Saturday, August 17, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (August 17)

2007: AS THE WORLD TURNS' Luke & Noah shared an
historic kiss.  ONE LIFE TO LIVE celebrated 10,000 episodes.
History is not melodrama, even if it usually reads like that.
-Robert Penn Warren

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1967: Julia (Grayson Hall) warned Victoria (Alexandra Moltke) not to become too chummy with Barnabas (Jonathan Frid).

1967: On ANOTHER WORLD, Sam berated Rachel (Robin Strasser) for running to Ada about their argument.

Leslie Charleson
1977: Leslie Charleson debuted as Monica in GENERAL HOSPITAL, replacing Patsy Rahn in the role. Monica's pairing with Alan Quartermaine ranked 20th on our 50 Greatest Soap Couples list in 2012. Charleson has earned four Daytime Emmy nominations for her work on GH and is the longest-running actor on the show today (Denise Alexander, Genie Francis and Kin Shriner started before her but have all come and gone multiple times over the years). Prior to joining GH, Charleson starred as Iris on LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING (1967-1970), Alice in AS THE WORLD TURNS (1966), and Pam on A FLAME IN THE WIND (1965)

1984: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Bo (Peter Reckell) and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) got away with the prism with help from Alice and Howie.

1988: Victoria Shaw, who played Kira Faulker on GENERAL HOSPITAL in the mid-1970s, died at age 53.

1988: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) received flowers from Gregory.

1990: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Danny (Michael Damian) was suspected of substance abuse.

1992: Elizabeth Keifer debuted as Blake in GUIDING LIGHT.

2001: Actor Gerald Gordon died at age 67.   His soap roles included Nick Bellini in THE DOCTORS and Mark Dante on GENERAL HOSPITAL.

2007: ONE LIFE TO LIVE aired its 10,000th episode. Beloved characters returned to Llanview to celebrate the life of character Asa Buchanan including Nathan Fillion (Joey Buchanan), Dan Gauthier (Kevin Buchanan), John Loprieno (Cord Roberts), Tonja Walker (Alex Olanov) and James DePaiva (Max Holden).

"10,000 shows is a remarkable achievement," said executive producer Frank Valentini, who started at ONE LIFE TO LIVE in 1985 with episode 4209. "I am extremely proud to be part of a show that has been able to make such an enduring mark on popular culture."

2007: Luke (Van Hansis) and Noah (Jake Silbermann) shared their first (historic) kiss on AS THE WORLD TURNS. YouTube clips of the kiss have been watched by millions of fans since that day.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Julianna McCarthy
Julianna McCarthy (ex-Liz, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Abigail, DARK SHADOWS) - 84
Jennifer Rhodes (ex-Leilani, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 66
Julian Fellowes (Producer/Writer, DOWNTON ABBEY) - 64
Wesley Eure (ex-Mike, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 62
Kate McNeil (ex-Karen, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 54
Orlagh Cassidy (Colleen, EMPIRE; ex-Doris, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Sloane, ANOTHER WORLD) - 46
Mark Salling (Puck, GLEE) - 31
Bryton James (Devon, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 27
Brady Corbet (ex-Derek, 24) - 25
Austin Butler (Wilke, SWITCHED AT BIRTH; ex-Jones, LIFE UNEXPECTED) - 22

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. It's such a shame a video of Leslie Charleson's debut does not exist.

    1. Or a video of Leslie as Monica period is not on this page.


      Here you go.

  2. Indeed, a historic and wonderful day on As The World Turns. Will always adore Jake Silbermann and Van Hansis. It's just a shame that "The Powers That Be" didn't appreciate them much more. Luckily, the fans did and still do. Luke and Noah...forever!

    1. Love it! And these days that "tying the knot" scene takes on new meaning! ;-)

  3. I will never understand the reasoning behind killing off Liz Foster. And in light of Jeanne Cooper's death and Katherine Chancellor's recent demise, it seems an especially poor choice to prematurely cut a strong historical tie to Y&R's classic legacy.
    Liz Foster should've been there to comfort Jill but because MAB and her 'brilliant' writing decided to go on a character killing spree, we have one less link to one of Y&R's best years.

    1. Totally agree. And how mind-blowingly idiotic for MAB to kill-off Liz simply to help pimp David Hasselhoff's reality show and give him and his daughter some press at the time? That dreck lasted all of two episodes. RME.

      (And speaking of the character of Liz, we never even got her character's promised memorial service that they said would come once her remains were returned by the research facility her body went to.)

    2. You are preaching to the choir with me about the death of Liz Foster. So unnecessary. They could have rewritten Jill's history yet again without having Liz die. That character would have added SO much to the show in this storyline about Kay's death, some depth and history and could be invaluable.

      I wish Stuart Brooks would make an appearance since they were friends from high school and Robert Colbert is still around. Imagine if Liz, John, Stuart were all there (alive) with a visiting Dina. So much rich Katherine history could be explored. My dream scenario is that Stuart and Dina at least get mentioned as part of Katherine's world tour bucket list.

    3. Roger - If they don't even mention Dina, that will be a real head-shaker, since Dina actually made an appearance at Marge's funeral when everyone thought it was Kay! ... On another note, will Kay's beloved Phillip (Thom Bierdz) be there? And will they have one of the Mackenzie's show up? Over the last two years, they didn't even bother to give us a scene with Kay meeting her new great-grandson through Mac, Dylan Hellstrom.

  4. Mid 1990's were the best writing years of Y and R

  5. Interesting Leslie Charleson tweeted that August 16th, 1977 was her first episode, because it was also the date Elvis died