Thursday, September 6, 2012

Today in Soap Opera History (September 6)

On this date in...

1917: Radio and television pioneer Richard Durham was born.  He created radio soap HERE COMES TOMORROW, a black soap opera that aired on WJJD.  He also wrote DESTINATION FREEDOM, a dramatic radio series on WMAQ in Chicago which brought the freedom struggles of African Americans to Chicago listening audiences on Sunday mornings between 1948 and 1950. In 1971 he was head writer for BIRD OF THE IRON FEATHER for Chicago's public channel, WTTW, which ran for half an hour three nights a week.  Durham died on April 24, 1984.

1948: On radio soap opera CLAUDIA, Claudia had opening night jitters.

1976: On ANOTHER WORLD, Sharlene (Laurie Heineman) confessed her sordid past to a devastated Russ, then downed a bottle of pills.

1978: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) married Tom Cudahy. Watch below.

1983: On RYAN'S HOPE, Maggie (Cali Timmons) received a call from her mother.

1986: British drama CASUALTY premiered.

1993: DAYS OF OUR LIVES began airing in Germany.

1996: Krista Allen debuted as Billie Reed in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

2011: Carol Burnett returned to ALL MY CHILDREN as Verla Grubbs.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Swoosie Kurtz (ex-Ellie, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Alex, SISTERS) - 68
Steven Eckholdt (ex-Robert, MELROSE PLACE; ex-Henry, THE L WORD; ex-Doug, THE WEST WING) - 51
Kelli McCarty (ex-Beth, PASSIONS) - 43
Anika Noni Rose (Corrine, PRIVATE PRACTICE; Wendy, THE GOOD WIFE) - 40
Idris Elba (ex-Stringer, THE WIRE) - 40
Justin Whalin (ex-A.J., GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 38
Natalia Cigliuti (ex-Anita, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Rachel, PACIFIC PALISADES; ex-Chloe, BEVERLY HILLS, 90210) - 34
Shawn Carpenter (ex-Will, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 17
Taylor Carpenter (ex-Will, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 17

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. One of my professors at a former college of mine interviewed several of the people involved in Bird of the Iron Feather. There are 3 parts to the interview….part 1 is here:

  2. Wow, WLS is always the place to learn something new about the history of Daytime Drama and Soaps! I wonder if their are any archives of this radio drama?? I love listening to radio plays and this would be so interesting. I will check out the You Tube link, Patrick.
    Seriously, some brave soul really needs to do a Ken Burnsian style multi-part documentary on the history of Daytime Dramas beginning with radio dramas and this should definitely be added to one of those chapters!