Thursday, January 3, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (January 3)

On this date in...

1968: On ANOTHER WORLD, after going across the state line Rachel (Robin Strasser) and Russ (Sam Groom) were married with the magistrate's wife, Effie, as their witness. Rachel had convinced Russ they could keep the marriage a secret from his mother, Mary, since he promised her to remain free of responsibility until he's finished his internship and his residency.

When Rachel arrived back on Bay City, she gloated to Ada (Constance Ford), "Say good luck. Say you're happy. Say fireworks, music, blue skies, champagne, merry-go-round, rainbow! I'm married to Dr. Russell Matthews!"

1977: New daytime soap opera LOVERS AND FRIENDS premiered on NBC.  The show, created by ANOTHER WORLD head writer Harding Lemay and executive producer Paul Rauch, was set Point Clair, Illinois, and focused on the trials and tribulations of two neighboring families, the wealthy Cushings and the more middle class Saxtons.

Lemay commented on the show and his relationship with Rauch in a 1997 interview:

"We created a soap opera together, LOVERS AND FRIENDS. That lasted a year or two. It was too much. I found it interesting to be working on one soap and to be able to switch my mind completely into a whole other set of characters. We had wonderful actors like Nancy Marchand and Richard Backus. It didn't work because I didn't have the energy to fight for what I wanted to do and they changed a whole lot of things. After the first six months I didn't write it anymore. I just collected the royalties."

1980: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Cliff (Ernie Townsend, now Ernie Pysher) ate the soup Mrs. Corey intended for Deborah.

1991: Aimee Brooks aired for the final time as Sarah Horton in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

1994: ONDERWEG NAAR MORGEN (On the Way to Tomorrow) debuted on Dutch television. The writers based their show on story bibles from American soap RYAN'S HOPE& originally written by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer.

1995: Morgan Englund (Dylan) left GUIDING LIGHT. He would return for guest appearances including the final week in 2009.

1995: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Alice (Frances Reid) objected at Bo (Robert Kelker Kelly) and Billie's (Lisa Rina) wedding.

1998: Polish soap opera ZLOTOPOLSCY premiered.

2000: AS THE WORLD TURNS moved into the Midwood Brooklyn studio that had been home to ANOTHER WORLD until 1999.

2001: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Bianca (Eden Riegel) was outed at the Crystal Ball to Erica's (Susan Lucci) dismay. When Erica pressed her to deny being gay, Bianca replied: "But Mom, I am gay."

2003: On THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Stephanie (Susan Flannery) explained to Bridget how important it was to keep the secret of Ridge's paternity.

2007: Brody Hutzler aired for the final time as Patrick Lockhart in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Robert Loggia (ex-Tony, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW; ex-Frank, THE SECRET STORM; ex-Yuri, EMERALD POINT N.A.S.) - 83
Dabney Coleman (Louis, BOARDWALK EMPIRE) - 81
Victoria Principal (ex-Pam, DALLAS; ex-Gwen, TITANS) - 63
Mark Drexler (ex-Roger, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 61
Frank Dicopoulos (ex-Frank, GUIDING LIGHT) - 56
Shannon Sturges (ex-Molly, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Sheridan, PASSIONS; ex-Kate, PORT CHARLES; ex-Reese, SAVANNAH) - 45
Jason Marsden (ex-A.J., GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 39
Nicholas Gonzalez (ex-D.J., THE O.C.; ex-James, MELROSE PLACE) - 37
Telly Leung (ex-Wes, GLEE) - 33
Alex D. Linz (ex-Phillip, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 24

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. Where's the Soap Opera History column for today for 1/4, Roger? How come you haven't posted it yet?