This was Television on April 1

1963: General Hospital debuts

The longest-running daytime soap currently airing on network television, the lives and loves in Port Charles, NY have entertained ABC viewers for half a century and over 12,000 episodes. General Hospital became a preeminent pop culture phenomenon in the late ’70s and early ’80s thanks to the popularity of leading couple Luke and Laura, whose marriage in 1981 remains the most-watched episode in soap opera history. The show has also earned a reputation for featuring quirky guest appearances from high profile stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Roseanne Barr, and James Franco. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Jordan Charney, character actor (76); Taran Killam, SNLer (31); Rachel Maddow, news host (40); John Scott Martin, Dalek operator (d. 2009); Annette O’Toole, superhero’s mom (61); Debbie Reynolds, entertainer (81).

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