Today in Soap Opera History (May 24)

On this date in...

1966: "Mame" opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater. The show featured Frankie Michaels, the youngest Tony winner ever, who had been playing Tom Hughes on AS THE WORLD TURNS the previous two years. He had just turned 11 when the show closed.

1978: Actor Barry Atwater, who played Dr. John Prentice on GENERAL HOSPITAL in its early years, died at age 60.

1982: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, The Salem Strangler murdered Marlena. Actress Deidre Hall took phone calls at the NBC offices from angry fans outraged over the character's death. One call was from a nurse at a psychiatric hospital who told Hall she had to give patients tranquilizers because they were so upset over Marlena's fate. In a twist, the victim turned out to actually be Marlena's twin sister, Samantha, meaning Marlena survived. Two years later, Marlena named one of her twins after her late sister.

1984: On GUIDING LIGHT, Bert (Charita Bauer) learned she had a blood clot in her foot, and Nola (Lisa Brown) had a "Wizard of Oz" fantasy.

1988: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Anna (Finola Hughes) walked out on Duke (Ian Buchanan) calling him a "little puppet" of the mob.

1993: Radio writer and producer Carlton E. Morse passed away in Sacramento at age 91. Morse wrote, directed, and produced the popular radio soap ONE MAN'S FAMILY.

1993: Actor Jack Denbo, who played Jack Clayton in DAYS OF OUR LIVES in the mid-1970s, died in an automobile accident.

1999: FOX aired the final episode of the original MELROSE PLACE.

1999: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Eddie and Georgia helped to orchestrate a successful evening at Oakdale's new nightspot, Denise delivered some terrible news to Lily, and Carly and Brad had trouble dealing with their marriage contract. Although Eddie had been fired from Alec Wallace's hot new nightclub, he and Georgia arranged a performance at the club by the hit pop group 98 Degrees. After the group performed "The Hardest Thing" to a packed club, Margo convinced Wallace that he should reconsider his decision to fire Eddie. Also at the club, Katie tried to pull Eddie's attention away from Georgia, with a little help from Chris. Meanwhile, Denise and Lily had a falling out as they both visited baby Hope in the hospital. When Denise tried to tell Lily about Hope's real biological mother and about David Stenbeck's evil plot, Lily was furious and threatened Denise with her restraining order. Although Lily believed Denise was crazy and was determined to protect Hope from her, a part of her was plagued by doubts. While Lily confronted Denise, Ben had a talk with Holden, and he explained Hope's paternity from a medical standpoint. Although Holden was deeply upset and driven to search for his own biological child, he was more concerned about Lily's peace of mind. Carly resented her marriage to Brad and still felt drawn to his brother Jack, but she was pressed to accept the union in order to keep her considerable trust fund. The Snyder family disapproved of Carly as an addition to the family, but Brad and Carly tried to keep a good front on their false marriage. The Snyders also worried that Jack and Julia might not marry, since Jack seemed to have given up hope in the relationship.

1999: On ANOTHER WORLD, Paulina was on trial for the murder of Grant Harrison, and things looked bad for her because the judge presiding over the trial was a friend of the deceased. Although Cass tried to get him to resign from the case in the light of the conflict of interest, Judge Walker refused. He would not allow Tim to testify, either. In fact, Tim blackmailed the judge into giving him money to leave town. Meanwhile, Jordan Stark believed that Amanda was the reincarnation of his first wife, and he lured her to a secret garden. He planned to coax the spirit of his former love out of Amanda's body so that they could be together forever. He also decided to blow up his headquarters, with Ally held captive inside the building. Rachel rescued Ally just in time, and Cameron caused Stark to vanish, leaving behind only a grizzly reminder. Nick continued to help Remy search for her mother, who might be a well-known Bay City resident currently in trouble.

2004: On GUIDING LIGHT, Danny (Paul Anthony Stewart), following Salerno's orders, detonated the warehouse bomb intending to kill Eden not realizing that Michelle was in the building as well. The medical teams remove dan apparently deceased Eden from the warehouse, however, all was not be as it seems. After Tony heard from Salerno that the explosion has occurred, he visited the crime scene, inadvertently locating Michelle among the debris.

2006: Wayne Northrop appeared on DAYS OF OUR LIVES for the last time.  He was playing Alex North at the time.  He had last played Roman Brady in 1994.

2008: Former daytime soap producer Robert Calhoun (AS THE WORLD TURNS; GUIDING LIGHT) died at age 77.  He was the longtime partner of actor Farley Granger.

2012: Actress Kathryn Virginia Fuller, who played two different characters named Mabel on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, died at age 89.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Mart Hulswit (ex-Ed, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Ralph, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Harlan, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Dr. Burke, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW) - 73
Steve Carlson (ex-Jeffrey, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Josh, A NEW DAY IN EDEN; ex-Gary, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Mark, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Sean, SANTA BARBARA) - 70
Priscilla Presley (ex-Jenna, DALLAS) - 68
Eric Close (Teddy, NASHVILLE; ex-Sawyer, SANTA BARBARA) - 46
Victor Browne (ex-Drew, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 46
Dana Ashbrook (ex-Bobby, TWIN PEAKS; ex-Rich, DAWSON'S CREEK) - 46
Greg Berlanti (Executive Producer, ARROW; DAWSON'S CREEK; DIRTY SEXY MONEY; BROTHERS & SISTERS) - 41
Jason Pendergraft (ex-Blake, ARMY WIVES; ex-Lance, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 37
Jo Joyner (Tanya, EASTENDERS) - 36
Bryan Greenberg (ex-Jake, ONE TREE HILL) - 35

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 comment:

  1. As I recall, we saw the Salem Strangler's victim on Saturday and on Monday saw that Marlena was alive.