Sunday, January 5, 2014

Today in Soap Opera History (January 5)

1970: ALL MY CHILDREN premiered on ABC.
"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...

1953: Ellen Demming made her first appearance as Meta Bauer White Roberts on both the television and radio versions of THE GUIDING LIGHT. Demming played the role until 1974.

1965: On ANOTHER WORLD, Dru (Geoffrey Lumb) assured John (Michael M. Ryan) he had done everything he could for Pat, whose trial was about to begin.

1970: ABC premiered Agnes Nixon's daytime soap opera ALL MY CHILDREN. It ran for over 41 years on on the network, ending after 10,712 episodes on September 23, 2011. Original cast member Susan Lucci stayed with the soap for its entire run. Ray MacDonnell, another original member of the cast, returned for the show's final week on ABC. The rights to ALL MY CHILDREN were licensed by Prospect Park, who brought the show back on April 29, 2013 for one season on Hulu, HuluPlus and iTunes (as well as repeats on OWN).

Watch ALL MY CHILDREN clips from 1970 below:

1972: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Ron (Burt Douglas) met with Nicole (Maeve McGuire) to talk about opening his own PR firm. Vic (Ted Tinling) spotted Nicole and Ron and misconstrued their intimate lunch.

1976: Syndicated soap opera parody MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN premiered. The series was produced by Norman Lear and starred Louise Lasser as Mary Hartman.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the item above.

1984: On KNOTS LANDING, Mack (Kevin Dobson) had Karen (Michele Lee) admitted to a hospital chemical dependency program even though Karen denied she had a problem. Meanwhile, Greg Sumner (William Devane) won the primary race.

1987: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Frannie (Julianne Moore) was anxious to find Sabrina (Julianne Moore).

SANTA BARBARA's Rick Edwards.
1987: Rick Edwards made his first appearance as Jake Morton in SANTA BARBARA. Ted Capwell (Todd McKee) met Jake at the Abernathy stables.  Jake left Santa Barbara on April 22, 1988 to become a model in New York.

1988: On ANOTHER WORLD, Rachel (Victoria) congratulated Jason (Chris Robinson) after he bought the Frame farm for $200,000 at an auction.

1996: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Blair (Kassie DePaiva) needed an emergency C-section.

2004: On PASSIONS, Dr. Ackland (Roark Critchlow) arrived at Sheridan's (McKenzie Westmore) to take her back to the psych ward.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Ted Lange (ex-Judge, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 66
Pamela Sue Martin (ex-Fallon, DYNASTY) - 61
Jade Wu (ex-Judith, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 61
Carl T. Evans (ex-Nick, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Alan-Michael, GUIDING LIGHT) - 46
Shea Whigham (Eli, BOARDWALK EMPIRE) - 45
Marilyn Manson (The Shadow, ONCE UPON A TIME) - 45
Bradley Cooper (ex-Tom, JACK & BOBBY; ex-Aidan, NIP/TUCK) - 39
January Jones (Betty, MAD MEN) - 36
Blanca Soto (ex-Alma, PORQUE EL AMOR MANDA; ex-Camila, EL TALISMAN; ex-Eva, EVA LUNA) - 35

Actress Jane Wyman, who played Angela Channing on FALCON CREST in the 1980s, was born on this day in 1917.  She passed away in 2007 at age 90.

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 Anniversary, AMC!

  2. All My Children, my favorite. No other soaps interest me, so please return quickly and Happy Anniversary!

  3. Happy Birthday to the greatest Soap ever! I fervently hope AMC and OLTL make it back to the airwaves!

  4. P.W., Louisville,ky.January 6, 2014 at 1:45 AM

    AMC, OLTL, KL, RH, SB, AW, THE DOCTORS, ATWT AND MORE, THIS IS FOR YOU, AND THE ONES WHO ARE STILL ON TODAY. Okay its time (as i have so often) to reflect on all the emotional moments in the history of soaps and give an honorable THANK YOU!! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! (AMC-44th) to the best loved soap operas on television. Memories of all the great comedy mixed with the introductions of social subjects, medical, single life and family situtations that they shared with the viewing audience being played by some of the most talented actors and actresses you will ever have or had the previlege of experiencing the viewing pleasure of, And it was just so great to get to grow up with them and is beyond words of pleasurable appreciation and respect to all of them to express on this or any comment opportunity...And as to quote BOB HOPE " THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES" and there will always be hope for them to either return or continue in the near future. And i feel it was a mistake to remove AMC from television. I am one fan (of many) that will never stop remembering, watching and loving the enjoyable moments you have given me.