Today in Soap Opera History (August 9)

On this date in...

1935: Future daytime legend Beverlee McKinsey was born. McKinsey was best known for her roles as Iris in ANOTHER WORLD and its spinoff, TEXAS, and Alexandra on GUIDING LIGHT. She passed away in 2008 at age 72.

Before playing Iris on ANOTHER WORLD, McKinsey briefly played Emma Ordway on the show. Two years earlier she starred as Julie in LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING. Check out an episode from August 1970 below which also featured McKinsey and her future husband Berkeley Harris, who played Jim.

1938: Actor Clint Ritchie, who starred for many years as Clint Buchanan on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, was born. He died in 2009 at age 70.

1966: On DARK SHADOWS, to protect David, Elizabeth lied to Constable Carter when she told him they had discovered the bleeder valve fell off by itself.

1970: CBS summer show COMEDY TONIGHT aired a soap opera spoof titled, STRANGEST SHADOWS. Jerry Lacy (Reverand Trask from DARK SHADOWS) appeared as Count Drago and bit Tonya the witch, played by Madeline Kahn. Watch it below:

1974: On ANOTHER WORLD, Iris (Beverlee McKinsey) encouraged it when Mac (Douglass Watson) invited Liz (Irene Dailey) on the hike he was taking with Dennis (Mike Hammett) and Jamie (Robert Doran).

1984: On GUIDING LIGHT, Alexandra (Beverlee McKinsey) begged Lujack (Vincent Irizarry) to let Beth (Judi Evans) leave the hostage situation, and he agreed, but Darcy (Robin Johnson) wanted Alexandra leave instead.

1993: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Bo (Robert Kelker Kelly) had memories of Carly (Crystal Chappell).

1994: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, at Rodi's bar, Todd (Roger Howarth) met Blair (Kassie DePaiva) for the first time.

1996: On ANOTHER WORLD, Michael (Kale Browne) recruited a construction guy, Bobby Reno (Robert Kelker-Kelly), to do work on Vicky's house. Vicky fainted when she met Bobby. This was Kelker-Kelly's first appearance on ANOTHER WORLD since May 15, 1990, when he finished a three-year run as Sam Fowler.

2011: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Will (Chandler Massey) and Gabi (Camila Banus) professed their love and went to a hotel room, where they had sex for the first time.

2012: Actor Al Freeman Jr., who played Ed Hall in ONE LIFE TO LIVE for many years, died at age 78. Freeman's longtime OLTL co-star was one of the speakers at a Howard University tribute to the actor last fall.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Micheal Storm (ex-Larry, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 74
Melanie Griffith (ex-Brandie, NIP/TUCK) - 56
Amanda Bearse (ex-Amanda, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 55
Joshua Cox (ex-Daniel, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 48
Pat Petersen (ex-Michael, KNOTS LANDING) - 47
Gillian Anderson (ex-Scully, THE X-FILES) - 45
Mark Povinelli (ex-Wally, PASSIONS) - 42
Liz Vassey (ex-Emily Ann, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 41
Kevin McKidd (Owen, GREY'S ANATOMY) - 40
Jessica Capshaw (Arizona, GREY'S ANATOMY) - 37
Rhona Mitra (ex-Claire, THE GATES; ex-Kiva, SGU; ex-Kit, NIP/TUCK; ex-Holly Marie, PARTY OF FIVE) - 37
Texas Battle (Marcus, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) - 37
Charlie David (ex-Toby, DANTE'S COVE) - 33
Bill SkarsgÄrd (Roman, HEMLOCK GROVE) - 23

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a piece of soap opera history for this daily column, please email it to


  1. What a walk through history! I loved Dark Shadows, and when 18 in the summer of 1972, my neighbor/producer Joseph Rothenberger took pity on my unemployed status and gave me a one-day walk on role on ANOTHER WORLD. I still have the paystub and script! Behind the scenes was fabulous.

    1. Any gossip about Reinholt, Courtney, Wyndham et al?

  2. The late Whitney Houston who appeared on “As The World Turns” in 1984, would have been 50 years old today.

  3. Nancy, that's amazing. Do you remember who was working at ANOTHER WORLD that day?

    Thanks, Sheila, Whitney is very missed.

  4. Thanks for posting that clip of Ellen Holly eulogizing Al Freeman Jr.

    I'll be honest, I only came to OLTL in the last few years (about 2+ years at the end of its network run, and now online) but that speech moved me.
    Due to my theater background, I knew a bit more about Al Freeman Jr. (I remember seeing Spike Lee's Malcolm X in the movie theater) but it was only due to blogs like WLS that I learned more about Ellen Holly.
    I know Ms. Holly is a bit controversial for her outspoken nature but I'm going to be honest--that lady has a dynamic presence! Her gift for oratory and fiery aura really makes me wish that some (re)conciliation can be made between her & the folks at OLTL so that perhaps she can put in an appearance as Jeffrey's grandmother, perhaps?
    It would be another strong anchor to OLTL's groundbreaking history, which I actually think the show needs right now (although I think the show has been gradually becoming more cohesive).
    C'mon, Roger you've got can we make that happen? ;)

  5. Ellen Holly is not only a talented actress, but a beautiful human being with a brilliant mind. Because of the history with OLTL, I'm not sure they would make a place for her. But I agree that it would add SO much depth to the show.

  6. To see Ellen Holly again would be wonderful!