Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (September 18)

2009: CBS aired the final episode of GUIDING LIGHT.
"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...

1967: Irna Phillips' soap LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING premiered on CBS. The show ran until March 23, 1973.

1968: On PEYTON PLACE, a confused Tom (Robert Hogan) returned home and announced he was divorcing Susan.

1974: On ANOTHER WORLD, Rachel (Victoria Wyhdham) told Ada (Constance Ford) that John was the only one who treated her like a human being.

1978: Sitcom WKRP IN CINCINAATI premiered on CBS, with Gary Sandy leading the ensemble cast. Sandy had made the rounds on daytime soaps prior to his WKRP role as Andy Travis, starring in AS THE WORLD TURNS, ANOTHER WORLD, SOMERSET and THE SECRET STORM.

1979: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Lisa (Eileen Fulton) discovered a mysterious painting.

1989: Irish soap opera FAIR CITY premiered.

1992: Vanessa Marcil debuted as Brenda Barrett in GENERAL HOSPITAL.

1992: Lisa Rinna debuted as Billie Reed in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

1994: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Erica (Susan Lucci) told Del (Winsor Harmon) that Kendall (Sarah Michelle Gellar) should come with a warning label.

2009: CBS aired the final episode of GUIDING LIGHT after a 72 year run on radio and television.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Patricia Roe (ex-Eileen, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Sara, GUIDING LIGHT) - 85
David Forsyth (ex-John, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-Burke, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-TJ, TEXAS, ex-Hogan, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW; ex-Jim, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Priest, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 65
Beth Grant (ex-Sissy, SORDID LIVES) - 64
Anna Deavere Smith (ex-Hazel, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 63
Beth Grant (ex-Sissy, SORDID LIVES) - 54
Aisha Tyler (Lana, ARCHER) - 43
Travis Schuldt (ex-Ethan, Passions) - 39
Barrett Foa (Craig, MY SYNTHESIZED LIFE) - 36
Alison Lohman (ex-Lily, PASADENA) - 34

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. Wow! Brenda Barrett and Billie Reed debuted on the same day? And it was 21 years ago?! Two characters who changed the landscape of their respective shows.

    1. I love stumbling onto interesting historical events that happened on the same day.

  2. I'm a big fan of Anna Deveare Smith. I narrowly missed taking a course with her in Grad school.
    Maybe I'll get to meet her someday, huh?

  3. The old Taylor on Gh had that It factor, like I felt the moment VM came on a Brenda. The new one so far, not so much. Taylor could have been the new and black brenda!

  4. I still miss LIAMST after 30 years, Roger. :-(

    I'd love to know the latest about wonderful David Forsyth, too. 65--Wow!

    Brian :-)