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The Romance of Helen Trent was a radio soap opera which aired on CBS from October 30, 1933 to June 24, 1960 for a total of 7,222 episodes. The show was created by Frank and Anne Hummert, who were among the most prolific producers during the radio soap era.
A soap opera is an ongoing drama serial on television or radio, featuring the lives of many characters and their emotional relationships. The term soap opera originated from radio dramas being sponsored by soap manufacturers.
CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.
Anne Hummert was the leading creator of daytime radio serials or soap opera dramas during the 1930s and 1940s, responsible for more than three dozen series.
The program opened with:
The storyline revolved around a 35-year-old dressmaker who fascinates men as she works her way up to become the chief Hollywood costumer designer. Helen was played by three different actresses (Virginia Clark, Betty Ruth Smith and Julie Stevens).Virginia Clark did the role for 11 years, and Julie Stevens portrayed Helen for 16 years.
Julie Stevens was an American actress who performed on radio, television, the stage, and in movies. She is best known for her 16-year run as the title character in The Romance of Helen Trent on radio.
Stevens, who had recently finished playing the title role on the radio soap Kitty Foyle , was only 22 when she joined the cast. She continued in the role from 1944 to the show's cancellation in 1960. Stevens was married to a US Steel executive Charles Underhill, and while portraying Helen Trent during 1951-52, she made her television debut as the female lead of Lorelei Kilbourne on the Big Town television series.
Kitty Foyle is a 1939 American novel by Christopher Morley. A bestseller in 1939 and 1940, it was adapted as a popular 1940 film.
Big Town is a popular long-running radio drama series which was later adapted to both film and television and a comic book published by DC Comics.
Stevens said she saw Helen as being similar to Edith Head. Stevens felt her character was boring and remembered the director allowed the actors to "fall around and scream with laughter during rehearsals. We had to keep our sanity. By air time we had gotten it all out of our systems and could be dead serious about the story."
Edith Head was an American costume designer who won a record eight Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, starting with The Heiress (1949) and ending with The Sting (1973).
During the 7,222 episodes (more than any other radio soap), Helen never married, and she always remained at the age of 35. However, she had a long-running beau, Gil Whitney.
An unusual incident occurred during a 1948 broadcast, as documented in Tune in Tomorrow (1968), the memoir by Mary Jane Higby, who portrayed Cynthia Carter on the program. As Gil attempted to convince Helen of his love for her, Helen again demurred and hesitated. Suddenly, a voice came over the airwaves, saying, "Ah, for chrissakes, lay the dame and get it over with!" As crew members tried to locate the voice inside the studio, the man proceeded to give sexually graphic examples of what Gil should do with Helen. In spite of the shock, there were few protests from listeners.
Mary Jane Higby was an American actress in the era of old-time radio and the early years of television. She is best known for her 18 years in the leading role on When a Girl Marries.
Susan Seaforth Hayes is an American dramatic actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Julie Williams on the NBC drama Days of Our Lives, and her intermittent portrayal of Joanna Manning on the CBS daytime drama The Young and the Restless. She began playing the role of Julie Olsen Williams on Days of Our Lives in 1968, and is the only actor to appear on the show for all six decades in which it has been on the air. Seaforth Hayes still regularly appears on Days as Julie Olsen Williams.
William Donald "Don" MacLaughlin was an American actor.
Helen Worth is an English actress who is best known for playing Gail Platt in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street since 1974. For her 40 years on the show, she received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2014 British Soap Awards.
Helen Morgan was an American singer and actress who worked in films and on the stage. A quintessential torch singer, she made a big splash in the Chicago club scene in the 1920s. She starred as Julie LaVerne in the original Broadway production of Hammerstein and Kern's musical Show Boat in 1927, as well as in the 1932 Broadway revival of the musical, and appeared in two film adaptations, a part-talkie made in 1929 and a full-sound version made in 1936, becoming firmly associated with the role. She suffered from bouts of alcoholism, and despite her notable success in the title role of another Hammerstein and Kern's Broadway musical, Sweet Adeline (1929), her stage career was relatively short. Helen Morgan died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 41. She was portrayed by Polly Bergen in the Playhouse 90 drama The Helen Morgan Story and by Ann Blyth in the 1957 biopic based on the television drama.
Alison Rosamund King is an English actress and model. She has had television roles as Lynda Block in the Sky One drama series Dream Team, and in Coronation Street as Mrs Fanshaw and later as Carla Connor. She won Best Actress at the 2012 British Soap Awards.
