Today in Soap Opera History (January 29)

On this date in...

1945: Procter & Gamble bought Spic and Span for $1.9 million. It would later become one of the sponsors for P&G soaps for decades (most notably SEARCH FOR TOMORROW).

1965: Actor John Larkin died at age 52. He starred as the original Mike Karr in THE EDGE OF NIGHT (pictured here celebrating the show's 1,000th episode) and was the first Frank Dana on THE ROAD OF LIFE. He was also the voice of Perry Mason in the radio version of the show.

1980: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Dee (Jacqueline Schultz) and Ian (Peter Simon) danced the night away. Watch it below:

1980: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Draper discovered Margo's bludgeoned body.

1981: On KNOTS LANDING, Abby (Donna Mills) arranged for Valene to see Gary and Judy out together.

1982: Robert Alda aired for the final time as Stuart Whyland on DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

1982: On DALLAS, Pam urged Bobby to learn more about Christopher’s biological parents.

1984: Mary Beth Evans guest starred in KNIGHT RIDER.

1985: On SANTA BARBARA, Peter strangled Veronica and left his a white carnation behind.

1988: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Betty White followed up her first appearance on the show (opposite Charles Shaughnessy's Shane) with another visit as part of the "Where's Betty?" contest. In the clip below, White interacted with Billy Warlock's Frankie.

1989: Actor Mandel Kramer died at age 72. He played Bill Marceau on THE EDGE OF NIGHT for 20 years. He also played District Attorney Richard Hanley in THE GUIDING LIGHT. You can watch a classic scene of his from GL from 60 years ago below:

1992: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, at the hospital Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) asked Ashley to take care of her children if she didn't survive.

1996: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Marty and Dylan wanted to move up their wedding date.

2004: Longtime soap opera producer turned reality television creator Mary-Ellis Bunim died at age 57.

2008: Billy Magnussen debuted as Casey Hughes in AS THE WORLD TURNS.

2010: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Reid (Eric Sheffer Stevens) met Katie and Henry.

2011: Indian soap opera BALDINI aired its final episode watched by more than 19 million viewers.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Katharine Ross (ex-Frankie, THE COLBYS) - 73
Tom Selleck (ex-Jed, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 68
Kathryn Leigh Scott (ex-Maggie, DARK SHADOWS; ex-Jennifer, DYNASTY; ex-Bunny, DALLAS) - 68
Marc Singer (ex-Chet, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Matt, DALLAS; ex-Wesley, PAPER DOLLS) - 65
Oprah Winfrey (Herself, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 59
Diane Delano (Shara, FUMBLING THRU THE PIECES; ex-Hilda, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Marcia, FALCON CREST) - 56
Matthew Ashford (Steve, THE BAY; Jack, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Tom, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Cagney, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW; ex-Stephen, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 53
Sam Trammell (Sam, TRUE BLOOD) - 44
Heather Graham (ex-Annie, TWIN PEAKS) - 43
Charles Divins (ex-Chad, PASSIONS) - 37
Justin Hartley (ex-Oliver, SMALLVILLE; ex-Fox, PASSIONS) - 36
Heidi Mueller (ex-Kay, PASSIONS) - 31
Adam Hunter (ex-Cam, NEIGHBOURS) - 31
Isabel Lucas (ex-Tasha, HOME AND AWAY) - 28
Drew Tyler Bell (ex-Thomas, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) - 27

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

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