Sunday, December 23, 2012

Today in Soap Opera History (December 23)

On this date in...

1964: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Gerry McGrath (Millee Taggart) awaited trial for the murder of Dave Hansen.

1971: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, the Hortons celebrated Christmas.

1973: Legendary soap opera creator and writer Irna Phillips died at age 72. Here are some of her career highlights:

Speech and Drama Teacher (1924–30); Radio Creator, Writer, PAINTED DREAMS (1930–32), TODAY'S CHILDREN (1932–38), THE GUIDING LIGHT (1937–56), THE ROAD OF LIFE (1937–59), THE WOMAN IN WHITE (1938–48), THE RIGHT TO HAPPINESS (1939–60), THE BRIGHTER DAY (1948–56); Television Creator, Writer, THE GUIDING LIGHT (1952–58); Co-creator, Writer, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1956–70; 1972–73), ANOTHER WORLD (1964–66); Co-creator, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1965)

1976: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Tara (Karen Lynn Gorney) had a heart-to-heart chat with Ruth (Mary Fickett) before her wedding to Phil (see photo above).

1981: SEARCH FOR TOMORROW debuted a new opening title sequence (watch below). It ran until February 25, 1986.

1983: On SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, Sunny (Marcia McCabe) and Hogan (David Forsyth) toasted Christmas with two milk cartons followed by a special closing with "O Holy Night" playing in the background (watch below).

1987: On GUIDING LIGHT, Amanda's (Kathleen Cullen) return surprised Ross (Jerry verDorn).

1992: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Jack (Peter Bergman) had a Christmas Eve warning for Victor.

1994: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, a possessed Marlena (Deidre Hall) levitated over her bed.

1995: Belgian television soap opera, THUIS, premiered featuring Pol Goossen, Janine Bischops, Merel De Vilder Robier, Sally-Jane Van Horebeeck, Annick Segal, Monika Van Lierde, Rik Andries and the late Donald Madder.

1999: Legendary casting director Betty Rea died at age 82.

2002: THE JEFFERSONS star Isabel Sanford guest-starred in THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, the final TV role before her 2004 death.

2009: Spanish soap opera EL COR DE LA CIUTAT (The Heart of the City) aired its final episode after a nine year run.

2011: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) and Lulu (Julie Marie Berman) were married.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Susan Lucci (Genevieve, DEVIOUS MAIDS; ex-Erica, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 66
John Callahan (ex-Mackenzie, THE BAY; Dr. Baker/ex-Artie, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Edmund, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Craig, SANTA BARBARA; ex-Leo, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 59
Martha Byrne (Alexis, ANACOSTIA; Catherine, GOTHAM; Janice, PRETTY; ex-Andrea, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Lily/Rose, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 43
Robert Benvenisti (ex-Kevin, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 39

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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