Today in Soap Opera History (May 21)

On this date in...

1964: On ANOTHER WORLD, Jim (Leon Janney) convinced Russ (Joey Trent) to attend summer school.

1971: The first episode of UPSTAIRS DOWNSTARS was re-recorded in color after the original recording, which was in black and white, was lost.

1974: The very first Daytime Emmys took place at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. The show was hosted by Peter Marshall and winners included THE DOCTORS (Drama Series), Macdonald Carey and Elizabeth Hubbard.

1984: On GUIDING LIGHT, Nola (Lisa Brown) gave birth.

1986: On the sixth season finale of DYNASTY, Alexis took over the Carrington mansion, and Blake began to strangle her. Meanwhile, during Dominique's engagement party, Claudia accidentally set fire to La Mirage, leaving several lives in danger.

1992: THE REAL WORLD, from longtime soap producer Mary-Ellis Bunim, premiered on MTV. Mary-Ellis said, “What if you could do a soap opera with no actors and no writers?” Read the story of its origin here.

1999: Susan Lucci finally won an Emmy Award after 19 consecutive nominations. Shemar Moore announced her win: "The streak is over…Susan Lucci!" Other winners were GENERAL HOSPITAL (Drama Series, Writing), Anthony Geary, Stuart Damon, Sharon Case, Jonathan Jackson and Heather Tom.

2004: At the 31st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, winners included THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (Drama Series), Anthony Geary, Michelle Stafford, Rick Hearst, Cady McClain, Chad Brannon and Jennifer Finnigan.

2005: Actor Stephen Elliott died at age 86.  His soaps included Dr. Jerry Stephens in AS THE WORLD TURNS, Jack Condon in A WORLD APART, Douglas Channing in FALCON CREST, and Scotty Demarest in DALLAS.

2006: 24.2 million viewers watched the second season finale of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES in which the show wrapped up its Applewhite storyline.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Alice Drummond (ex-Susie, RYAN'S HOPE; ex-Loretta, WHERE THE HEART IS; ex-Nurse Jackson, DARK SHADOWS) - 85
Richard Hatch (ex-Steven, SANTA BARBARA; ex-Dean, DYNASTY; ex-Harmon, MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN; ex-Phil, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 68
Carol Potter (ex-Joan, SUNSET BEACH; ex-Cindy, BEVERLY HILLS, 90210; ex-Beverly, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Betsy, THE DOCTORS) - 65
Mr. T (Himself, WWF/WCW) - 61
Brett Tucker (ex-Daniel, NEIGHBOURS) - 41
Marnie Schulenburg (Alison, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 29

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you have a tip on a bit of soap history on this date or future dates, let us know. Send an email to


  1. How cool that the first Daytime Emmy Awards were outside on Rockefeller Plaza! That's something that I don't think we'll ever see again. And the intro with the actors and hosts strutting in could've been cheesy but to me it was kind of whimsical. I might be biased since this was the year I was born, in fact I wouldn't be ready for another month and a half or so! I wish I could see the entire episode to see Elizabeth Hubbard accept her award (she never won for Lucinda/ATWT).
    Thanks for posting!

  2. @a1scrivener:

    Your reply reminds me that it got even more whimsical for the Second Annual Daytime Emmy Awards (May 15,1975)! They broadcast the show from an excursion boat out on the Hudson River in New York Harbor.. lol!