Today in Soap Opera History (December 6)

1977: FOR RICHER, FOR POORER premiered. 1979: A
mystery person wanted in to ATWT's Willows. 1989: GL's
Phillip tried to get through to Beth. 1995: Y&R's Ryan
pitched a new Jabot ad campaign for teens.
"That is the supreme value of history. The study of it is the best guarantee against repeating it."
- John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir

"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...

1966: On DARK SHADOWS, Burke (Mitchell Ryan) realized that Victoria was still at Collinwood.

1974: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Phil Brewer (Martin West) was murdered with a geode paper weight.

1974: On ANOTHER WORLD, after Rachel broke down Mac (Douglass Watson) skipped his dinner plans with Liz at Pat and John's place. Mac took Rachel (Victoria Wyndham) out to dinner at Tallboys, listened to her life story, and advised her to give up on Steve and make new friends.

1977: FOR RICHER, FOR POORER, the revamped version of NBC daytime soap opera LOVERS AND FRIENDS, debuted. Created by created by Harding Lemay and Paul Rauch, LOVERS AND FRIENDS replaced SOMERSET in the NBC lineup in 1976. When the retooling occurred, the show's setting was still Point Clair but many changes were made to the storylines. FOR RICHER, FOR POORER only stayed on the air until September 29, 1978.

1979: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, a mysterious person wanted Lisa (Eileen Fulton) to let them in the front door of The Willows.

1988: Actor Timothy Patrick Murphy died at age 29. He played Mickey Trotter on DALLAS and Spencer Langley in SEARCH FOR TOMORROW.

1989: On GUIDING LIGHT, Phillip (Grant Aleksander) tried to get more information out of Beth (Beth Chamberlin).

1995: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Ryan (Scott Reeves) pitched a new ad campaign to Jill (Jess Walton).

1998: Emmy-winning actor Michael Zaslow passed away. He was best known for his Emmy-winning performance as Roger Thorpe in GUIDING LIGHT. His other soap roles included David Renaldi in ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and Pete Chernak on LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING. Check out the Zaslow tribute at the 1999 Soap Opera Digest Awards below:

1999: Actor Ed Bryce, father of Scott Bryce, died at age 78. He starred in GUIDING LIGHT as Bill Bauer for many years. He also played Professor Philip Stallings on AS THE WORLD TURNS, and Phil in SOMERSET.

2010: ABC aired the first 16:9 widescreen picture format episode of ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
JoBeth Williams (ex-Brandy, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Carrie, SOMESET) - 65
Kin Shriner (Scott, GENERAL HOSPITAL; Jon, GOTHAM; ex-Scott, PORT CHARLES; ex-Jeffrey, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Keith, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Mickey, FAMILY PASSIONS; ex-Mike, RITUALS; ex-Jeb, TEXAS) - 60
Janine Turner (ex-Laura, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Katie, FRIDAY NIGHT NIGHTS) - 51
Lindsay Price (ex-Victoria, LIPSTICK JUNGLE; ex-Janet, BEVERLY HILLS, 90210; ex-Michael, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL ex-An Li, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Mary, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 37
Ashley Madekwe (ex-Ashley, REVENGE) - 32
Nora Kirkpatrick (ex-Katherine, GREEK) - 31

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


  1. Loved watching Eddie Ford (John Wesley Shipp) pretending to be Nora.

  2. Timothy Patrick Murphy and Michael Zaslow were fine actors and are still missed. The former's gig on Search for Tomorrow was such an audience pleaser TPTB changed him from being a conniving villain to leading man status. The latter made watching Guiding Light as well as One Life to Live a true joy with his excellent portrayal of bad Roger Thorpe and heroic David Rinaldi. Both men were so loved by fans and well remembered by those of us who watched their portrayals.