Thursday, August 20, 2015

Today in Soap Opera History (August 20)

1973: Suzanne Rogers debuted as Maggie on Days of our Lives.
1996: Days' John & Kristen learned she had lost their baby.
2001: As the World Turns' Carly was rescued from quicksand.
2009: One Life to Live's Clint refused to be on reality television.
"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again."
― Maya Angelou

"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...

1973: Suzanne Rogers debuted as Maggie Simmons in Days of our Lives. In the episode, amnesiac Mickey Horton (John Clarke) stumbled onto Maggie's farm. Rogers, a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1979 for her work on Days. She is the longest running cast member still on contract the show today (Susan Seaforth Hayes and Bill Hayes debuted on Days before Rogers and still recur--and apparently with a little more frequency this fall).

In a 2011 interview with We Love Soaps, Rogers spoke about winning the Emmy, and how the process changes have made a big difference in who wins the awards these days.

"When I won my Emmy in 1979, all the producers and directors were allowed to vote for the categories because technically the producers and most of the directors see everybody's work," she explained. "I think the minute they limited it for actors just voting for actors, it got to be a very political system. That's not really what it's all about. It's about the work, what's being put up on the screen."

1976: On Another World, Clarice Hobson, pregnant with Robert Delaney's (Nicholas Coster) baby, was threatened by Robert's estranged wife, Iris (Beverlee McKinsey), who ordered her to leave town. While trying to flee her boarding house, Clarice went into labor. End credits rolled during her hospital labor. The unmarried Clarice delivered a son, Cory, on August 23.

Thanks to Scott for sending in the item above.

1979: On The Edge of Night, Paige (Margaret Colin) encountered a masked man with a gun.

1987: On Ryan's Hope, on John (Jason Adams) and Lizzie's (Catherine Larson) wedding day, Ben (James Wlcek) ran off with Lizzie leaving the wedding guests confused.

1989: Saved by the Bell, which launched the careers of Mario Lopez, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkeley, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Lark Voorhies, debuted on NBC's Saturday morning lineup.

1993: The Young and the Restless star Jeanne Cooper received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. When she passed away in May 2013 fans placed flowers on her star.

1996: On Days of our Lives, John (Drake Hogestyn) tried to comfort Kristen (Eileen Davidson), who was in the hospital distraught about her baby. Later, the doctor revealed that the baby had not survived.

1996: On General Hospital, Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Jason (Steve Burton) shared a romantic day in Montauk.

2001: On As the World Turns, Jack (Michael Park) told Julia (Annie Parisse) he loved her in order to take her gun away and save Carly (Maura West), who was drowning in quicksand.

2006: The Bold and the Beautiful's Jacob Young performed the final time as Lumiere in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway after a three month run. Young was starring in All My Children at the time.

2009: One Life to Live, Clint Buchanan (Jerry verDorn) pulled a gun on David Vickers (Tuc Watkins) after David showed up with a reality television crew.

2012: Actress Phyllis Diller died at age 95. She famously guest-starred Marcy's (Marisa Tomei) Fairy Godmother on As the World Turns and in The Bold and the Beautiful as Gladys Pope.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Miriam Colon (ex-Lydia, All My Children; ex-Abuelita, One Life to Live; ex-Maria, Guiding Light) - 79
Ray Wise (ex-Ian, The Young and the Restless; ex-Jamie, Love of Life; ex-Blair, Dallas; ex-Hal, Days of our Lives; ex-Spiros, The Colbys; Leland, Twin Peaks) - 69
Peter Horton (ex-Warren, Brothers & Sisters; ex-Gary, Thirtysomething; ex-Wayne, Dallas) - 62
Breon Gorman (ex-Lenore, As the World Turns; ex-Tessa, Lovers and Friends/For Richer, For Poorer) - 61
Al Roker (Guest Star, Another World) - 61
Don Stark (ex-Ripley, General Hospital; ex-Frank, The Young and the Restless) - 61
Phyllis Lyons (ex-Arlene, All My Children) - 55
James Marsters (ex-Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer; ex-Brainiac, Smallville; ex-Barnabas, Caprica) - 53
Courtney Gibbs (ex-Galen, All My Children) - 49
Donn Swaby (ex-Chad, Passions) - 42
Misha Collins (Castiel, Supernatural) - 41
Michael Rady (ex-Jonah, Melrose Place; ex-Max, Greek; ex-Doug, Swingtown) - 34
Ben Barnes (Logan, Westworld) - 34
Kai Soremekun (ex-Lisa, Chick)
Andrew Garfield (ex-Frank, Doctor Who) - 32
Brant Daugherty (ex-Brian, Days of our Lives; ex-Patrick, Army Wives; ex-Noel, Pretty Little Liars; ex-Bryan, Days of our Lives) - 30
Demi Lovato (ex-Dani, Glee; ex-Hayley, Grey's Anatomy) - 23

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


  1. I thought Susan Seaforth Hayes was "the longest running cast member still with the show today"? She was just on the 8/19/15 episode, and started on the show in 1968.

    1. Great point. Suzanne is the longest running cast member on contract but Susan and Bill are technically the longest overall and still recur (updated that note). Based on actual episode appearances Susan and Suzanne are #9 and 10 (Deidre Hall has appeared in more DAYS episodes than anyone).