Wednesday, September 1, 2010

CLASSIC ATWT Photo of the Day: Mark Rydell

Jeff Baker and Penny Hughes (played by Mark Rydell and Rosemary Prinz) were perhaps daytime telivision's first young "super couple." Their turbulent romance kept soap viewers enthralled and helped to propel AS THE WORLD TURNS to the top of the ratings in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Penny and Jeff's first marriage was annulled, but they were married again after facing such problems as Jeff's trial for murder, Penny's miscarriage, Jeff's alcoholism and his desertion of his family.

In 1962, Rydell left the series and it was decided that the character should be killed off, leaving Penny a grieving young widow.

Following his stint on ATWT, Rydell acted in feature films and become a well known director. As a director, Rydell's credits include The Reivers (1969), The Cowboys (1972), Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Rose (1979), On Golden Pond (1981, for which he received an Oscar nomination as Best Director), The River (1984), For the Boys (1991) and Intersection (1994).


  1. I would love to see the whole Penny and Jeff story on DVD. Obviously the footage is mostly gone but it was so popular at the top on the #1 soap.

  2. I agree but I would also love to see as much of the History of ATWT as possible in DVD sets. I know that a lot of fans would buy them. It could be a huge source of revenue and perhaps help ressurect the show.

  3. Angela, that's an excellent point, one I'm not sure I've seen before about daytime. We've all wanted DVDs but your idea that it might help resurrect a show is right on. We've seen it happen with primetime shows. There are so many hours of daytime so it must be difficult but I do believe there is money to be made.

  4. I have never, ever understood why classic U.S. daytime soap episodes have never been released on video/DVD. In the UK, multiple volumes of "Coronation Street" and "Crossroads" have been released, with great success. The BBC has even issued audiotapes and CDs of the radio soap "The Archers" over the years.

  5. Angela, I wholeheartedly agree. The problem, as Roger points out, is that much of the "classic" era ATWT does not exist in the archives. The same holds true for most P & G soaps (with most of their archives beginning haphazardly in 1979). But, like you, I would love to see P & G take what they have and release them, even if it is just on iTunes, for fans to enjoy. For instance, there are a handful of kinescopes of classic 1973 episodes of "The Edge of Night" and "The Guiding Light" just sitting at the UCLA archives, but they aren't allowed to be checked out. Therefore, what good are they? Why don't they digitize them and release them?!!? I think we will have a snowball's chance in heck from this point on, since P & G have made it very clear that their classic soaps are of no priority to them...