Friday, September 13, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (September 13)

1977: SOAP premiered. 1979: EON's Raven clashed with Elliott.
1985: Marlena & Richard made love on DAYS. 1985: GH's Anna
told Robert that Robin was his daughter.
"History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future."
― 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...

1969: Susan Lucci and Helmet Huber were married. Lucci joined ALL MY CHILDREN for its debut a few months later playing Erica Kane. The happy couple is celebrating their 44th anniversary today.

1977: Primetime comedic serial SOAP premiered. The show told the story of two families, the affluent Tates and their working-class relatives, the Campbells. In the first episode, Burt fought with his stepson, Danny, over Danny's mob connections; and Jessica committed her first act of infidelity with her daughter's lover, tennis-pro Peter Campbell.

1977: On GUIDING LIGHT, Ben McFarren (Stephen Yates) told Eve Stapleton (Janet Grey) that he loved her for the first time.

Thanks to Scott for sending in this item.

1979: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Elliott asked Raven (Sharon Gabet) how she could love someone else when she didn't even like herself.

1985: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Anna (Finola Hughes) admitted to Robert (Tristan Rogers) that Robin (Kimberly McCullough) was his daughter. Frisco (Jack Wagner) learned Josh Clayton (Jimmy McNichol) had died.

1985: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Marlena (Deidre Hall) and Richard (Rod Arrants) made love for the first time.

1990: Kathleen Noone debuted on KNOTS LANDING as Claudia Whittaker. Stacy Galina also made her first appearance as Kate Whittaker.

1999: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Trevor (James Kiberd) body slammed Adam (David Canary) during a fight about Hayley and Mateo.

2000: On PASSIONS, Rebecca (Andrea Evans) warned Gwen (Liza Huber) that Theresa still had a week before the wedding to work her wiles on Ethan.

2001: Actress Dorothy McGuire died at age 85.  She played Victor Newman's mother, Cora Miller, on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.

2004: Julie Pinson debuted as Billie Reed in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

2009: CBS SUNDAY MORNING aired a segment on the end of GUIDING LIGHT.

2009: Actor Tom O'Rourke, best known for playing Justin Marler on GUIDING LIGHT, died at age 65. He also appeared on ONE LIFE TO LIVE and SANTA BARBARA.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Gene Dynarski (ex-Jed, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 81
Eileen Fulton (ex-Lisa, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Lisa, OUR PRIVATE WORLD) - 80
Joe E. Tata (ex-Rudy, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Nat, 90210; ex-Nat, BEVERLY HILLS 90210; ex-Warren, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 77
Jacqueline Bisset (ex-James, NIP/TUCK) - 69
Jean Smart (ex-Martha, 24) - 62
Randy Jones (ex-Cowboy, TEXAS) - 61
Geri Jewell (ex-Rose, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 57
Roger Howarth (Franco/ex-Todd, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Todd, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Paul, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Jory, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Kent, LOVING) - 45
Tyler Perry (Creator, THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS) - 44
Dominic Fumusa (ex-Gray, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 44
Jason Cook (ex-Matt, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Shawn, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 33
Taylor Gildersleeve (ex-Sydney, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Leah, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 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. Happy Happy Birthday Miss Eileen!

    Brian :-)

  2. I just read that Randy Jones three-day wedding starts tonight. His future husband joked, "I'm thrilled! The benefits are great. I now have a lifetime membership to the YMCA!" .. lol!

    1. Randy is always around town here in NYC. We hosted an event at Pieces Bar with Ilene Kristen a few go and he attended. It was kind of surreal that we all were doing the YMCA at one point. :)

    2. Fun story! .. And speaking of weddings, did you see that Ron Raines was invited to the one that Justice Ruth Bader Gindburg recently officiated in Washington, DC? He was mentioned in the Washington Post announcement as an attendee. His lovely wife, Dona, then posted on Facebook that he was actually going to perform, and he tweeted afterwards that he sang "Some Enchanted Evening" to the happy couple. Soap stars all over the place!

  3. How I miss watching the acting of the incredible Sharon Gabet as Raven Alexander Jameson Swift Whitney. I often wonder had Edge not been cancelled would people be talking today about Sharon/Raven as they do about such people as Susan Lucci/Erica Kane or Robin Strasser/Dorian Lord.

  4. Happy birthday to Eileen, Roger, Randy...and everyone! Also - happy debut anniversary to the remarkable Soap!

  5. Jean Smart was also "woman on bus" on Another World.

  6. Happy Birthday to Eileen Fulton who portrayed Daytime's original 'Bad Girl'.
    I miss hearing Lisa's dulcet southern tones dripping with both honey and arsenic as she calls Dr. Dixon 'Johnny Boy' or Lucinda Walsh, 'Lucy' as if they were children!
    And her scenes with Lucinda were the ultimate verbal catfight.
    I'll never forget the scene where they trade barbs at Diana's and after Lucinda walks away, Lisa takes a very zen-like deep breath, closes her eyes, opens them and with a smile curled around her lips says:

    Oh, how I despise her!

    That scene was dripping with delicious venom and writing dialogue like that inspired me even at a young age.