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SOS Celebrates OLTL's 40th Anniversary

TVS Celebrates

TVS Celebrates OLTL’s 40th Anniversary
BY: RYAN CHANDLER
TVS TV EDITOR
Thursday, July 10, 2008, 4:44 PM

It’s not every year a soap with as much history as “One Life to Live” celebrates it’s 40th anniversary. For their 40th anniversary celebration, Head Writer Ron Carlivati says the show will revisit past stories with a modern twist. Expect to see familiar faces such as Phil Carey(Asa), Mark Derwin(Ben), Stephen Markle(Mel), Erin Torpey (ex-Jessica) and John Loprieno (Cord).

TVS Celebrates “One Life to Live’s” 40th Anniversary!
BY: Omar Nobles
TVS TV EDITOR


Thursday, July 10, 2008, 4:44 PM

TVS Celebrates

“Our 40th anniversary deserved more than just a clip montage–we’re retelling classic stories.” — OLTL Head Writer, Ron Carlivati


It’s not every year a soap with as much history as “One Life to Live” celebrates it’s 40th anniversary. In celebration of this great feat, TVSource Magazine has created a 40th Anniversary Gallery at our affiliate site Twisted-Damage. Here you can find pictures of OLTL through the years, as well as pictures from the upcoming anniversary shows. In our fan art area, you will also find 40th Anniversary banners created by TVS administrator Dee.


For their 40th anniversary celebration, Head Writer Ron Carlivati says the show will revisit past stories with a modern twist. Expect to see familiar faces such as Phil Carey(Asa), Mark Derwin(Ben), Stephen Markle(Mel), Erin Torpey (ex-Jessica) and John Loprieno (Cord). The show will feature Viki paying a brief trip to heaven, Bo & Rex going back in time, Carlo Hesser sending Sarah Roberts over the Iguazu Falls (just like her mother) and more!

Created by the great Agnes Nixon in 1968, OLTL has entertained fans for 40 years, bringing you stories of romance, drama, comedy, social awareness and more. The show was groundbreaking. It was the first soap opera to have a racially integrated cast, and also was the first to deal with interracial relationships. In a story that long-time fans will remember, Ellen Holly played the role of Clara aka Carla Hall, an African American woman attempting to pass herself as a white woman. And who can forget Judith Light as Karen Wolek, revealing her secret life as a prostitute!


The creation of the Buchanan family turned out to be a great move as the family still resides in town today, and is considered a “core” family by fans.


Under the guidance of executive producer Paul Rauch in the 80’s, OLTL told stories of characters going back in time, visiting heaven, underground cities and other campy stories that fans either loved or hated.The 80’s saw stories filled with camp.


With Michael Malone at the helm, the early 90’s saw the return of many social awareness stories and diversity that had been missing in the previous decade. The character of Megan Harrison (the long-lost daughter of heroin Victoria Lord played by Jessica Tuck) died in a heart wrenching story after her character lost her battle with Lupus. During this time the soap also told stories such as teenage homosexuality, AIDS, and perhaps the show’s most well known story, the gang rape of resident Llanview bad girl Marty Saybrooke (played by Susan Haskell) by Todd Manning (then Roger Howarth) and his frat brothers.


Characters such as Todd Manning, Hank (Nathan Purdee) and RJ Gannon (Timothy D. Stickney), Nora Hanen (Hillary B. Smith), David Vickers (Tuc Watkins) and more were brought into the fold of the drama of the Buchanan’s, Lords and Cramers. Most remain on canvas to this day, or are mentioned through characters currently on canvas.


The 2000’s brought about a balance of the 80’s and 90’s, along with it’s share of fanfare and criticism. Currently the show is written by Ronald Carlivati, a self proclaimed “fan” of the show, who’s spent the past 12 years working with some of the best (and worst) the show has to offer. Time will tell if Mr. Carlivati will be remembered as a man who did OLTL well, or if he failed, but many are happy with the results and he always brings about good debate on message boards.


OLTL was the place many primetime and movie stars got their start. Tommy Lee Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Casper Van Dien, Marcia Cross, Hayden Panettiere, Nathan Fillion, Laurence Fishbourne, Judith Light, Ryan Phillipe and others all visited the town of Llanview, PA. Many celebrities also paid the soap a visit: Sammy Davis Jr., Peabo Bryson (who also recorded a theme for the show), Reba McEntire, Little Richard (present for Bo and Nora’s wedding), Erykah Badu, Nelly Furtado, Mary J. Blidge, Lifehouse, OneRepublic and Snoop Dogg have had cameos or performed on the show.

To view the "One Life to Live" 40th Anniversary Gallery, click here
To view the "One Life to Live" History Revisited Gallery (Anniversary Episodes), click here


Credit: TVS Logo courtesy Dee/TVS

Additional pictures courtesy ABC

About the author

Omar White-Nobles

Ryan White-Nobles is Editor-in-Chief of TVSource Magazine. He's a natural #Heel who loves a spirited debate and probably watches too much TV. Follow him on Twitter at @SourceRyan to discuss all things TV, soaps, sports, wrestling and pop culture.