'ATWT' Memorable Moments: No. 10 - 1
by AOL TV Staff, posted Sep 15th 2010 3:00PM
10. John humiliates Lisa (1996)
Dr. John Dixon decided that revenge was a dish best served cold so he romanced Lisa Grimaldi after she unsuccessfully sued him for malpractice over the death of her late husband Eduardo. (He was actually murdered by Clare Bloom's Orlena.) John proposed marriage to Lisa, but he didn't show up to their engagement party. Instead, he sent a video of him trashing his unsuspecting bride-to-be. A highlight of this story was John's ex-wife Lucinda trapping him in her fur vault, demanding to know what he was up to. Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda) did a dead-on impersonation of Lisa to John, emphasizing that he'd have to listen to Lisa's drivel day in/day out for the rest of his life if he went ahead with the ceremony.
9. Elizabeth Talbot dies by falling "up" the stairs (1973)
Savvy soap opera writers avoided clichés. So when 'ATWT' creator/head writer Irna Phillips decided to bump off Elizabeth she did it in a unique way. Liz saw her toddler daughter Betsy at the top of the stairs (Susan Stewart had neglected to put the safety gate in place). In her haste to keep Betsy safe Liz started up the staircase. She fell and ruptured her spleen. Before she died, Liz was able to tell Dan that he was Betsy's true father. Later, Dan died, too, but afterward his widow Kim raised Betsy.
8. Bob and Kim marry (1985; 2010)
Every soap needs a stable, core family. 'ATWT' provided that with the overdue wedding of Bob Hughes and Kim Andropolous. Bob and Kim were joined by her son Andy, his daughter Frannie and, perhaps most importantly, Bob's parents Nancy and Chris, living in the nearby garage apartment. This re-established the Hughes clan as the first family of Oakdale. Julianne Moore reprised her role as Frannie on the show 25 years later when Bob and Kim remarried after discovering that their first union wasn't legally valid.
7. John Dixon shows up at his own murder trial (1982)
Dr. John Dixon (played by two-time Emmy-winner Larry Bryggman) never failed to look out for himself. When more than a few people wanted to kill John, he decided to fake his own death. After his ex-wife Dee was put on trial for his "murder," John decided it was time to return to Oakdale. Dressed as an old man, John removed his disguise while Dee was testifying. Bryggman had the ability to play John as a bad guy who always seemed justified in whatever he was doing. The actor's return to 'ATWT' in its final weeks was a treat for the show's longtime fans.
6. "Hello, Barbara" (1986)
On a dark and stormy night at Duncan's castle all hell had broken loose. Barbara had been drugged and nearly raped by evil Hensley Taggart. A pregnant Margo showed up to try to save her on-again/off-again rival, but fell victim to Taggart herself. Suddenly, a mysterious figure stepped out of the shadows to deal with Taggart. He removed his hood and said, "Hello, Barbara." It was Bab's presumed dead ex-husband James Stenbeck, who had returned to wreck havoc on everyone's lives once more. James came back from that great soap in the sky many times, but this first reappearance was the most chilling.
5. Bob tells Kim he slept with Susan (1990)
There really weren't any bad guys in this love triangle. (Well, except for maybe Bob.) The good doctor had felt neglected while wife Kim devoted herself to saving her son Andy, who'd become an alcoholic. Bob turned to a needy Susan and the two made love. Kim justifiably ripped into her husband after he confessed all. Susan tried to make amends, but Kim, who'd already been in a love triangle with Susan and the late Dan Stewart, told her to get lost -- or else she'd "flatten" her!
4. Iva Snyder tells Lily she's her daughter (1987)
The Snyders, based on head writer Douglas Marland's own family, brought a lot of heart (and secrets) to Oakdale. Iva had been raped by her non-biological cousin Josh, who later came to town. When Iva spied a distraught Lily in Josh's arms, she feared that Josh was going to attack her, too. "She's your daughter!" a pitchfork-wielding Iva yelled at Josh, hoping this revelation would get him to release Lily. It was a secret that Iva had hoped would never come out and, in a moment of panic, she was the one who ironically brought it all out into the open.
3. Nancy Hughes McCluskey dies (2010)
'ATWT' likely would have closed the final broadcast with Helen Wagner (Nancy) speaking the words, "Good morning dear," since those were the ones that she used to open the premiere episode on Apr. 1, 1956. Alas, Wagner, 91, died earlier this year before the show's finale was taped. The recent Aug. 31 episode of 'ATWT' was a tribute to her, and featured classic Nancy clips from over the decades. This episode, like the finale, falls into the "save until I delete" category on everyone's DVR or TiVo.
2. Barbara emerges as the town bitch (1985-6)
Late head writer Douglas Marland gave one of the best makeovers in soaps ever to Barbara Ryan (the fabulous Colleen Zenk), who'd been unlucky in love many times over. Marland had Barbara take control of her life, form her own fashion business ("Simply Barbara") and let ex-fiancé Tom think that they'd slept together. Some saw through Barbara from the beginning. (John Dixon called her "Simply Barracuda.") Margo, Tom's wife, and Babs had classic soap opera smackdowns that were superbly written and brilliantly acted.
1. Kim Hughes confesses to killing Douglas Cummings (1986)
Kim mistakenly thought fragile Frannie had killed sociopath Doug Cummings after finding Doug (with a crystal cylinder sticking out of his bloodied back) on top of Frannie. Ambitious district attorney Avril Hobson tried Kim for second degree murder after she falsely confessed. Frannie recalled it was unstable Marsha Talbot who killed Doug just as Kim was testifying. This story was arguably 'ATWT's best. It was a head-scratching whodunit wrapped in a psychological drama. At the heart, was a woman (Kim) willing to go to jail to save the sanity of the niece (Frannie) whom she'd grown to love like her own child.
Sound off: What were your favorite moments from the decades-long run of 'As the World Turns'?