Today in Soap Opera History (August 15)

1984: Guiding Light's Springfield celebrated Founders Day.
1985: GH's Anna & Robert plotted to get the Aztec jewels.
1986: Another World's Felicia spoke at Zane's funeral.
1991: Days of our Lives' "Roman" reunited with Marlena.
"The best prophet of the future is the past."
― Lord Byron

"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...

1977: On Guiding Light, Eve Stapleton (Janet Grey) was released from Cedars Hospital.

1979: On The Edge of Night, Elliott couldn't (Lee Godart) resist Raven (Sharon Gabet) even though he was aghast she left the baby alone.

FLASHBACK: Aretha Franklin Introduces Her Favorite Soap 'The Young and the Restless' at the 1997 Daytime Emmy Awards

Aretha Franklin and Eric Braeden at the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmys.
Aretha Franklin is reportedly in hospice care at her home, a source close to the 76-year-old Queen of Soul told CNN's Don Lemon. The legendary singer has been dogged by reports of failing health for years and appeared frail in recent photos, but she has kept her struggles private. One thing she has always been very public about is her love for CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless.

When introducing the show's best drama series montage at the 1997 Daytime Emmys, Franklin said, "I watch it in the morning. I watch it when I'm at home. I watch it when I'm in concert. I watch it when I'm asleep. I watch it."

"Victor is one of my favorite characters in The Young and the Restless," she added. "I love the way he makes his approach to a woman. He's the all-time player."

Watch the 1997 Y&R montage and Franklin's introduction below.

'General Hospital' Celebrates 25 Years of Maurice Benard as Sonny Corinthos

ABC7 in Los Angeles stopped by the set of General Hospital on Monday for the 25th anniversary celebration of Maurice Benard playing the character of Sonny Corinthos.

"You make it fun for me, coming to work," an emotional Benard told the GH cast and crew, who were decked out in anniversary t-shirts.

Added co-star Laura Wright, "Maurice has given his heart and soul, and shown so much of show he is through the character of Sonny. So this is truly his family."

"He's just such a mentor to everybody," enthuses co-star Steve Burton (Jason), "because of his work ethic, and his professionalism, and how much he gives to other actors."

Check out ABC7's report below.

Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart Dead at 63

Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, a professional wrestler who was part of the Hart family wrestling dynasty and is the father of World Wrestling Entertainment star Natalya, died on August 13. He was 63

A two-time World Wrestling Federation tag team champion as part of the Hart Foundation with real-life brother-in-law Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Neidhart was a highly recognizable character in the late 1980s and early ’90s, unmistakable with his goatee and pink garb. Bret Hart said he was “stunned and saddened,” at the news of Neidhart’s death. “I just don’t have the words right now.”

Neidhart was known to younger audiences for his appearances on “Total Divas,” the wrestling reality show, and for being Natalya’s father as well as the father-in-law of Tyson Kidd, a former World Wrestling Entertainment performer.

A Florida native, Neidhart took up wrestling in 1979 after playing preseason football for the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, training with WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart in the Hart Dungeon in Calgary and earning his nickname by winning an anvil-throwing contest. He married into the Hart Family when he wed Stu’s daughter, Ellie, and came to the WWE when it purchased Stu Hart’s Calgary Stampede Wrestling in the mid-’80s.

He left WWF for the first time in 1992, but returned with a larger Hart Foundation in 1996 and 1997 with three of his brothers-in-laws, striking a rivalry with Stone Cold Steve Austin. He is survived by his wife and daughters Jennifer and Kristen, in addition to Natalya (whose given name is Natalie). Citing the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, TMZ reported that he died after striking his had in a fall at his home in the Tampa area, with 911 audio it obtained describing a man having convulsions at around 6:30 a.m. Eastern.

Today in Soap Opera History (August 14)

As word spread about the end of World War II, listeners were
glued to the radio for updates.
"The best prophet of the future is the past."
― Lord Byron

"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...

1945: President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered to the Allies (World War II). Thousands thronged into the streets throughout the United States to celebrate V-J Day. The official ratification of the surrender didn’t take place until September 2, in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri.

1945: On Pepper Young's Family, Harry, Betty, Pepper (Mason Adams) and Mrs. Green discussed Harry and Betty's upcoming marriage. Since the kids didn't want to wait, they went off once they received Pepper and Mrs. Green's permission.

1945: On Ma Perkins, Mathilda Pendleton (Beverly Younger) dropped by Ma's (Virginia Payne) and wanted to know all about Jeff and Stella Carlon (Marilou Neumayer). Gary Curtis (Rye Pillsbury) confronted Stella, wanting to know what had been troubling her recently.

Patricia Benoit Dead at 91

Actress Patricia Benoit died on August 6 at her home in Port Chester, New York. She was 91.

Benoit is best known for playing Nancy Remington, the sweetheart and eventual wife of Wally Cox's character on the 1950s NBC sitcom Mister Peepers. The show, broadcast live from a New York theater for three seasons from July 1952 to June 1955, starred Cox (later the voice of the superhero Underdog) as the mild-mannered Robinson Peepers, a science teacher at Jefferson City Junior High. Benoit's Nancy was a nurse and the object of Peepers' awkward affection.

In a highly anticipated television moment, the two were married near the end of the second season, with the new husband and wife on the cover of TV Guide in May 1954.

Born on February 21, 1927, in Fort Worth, Texas, Benoit attended Texas State College before moving to New York City when she was 19.

She studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, appeared on a 1950 episode of Believe It or Not and had a career breakthrough when she starred as Melvyn Douglas' long-lost daughter in the 1951-1952 Broadway comedy Glad Tidings.