ALL MY CHILDREN expanded from 30 minutes to an hour....Matthew Cowles made his debut as villainous Billy Clyde Tuggle, while Gil Rogers came aboard as Tad and Jenny’s
nasty birth father, Ray Gardner.... Original cast member Karen Lynn Gorney (Tara) was replaced by Nancy Frangione.... On-screen, Erica learned that her new beau, Mark Dalton, was actually her paternal half brother; Kitty succumbed to a brain tumor soon after remarrying Linc; Chuck eloped with Donna.
AS THE WORLD TURNS took the top slot in the Nielsen ratings.... After many trials and tribulations, Kim and Dan were finally wed.
Maeve Kinkead, best known as GUIDING LIGHT’s Vanessa, made her daytime debut as ANOTHER WORLD’s Angie; Daytime Emmy winner Laurie Heineman exited as Sharlene; Eric Roberts spent six months in Bay City as Ted Bancroft.
Josh Taylor, now DAYS OF OUR LIVES’s Roman, began his Salem stretch as Chris Kositchek, while Deidre Hall’s real-life twin, Andrea, debuted as Marlena’s twin, Samantha (who took sibling rivalry to a whole new level by kidnapping Marlena and taking over her life).... Behind the scenes, Pat Falken Smith was out as head writer in favor of Ann Marcus, while H. Wesley Kenney was hired as Betty Corday’s co-executive producer....David married Trish after his interracial relationship with Valerie stalled, and they welcomed a son, Scotty.
Elizabeth Hubbard left THE DOCTORS as Althea; Head Writer Douglas Marland exited
the series; Joseph Stuart was out as EP and Charles Weiss was in; Ted Danson appeared
as Mitchell, and Kathleen Turner (pictured) made her television debut as Nola.
On January 3, LOVERS AND FRIENDS took over the NBC timeslot vacated by the canceled AW spin-off, SOMERSET. Executive-produced by Paul Rauch and head-written by Harding Lemay, it featured an imported AW character, Christine Jones’s Amy Gifford.
GENERAL HOSPITAL added four players who would become vital to its future: Leslie Charleson as Monica, Stuart Damon as Alan (the show’s first Quartermaine), Kin Shriner as Scotty and Jacklyn Zeman, fresh off her ONE LIFE TO LIVE role of Lana, as Bobbie (P.C.’s first Spencer).... With GH in danger of cancellation due to flagging ratings, Tom Donovan was axed as EP and successor Gloria Monty was told she had 13 weeks to save the show.... Steve Hardy learned that he fathered Jeff Webber; Lesley and Rick tied the knot; Scotty and Laura’s courtship began; Steve and Audrey remarried and he adopted her son, Tom; Diana and Peter adopted Steven Lars, Heather’s secret son by Jeff.
ONE LIFE TO LIVE got a shot of adrenaline in the form of Judith Light (pictured) as Karen Wolek and Gerald Anthony as Marco Dane....Larry married Karen, who began secretly trysting with an older man who showered her with lavish gifts; Dorian tried to seduce Viki’s husband, Joe, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor....Jacklyn Zeman’s character, Lana, accidentally ingested a fatal dose of sleeping pills....The show’s original EP, Doris Quinlan, left after nine years, and Joseph Stuart took over.
SEARCH FOR TOMORROW’s Val Dufour (John) won the Daytime Emmy for Lead Actor....Peter Simon left after eight years as Scott; Morgan Fairchild was out as Jennifer.
GUIDING LIGHT dropped the “THE” from its title (in an effort to seem more hip), celebrated its 40th anniversary (it debuted on radio in 1937) and expanded to an hour. Springfield welcomed a key new family, the Spauldings, represented by Chris Bernau as Alan, Lezlie Dalton as Elizabeth and Jarrod Ross as Phillip.
On RYAN’S HOPE, Mary and Jack’s honeymoon in Ireland was soapdom’s first European location shoot....Kate Mulgrew announced her departure as Mary; the show cleaned up at the Daytime Emmys, winning Best Show, Best Writing and Lead Actress for Helen Gallagher (Maeve).
The first Soapy Awards (later known as the Soap Opera Digest Awards) were doled out on THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW. Winners included DAYS for Best Show, Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes (Doug and Julie, DAYS) for Best Actor and Actress, Beverlee McKinsey (Iris, AW) for Best Villainess, and AMC/OLTL Creator Agnes Nixon for Outstanding Achievement in the World of Daytime Drama.