|1984: The final episode of The Edge of Night aired on ABC.|
― 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...
1964: Daytime soap opera A Flame in the Wind premiered on ABC. Producer Joseph Hardy, whose creative efforts helped turn Love of Life into one of the top-ranking daytime dramas, changed things up for the new series.
"With most new serials it takes months to build up audience awareness," Hardy explained at the time. "The story usually doesn’t begin unfolding until long after each of the characters has been introduced. I deliberately shortened this traditional build-up period with new serials by concentrating on themes that move quickly from event to event."
A Flame in the Wind told the story of a young widow, who returned to her husband's boyhood home and found the town and its inhabitants reflected alarming frailties and distorted values. The show revolved around the community of Haviland, and the Skerba, Reynolds, Austen and Farrell families. Stars included Kathleen Maguire, Maggie Hayes, Lenka Peterson, Jacqueline Brooks, Roy Poole, Walter Coy, Richard Thomas, Frances Fuller, Morgan Sterne, Gordon Gray, Barbara Rodell and Margaret Ladd.
A Flame in the Wind was renamed A Time For Us in 1965, but ABC canceled it the following year. The final episode aired on December 16, 1966.
1971: On The Doctors, Carolee Simpson (Carolee Campbell) and Steve Aldrich (David O'Brien) enjoyed their new baby, Stephanie.
1975: On Another World, Gil McGowan (Dolph Sweet) gave a toast as he, Ada (Constance Ford), Nancy (Danielle Jean Burns), Mac (Douglass Watson), Rachel (Victoria Wyndham) and Jamie (Robert Doran) enjoyed a turkey dinner for Christmas. "To Mac and Rachel and the little one who'll be with us next Christmas," Gil said as he raised his glass. Rachel lost the baby two months later.
1978: Jane Badler debuted as Melinda Cramer on One Life to Live.
1984: ABC aired the final episode of daytime soap opera The Edge of Night. The show premiered on April 2, 1956 (the same day as As the World Turns), and ran on CBS for 19 and a half years before moving to ABC on December 1, 1975.
1984: On Another World, Cass Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer), dressed as Krystal Lake, went to Tallboys to spy on Kathleen McKinnnon (Julie Osburn) and Tony the Tuna (George Pentecost).
1989: On Santa Barbara, Nikki (Constance Marie) admitted to Cruz (A Martinez) that she was in the country illegally.
1992: On The Young and the Restless, Victor (Eric Braeden) and Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) argued about Ryan and Victoria's marriage.
1992: On Guiding Light, Lillian Raines (Tina Sloan) was surprised when Ed Bauer (Peter Simon) told her that he never got the note she left for him.
1995: On EastEnders, Pat Butcher (Pam St. Clement) had a heart-to-heart talk with a dejected Roy.
1995: On General Hospital, Sonny Corinthos' (Maurice Benard) attorney called to tell him the grand jury had come back with a verdict. Ned Ashton (Wally Kurth) heard a crash outside the gatehouse.
2010: On General Hospital, Brenda Barrett (Vanessa Marcil) thanked Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) for forcing her to return to Port Charles.
2011: Singer/actress Kaye Stevens died at age 79. From 1974 to 1979, she played Jeri Clayton on Days of our Lives.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
Maggie Smith (ex-Violet, Downton Abbey) - 82
William Bassett (ex-Wolfgang, General Hospital; ex-Phillip, Rituals; ex-Pete, The Young and the Restless) - 81
Fay Hauser (ex-Salena, The Young and the Restless; ex-Annie, Dallas) - 68
Terri Garber (ex-Elizabeth, Miss Behave; ex-Iris, As the World Turns; ex-Allison, Texas; ex-Victoria, General Hospital; ex-Suzanne, Santa Barbara; ex- Leslie, Dynasty) - 56
Michael J. Burg (ex-Trask, As the World Turns; ex-Webster, Guiding Light) - 48
Joe Manganiello (ex-Alcide, True Blood) - 40
Aaron Stanford (ex-Seymour, Nikita) - 40
Bree Williamson (ex-Vivian, Deception; ex-Claire, Haven; ex-Jessica, One Life to Live) - 37
Adam Gregory (ex-Thomas, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Ty, 90210) - 29
Thomas Dekker (ex-Adam, The Secret Circle; ex-Phillip, The Young and the Restless) - 29
Madison De La Garza (ex-Juanita, Desperate Housewives) - 15
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email firstname.lastname@example.org.