Today in Soap Opera History (November 1)

1985: GH's Robin overheard a revealing conversation. 1989: Meg
lost her baby on ATWT. 2005: Y&R's Katherine had vital info
for Stephanie on B&B. 2010: OLTL'sCramer women reunited.
"History is a vast early warning system."
― J. Norman Cousins

"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...

1965: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, the Cassens and the Hughes learned that Ellen (Patricia Bruder) had agreed to marry David (Henderson Forsythe). When Ellen told Claire (Barbara Berjer), Doug (Nat Polen), and Judge Lowell (William Johnston) about her engagement, they were shocked because they had been certain that she would marry Donald (Peter Brandon). Doug even confronted David, accusing him of taking advantage of Ellen's love for her son, Dan. The Hughes also had been certain that Donald would marry Ellen, until he shared the news of the broken engagement at Grandpa Hughes's (Santos Ortega) birthday celebration. Ultimately, Ellen and David were the only ones who seemed pleased with the turn of events.

1974: On ANOTHER WORLD, Alice (Jacqueline Courtney) thought Steve (George Reinholt) should fall in love with someone like Lenore (Susan Sullivan).

1979: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Nola (Kim Hunter) wanted the production of Mansion of the Damned to end with a fire. Meanwhile, Cliff started choking after receiving a mysterious phone call.

1979: Former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower died at age 82. She once appeared in radio soap THE STORY OF BESS JOHNSON, and was also a devoted fan of AS THE WORLD TURNS.  She had her staff schedule appointments before and after (but never during) the program. If for some reason she could not watch, she had a Secret Service agent take notes on the episode. Betty Ford and Barbara Bush were also ATWT fans along with President Jimmy Carter's mother, Lillian.

1982: Actor James Broderick died at age 55. He played roles in THE SECRET STORM, THE EDGE OF NIGHT and AS THE WORLD TURNS but was best known for portraying Doug Lawrence in ABC's primetime drama FAMILY.

1985: On LOVING, Curtis (Linden Ashby) was tempted by Ava (Roya Megnot).

1985: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Robin (Kimberly McCullough) overheard Robert (Tristan Rogers) and Anna (Finola Hughes) saying they were her mother and father.

1988: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Meg (Jennifer Ashe) lost her baby.

1990: On SANTA BARBARA, Ric Castillo (Peter Love) left town.

1996: Actor William Johnstone died at age 88. He played Judge James T. Lowell, Sr. on AS THE WORLD TURNS for over two decades. Check out a Judge Lowell scene with his granddaughter Ellen Stewart (Patricia Bruder) from 1972 below:

1996: On ANOTHER WORLD, Vicky hosted a Halloween party. When the lights went out at Vicky's, Kirk wandered around the attic and met a special friend (Paul Michael Valley's return to the show as Ghost Ryan). Jake and Bobby battled for a kiss from Vicky as they engaged in an apple-bobbing contest.

1999: AS THE WORLD TURNS debuted a new opening sequence. The new visual sequence was designed by Pittard/Sullivan. The theme music was composed by David Nichtern and Kevin Bents.

2005: On THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Katherine (Jeanne Cooper) revealed to Stephanie (Susan Flannery) that her father did not trust Eric, hence the trust he set up making Stephanie the sole owner of Forrester Creations. Meanwhile, Eric suspected Stephanie broke into the safe and stole the trust. Later, Stephanie confronted Eric.

2006: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) flatlined.

2010: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Blair (Kassie DePaiva) and the Cramer women reunited with Hope and Starr (Kristen Alderson).

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Betsy Palmer (ex-Virginia, KNOTS LANDING) - 87
Pamela Payton-Wright (ex-Addie, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Hazel, ANOTHER WORLD) - 72
Robert Foxworth (ex-Chase, FALCON CREST; ex-Bernard, SIX FEET UNDER) - 72
Joanne Dorian (ex-Viki, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 71
Anna Stuart (Elizabeth, GOTHAM; ex-Mary, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Rae, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Donna, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-Donna, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Vanessa, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Gina, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Toni, THE DOCTORS) - 64
Karen Hensel (ex-Doris, Y&R) - 64
Mike Hammett (ex-Dennis, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-Matthew, WHERE THE HEART IS)
Lauren-Marie Taylor (ex-Stacey, LOVING; ex-Eleanor, RYAN'S HOPE) - 52
Helene Udy (ex-Frannie, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 51
Eric Mills (ex-Matt, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 48
Alla Korot (ex-Allie, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Jenna, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-Stacy, GH: NIGHT SHIFT) - 43
Toni Collette (Ellen, HOSTAGES) - 41
Laura Moss (ex-Amanda, ANOTHER WORLD) - 40
Logan Marshall-Green (ex-Trey, THE O.C.) - 37
Matt Jones (ex-Badger, BREAKING BAD) - 32
Penn Badgley (ex-Dan, GOSSIP GIRL; ex-Phillip, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 27
Jonathan Selstad (ex-Philip, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 19
Thomas Selstad (ex-Philip, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 19
Avalon Ragone (ex-Elvis, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 17
Dillon Ragone (ex-Elvis, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 17
Vincent Ragone (ex-Elvis, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 17
Max Burkholder (Max, PARENTHOOD; ex-Jake, BROTHERS & SISTERS) - 16

Actor Michael Zaslow (Roger, GUIDING LIGHT; David, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; Pete, LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING) would have turned 71 today. He died in 1998 at age 56. Watch some classic clips of the Emmy winner's soap work here. Zaslow has appeared in a number of our countdowns including 50 Greatest Actors, 50 Greatest Couples, and 25 Biggest Blunders.

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


  1. Who is the British-accented man who was staying with the Stewarts? And is "Carol Ann" Annie Stewart?

  2. Anna Stuart got her start on soaps playing Toni Ferra on the Doctors for 6 years. She also subbed as Vanessa on GL while Maeve Kinkaed was on maternity leave and as Rae Cummings on OLTL while Linda Dano was sick.

    1. Wasn't she Angie Perrini on AW prior?

    2. Toni Kalem and Maeve Kinkead played Angie on AW.

  3. Carol Ann is Annie Stewart; the man playing "Ronnie Talbott", Liz Talbotts brother is Peter Chapman, who went on to GL as a boyfriend to Holly in the mid to late 70's. I think he has since passed away.

  4. I loved (LOVED) Jennifer Ashe as Meg -- one of my favorite characters.

    1. That was excellent casting. Marie Wilson has really impressed me with her comedic skills in roles post-ATWT but it always drove me crazy to see her version of Meg walking across a Snyder field in high heels. I can't imagine Jennifer Ashe's Meg ever doing that.

    2. The child version of me couldn't stand the way that Meg used to insert herself between Dusty and Lily. When I look at those same scenes/episodes today, as a grown up and a dramatist, I love the unabashed brashness of Jennifer Ashe's Meg Snyder. She was ahead of Madonna in terms of Blonde Ambition (LOL).
      And as Meg matured into adulthood, she became more nuanced while maintaining that complexity.
      It would have been interesting to see where Jennifer Ashe would've taken a fully adult Meg (although the script would have to do some of the lifting too).
      Marie Wilson seems like a nice person and her performances were pleasant, but I missed that spark from the fiery Meg of yore. Jennifer Ashe's Meg was a true firework!

  5. Bess Johnson was the evil Irene Barron on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW in the 1950s. Irene was Jo's mother-in-law (Jo's first husband was Keith Barron, played by John Sylvester White, who later played the cantankerous Mr. Woodman on WELCOME BACK KOTTER in the 1970s).