Sunday, November 17, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (November 17)

1981: Luke and Laura were married on GENERAL HOSPITAL.
"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...

1964: On ANOTHER WORLD, Ken (William Prince) assured Laura (Augusta Dabney) they would put their life in order following Tom's murder.

1979: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Steve (Denny Albee) confessed to Deborah (Frances Fisher) he still loved her.

1981: On FLAMINGO ROAD, a worker died at Sam's construction site; Constance discovered most of the barrio was Weldon property; and Sam threatened to expose Titus.

1981: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Luke (Anthony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis) exchanged their wedding vows at the altar. As the ceremony concluded, Helena Cassadine (guest star Elizabeth Taylor), who was lurking in the background, put a curse on the newly married couple. Luke and Laura proceeded to get ready for their honeymoon and to toss the garter belt and bouquet to the anxious guests. As Laura threw the wedding bouquet, her ex-husband, Scotty Baldwin (Kin Shriner), snatched it from the guests' outstretched hands. Luke then took it upon himself to show Scott that Laura was now his wife and the two of them had a big fight. The newlyweds then left on their honeymoon, agreeing to put everything in the past and to start a new life together.

1986: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Steve (Frank Runyeon) and Betsy (Lindsay Frost) were at odds over Emily (Colleen McDermott).

1986: On ANOTHER WORLD, Michael (Kale Browne) and Donna (Anna Stuart) were married in the judge's chambers.

1987: Actress and producer Betty Corday died at age 75. She was as a producer for PEPPER YOUNG'S FAMILY and YOUNG DOCTOR MALONE, and a consultant for THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. In 1965, she created DAYS OF OUR LIVES with her husband, Ted Corday. When he died of cancer a year later, she took over production of the show. Their son, Ken Corday, became executive producer of DAYS along with his mother in 1986.

At the end of the December 17 episode of DAYS OF OUR LIVES, original cast members Macdonald Carey (Tom) and Frances Reid (Alice) paid tribute to Betty Corday.

1989: On GUIDING LIGHT, Blake (Sherry Stringfield) had Phillip (Grant Aleksander) committed.

1995: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Dorian (Robin Strasser) had a heart-to-heart chat with Viki (Erika Slezak) about Victor.

1998: Actress Esther Rolle, best known for her role as Florida Evans in GOOD TIMES (and MAUDE), died at age 78. In 1971 she played Sadie Gray on ONE LIFE TO LIVE when Lillian Hayman was unavailable.

1998: Actor Dick O'Neill died at age 70.  He played Fred Wilkinson in FALCON CREST in 1987.  A year later he guest starred in KNOTS LANDING.

2004: On GUIDING LIGHT, Reva (Kim Zimmer) returned to the country club fountain, this time joining long lost son Jonathan (Tom Pelphrey) in an emotional confrontation.

2008: Actor John Napier, who played Cliff Williams in SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, died at age 81.

2012: Actor and teacher Gene Bua died at age 72. Bua became a soap opera idol as Bill Prentiss on CBS TV's long-running daytime drama, LOVE OF LIFE, where he met his co-star, Toni Bull. His other soap roles included Dr. Robert Monday in HOW TO SURVIVE A MARRIAGE and Steve Slade in SOMERSET.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Curt Lowens (ex-Claude, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 88
Lauren Hutton (ex-Linda, CENTRAL PARK WEST; ex-Liz, FALCON CREST; ex-Colette, PAPER DOLLS) - 70
James O'Sullivan (ex-Jerry, SOMERSET; ex-Jeff, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Ralph, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW; ex-Pete, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 69
Dylan Walsh (ex-Sean, NIP/TUCK) - 50
Daisy Fuentes (ex-Tess, LOVING) - 47
Leslie Bibb (ex-Amanda, GCB) - 39
Darian Weiss (ex-Will, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 21

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. Its so interesting to see Jill Larson in a different role, as shown on the episode of As the World Turns in 1986

  2. Today also is the Day poor Lana McClain died on Thursday November 17 1977. Turned out good for her, since she went to GH after. Thanks for helping to keep the form alive

  3. Lana McClain was played by Jackie Zeman, yes? And her character committed suicide but she set it up to look like she had been murdered ??

    1. Jackie Zeman did play Lana. No Lana did not commit suicide. She was Pregnant with Brad Vernons baby. She had been drinking and put 2 sleeping pills in her milk to help her sleep. Brad saw the sleeping pill bottle and did not want her to stop the wedding, so he put some more unknown number of pills in her milk, which is what caused the OD. Brad did not know she had put the pills in her milk,