Monday, January 21, 2019

Today in Soap Opera History (January 21)

1980: As the World Turns' Wade Bookstore caught on fire.
1988: Another World's Mary and Jason were caught in an explosion.
1988: General Hospital's Anna was held hostage.
1997: Sunset Beach's Annie held a gun on Ben.
"History speaks to artists. It changes the artist's thinking and is constantly reshaping it into different and unexpected images."
― Anselm Kiefer

"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 Another World, an argument between John and Lee led to a devastating car crash.

1967: Actress Ann Sheridan died at age 51. She played Kathryn Corning in Another World.

1972: On The Edge of Night, Kate Sloan (Jan Farrand) told Cookie Pollock (Fran Sharon) that she was the one who dressed up as Alexandra, but Cookie still believed it was actually Alexandra. Later, Adam told Kate he knew her husband Frank was alive. He was bluffing but Kate did not realize that, and by her reaction Adam knew he was correct.

Thanks to Jim for sending in the item above.

1980: On As the World Turns, Melinda (Ariane Munker) was trapped in the bookstore as it burned.

1980: On The Edge of Night, a hospitalized Nicole told April that Miles (Joel Crothers) was really sick.

1988: On Another World, Jason Frame (Chris Robinson) found a briefcase at the farm with a bomb inside and threw it out the window. He shielded Mary McKinnon (Denise Alexander) with his body as the bomb exploded and the farm came down on top of them.

1988: On General Hospital, Grant Putnam (Brian Patrick Clarke) held Anna (Finola Hughes) hostage.

1997: Beth Ehlers returned to Guiding Light as Harley Cooper after more than three years away.

1997: On Sunset Beach, Annie Douglas (Sarah Buxton) was holding Ben Evans (Clive Robertson) at gunpoint when the police burst in to arrest her for the murder of her father.

2005: John Reilly took over the role of Alistair Crane on the NBC soap Passions.

2009: NBC aired the 11,000th episode of Days of our Lives.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Barbara Rodell (ex-Joyce, As the World Turns; ex-Leslie, Guiding Light; ex-Judge Wallace, Loving; ex-Linda, A Flame in the Wind; ex-Girl, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Jill, The Secret Storm; ex-Mrs. Weston, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Realtor, One Life to Live) - 78
Charles Walker (ex-Rev. Phillips, General Hospital) - 74
Robby Benson (ex-Bruce, Search for Tomorrow) - 63
Joe Marinelli (ex-Bunny, Santa Barbara; ex-Sorel, General Hospital; ex-Pauly, Guiding Light) - 62
Charlotte Ross (ex-Oliva, Hit the Floor; ex-Judy, Glee; ex-Eve, Days of our Lives) - 51
Matthew Willig (ex-Tank, The Young and the Restless) - 50
Ken Leung (ex-Miles, Lost) - 49
Jerry Trainor (ex-Eric, Undressed) - 42
Luke Grimes (ex-James, True Blood; ex-Ryan, Brothers & Sisters) - 35
Paige Kettner (ex-Abby, Days of our Lives; ex-Erin, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 28
Ryanne Kettner (ex-Abby, Days of our Lives; ex-Erin, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 28
Logan O'Brien (ex-Lucas, General Hospital) - 27

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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