Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Today in Soap Opera History (January 29)

1982: J.R. Ewing did not want his father's will to be read. 1985: SANTA
BARBARA's Carnation Killer murdered Veronica. 1992: AMC's Hayley
wanted her freedom. 2008: Billy Magnussen debuted on ATWT.
"Maybe if people started to listen, history would stop repeating itself."
- Lily Tomlin

"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...

1945: Procter & Gamble bought Spic and Span for $1.9 million. It would later become one of the sponsors for P&G soaps for decades (most notably SEARCH FOR TOMORROW).

1965: Actor John Larkin died at age 52. He starred as the original Mike Karr in THE EDGE OF NIGHT (pictured here celebrating the show's 1,000th episode) and was the first Frank Dana on THE ROAD OF LIFE. He was also the voice of Perry Mason in the radio version of the show.

1980: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Draper (Tony Craig) discovered Margo's (Ann Williams) bludgeoned body.

1980: On SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, Liza (Sherry Mathis) told Travis (Rod Arrants) that their friend Renata had been raped and impregnated by Tony Stradella.

1980: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Dee (Jacqueline Schultz) and Ian (Peter Simon) danced the night away.

1981: On KNOTS LANDING, Abby (Donna Mills) arranged for Valene (Joan Van Ark) to see Gary (Ted Shackelford) and Judy (Jane Elliot) out together.

1982: Robert Alda aired for the final time as Stuart Whyland on DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

1982: On DALLAS, Pam (Victoria Principal) urged Bobby (Patrick Duffy) to learn more about Christopher’s biological parents. Meanwhile, J.R. (Larry Hagman) was determined to keep Jock's will from being read.

1985: On SANTA BARBARA, Peter Flint (Stephen Meadows) strangled Veronica Gayley (Andrea Howard) and left a white carnation behind. You can watch the scene below but the English version of the episode has been removed from YouTube.

1988: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Betty White made her second appearance as part of NBC's "Where's Betty?" contest.

1989: Actor Mandel Kramer died at age 72. He played Bill Marceau on THE EDGE OF NIGHT for 20 years. He also played District Attorney Richard Hanley in THE GUIDING LIGHT.

1992: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Hayley (Kelly Ripa) declared she was 17 and had her whole life ahead of her, and didn't want to tied down with Brian.

1992: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, at the hospital Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) asked Ashley (Brenda Epperson) to take care of her children if she didn't survive.

1996: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Marty (Susan Haskell) and Dylan (Christopher Douglas) wanted to move up their wedding date.

2004: Longtime soap opera producer turned reality television creator Mary-Ellis Bunim died at age 57.

2008: Billy Magnussen debuted as Casey Hughes in AS THE WORLD TURNS.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Katharine Ross (ex-Frankie, THE COLBYS) - 74
Tom Selleck (ex-Jed, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 69
Kathryn Leigh Scott (ex-Maggie, DARK SHADOWS; ex-Jennifer, DYNASTY; ex-Bunny, DALLAS) - 69
Marc Singer (ex-Chet, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Matt, DALLAS; ex-Wesley, PAPER DOLLS) - 66
Oprah Winfrey (Herself, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 60
Diane Delano (Shara, FUMBLING THRU THE PIECES; ex-Hilda, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Marcia, FALCON CREST) - 57
Matthew Ashford (Steve, THE BAY; Jack, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Tom, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Cagney, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW; ex-Stephen, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 54
Sam Trammell (Sam, TRUE BLOOD) - 45
Heather Graham (ex-Annie, TWIN PEAKS) - 44
Charles Divins (ex-Chad, PASSIONS) - 38
Justin Hartley (ex-Oliver, SMALLVILLE; ex-Fox, PASSIONS) - 37
Heidi Mueller (ex-Kay, PASSIONS) - 32
Adam Hunter (ex-Cam, NEIGHBOURS) - 32
Isabel Lucas (ex-Tasha, HOME AND AWAY) - 29
Drew Tyler Bell (ex-Thomas, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) - 28

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. We are so lucky that we have stuff like Youtube. Daily Motion and Vimeo. Those are the only places where we can watch or listen to classic soaps. And glad they are not trying to remove them for copyright issues. Thanks for your site too helping to keep them alive.

  2. I loved "Search For Tomorrow," but I never understood that whole Renata storyline. Why would Liza (or anyone for that matter) think that she should MARRY her RAPIST?