Monday, October 7, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (October 7)

1940: PORTIA FACES LIFE premiered on CBS Radio. 1980: The
first Clown Puppet murder on EON. 1991: Y&R's David died in
a trash compactor. 1997: OLTL's Tea fell out a window.
"We should always be aware that what now lies in the past once lay in the future."
― F.W. Maitland

"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...

1940: Radio soap opera PORTIA FACES LIFE debuted on CBS. The show was created by Mona Kent and centered around the life of Portia Blake Manning (Lucille Wall), an attorney and widow with a young son.

1966: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Dr. Doug Cassen (Nat Polen) was very distraught when he returned home from a house call to Mrs. Rogers, who had suddenly died of heart failure. The next day, Ted Rogers visited Doug's office to find out exactly what happened to his wife. Doug didn't know what to tell Ted, and the grieving husband demanded that an autopsy be done. Doug then revealed some past medical information about Mrs. Rogers which shocked Ted. In a rage, Ted pushed Doug away causing him to trip over a chair and hit his head on the floor. Doug later died after suffering complications from the injury leaving Claire (Barbara Berjer) a widow.

1966: Billy Dee Williams aired for the final time as Dr. James "Jim" Frazier on THE GUIDING LIGHT. He was replaced in the role by James Earl Jones.

1980: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Elliot Dorn (Lee Godart) was the first victim of the Clown Puppet murderer.

1988: On GUIDING LIGHT, Alexandra (Beverlee McKinsey) made a declaration to Alan (Daniel Pilon) about Harley: "She is completely unsuitable for a Spaulding."

1991: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, David Kimble (Michael Corbett) was crushed to death in a trash compactor.

1992: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Shane (Charles Shaughnessy) and Kim (Patsy Pease) said goodbye to Salem. The two would not appear together again on the soap for nearly 18 years.

1996: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Bobbie (Jacklyn Zeman) and Tony (Brad Maule) visited BJ's grave on what would have been her 10th birthday.

1997: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Tea (Florencia Lozano) fell out a window at Renee's charity auction during an argument with Blair (Kassie DePaiva).

2002: ALL MY CHILDREN debuted its "Scrapbook" opening.

2004: On THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Ridge's (Ronn Moss) announcement that Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) was returning to Forrester Creations was overshadowed by questions regarding Thorne at Spectra. Ridge confirmed the rumors to the press that Thorne did indeed steal the Forrester line.

2012: Former GENERAL HOSPITAL and RYAN'S HOPE actor Larry Block died at age 69.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Melinda O. Fee (ex-Olivia, SANTA BARBARA; ex-Mary, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Jill, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Charlotte, GUIDING LIGHT) - 71
Jill Larson (Opal, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Garnette, SANTA BARBARA; ex-Judith, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Ursula, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 66
Judy Landers (ex-Cheryl, LOVE OF LIFE) - 55
Dylan Baker (ex-Bennett, UGLY BETTY) - 54
John Loprieno (ex-Brad, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Cord, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Danny, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW) - 53
Nicole Ari Parker (ex-Teri, SOUL FOOD) - 43
Allison Munn (ex-Lauren, ONE TREE HILL) - 39
Shawn Ashmore (Mike, THE FOLLOWING) - 34
Aaron Ashmore (ex-Jimmy, SMALLVILLE) - 34
Brian Hewson (Producer/Writer, EMPIRE) - 33
Maggie Contreras (ex-Suzanne, GREEK) - 30
Amber Stevens (ex-Ashleigh, GREEK) - 27
Ayla Kell (ex-Payson, MAKE IT OR BREAK IT) - 23

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. Lucille Wall, "veteran of 500 radio roles" by 1940. Now that's pretty impressive.

    I wish the episode of As the World Turns described above was available.

    1. They have that episode at the Paley Center in NYC and Beverly Hills

    2. So do I, David. It sounds simple yet compelling.

    3. When SoapClassics had all the ATWT master tapes I wanted to go through them all but never had the chance. I'm sure there were some buried treasures in there like this episode.

    4. I loved Beverlee when she was multi-tasking family manipulations. patrick

  2. I saw some great clips at the Paley Center in NYC over Labor Day. Roger, will we be seeing other 1979 episodes? It's been 2 days, and I'm having withdrawl! LOL

    1. Rusty, the last two days were a weekend in 1979. Our October 8 soap history has a new clip. :)