Today in Soap Opera History (August 6)

On this date in...

1911: One of the greatest entertainers of all time, Lucille Ball, was born (100 years ago!). She died in 1989 at age 77. There are some interesting ties between Lucy and soap operas. Y&R's Melody Thomas Scott is a founding board member of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, which runs the Lucy-Desi Museum in Ball's home town of Jamestown, NY. The center is trying to set a world record today for “most people dressed as Lucy Ricardo in one place, at one time.” OLTL's Robin Strasser's sons, Nicholas and Benjamin, are Lucy's step-grandchildren (through Laurence Luckinbill's marriage to Lucie Arnaz). GENERAL HOSPITAL's Maurice Benard played Desi Arnaz in a television movie (read our interview with Benard about the role here). Lucy's also made a guest appearance on THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW and appeared in the "As The Stomach Turns" parody.

She also featured a fictional soap on one of her own shows.

On January 31, 1966, THE LUCY SHOW aired its "Lucy and the Soap Opera" episode which began with Lucy watching CAMDEN COVE, her favorite show whose star lived in her building. Afraid his character might be killed off, Lucy ended up stalking the soap's head writer.

1979: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Louise tried to kill Paige (Margaret Colin).

1980: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Luke and Laura spent the night in a department store.

1981: GUIDING LIGHT's Kathleen Cullen, who played Amanda, gave birth to a 7-pound 13-ounce baby girl, Alexis. Cullen would return to the show from maternity leave in September.

1983: ANOTHER WORLD's Linda Dano and Stephen Schnetzer (Felicia and Cass) appeared at "Soaps Alive" at the Albany Mall.

1988: PUSH, the short-lived ABC primetime soap about Olympic hopefuls, aired its third and final episode leaving five episodes unaired.

2010: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Reid (Eric Sheffer Stevens) realized Chris was lying.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Barbara Windsor (ex-Peggy, EASTENDERS) - 74
Louise Sorel (Vivian, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Augusta, SANTA BARBARA; ex-Judith, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 71
Nathan Purdee (ex-Hank, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Nate, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Jake, SANTA BARBARA) - 61
Catherine Hicks (ex-Annie, 7TH HEAVEN; ex-Faith, RYAN'S HOPE) - 60
Valerie Wildman (ex-Fay, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 58
Grant Aleksander (ex-Phillip, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-DJ, CAPITOL; ex-Alec, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 52
Jason O'Mara (Jim, TERRA NOVA; ex-Sam, LIFE ON MARS; ex-Stuart, MEN IN TREES; ex-Richard, THE BILL) - 39
Melissa George (ex-Sadie, GREY'S ANATOMY; ex-Angel, HOME AND AWAY) - 35
Josh Schwartz (Executive Producer/Writer, GOSSIP GIRL; THE O.C.) - 35
Ryan Sypek (ex-Ryan, GREEK; ex-Junior, WILDFIRE) - 29

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  1. OMG, Louise Sorel, 71? I don't believe it.

  2. Thanks for including Lucy. She was one of a kind.