Helen Daniels is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, portrayed by Anne Haddy. Following the death of Jim Robinson in 1993, she remained the only original character left in the series until her own death in 1997, making her the second longest-serving original character after her grandson Paul. She appeared in 1656 episodes. She was also the most featured female character in the show during the 1980s and 1990s.
Julie Martin is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours. Originally played by Vikki Blanche, she made her first screen appearance during the show's first episode broadcast on 18 March 1985. The character departed in the same year. When she returned in 1992, Julie Mullins took over the role. Julie married Philip Martin and became his children's stepmother. Julie and Philip also had a daughter, Hannah. Julie's storylines have included struggling to befriend her stepson, her crumbling marriage and the discovery that she is a product of rape. Julie was portrayed as a busy body and gossip.
Jenna-Louise Coleman, professionally known as Jenna Coleman, is an English actress. Notable for her work in British television, she is best known for her roles as Jasmine Thomas in the soap opera Emmerdale (2005–2009), Clara Oswald, companion to the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors in the science fiction series Doctor Who, Queen Victoria in the ITV biographical drama series Victoria (2016–present), and for her leading role in The Cry.
Douglas Williams and Julie Olson Williams are fictional characters and a supercouple from the American daytime drama Days of Our Lives. Doug and Julie are considered to be the first supercouple in daytime television history. Doug is portrayed by Bill Hayes and Julie is portrayed by Susan Seaforth Hayes. The actors are married in real life and also still recur in their roles that made them famous on NBC's Days of our Lives.
Noral Edwin "Dick" Whittinghill was an American film and television actor, recording artist and radio DJ in the United States. His early music career included membership in The Pied Pipers vocal group which sang with Tommy Dorsey's big band.
Julie Olson Williams is an original fictional character and member of the Horton family on the NBC daytime drama, Days of Our Lives, a long running serial about working class life in the fictional town of Salem.
Daniel Romalotti and Lily Winters are fictional characters and a popular supercouple from the American soap opera The Young and the Restless. Daniel was portrayed by Michael Graziadei and Lily is portrayed by Christel Khalil. Davetta Sherwood took over the part in 2006, until Khalil reclaimed the role again in September of that year. The plots they were featured in included a "going on the run" story, teenage marriage, and Internet pornography. They were written as a star-crossed couple with Romeo and Juliet undertones. The couple is referred to by the portmanteau "Daily" on Internet message boards. They were considered a dynamic duo by the soap opera media.
Mary Cole is a fictional character from the British television ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, portrayed by actress Patti Clare. The character first appeared on screen during the episode airing on 26 November 2008. Mary's storylines have included: trying to seduce Norris Cole and kidnapping him when he refuses to give her attention, yet later becoming close friends; falling in love with Dev Alahan ; an affair with Brendan Finch ; and revealing that she gave birth to a son after being raped when she was fourteen years old. Producers later introduced a new family for Mary consisting of son Jude Appleton, his wife Angie Appleton and a grandson. Mary is often used in comedic stories and Clare has won two comedy related awards for her portrayal of Mary.
Our Gal Sunday was an American soap opera produced by Frank and Anne Hummert, network broadcast via CBS from March 29, 1937, to January 2, 1959, starring Dorothy Lowell and, after Lowell's 1944 death, Vivian Smolen in the title role.
Second Husband was a radio soap opera in the United States.
Kitty Foyle is an American old-time radio and television soap opera originally aired during the 1940s and 1950s that was based on the successful 1940 film of the same name starring Ginger Rogers. Kitty Foyle was created by soap opera mogul Irna Phillips of Guiding Light fame and produced by daytime radio monarchs Frank and Anne Hummert of Helen Trent recognition. The program starred originally Julie Stevens in the title role of Kitty Foyle on radio. On television, the title role was portrayed by Kathleen Murray.
Edward Frank Hummert, Jr., professionally known as Frank Hummert and sometimes credited as E. Frank Hummert, was an American advertising agent originally but was best known for writing/producing episodes of nearly 100 daytime/primetime radio dramas and soap opera serials between the 1930s and the 1950s.
Ed Prentiss was an actor in the era of old-time radio. He was perhaps best known for portraying the title role on the radio version of Captain Midnight.
The Carters of Elm Street is an American old-time radio soap opera. It was broadcast on NBC from February 13, 1939 to January 19, 1940 and on Mutual from January 22, 1940 to July 19, 1940.