5 Longest Running Soap Operas

Sunday, January 23 by Glennice Fryson

If you are a soap opera fan and interested in knowing which are the 5 longest running soap operas in television history, you came to the right place. Amazing as it may seem, there are some which have been on television longer than some of us have been alive. Some of the cast members have gone on to become stars of Grammy Award winning movies. We don't even realize the names of some as having found their beginning on some of these soaps. But whatever the attraction, these TV soaps keep some fans reaching for the remote daily.  

  1. "Guiding Light." In the number one spot and leading the airways with over 15,000 episodes is the "Guiding Light." The "Guiding Light" began airing in 1937 until it was cancelled in 2009! When fans heard of the intent to cancel Guiding Light, the producers received some 75,000 letters of protest. Some of the more notable cast are Kevin Bacon, Joan Collins, Ruby Dee, Patti D'Arbanville, Taye Diggs, James Earl Jones, John Wesley Shipp and Billy Dee Williams.
  2. "As the World turns." Centered around the Hughes family, a middle class family who has to constantly battle the manipulation tactics of greed and dominance slung from the hands of the wealthy Munsons. The series ran from April 1956 until canceled in September 2010 due to low ratings.  Most notable cast member from this series is Academy Award winner Julianne Moore who starred in roles from movies such as "Boogie Nights", "Magnolia", "Far From Heaven" and "The End of the Affair." 
  3. "General Hospital." Began airing in 1963 and continues today. General Hospital took on a more energized appeal in 1970 when it paired Luke and Laura sparking a trend of super couples in daytime dramas. Stars such as Rick Springfield, Demi Moore, John Stamos, Ricky Martin and numerous others began major careers after performing on General Hospital.  From its beginning, it has been awarded the Outstanding Drama Daytime Emmy award nine times.  Names such as the Cassidines, Sonny Corinthos and the Quartermaines are well known in almost all American households. 
  4. "Days of Our Lives." The phrase 'Like Sands Through the Hourglass" was one most Baby Boomers grew up hearing while playing or running in and out of the house. Days of our lives was a constant during the noon hours in almost 90% of the households during that era. From November 1965 till present, the Brady and Horton family came into living rooms. We either loved one and hated the other or chose to just sit by and watch as the events unfolded.  
  5. "One Life to Live." Began airing on July 15, 1968.  Daily emphasis surrounding the activities of the wealthy family, the Lords pitted against middle class working families, the Woleks, Riley's and the Siegels in Llanview Pennsylvania. Notable cast members from OLTL are Judith Light, Robin Strasser and Al Freeman, Jr. 
Do you like this story?