Friday, May 31, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (May 31)

On this date in...

1943: Radio soap opera LORA LAWTON debuted on NBC Radio. Joan Tompkins starred as Lora, housekeeper to important, dynamic shipbuilder Peter Carver. Lora would later marry Peter. Frank and Anne Hummert produced the series.

1968: On DARK SHADOWS, Adam (Robert Rodan) jumped from Widow's Hill just as he was about to be taken into police custody.

1983: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Hope (Kristian Alfonso) was thrilled that Doug and Julie found her the perfect new car, but wasn't so happy to find out Doug hired Bo (Peter Reckell) as Hope's new tennis instructor. "Suit up, Doll Face, I'll meet you on the court," Bo said to Hope.

1983: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Dorian (Robin Strasser) told Herb (Anthony Call) she may have judged David (Michael Zaslow) too harshly. Elsewhere, Echo (Kim Zimmer) revealed to Clint (Clint Ritchie) that a childhood accident made her afraid of the water. EDITOR'S NOTE: A year later, Zimmer's GUIDING LIGHT character Reva jumped into the fountain and declared herself "The Slut of Springfield."

1984: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Andy (Steven Ford) told Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) that he found Victor's mother and she wasn't what Nikki had been expecting. Elsewhere, Patty (Andrea Evans) interrupted Lauren's (Tracey Bregman) celebration with Danny (Michael Damian) and told them Jack (Terry Lester) stopped payment on one of the check's Lauren got to finance Danny's video.

1984: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Steve Andropoulos (Frank Runyeon) and Betsy Stewart (Meg Ryan) exchanged marriage vows in a traditional Greek Orthodox wedding. A reported 20 million viewers watched the episode, the second highest rated hour in daytime soap opera history.

1984: On GUIDING LIGHT, Bert (Charita Bauer) told Rick (Michael O'Leary) that she knew he was upset because she had lost her leg, but knew she was going to be alright.

1987: Soap opera writer Roy Winsor died at the age of 87. Winsor was the creator of SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, LOVE OF LIFE and THE SECRET STORM.  In 1974, THE SECRET STORM was canceled and he took over SOMERSET. He later created the CBN soap ANOTHER LIFE.

1996: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, just as Brenda (Vanessa Marcil) and Jax (Ingo Rademacher) toasted their wedding, Sonny (Maurice Benard) watched as Lily (Lilly Melgar) blew up in a car explosion (Clink-Boom!).

1996: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Erica (Susan Lucci) and Dimitri (Michael Nader) toasted to "old times and new arrivals."

1996: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Viki (Erika Slezak) and Dorian (Robin Strasser) had it out...again. Viki: "You want a fight, lady, you got it. I'm ready for you anytime, anywhere." Dorian: "Ooh, I can hardly wait."

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Sharon Gless (ex-Colleen, NIP/TUCK; ex-Debbie, QUEER AS FOLK) - 70
Maeve Kinkead (Dinah, GOTHAM; ex-Vanessa, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Angie, ANOTHER WORLD) - 67
Tom Berenger (ex-Tim, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 64
Gregory Harrison (ex-Tim, RINGER; ex-Paul, ONE TREE HILL; ex-Michael, FALCON CREST) - 63
Jack Gilpin (ex-Joel, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 62
Roma Maffia (ex-Liz, NIP/TUCK) - 55
Lea Thompson (Kathryn, SWITCHED AT BIRTH) - 52
Hugh Dillon (ex-Albert, DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION) - 50
Brooke Shields (ex-Wendy, LIPSTICK JUNGLE) - 48
Nick Scotti (ex-Tony, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 47
Ara Celi (ex-Raquel, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 39
Colin Farrell (ex-Danny, BALLYKISSANGEL) - 37
Eric Christian Olsen (ex-Kyle, BROTHERS & SISTERS) - 36
Matt Cavenaugh (ex-Adam, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Mark ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 35
Brad Schmidt (ex-Todd, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Anthony, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 34
Jonathan Tucker (Bob, PARENTHOOD) - 31
Jason Smith (ex-Robbie, HOME AND AWAY) - 29
Justine Cotsonas (ex-Sofie, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 28
Melissa McIntyre (ex-Ashley, DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION) - 27
Meredith Hagner (ex-Liberty, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 26

We want to wish a special Happy Birthday to We Love Soaps contributor Rob Wargo!

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 [email protected]


  1. Steve and Betsy's wedding...such good memories!

  2. Some iconic moments in Daytime Drama posted today. Steve and Betsey's wedding was one of the most original wedding ceremonies and celebrations I've ever seen on a daytime drama. I was too young to really appreciate it when it first aired but I watched it on You Tube a couple of years ago and the ceremony gave me chills. The dancing at the reception gave me joy.

    That image of the clinking glasses as a simultaneous explosion broke open is engraved in my mind. I was never much of a GH viewer (I'm still not) but my college roommates got me into it and I found myself glued to the whole Lily/Sonny/Brend/Jax saga and to say it was explosive back then was an understatement.

    Those were the days, huh?