Today in Soap Opera History (June 30)

On this date in...

1899: Actor Santos Ortega was born.  He would become best known to soap fans for his two decade run as Will "Grandpa" Hughes in AS THE WORLD TURNS.  He passed away on April 10, 1976.

1952: Popular (NBC and later) CBS radio soap opera THE GUIDING LIGHT, on the air since 1937, made its television debut on CBS-TV. The original television cast included Theo Goetz, Jone Allison, Lyle Sudrow, Charita Bauer and Helen Wagner. In the episode, Meta lamented to her sister Trudy that she had left her husband Joe and her step-daughter Kathy hated her. Trudy convinced Meta to talk to Joe on the telephone.

The Irna Phillips-created show continued to be broadcast on the radio as well until 1956. In 2009, after more than 72 years on radio and TV, GUIDING LIGHT finally went off the air. The show remains the longest running scripted series in broadcast history.

1966: ANOTHER WORLD was broadcast live on the East Coast (as usual at that time) but someone forgot to tape the episode for airing in the West so the cast had to do the show again. In the episode, Hope Bauer (Elissa Leeds) asked Lee (Gaye Huston) if she could stay with Hope and Mike (Gary Pillar) all the time. ANOTHER WORLD transitioned from live to pre-taped broadcasts with the May 24, 1967 episode.

1966: On DARK SHADOWS, Victoria (Alexandra Moltke) heard the sounds of a woman's sobbing emanating from a locked room at Collinwood. Upon investigating, she was confronted by her charge, David Collins (David Henesy), who had a strange and disturbing message for her.

1980: ANOTHER WORLD introduced a character from the upcoming spin-off series TEXAS for the first time: Striker Bellman, played by Robert Gerringer.

1980: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Molly Sherwood arrived in Monticello and realized Emily's new friend, April, was "Kirk's" wife.

1983: On RYAN'S HOPE, Siobhan (Marg Helgenberger) tackled a strange man who approached her while on a job. It turned out to be her partner, Bill.

1988: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Colton (Scott Thompson Baker) told Felicia (Kristina Wagner, then known as Kristina Malandro) the music box had made her a target.

2001: The final episode of Argentinean children's telenovela CHIQUITITAS aired finishing a six year run.

2004: Actor Bernie Grant died at age 83. His soap roles included Dan Briskin in SOMERSET, Steve Burke on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Duke Manson in THE EDGE OF NIGHT and Paul Fletcher on THE GUIDING LIGHT.

2005: Four-time Emmy winning GENERAL HOSPITAL producer Carol Scott died of cancer at the age of 56.

2010: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Kim (Patsy Pease) gave Shane (Charles Shaughnessy) the cold shoulder. He later told her he was quitting the ISA.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Clifford David (ex-Rod, RYAN'S HOPE) - 81
George McDaniel (ex-James, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Jordan, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 71
Nicolas Surovy (ex-Mike, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Orson, RYAN'S HOPE) - 69
Brian Bloom (ex-Dusty, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 43
Monica Potter (Kristina, PARENTHOOD; ex-Sharon, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 42
Kelly Cheston (ex-Alana, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Madison, DAWSON'S CREEK) - 41
Lizzy Caplan (ex-Amy, TRUE BLOOD) - 31
Josh Ruben (ex-Ultra Violet Bartender, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 30
Sean Marquette (ex-Jamie, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 25

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. I love the Today in Soap Opera History. It's my favorite thing on your site. I know how much work it is to compile all that info. That's why I hate to point out a mistake, but do want to provide the correct info.

    The character of Striker Bellman was a part of Another World in early 1980. Clifton James played the part. Striker, Reena's father, came to Bay City so Reena's husband/Striker's son-in-law, cardiologist Kevin Cook could perform heart surgery on him. Also coming to Bay City for the surgery was Elizabeth Allen as Reena's mother and Striker's estranged wife Victoria Bellman. Striker and Victoria left town shortly after the surgery.

    A few months later, when Another World began spinning off characters for Texas, Iris, Dennis, Reena and Kevin all went to Houston. When we saw Striker again (on this date in 1980 according to your excellent research), Robert Gerringer was in the role. Gerringer played Striker for a little over a year until Clifton James returned to the role for the rest of the Texas run.

    Gerringer went on the play con man Del Emmerson, who romanced Geraldine Whitney Saxon on Edge of Night during its final year.

  2. Birthday greetings also to:

    - David Witts (Joey Branning, EASTENDERS) - 22


    - Nitin Ganatra (Masood, EASTENDERS) - 46

  3. Thanks for catching that, James.

    Thanks, Fox!

  4. i wish they would bring the guiding light back!!!!!!!!!!!!!