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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Soap Stars in Other Places: Hollywood Squares 1979

Another classic game show that includes soap stars is posted on YouTube. This video is from December 4, 1979 and aired originally on NBC. The majority of the stars were on that network at the time. 

Here is an embedded version of the video, which clocks at just under 30 minutes. This includes retro advertising as it was taped from WNBC (NYC) in the 70s. Some of the items advertised no longer exist, which I find rather entertaining. The game play is standard "Hollywood Squares", with the host, Peter Marshall asking questions and the stars bluffing or telling the truth. The contestants had to guess if they were being honest.

This soap opera week has 16 soap stars taking up 8 of the 9 squares. The only non-soap people are in the center square: Wayland Flowers and his puppet Madame. The soap actors are: Nancy Pinkerton and Frank Luz (Viveca & John - "The Doctors"),  Susan Keith & Paul Stevens (Cecile & Brian - "Another World"), Richard Guthrie & Tracey Bregman (David & Donna - "Days of Our Lives" ), Dennis Cooney & Kelly Wood (Jay & Mary - "As the World Turns"), Sherry Mathis & Rod Arrants (Liza & Travis - "Search for Tomorrow"), Brenda Dickson & Bob Colbert (Jill & Stuart - "The Young & the Restless"), Bill & Susan Hayes (Doug & Julie - Days), Quinn Redeker & Brenda Benet (Alex & Lee - Days). "Hollywood Squares" doesn't mention the actors by character name, so I did my best to look up the information. There were 10 from NBC and 6 from CBS though eventually SFT moved to NBC in 1982. No ABC shows were represented though some actors involved had or will be on soaps on that network years later.

Unlike many retro soap things, I actually don't know most of the actors for the work they are promoting on this episode due to the era. Of course, I know Bill and Susan, but they are still together IRL, so if I didn't that wouldn't make sense. They are the only people who are still on soaps in the same roles. Tracey Bregman is now best known for being on Y&R as Lauren Fenmore and weirdly enough Susan played Tracey's mom for a time on that show. 

I don't know the romantic pairings most were involved with at this time. The actors from "The Doctors" weren't part of the cast on any of the reruns that aired on RetroTV. Nancy Pinkerton played Dorian on "One Life to Live" prior to being on "The Doctors", and Frank Luz (I recall as a guest star on 80s prime time tv). I know Susan Keith, but from Loving as Shana and that she was with James Kiberd aka Trevor on "All My Children".  I know of the SFT actors, but never saw that series, though I know their characters as their photos are used a lot in historical articles about it. I know nothing about the people from ATWT. Brenda Dickson is still online, so I know of her for that reason. Quinn Redeker played one of Kay's husbands named Rex on Y&R years later, and I'm familiar with him from that. Rex was Danny and Gina's father. Brenda Benet is someone I know about because of her tragic life. She and Bill Bixby were married, and had a child who died. This was on one of those E! True Hollywood Story episodes, which is how I'm aware of her.

Greg was the returning champion playing against Barb. They were in the middle of a game. What is funny is that Barb is a CBS soap fan. She mentions that she doesn't watch AW, because "As the World Turns" is on the same time. Other things that were mentioned John Gabriel's album because Kelly and Sherry sing on it. Peter Marshall says he's on "Ryan's Hope" with Helen Gallagher. Considering Peter Marshall being in theater, I can understand why he would think of Helen Gallagher. Since this was from 1979, SFT had yet to move to NBC, and was a CBS program. The video ends with a news report from Jane Pauley. It is the 34th day of the Iran hostage crisis. (Since this was before cable news, these brief breaks were normal. ABC and CBS both eliminated these breaks in the last 10 years. ABC's was between "One Life to Live" and "General Hospital" on the east coast, while CBS had theirs during the afternoon showing on "Guiding Light". This went away with GL.)

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