johnson (ex-Carlina, The Bay; ex-Latoya, Days of our Lives) - 41
Kit Paquin (ex-Marina, Guiding Light) - 35
Ryan Carnes (Lucas, General Hospital; ex-Justin, Desperate Housewives) - 34
Carly Rae Jepsen (Guest Star, 90210) - 31
Guy Wilson (ex-Will, Days of our Lives) - 31
Samantha Bailey (ex-Summer, The Young and the Restless) - 15

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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