Saturday, December 21, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (December 21)

1981: GH's Laura was offered the "Miss Star Eyes" job.
1982: Barrington and Burgess plotted on CAPITOL.
1987: GL's Johnny saw it snow.  2007: A dollhouse came
to life on ATWT.
"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."
- Winston Churchill

"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...

1967: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Sandy (Heather North) was full of sarcasm and contempt when Kitty picked her up at the airport, but turned on the charm when she arrived to meet Tom (Macdonald Carey) and Alice (Frances Reid).

1967: On ANOTHER WORLD, Bill Matthews (Joseph Gallison) and Missy Palmer (Carol Roux) were married in the Matthews family living room. Rachel (Robin Strasser) caught the bouquet. She married Bill's best man, Russ, two weeks later.

1971: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Julie Jamison died (off-screen) in Santa Lucia Hospital.

1978: On ANOTHER WORLD, Charlie (Fred J. Scollay) fired Larry (Rick Porter) but wasn't able to convince Clarice (Gail Brown) that Larry was bad news.

1981: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Laura (Genie Francis) was offered a job as Miss Star Eyes.

1982: On TEXAS, Victoria (Elizabeth Allen) told Reena (Carla Borelli) that Tom Brandon might succeed in shutting down KVIK.

1982: On CAPITOL, Lawrence Barrington (Jeff Chamberlain) and Frank Burgess (Duncan Gamble) schemed to unite Trey (Nicholas Walker) and Kelly (Jane Daly) in marriage then bleed the Cleggs dry over Kelly's past.

1986: DAYS OF OUR LIVES star James Reynolds (Abe) married Lissa Layng.

1987: On GUIDING LIGHT, a very ill Johnny (James Goodwin) was excited to see it snow.

1994: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Hayley (Kelly Ripa) assured Alec (Grant Aleksander) she was finished with Charlie.

2006: BethAnn Bonner debuted as Talia on ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

2007: AS THE WORLD TURNS aired a special Christmas episode featuring toys in a dollhouse that came to life.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Larry Bryggman (ex-John, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 75
Danielle von Zerneck (ex-Lou, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 48
Kiefer Sutherland (Jack, 24) - 47
Michelle Hurd (ex-Dana, ANOTHER WORLD; ex-Laurel, GOSSIP GIRL) - 47
Tamieka Chavis (Mia, ANACOSTIA)

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. Happy Birthday to the great Larry Bryggman. He and his character John Dixon are very much missed.

  2. Larry Bryggman was one of those actors who managed to keep Dr. Dixon true to his nature throughout various writing regimes. Dr. Dixon was a grating, exacting, know it all practitioner with little care for bedside manner yet always with the perfectionist spirit, trying to lift the esteem of Memorial Hospital as well as his reputation.

    Seeing his clips on You Tube is always a delight!
    People always mention John's epic bathtub scene with Lucinda or the exchange of barbs with Lisa, but I always remember the little things like one scene where he had a rather salty exchange with Kim over where adolescent Andy would be better off while Kim was facing trial for the Douglas Cummings murder and after being refused, John storms out but before doing so he runs across Nancy Hughes and Lisa and yells "Hiya Ladies!" before charging out the door (lol). Just the WAY he said those lines made all the difference. Nancy and Lisa were left looking at each other in utter amazement as if to say '....what just happened?'

    Yet his tender/tough relationship with a teenage Dusty were often very moving and convincing. Even though they had different ideas on what was best for Dusty, you believed that John loved that kid.

    You just don't get that degree of character complexity from today's soaps (sorry) and today's soaps rarely seem to be able to attract a seasoned actor who can translate that into a memorable character these days.

    Happy Birthday to Larry Bryggman. I hope to see a bit more of him on a screen somewhere.

  3. Forever a joy to see all my favorite ATWT faces in the Victorian Dollhouse! Happy Birthday to the incredible Larry Bryggman. Simply adore him.... Merry Christmas to everyone at We Love Soaps!

  4. Larry Bryggman was the best. He was in a class by himself much like Michael Zaslow was on GL. You loved to hate Dr. John but you also understood him.