Sunday, May 4, 2014

Today in Soap Opera History (May 4)

1964: Another World premiered.  1982: Dynasty's Cecil died
while making love with Alexis.  1984: Guiding Light's "Dreaming
Death" virus killed Lesley Ann. 1987: Days of our Lives' Kim
and Shane were married.  .
"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: On Vic and Sade, Chuck Brainfeeble visited Sade with a gross of "Little Leather Ringmasters." He proposed to use them to repay his $40 debt to Vic, and wouldn't take "no" for an answer.

1958: Elaine S. Carrington, the radio writer who created Pepper Young's Family and other daytime dramas, died at New York Hospital. She was 66.

1964: Irna Phillips and William J. Bell's Another World premiered on NBC. The script from this episode is archived at the National Museum of American History. When the show began, announcer Bill Wolff would say over the opening title: "We do not live in this world alone, but in a thousand other worlds. . . And now, Another World."

During its first year, the show, set in the fictional town of Bay City, set new standards for its time by taking on topics like abortion and illegitimate pregnancy.

The story initially revolved around the Matthews family in Bay City. The original characters were Liz Matthews (Sarah Cunningham, replaced after the first episode), Bill Matthews (Joseph Gallison), Jim Matthews (John Beal, replaced after the first episode), Mary Matthews (Virginia Dwyer), Pat Matthews (Susan Trustman), Alice Matthews (Jacqueline Courtney), Russ Matthews (Joey Trent), Janet Matthews (Liza Chapman), Granny Matthews (Vera Allen), Missy Palmer (Carol Roux), Ken Baxter (William Prince) and Tom Baxter (Nicholas Pryor).

Another World ran for 35 years, achieving its greatest ratings success in the 1970s. The final episode aired on June 25, 1999.

1982: On the Season 2 finale of Dynasty, Cecil Colby (Lloyd Bochner) suffered a heart attack while making love to Alexis (Joan Collins) on the night before their wedding.

1984: On Guiding Light, Lesley Ann Andrews (Carolyn Ann Clark) died after being infected with the Dreaming Death virus. Elsewhere, Reva (Kim Zimmer) hosted the Mr. Springfield contest.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the clip above.

1987: On Days of our Lives, Kimberly Brady (Patsy Pease) and Shane Donovan (Charles Shaughnessy) were married.

1987: On The Bold and the Beautiful, while Mother Logan (Lesley Woods) and her daughter-in-law, Beth (Judith Baldwin), discussed why Beth's husband, Stephen, had deserted The Logan Family, Stephanie & Eric Forrester (Susan Flannery & John McCook) talked about a past of their own, which had included Beth. Meanwhile, Thorne Forrester (Clayton Norcross) pleaded with his sister Kristen (Teri Ann Lynn) to divulge where Caroline Spencer was now living, with Thorne confessing his love for his brother's ex-fiancée.

Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

1999: On Another World, Anne (Alice Barrett) tried to leave Bay City after being fired by Cass (Stephen Schnetzer) but Charlie (Brittany Finamore) begged her to stay.

2007: On One Life to Live, Blair (Kassie DePaiva) was determined to find Todd before leaving Chicago.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Susan Brown (ex-Gail, Port Charles; ex-Dorothy, Santa Barbara; ex-Nancy, The Edge of Night; ex-Adelaide, As the World Turns) - 82
Lynn Wood (ex-Allison, The Young and the Restless; ex-Aunt Janet, General Hospital) - 82
Richard Jenkins (ex-Nathaniel, Six Feet Under) - 67
Tanya Falan Welk-Roberts (Guest Star, General Hospital) - 66
Scott Stevensen (ex-Harvey, All My Children) - 63
Mary Beth McDonough (ex-Heidi, General Hospital) - 53
Matthew Crane (ex-Perry, Gotham; ex-Ross, General Hospital; ex-Matt, Another World) - 47

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. Why did they replace Judith Baldwin on B&B? Was she fired?

    1. I have no idea. I can tell you, though, that according to the "Comings & Goings" section of the July 14, 1987 issue of Soap Opera Digest, Baldwin's exit was "a mutual decision between actress and producers." .. (But then, that's the exact same line they used word-for-word when they reported Brenda Dickson was exiting Y&R two weeks later .. lol!)

  2. That's funny, Fox.

    I'm not sure why she left either, David.