Thursday, September 26, 2019

Today in Soap Opera History (September 26)

1986: Bobby was alive and well on Dallas; his death was a dream.
1994: All My Children's Erica visited her mother's grave.
1995: Another World's Grant shot his brother, Ryan, in the back.
1997: Days of our Lives recast the role of Jack...in a shower.
"History speaks to artists. It changes the artist's thinking and is constantly reshaping it into different and unexpected images."
― Anselm Kiefer

"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 Houseboat Hannah premiered on the NBC Red Network. Hard working Dan O'Leary, who lost an arm in a factory accident, moved his financially strapped family aboard a house boat in Shanty Fish Row on San Francisco Bay. Resourceful and resolute Hannah O'Leary became a mother figure to most of the Row. The theme song for Houseboat Hannah was Harry Revel and Mack Gordo's "Laugh Your Way Through Life."

1979: On As the World Turns, John Dixon (Larry Bryggman) told David Stewart (Henderson Forsythe) he thought his ex-wife, Kim (Kathryn Hays), was falling apart inside after Dan's death.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Jan Merlin Dead at 94


Former Another World writer Jan Merlin died on September 20 in Los Angeles. He was 94.

Born on April 3, 1925, Merlin was a torpedo man aboard U.S. Navy destroyers during World War II. He studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and appeared in the ensemble in the original 1948 Broadway production of "Mister Roberts," starring Henry Fonda.

From 1950-54, Merlin starred as Roger Manning on the kids TV program Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, based on a comic strip.

He moved to Hollywood for a role in Six Bridges to Cross (1955), starring Curtis, then appeared with Mamie Van Doren in Running Wild (1955), with Dale Robertson in A Day of Fury (1956), with Tom Tryon in Screaming Eagles (1956) and with Ann Sheridan in Woman and the Hunter (1957).

In 1958-59, Merlin portrayed Lt. Colin Kirby on The Rough Riders, an ABC series set in the aftermath of the Civil War.

His credits also included the films Guns of Diablo (1964), The Oscar (1966), The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967), Take the Money and Run (1969) and The Hindenburg (1975) and such TV shows as Laramie, The Virginian, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Mannix, Mission: Impossible and Little House on the Prairie.

Merlin also spent about five years as a writer on Harding Lemay's team at NBC soap Another World, winning a Daytime Emmy in 1975 and receiving another nomination two years later.

Today in Soap Opera History (September 25)

1970: ABC aired the final episode of The Best of Everything.
1984: All My Children's Tad was celebrated at his bachelor party.
1996: Days of our Lives' Sami and Austin married.
1998: One Life to Live's Bo grieved his son, Drew.
"History speaks to artists. It changes the artist's thinking and is constantly reshaping it into different and unexpected images."
― Anselm Kiefer

"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...

1967: On Dark Shadows, while Willie Loomis remained in a coma, Julia Hoffman (Grayson Hall) attempted to hypnotize David Collins (David Henesy) to stop his prying into Barnabas' (Jonathan Frid) affairs.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Today in Soap Opera History (September 24)

1951: Love of Life premiered on CBS.
1979: As the World Turns' Doug and Annie declared their love.
1981: General Hospital's Alan proposed to Susan.
1986: Another World's Mitch met his son, Matthew.
"History speaks to artists. It changes the artist's thinking and is constantly reshaping it into different and unexpected images."
― Anselm Kiefer

"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...

1951: Daytime soap opera Love of Life, created by Roy Winsor, premiered on CBS, three weeks after Search for Tomorrow debuted on the network. Both shows started as 15-minute serials but Love of Life would expand to 30 minutes in 1958, and remain a half hour until its final episode on February 1, 1980. None of the original actors stayed from beginning to end but director Larry Auerbach did. He went on to direct several other New York soaps before retiring the late 1990s. He was among those interviewed by Dustin Hoffman for the soap opera comedy, Tootsie.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Today in Soap Opera History (September 15)

1964: Primetime soap opera Peyton Place premiered on ABC.
1988: Santa Barbara's Eden Capwell was raped.
2009: Guiding Light's Alan Spaulding died.
2010: As the World Turns' Carly and Jack married one last time.
"History speaks to artists. It changes the artist's thinking and is constantly reshaping it into different and unexpected images."
― Anselm Kiefer

"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: Primetime soap opera Peyton Place premiered on ABC. Based upon the 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious, the series was preceded by a 1957 film adaptation. Peyton Place ran for 514 total episodes with the series finale airing on June 2, 1969.

In the first episode, Dr. Michael Rossi (Ed Nelson) arrived from New York City to set up practice in town. Newspaper editor Matthew Swain (Warner Anderson) told him people usually tried to get away from towns like Peyton Place, not move to them. Matthew's cousin Allison MacKenzie (Mia Farrow), a close friend of classmate Norman Harrington (Christopher Connelly), fell in love with his older brother, Rodney (Ryan O'Neal) as they shared their first kiss. At the end of the episode, Allison's mother, Constance (Dorothy Malone), made it clear she disapproved of her daughter's relationship with Rodney.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Today in Soap Opera History (September 14)

1966: Constance went into labor on Peyton Place.
1981: General Hospital's Susan was in the hospital after having baby Jason.
2009: Guiding Light's Lillian visited Maureen Bauer's grave.
2010: One Life to Live's Dorian threw water on Bo and Nora.
"History speaks to artists. It changes the artist's thinking and is constantly reshaping it into different and unexpected images."
― Anselm Kiefer

"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...

1936: NBC debuted Frank and Anne Hummert's radio soap opera John's Other Wife. The story revolved around John Perry (Hanley Stafford), the owner of a department store, his wife Elizabeth, and an assistant secretary named Annette. John got more than he bargained for when Elizabeth started to feel as though Annette had become his "other wife." The show ran until 1942.

1966: On Peyton Place, Constance MacKenzie (Dorothy Malone) was brought to the hospital after she began feeling labor pains.