Sunday, September 7, 2014

Today in Soap Opera History (September 7)

General Hospital super couple Frisco & Felicia met 30
years ago today. Photo Credit: ABC/Getty Images
"To believe what has not occurred in history will not occur at all, is to argue disbelief in the dignity of man."
- Mahatma Gandhi

"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 Peyton Place, Steven Cord (James Douglas) arrived at his mother's (Ruth Warrick) home with a trunk of Ann's (Susan Oliver) childhood belongings and confronted her and Mr. Peyton about their treatment of Ann and the lies regarding her true parentage. They protested that they did what they thought was best, but he argued that they could have helped her after she found out "who she was," but instead abandoned her and contributed to her death.

1976: On Ryan's Hope, Frank prepared the divorce hearing, hoping to end his marriage to Delia. Maeve (Helen Gallagher) worried that Frank would leave the church.

1978: Eileen Barnett debuted on Days of our Lives as Stephanie Woodruff. Stephanie was later revealed to be a post-plastic surgery Brooke Hamilton (previously played by Adrienne LaRussa). Brooke had not died in a car accident as previously thought.

1979: On The Edge of Night, the Madisons discussed "Mansion of the Damned" at dinner.

1981: Another World debuted its block letter opening, replacing the interlocking rings that had been used since 1966.

1984: Kristina Wagner (then Malandro) made her first appearance as Felicia Cummings on General Hospital. Her character's name wasn't revealed in this episode but she immediately displayed chemistry with co-star Jack Wagner, who played Frisco Jones. Frisco & Felicia would go on to become one of the most memorable pairings in daytime history, and appeared on our 2012 countdown of the 50 Greatest Soap Couples of all-time.

A few members of "Frisco & Felicia: An Undying Love Affair," one of the most passionate and loyal fan groups around, participated in answering interview questions on camera to talk about their recollections, impressions, and lasting feelings about that power couple to mark the 30th anniversary of their favorite couple. In the video below, these group member interviews are interspersed with GH clips as well as interviews with Jack & Kristina on various programs over the years.

Thanks to Salimah for sending in the item above.

1989: On The Young and the Restless, Nina (Tricia Cast) tried to convince Esther (Kate Linder) to testify on her behalf.

1994: Sharon Case debuted as Sharon Collins on The Young and the Restless.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2001: Actor Billie Lou Watt died at age 77. Her soap roles included Maggie Barker Weaver on From These Roots, Ellie Harper Bergman in Search for Tomorrow and Florence Hatcher on The Edge of Night.

2004: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Eric (John McCook) was shocked to learn from Stephanie (Susan Flannery) that Felicia had been living with cancer.

2007: NBC aired its final episode of daytime soap opera Passions. The show moved to DirecTV's The 101 Network 10 days later (September 17) and ran until the series finale on August 7, 2008.

2010: On As the World Turns, Dr. Reid Oliver (Eric Sheffer Stevens) died in the hospital after his car was struck by a train.

2011: On All My Children, Verla Grubbs (guest star Carol Burnett) competed with Opal (Jill Larson) at their reunion for former classmate, Sam Brady (Jason Kincaid).

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Bruce Gray (ex-Owen, The Edge of Night; ex-Wyatt, All My Children; ex-Warren, Somerset; ex-Tim, Strange Paradise; ex-Mark, The Young and the Restless; ex-George, General Hospital; ex-Dr. Glass, Santa Barbara) - 78
William Utay (ex-Dr. Rolf, Days of our Lives) - 67
Susan Blakely (ex-Anne, Falcon Crest) - 66
Georganne LaPiere (ex-Heather, General Hospital) - 63
Corbin Bernsen (Todd, The Young and the Restless; ex-John, General Hospital; ex-Ken, Ryan's Hope) - 60
Michael Emerson (ex-Ben, Lost) - 60
Michele Val Jean (Writer, The Bold and the Beautiful; General Hospital; Santa Barbara)
Les Brandt (ex-Rafael, Another World) - 46
Tom Everett Scott (ex-Andrew, GCB) - 44
Alyssa Diaz (ex-Gloria, Army Wives; ex-Celia, As the World Turns) - 29
Evan Rachel Wood (ex-Sophie-Anne, True Blood) - 27

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you have a tip on a bit of soap history on this date or future dates, let us know. Send an email to

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