Friday, February 17, 2012

Today in Soap Opera History (February 17)

On this date in...

1961: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Sara Karr ran out of the house after her two-year-old daughter, Laurie Ann, had wandered into the street. This was a Friday episode that ended with the sound of screeching tires. On Monday, viewers learned Laurie was saved by Sara who had been hit by a speeding car. Sara would die two days later.

Fans were outraged (at least 2,500 protest letters) leading to Teal Ames (Sara) and John Larkin (Mike) doing an on-camera appeal to viewers the next day assuring them that the actress was fine and just wanted to leave the show.

"We could have done the usual thing--sent Sara away on a long trip (at least six weeks), and had another actress pick up the part," the ad agency for EDGE said at the time. "But this would not have been satisfactory. We decided to make it quick and clean, not one of those 17-week illnesses."

The video below is from Sara's death on February 22.

1967: On ANOTHER WORLD, Liz implored Lenore to act as if she were still engaged to protect Bill.

1972: Robin Strasser returned to the role of Rachel Clark after leaving the soap two months earlier in December.

"The role was too important to write out," said executive producer Paul Rauch at the time.  "We had some heavy stuff coming up involving Rachel and we figured Robin was about the only one who could handle it.  So we persuaded her."

1989: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Jill was outraged Phillip went out to dinner with Nina.

2003: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) begged Cameron (Lane Davies) for help.

2006: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Mimi listened as Shawn and Belle talked on the roof.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Hal Holbrook (ex-Grayling, THE BRIGHTER DAY) - 87
Christina Pickles (ex-Linell, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Elena, ANOTHER WORLD) - 77
Mary Ann Mobley (ex-Jonelle, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Beth, FALCON CREST) - 73
Don Scardino (ex-Chris, ANOTHER WORLLD; ex-Greg, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Marty, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Johnny, GUIDING LIGHT) - 63
Lynne Moody (ex-Florence, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Patricia, KNOTS LANDING) - 62
Carole Davis (ex-Marguerite, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) - 54
Lou Diamond Phillips (ex-Juan, JACK & BOBBY) - 50
Kelly Carlson (ex-Kimber, NIP/TUCK; ex-Wendy, MELROSE PLACE) - 36
Erin Cardillo (ex-Esme, PASSIONS) - 35
Ashton Holmes (Tyler, REVENGE; ex-Greg, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 34
Jason Ritter (Mark, PARENTHOOD; ex-Allan, UNDRESSED) - 32
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (ex-Daniel/David, DARK SHADOWS) - 31
Jennifer Gee (ex-Susan, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 29
Darnell Lamont Walker (Julian, ANACOSTIA)
Chord Overstreet (Sam, GLEE) - 23
Meaghan Martin (ex-Bianca, 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU) - 20
Campbell Rose (Allie, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 8
Carolyn Rose (Allie, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 8

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a piece of soap opera history for this daily column, please email it to [email protected].

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- Why 2012 Will Be "The Year Of The Soap" (Part 3): Promising Fall Pilots

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