Today in Soap Opera History (April 3)

"Mankind are so much the same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular. Its chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human nature."
― David Hume

"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...

1956: On second ever episode of THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Mattie Lane's (Betty Garde) $20 disappeared from her sewing machine which led to tension between Sarah (Teal Ames) and Mike (John Larkin). Both Mike and Sarah, especially Mike, suspected Jack (Don Hastings) was the culprit.

1970: On ANOTHER WORLD, Liz emceed a fashion show which featured Rachel, Lenore, Pat, Peggy, Lahoma, Susan and Alice as models. Lahoma told Pat about life in Somerset, then bit her tongue when she compared India Delaney to Liz. Alice's dressing-down of Rachel was interrupted by Pat collapsing on the runway. Liz let Lahoma know that Missy would be staying put in Bay City.

1972: Daytime soap opera RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE, a spin-off of primetime hit PEYTON PLACE, premiered on NBC.  The original cast included Bettye Ackerman, Warren Stevens, Katherine Glass, Lawrence P. Casey and Ron Russell.  The show ran until January 4, 1974, and was replaced in the NBC daytime lineup by another soap, HOW TO SURVIVE A MARRIAGE.

1974: Mary Frann debuted as Amanda Howard in DAYS OF OUR LIVES, a role she would play until 1979.

1975: Cory Publishing was mentioned for the first time on ANOTHER WORLD.

1978: Syndicated soap opera HIGH HOPES premiered.  The show revolved around Dr. Neal Chapman (Bruce Gray), a family counselor who dealt with the case histories of his patients with stories told in arcs with a beginning, middle and end.

1985: On DYNASTY, Sammy Jo (Heather Locklear) met her real father, Daniel Reece (Rock Hudson).

1986: On KNOTS LANDING, Greg (William Devane) asked Laura to marry him.

1986: Michael Reagan, adopted son of President Ronald Reagan and FALCON CREST star Jane Wyman, made a guest appearance on CAPITOL as a stage party chairman.

1991: On GUIDING LIGHT, Justin Marler left Springfield.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the clip above.

1998: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) "slipped away" and started to walk into the white light, dying from the gunshot wounds inflicted by Veronica Landers. But just as her now-dead husband, Joshua, held out his hand to welcome her, she was called back to life ... by Victor.

Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Eric Braeden
Eric Braeden (Victor, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 74
Billy Hayes (ex-Len, CAPITOL) - 68
Luke Reilly (ex-Claude/Richard, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Cal, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 66
Gregg Marx (ex-Tom, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-David, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 60
Alec Baldwin (ex-Billy, THE DOCTORS; ex-Joshua, KNOTS LANDING) - 57
Mark Dobies (ex-Daniel, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Noah, GUIDING LIGHT) - 56
Laura Bryan Birn (ex-Lynne, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 50
Michael Malone (ex-Val, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 47
Jennie Garth (ex-Kelly, 90210/BEVERLY HILLS, 90210) - 43
Chrissie Fit (ex-Mercedes, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 31

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email

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