Sunday, March 17, 2019

Today in Soap Opera History (March 17)

1971: Erika Slezak debuted as Victoria Lord on One Life to Live.
"History speaks to artists. It changes the artist's thinking and is constantly reshaping it into d ifferent 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...

1971: Erika Slezak debuted as Victoria Lord on One Life to Live. The role had been originated by Gillian Spencer in 1968, then assumed by Joanne Dorian starting in 1970. Slezak played the role for 41 years on ABC, and one additional season when show aired online in 2013.

1975: Tom O'Rourke (who would later become Guiding Light's Justin Marler) auditioned for (and landed) a one day gig as a construction boss on Search for Tomorrow. Read about it here.

1980: On The Edge of Night, April Cavanaugh (Terry Davis) was devastated after being told Draper had died in a train crash.

1981: On Another World, Sandy (Christopher Rich) warned Joey (Ray Liotta) that people like Jordan had permanent solutions for their enemies.

1983: On Ryan's Hope, Delia (Ilene Kristen) took money out of Jill's purse on St. Patrick's Day.

1987: On Days of our Lives, Justin Kiriakis (Wally Kurth) arranged for reporters to "welcome" Melissa (Lisa Trusel) home from her fake tour.

1996: One Life to Live aired a montage of classic scenes in honor or Erika Slezak's 25th anniversary as Viki.

1997: On The City, Gino's men threatened Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliot).

2001: Soap Center aired a 30th anniversary tribute to One Life to Live star Erika Slezak.

2002: Actress Rosetta LeNoire died at age 90. The Family Matters and Gimme a Break star played multiple daytime roles including Miriam George on Ryan's Hope, Matilda in A World Apart, Gloria Metcalf on Another World, and Leona Herbert in The Guiding Light.

2003: On As the World Turns, Rose (Martha Byrne) and Paul celebrated their engagement.

2004: On All My Children, Bianca (Eden Riegel) and Babe (Alexa Havins) took refuge in an abandoned cabin after being stranded in a storm.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2011: We Love Soaps TV traveled to the One Life to Live set to cover the 40th anniversary celebration for Erika Slezak.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Lynn Milgrim (ex-Orlena, As the World Turns) - 75
Patrick Duffy (ex-Bobby, Dallas; ex-Bobby, Knots Landing; ex-Stephen, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 70
Lesley-Anne Down (ex-Jackie, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Lady Sheraton, Days of our Lives; ex-Olivia, Sunset Beach; ex-Stephanie, Dallas) - 65
Gary Sinise (ex-Lee, Knots Landing) - 64
Laura Gardner (ex-Valerie, General Hospital: Night Shift) - 64
Rob Lowe (ex-Robert, Brothers & Sisters; ex-Sam, The West Wing) - 56
Mathew St. Patrick (ex-Marcus, General Hospital; ex-Adriana, All My Children; ex-Keith, Six Feet Under) - 51
Oliver Macready (ex-Romeo, Guiding Light) - 47
Kevin Collins (ex-Brandon, Guiding Light) - 47
Amelia Heinle (Victoria, The Young and the Restless; ex-Mia, All My Children; ex-Steffi, The City; ex-Steffi, Loving) - 46
Natalie Zea (ex-Karen, Dirty Sexy Money; ex-Gwen, Passions) - 45
Brittany Daniel (ex-Kelly, The Game; ex-Mila, Swans Crossing) - 43
Erin Richter (ex-Jennifer, The Young and the Restless) - 39
Christian Cousins (ex-Bobby, Knots Landing) - 36
Joseph Cousins (ex-Bobby, Knots Landing) - 36
Alicia Pillatzke (ex-Jeannie, Days of our Lives) - 29
Emily Pillatzke (ex-Jeannie, Days of our Lives) - 29

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

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