Sunday, September 29, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (September 29)

1969: BRIGHT PROMISE premiered. 1978: FOR RICHER, FOR
POORER ended its run.  1989: Terry Lester debuted on SANTA
BARBARA. 1995: ANOTHER WORLD's Vicky hoped Ryan
would recover.
"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...

1947: Radio soap opera CLAUDIA premiered. Due in large part to the success of the two Claudia movies, the D'Arcy advertising agency decided to bring the characters to radio in a five-a-week quarter-hour serial on behalf of its client, Coca-Cola. Kathryn Bard was cast as Claudia and Paul Crabtree as David, with Joe King announcing.

1969: BRIGHT PROMISE premiered on NBC. The daytime soap opera ran at 3:30 p.m. ET until March 31, 1972. The show revolved around students and faculty at the fictional Bancroft College and was created by Frank and Doris Hursley. The show starred Dana Andrews, and Anthony Geary would later join the cast. BRIGHT PROMISE actress Gail Kobe would become the executive producer of its replacement show, RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE.

1978: NBC aired the final episode of FOR RICHER, FOR POORER, a daytime soap opera that had originally been titled LOVERS AND FRIENDS when it premiered on January 3, 1977. In November 1977, the characters of Amy Cushing (Christine Jones) and Austin Cushing (Rod Arrants) crossed over to the network's high-rated ANOTHER WORLD in advance of the show's transition to becoming FOR RICHER, FOR POORER. ANOTHER WORLD characters Rachel Cory and Mac Cory also appeared on FOR RICHER, FOR POORER in an attempt to boost ratings. Read this classic article for more.

1989: Terry Lester debuted on SANTA BARBARA as Mason Capwell. Lester had starred in THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS as Jack Abbott since 1980 but let his contract expire on August 17th. He ran into SANTA BARBARA's head writer, Chuck Pratt, an an L.A. function where Pratt commented, "Boy, would I like to write for you," which Lester found very flattering. Two weeks later, New World Television president Jon Feltheimer called Lester at home and emphasized that his company had many other production arms other than SANTA BARBARA and that if he joined the cast of the soap, they would help him find the other vehicles he was interested in. So Lester moved to SANTA BARBARA and the role of Mason Capwell, and Peter Bergman joined Y&R as the new Jack.

The clip below is Lester's first appearance in SANTA BARBARA. It's from Italy so it's not in English but it's still a fun watch.

1994: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Erica (Susan Lucci) visited Kendall (Sarah Michelle Gellar) in the hospital after she had overdosed on pills and had this memorable exchange:

Erica: Mommy has to go now but I want you to take care. I want you to take care to stay out of Mommy's way. Or Mommy's going to mow you down so fast and she will never look back.
Kendall: I hate you!
Erica: Yeah, you've made that really obvious. But Kendall, be careful what you wish for next time. You just might get it.

1995: On ANOTHER WORLD, as Grant (Mark Pinter) held on to the secret that he shot Ryan, Vicky (Jensen Buchanan) climbed into Ryan's (Paul Michael Valley) hospital bed and held him.

1997: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Maggie (Crystal Chappell) left Llanview. Meanwhile, Max (James DePaiva) told Renée (Patricia Elliott) his relationship with Maggie wasn't meant to be and he felt kind of relieved.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Robert Gentry (ex-Ed, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Ross, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Philip, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-John, A WORLD APART; ex-Brad, THE DOCTORS; ex-Giles, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Jordan, GENERATIONS; ex-Richard, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Elliott, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) - 73
Ian McShane (ex-Don, DALLAS) - 71
Drake Hogestyn (John, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 60
Cindy Morgan (ex-Gabrielle, FALCON CREST) - 59
Roger Bart (Mason, REVENGE; ex-George, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) - 51
Mackenzie Crook (Orell, GAME OF THRONES; ex-John, SKINS) - 42
Andrea Pearson (ex-Gia, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 37
Sebastian Elmaloglou (ex-Max, HOME AND AWAY) - 24

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. What's Robert Gentry up to nowadays, Roger?

    Brian :-)

  2. Typo in the AMC mention. Sarah Michelle Gellar played Kendall Hart, not Bianca.

  3. Do any episodes of For Richer, For Poorer still exist?