Today in Soap Opera History (May 18)

1960: Eileen Fulton debuted on As the World Turns.  1979: Pat
struggled to get past his religious differences with Nancy on
Ryan's Hope. 1990: The final episode of Falcon Crest.
1994: General Hospital's Maxie received B.J.'s heart.
"History never looks like history when you are living through it."
― John W. Gardner

"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...

1960: Eileen Fulton debuted in the role of Lisa Miller on As The World Turns. She would play the iconic role for most of the next 50 years until the show's cancellation in 2010. The character was also was used as the focal point of the primetime spin-off Our Private World in 1965. Read our 2011 interview with Fulton here. And check out our 25 Biggest Blunders in Daytime Soap Opera History list where we chastise ATWT for the pitiful way the show ended the character of Lisa.

1967: On Days of our Lives, Tom (Macdonald Carey) called Susan (Denise Alexander) to get her back to the hospital because there were complications with Dickie.

1979: On Ryan's Hope, Pat (John Blazo) arrived for dinner with Nancy's (Nana Tucker Visitor) family and Beryl explained the reasons that they could not be married. Beryl said since neither Pat nor Nancy was willing to compromise their religious beliefs, there wasn't much of a future for them.

1981: On Texas, after Alex Wheeler (Bert Kramer) told Pete Parnell (Ned Schmidtke) that he believed Lawrence Petroleum was involved in World Oil's accounting irregularities, Pete offered to get him in on the drug trafficking profits. Alex then had a stroke and collapsed.

1985: Former All My Children and One Life to Live director Del Hughes died at age 75.

1990: The series finale of Falcon Crest aired on CBS. The show ran for 9 seasons and a total of 227 episodes.

1991: On The Young and the Restless, Jack (Peter Bergman) and Brad (Don Diamont) wanted Neil (Kristoff St. John) to decide who he worked for at Jabot.

1994: On General Hospital, news of B.J.'s death and the impending heart transplant for Maxie spread throughout Port Charles. Despite objections from Monica (Leslie Charleson), Tony (Brad Maule) joined in on the surgery. B.J.'s heart was successfully transplanted into Maxie. After the operation, Tony visited B.J.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2000: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Taylor (Hunter Tylo) demanded Stephanie (Susan Flannery) tell her about Morgan's abortion.

2001: At the 28th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, winners included As the World Turns (Drama Series, Writing), The Young and the Restless (Directing), David Canary, Martha Byrne, Michael E. Knight, Lesli Kay, Justin Torkildsen and Adrienne Frantz.

The clips below feature the wins by Byrne and Canary in the lead acting categories.

2010: One Life to Live aired the third episode in the "Starr X’d Lovers: The Musical" event. Markko arrived in time to see Ford and Langston share a kiss. Meanwhile, Jessica walked in on Cristian proposing to Layla, and Starr and Cole enjoyed a dance alone in the gym.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Bill Macy (ex-Cab Driver, The Edge of Night) - 93
Priscilla Pointer (ex-Rebecca, Dallas) - 91
Robert Morse (ex-Bertram, Mad Men; ex-Harry, All My Children) - 84
Diane McBain (ex-Claire, General Hospital; ex-Dee Dee, Dallas) - 74
Paul Falzone (ex-Hank, As the World Turns; ex-Jim, All My Children) - 68
Gail Strickland (ex-Dorcas, Dark Shadows; ex-Veronica, Dallas; ex-Katherine, Melrose Place) - 68
Cynthia Preston (ex-Faith, General Hospital) - 47
Freddy Hernandez (ex-Officer Parker, General Hospital) - 47
Matt Long (ex-James, Private Practice; ex-Jack, Jack & Bobby; ex-Joey, Mad Men;) - 35
Allen Leech (ex-Tom, Downton Abbey) - 34
Sean Douglas (ex-Vargas, Days of our Lives)
Ryan Cooley (ex-J.T., Degrassi: The Next Generation; ex-Hank, Queer as Folk) - 27
Luke Kleintank (ex-Noah, The Young and the Restless; ex-Elliot, Gossip Girl) - 25

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


  1. Will always adore Eileen Fulton. Thank you for recognizing the horrible way she and her character of Lisa were treated at the end of ATWT. This is only one of numerous reasons the show was a complete nightmare during the final months and fans were given such a terrible ending to a wonderful show. I hope those responsible feel ashamed - but unfortunately I doubt they do.

  2. Cheryl,

    I totally agree with you about the anger we ATWT fans feel about the way Lisa's character was treated for the last 2-4 Years of the soap's run. Sheesh!

    Brian :-(

    1. ATWT shot for six and a half more months after the cancellation was announced. Even if they couldn't (or stubbornly refused to) write one last storyline for her they could have easily made her more prominent in the very last episode. I thought a phone call from Grant Colman could have been a nice tease that Lisa had romance on the horizon. It would have been SO easy to include.

  3. Absolutely, Roger, Absolutely! Better Yet, Have Grant Colman (aka James Douglas) Show Up In Person At The Lakeview Hotel's Desk With Lisa Behind The Counter Totally Surprised! :-D

    Brian :-|