Monday, July 16, 2012

Today in Soap Opera History (July 16)

On this date in...

1934: Musical radio soap opera DREAMS COME TRUE premiered on the NBC Red network. The show aired three times a week and revolved around vocalist Barry McKinley.  DREAMS COME TRUE was sponsored by Procter & Gamble's Camay soap.

1981: Dianne Thompson Neil (now known as Alexandra Neil) debuted as Ruby Wright (Billy Joe's sister) on TEXAS.

1984: On GUIDING LIGHT, Beth and Lujack almost made love. Watch the episode below:

1987: Charlotte Ross debuted as Eve on DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

2001: Melissa Archer debuted as Natalie on ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

2004: Kirsten Storms aired for the last time as Belle Black on DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

2008: Forbes March made his last appearance as Nash on ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Jayma Mays (Emma, GLEE; ex-Charlie, UGLY BETTY) - 33
Brent Weber (ex-Sean, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 32
Fabio Taliercio (ex-Alex, EMPIRE)
AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi, 90210; ex-Eden, NIP/TUCK) - 25
Mark Indelicato (ex-Justin, UGLY BETTY) - 18

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].


  1. I love, love, love the birthdays and historic events. My favorite part of this website. I know it takes considerable work putting it all together and I do appreciate it.

    That's why I hate to quibble about small things, but Texas is my show. Ruby Wright debuted in 1981, not 1982.

    I have many scenes of her on tape (now transferred to DVD) from long before July 1982. By this point in 1982, Ruby was already involved with Mark Wheeler and the comedy duo of Lurlene and Ruby was very much integral to the show.

  2. Thanks, James. It was just a typo before I went to bed. I watched every episode of Texas and loved Ruby and Lurlene. As much as I adore Beverlee McKinsey, "The New Generation" version of Texas was better once it started. My favorites were Grant and Reena. I often wonder what GL would have been in the mid-80s had Texas stayed on the air.

  3. Justin is officially Legal! He will be a Heartbreaker!

  4. I loved his Ugly Betty storyline so much. I hope he has much success in whatever he does with his career.

  5. Thanks Roger for the flashback to one of my favorite daytime characters, Ruby Wright Wheeler. Loved Alexandra Neil in the role and the unique friendship the writers created between Ruby and Tina Johnson's Lurlene Harper. I am thrilled to discover you were also a fan of Grant and Reena from Texas. I share fond memories of that storyline and included their names on the comments page when the "50 Greatest Couples" initiative was launched.

    Please also consider the "50 Greatest Soap Moments" and "50 Greatest Soap Friendships."

    PS to James - If you have any of the Hitopah clips in your tape to DVD transfer, please think about posting some on You Tube. There are so many people who remember that storyline and would love to see clips. The AOL airings of Texas on-line concluded right before Hitopah began.

  6. Hi Derek, we are thinking of doing a countdown (not sure if 50) of the Great Duos, some are best pals and others are bitter enemies but they aren't really "couples" although many received votes in our couples poll.

  7. Grant and Reena are one of my all time favorite couples. Right up there with Doug & Julie, Adam & Nicole and Sky & Raven.

    Love that Carla Borelli and Donald May are still together in real life. Too bad we never got to experience more of their love affair on screen.

    Roger, I agree, Texas really came together during the final year with "The New Generation." The first year really wasn't all that good, despite Iris' presence. But oh, from about the time Grant Wheeler arrived in June 1981 and Ruby Wright shortly after that, everything was coming together so well. As I recall, that translates to exactly when Gail Kobe took over as EP from Paul Rauch.

    The Texas scenes I have saved on tape to DVD start in early 1982. Don't have any Hitopah scenes specifically. But I do have a hilarious scene of Lurlene deciding confess all to the police about Beau's body mummifying and later disappearing. Gil Rogers (Ray Gardner on AMC, Hawk Shayne on GL) played the police officer.

    Also have a great scene of Randy Jones (of Village People) singing Pretty Woman to Lurlene.

    Oh, what great memories. I'll try to hunt down those DVDs . . .

  8. The master tapes are still in a warehouse but I wish we could release the entire series on DVD (it's the only P&G soap where this is a possible) -- a la what Dark Shadows did earlier this year. I'm not sure there's enough people out there to pay for that type of set but hope we get to do something at some point. I have a feeling music rights would be a big factor.

  9. A collection of all 600+ episodes of Texas! That would be exciting. But would likely have a hefty price tag.

    I'd be happy with a 20 episode collection

    I don't particularly recall there being much, if any, contemporary music on Texas. Maybe the occasional song (like the above mentioned Pretty Woman). But not the way contemporary music invaded soaps by the next year and played in every episode.

  10. I may not be remembering this correctly but was thinking more of country songs played at the bar. That has derailed me many times in picking episodes from GL and ATWT, scenes you never thought about the music before but was playing on the jukebox in the background. Because it was the early '80s that kind of thing is hard to edit out because it wasn't always on a separate track on the tape.

  11. Ah, background music like the jukebox. Hadn't thought about that. Plus, I'm not a country music fan, so I wouldn't have automatically recognized or responded to those songs.

    My point was that by 83, contemporary music was in virtually every episode of soaps. Phillip and Beth on GL dancing at the prom to Lionel Richie. Beth and Lujack riding the horse on the beach montage done to "Almost Paradise." Greg & Jenny, Angie & Jesse on AMC dancing in a bar scene to Aretha Franklin's "Pink Cadillac."

    Plus about that time couples started getting theme songs. Bo and Hope's theme song "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" on Days. Christopher Cross's "Think of Laura" when Laura returned to Luke from the dead in 83 on GH. Joe and Kelly on Santa Barbara's theme song starting with the debut episode in 1984, Peabo Bryson's "If Ever I'm in Your Arms Again."

    Here almost 30 years later, I can still vividly remember those songs playing as part of the episode. I don't have any of those associations with Texas, so that's what I was basing my saying that Texas didn't have contemporary music.