Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (November 20)

1967: DARK SHADOWS' Victoria went back in time. 1978: GL's
Rita and Ed were married. 1980: Abby moved to Knots Landing.
1987: Y&R's Farren was held at gunpoint.
"History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside."
- John F. Kennedy

"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...

1929: Radio serial THE RISE OF THE GOLDBERGS premiered on the NBC Blue network.

1944: The Frank and Anne Hummert soap opera THE STRANGE ROMANCE OF EVELYN WINTERS premiered on CBS Radio.

1964: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Steve asked Audrey to marry him.

1964: On ANOTHER WORLD, in her jail cell Pat (Susan Trustman) wondered if she was there because she had killed her baby.

1967: DARK SHADOWS introduced time travel to the show when Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) disappeared from a séance and went back in time.

1978: On GUIDING LIGHT, Rita Stapleton (Lenore Kasdorf) married Ed Bauer (Mart Hulswit) at Bert Bauer's house.

1979: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Ian (Peter Simon) lashed out at Dee (Jacqueline Schultz) after she filed his notes away then immediately apologized and pulled her into an embrace.

1979: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Eddie was suspected to have started the fire on the Mansion of the Damned set.

1980: On the Season 2 premiere of KNOTS LANDING, Donna Mills debuted as Abby Cunningham in KNOTS LANDING.

1985: DYNASTY spin-off THE COLBYS premiered. Miles (Maxwell Caulfield) brought "Randall" aka Fallon (Emma Samms) home to meet the family. Watch the first four episodes below.

1987: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Janet (Maureen McDonnell) held a gun on Farren/Michelle (Colleen Casey) while Evan (John Shearin) tried to talk her down.

1995: ONE LIFE TO LIVE aired its 7,000th episode which featured a new opening sequence.

2006: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Luke (Anthony Geary) revealed that Laura's (Genie Francis) illness was no longer mental but physical and she would soon revert to her catatonic state.

2009: Chuck Pratt was fired as head writer of ALL MY CHILDREN.

2010: Actress Geraldine Court died at age 68. Her soap roles included Jennifer Richards in GUIDING LIGHT, Jennifer Sullivan Ryan in AS THE WORLD TURNS, Ann Larimer in THE DOCTORS and Mary Georgia in ALL MY CHILDREN.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Mark Miller (ex-Randy, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 88
Robert Lipton (ex-Jeff, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 70
Bo Derek (ex-Maria, FASHION HOUSE) - 57
Sean Young (ex-Meggie, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 54
Ming-Na Wen (Melinda, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D; ex-Lien, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-ANOTHER WORLD) - 50
Callie Thorne (Dani, NECESSARY ROUGHNESS; ex-Elena, THE WIRE) - 44
Jason Thompson (Patrick, GENERAL HOSPITAL/GH: NIGHTSHIFT; ex-Miles, UNDRESSED) - 37
Nadine Velazquez (ex-Didi, HART OF DIXIE; ex-Anna, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) - 35
Jeremy Jordan (ex-Jimmy, SMASH) - 29
Ashley Fink (ex-Lauren, GLEE) - 27
Rhys Wakefield (ex-Lucas, HOME AND AWAY) - 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. here's the link to the Tour of Llanview II opening that debuted November 20, 1995

  2. Any video clips of Geraldine Court when she was playing Jennifer Sullivan Ryan? She is one of those characters that I've always heard about (being Frannie Hughes and Barbara Ryan's Mother) but never saw. I don't remember ATWT showing any flashbacks over the years either.
    In the one screen still that I saw, there is a resemblance between her and Kathryn Hays, so they look like a believable match as sisters.

    1. I've never seen any clips of Ms. Court playing Jennifer. She originated the role but I think most people think of Gillian Spencer as Jennifer. They brought Gillian back for Kathryn Hays' 25th anniversary in 1997.

  3. Ah, Geraldine Court. Miss her alot. She played another role on ATWT in 88 or 89 for a few episodes. I think it was due to her friendship with Doug Marland. Can't remember the role though but I remember that it was just for a few days and the character was killed off. Anyone remember that?

  4. I had no idea that Beverly Penberthy didn't originate the role Pat. I liked that character and I thought that it was loss that AW never brought back her twins Michael & Maryanne in the later years of the soap. In fact, I was just wondering if anyone every mentioned to Vicky and Marley that they weren't the first twins in town?