Saturday, May 31, 2014

Today in Soap Opera History (May 31)

1968: Dark Shadows' man-made Adam jumped from Widows'
Hill.  1984: Steve and Betsy were married on As the World
Turns.  1984: Nikki was determined to track down Victor's
mother on The Young and the Restless.  1996: "Clink, Boom!"
on General Hospital.
"The whole past is the procession of the present."
- Thomas Carlyle

"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...

1943: Radio soap opera Lora Lawton debuted on NBC Radio. Joan Tompkins starred as Lora, housekeeper to important, dynamic shipbuilder Peter Carver. Lora would later marry Peter. Frank and Anne Hummert produced the series.

1968: On Dark Shadows, Adam (Robert Rodan) jumped from Widows' Hill just as he was about to be taken into police custody.

1978: On One Life to Live, Pat read Dorian the riot act.

Thanks to Jeff for sending in the item above.

1983: On Days of our Lives, Hope (Kristian Alfonso) was thrilled that Doug and Julie found her the perfect new car, but was not so happy to find out Doug hired Bo (Peter Reckell) as Hope's new tennis instructor. "Suit up, Doll Face, I'll meet you on the court," Bo said to Hope.

1984: On The Young and the Restless, Andy (Steven Ford) told Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) that he found Victor's mother and she wasn't what Nikki had been expecting. Later, Nikki told Victor (Eric Braeden) she was planning a surprise for him.

1984: On As the World Turns, Steve Andropoulos (Frank Runyeon) and Betsy Stewart (Meg Ryan) exchanged marriage vows in a traditional Greek Orthodox wedding. A reported 20 million viewers watched the episode, the second highest rated hour in daytime soap opera history.

1984: On Guiding Light, Bert (Charita Bauer) told Rick (Michael O'Leary) that she knew he was upset because she had lost her leg, but knew she was going to be alright.

1987: Soap opera writer Roy Winsor died at the age of 87. Winsor was the creator of Search for Tomorrow, Love of Life and The Secret Storm. In 1974, The Secret Storm was canceled and he took over Somerset. He later created the CBN soap Another Life.

1996: On General Hospital, just as Brenda (Vanessa Marcil) and Jax (Ingo Rademacher) toasted their wedding, Sonny (Maurice Benard) watched as Lily (Lilly Melgar) blew up in a car explosion (Clink-Boom!).

1996: On One Life to Live, Viki (Erika Slezak) and Dorian (Robin Strasser) had it out...again. Viki: "You want a fight, lady, you got it. I'm ready for you anytime, anywhere." Dorian: "Ooh, I can hardly wait."

2004: All My Children's "Family Album" opening theme debuted.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Sharon Gless (ex-Colleen, Nip/Tuck; ex-Debbie, Queer as Folk) - 71
Maeve Kinkead (ex-Dinah, Gotham; ex-Vanessa, Guiding Light; ex-Angie, Another World) - 68
Tom Berenger (ex-Tim, One Life to Live) - 65
Gregory Harrison (ex-Tim, Ringer; ex-Paul, One Tree Hill; ex-Michael, Falcon Crest) - 63
Jack Gilpin (ex-Joel, One Life to Live) - 63
Roma Maffia (ex-Liz, Nip/Tuck) - 56
Lea Thompson (Kathryn, Switched at Birth) - 53
Hugh Dillon (ex-Albert, Degrassi) - 51
Brooke Shields (ex-Wendy, Lipstick Jungle) - 49
Nick Scotti (ex-Tony, The Young and the Restless) - 48
Ara Celi (ex-Raquel, All My Children) - 40
Colin Farrell (ex-Danny, Ballykissangel) - 38
Eric Christian Olsen (ex-Kyle, Brothers & Sisters) - 37
Matt Cavenaugh (ex-Adam, As the World Turns; ex-Mark One Life to Live) - 36
Brad Schmidt (ex-Todd, Guiding Light; ex-Anthony, As the World Turns) - 35
Jonathan Tucker (Bob, Parenthood) - 32
Jason Smith (ex-Robbie, Home and Away) - 30
Justine Cotsonas (ex-Sofie, As the World Turns) - 29
Melissa McIntyre (ex-Ashley, Degrassi) - 28
Tyler Kunkle (Tyler, Devious Maids) - 28
Meredith Hagner (ex-Liberty, As the World Turns) - 27


  1. I wish that 1978 scene featuring Dorian and Pat was available to see. There is so little of Claire Malis' time as Dorian available to see.

  2. Always look forward to seeing All My Children history. Thank you!

  3. It's also John Denos' birthday, who played Joe Blair on The Young & the Restless and Dr. Malcolm Rutledge on General Hospital). IMDb indicates he's 57. (Hmmm, not so sure about that.)

  4. Everyone gushes about Luke & Laura, I know but Steve & Betsey's wedding remains the most beautiful ceremony & reception I've seen in daytime television. It really felt sacred and warm and unabashedly festive all at the same time!

  5. Impossible to believe it has been 30 years since Steve and Betsy's wedding! I never went home for lunch - but for Steve and Betsy's wedding I headed home from the office to spend my lunch hour watching this beautiful ceremony (I agree with a1scrivener!). Seems like yesterday.....