Thursday, September 19, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (September 19)

1979: ATWT's Dan Stewart died. 1984: DAYS' Eugene had a bad
feeling 1988: GL's Harley dreamed big. 2008: GH's Olivia debuted.
"In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction, drawing the materials of future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind."
― Edmund Burke

"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: On ANOTHER WORLD, Fred Douglas ( Charles Baxter) married Susan Matthews (Lisa Cameron).

1977: On GUIDING LIGHT, Eve (Janet Grey) accepted Ben's (Stephen Yates) marriage proposal. A November 24th wedding date is set, the anniversary of Eve's parents getting married.

Thanks to Scott for sending in this item.

1979: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Nancy (Helen Wagner) received a phone call from Ellen telling her that Dan Stewart had died. The episode transitioned to the next day when David (Henderson Forsythe), Ellen (Patricia Bruder), Kim (Kathryn Hays), Betsy (Suzanne Davidson) and Andy (Jason Ferguson) returned home from Wisconsin. Kim asked Bob (Don Hastings) to be a pallbearer.

1980: On ANOTHER WORLD, crooks Danny and Sue found a barely alive Mitch (William Gray Espy) in the camper.

1984: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Eugene (John de Lancie) told Bo (Peter Reckell) that he had a vibe about an airplane crash.

1986: On SANTA BARBARA, Gina (Robin Mattson) planted drugs in Keith's (Justin Deas) apartment.

1988: On GUIDING LIGHT, Harley (Beth Ehlers) fantasized about the good life.

1989: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, the state attorney decided Paul's (Andrew Kavovit) case would go before the grand jury.

1990: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Nikki's (Melody Thomas Scott) doctor told her she was pregnant.

2002: On PASSIONS, Theresa (Lindsay Hartley) told Gwen (Natalie Zea) she was too stupid to realize that Ethan was hers.

2006: Actress Elizabeth Allen died at age 77. Soap opera fans remember her fondly for her portrayal of Victoria Bellman in TEXAS, a role she originated on ANOTHER WORLD before the spinoff series premiered on August 4, 1980. Allen also played Dr. Gwen Harding on GUIDING LIGHT.

2008: Lisa LoCicero debuted as Olivia Falconeri in GENERAL HOSPITAL.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
David McCallum (ex-Maurice, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 80
Randolph Mantooth (ex-Kirk, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Hal, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Richard GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Alex, LOVING; ex-Alex,THE CITY) - 68
Jeremy Irons (ex-Rodrigo, THE BORGIAS) - 65
Vladimir Horunzhy (Composer, SANTA BARBARA) - 64
Meg Wittner (ex-Ginger, SOMERSET; ex-Gloria, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Nancy, MELROSE PLACE) - 63
Rex Smith (ex-Darryl, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 58
Tonja Walker (ex-Alex, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Marie, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Grace, PASSIONS; ex-Olivia, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Lisbeth, CAPITOL) - 53
Jennifer Cooke (ex-Morgan, GUIDING LIGHT) - 49
Thor Fields (ex-Erich, THE DOCTORS) - 45
Selene Luna (Monica, AVE 43) - 42
Alison Sweeney (Sami/ex-Young Adrienne, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 37
Kevin Zegers (ex-Damian, GOSSIP GIRL; ex-Ethan, TITANS) - 29
Peter Vack (ex-Casey, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 27
Mandy Musgrave (ex-Chelsea, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Ashley, SOUTH OF NOWHERE) - 27
Katrina Bowden (ex-Britney, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 25

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. Footnote: in the 1989 ATWT clip, the first commercial for TIDE stars Leslie Denniston, wife of Don Hastings and the former "Carolyn Crawford" on the show..

    1. Good catch! :) She also played Karen on ATWT in the '70s.

  2. I Absolutely Love The Dan Stewart Death Reaction Scenes From ATWT. It Makes Me Miss This Wonderful Show Even More! :-(


    Brian :-)

  3. Was in NYC over Labor Day, and I visited the Paley Center. They have awesome ATWT episodes (all digital) you can view with a $25 Scholar's Pass (Day pass) - I watched the incredible 1966 episode where Ellen (Pat Bruder) strikes her housekeeper (Franny Brennan) murdering her; and a great 1975 color episode with Bob, Nancy, David Stewart & Susan Stewart where Susan is trying get reinstated at the hospital after an alcoholic dismissal, and where Nancy is scolding Bob about his wife Jennifer's decision to go back to school when "she should be at home tending to Franny". I also watch some 1967 & 68 episodes where the focus was on Lisa, Claire Lowell (Ellen's Mom) and Michael Shea. Great moments.