Today in Soap Opera History (October 20)

On this date in...

1930: The soap opera was born, with the debut of the first episode of Irna Phillips’ PAINTED DREAMS on WGN Radio in Chicago. The show is widely recognized by broadcast historians as the very first soap opera. The show ran on WGN and later CBS Radio until July 1943.

Click here to read Rob Wargo's in-depth feature from the 80th anniversary of the show in 2010.

1951: CBS debuted its eye logo. Celebrating 61 years today, and will replace its homepage’s current CBS Eye with the original Eye logo. Users can view photo essays of the Eye logos throughout the decades here.

1980: Kin Shriner debuted as Jeb Hampton in TEXAS.

1980: Gary Tomlin became head writer of DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

1987: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Duke and Anna were married.

1983: On KNOTS LANDING, the lawyers for Val and Gary argued heatedly over the divorce settlement, and Val finally interrupted to say that she wanted only the house and the car, nothing more.

1989: On ANOTHER WORLD, Vicky told Evan he was the key to her getting Steven back.

2002: Actress Barbara Berjer died at age 82.   She was beloved by soap fans for her work as Bridget Connell in ANOTHER WORLD and Barbara Norris in GUIDING LIGHT.  Her other daytime roles included Claire Cassen in AS THE WORLD TURNS, Ms. Spence in ALL MY CHILDREN, Irene Eagon Wheeler in THE EDGE OF NIGHT, and Lynn Franklin in THE EDGE OF NIGHT.  You can purchase her work in several the GUIDING LIGHT DVDS available at including the most recent release, "The Jennifer Richards Trial."

2003: On THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Stephanie admitted that it took losing Ridge to realize how much Brooke loved him.

2008: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Zach returned home after the tornado.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Sandra Dickinson (ex-Debbie, CASUALTY) - 64
William Russ (ex-Tucker, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Burt, ANOTHER WORLD) - 62
David Henesy (ex-David, DARK SHADOWS) - 56
Viggo Mortensen (ex-Bragg, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW) - 54
Yvette Nipar (ex-Sandy, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Sasha, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 48
Snoop Dogg (ONE LIFE TO LIVE guest star) - 41
Dannii Minogue (ex-Emma, HOME AND AWAY) - 41
Gillian Jacobs (ex-Adele, THE BOOK OF DANIEL) - 30
Rose McIver (ex-Holly, SHORTLAND STREET) - 25

Also celebrating a birthday today is We Love Soaps' Kevin Mulcahy Jr.

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

1 comment: