By the end of its 54-year run on September 17, 2010, As the World Turns had delivered almost 14,000 episodes of drama. There were stories that tackled social issues, sweeping romances, important milestones, and tales of heartbreak and loss. Here are just some of the amazing moments that kept the world turning.
After years of an on-again, off-again romance, star-crossed lovers Betsy Stewart and Steve Andropoulos finally married in a beautiful Greek Orthodox ceremony. More than 20 million viewers tuned in to watch the wedding they’d been waiting for, and the couple’s theme song, “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do,” sung by Whitney Houston and Jermaine Jackson, became a national hit.
Dr. Bob and Kim Hughes seemed to be the perfect couple with the perfect life, but their rock solid foundation was shaken when Bob had an affair with his colleague Dr. Susan Stewart. It was painful to watch the disintegration of their marriage, but it also reignited the delicious Kim-Susan rivalry.
Dr. John Dixon faked his own death to frame his enemy James for his murder, but his ex Dee took the fall. When James finally saw John outside the courtroom, he looked like he’d seen a ghost. And John milked it for all it was worth.
To mark ATWT’s 30th year on the air, the show paid tribute to its longest-lasting couple. For Chris and Nancy Hughes’ 50th wedding anniversary, a first for a soap couple, the show threw a lavish party and brought back old faces like Penny, Don, Dee, Annie, and Grant.
After months of concealing the truth, Luke Snyder finally got up the courage to tell his parents, Lily and Holden, that he was gay. Holden was supportive but Lily had a more difficult time accepting her son’s revelation.
Matriarch Nancy Hughes uttered the show’s first words, “Good Morning, Dear” to her husband Chris on the very first episode that aired April 2, 1956. Helen Wagner, the formidable actress who played Nancy all those years, passed away just four months before the show went off the air.
The shocking rape of police detective Margo Hughes was one of the show’s most gripping storylines. Ellen Dolan’s performance was raw and real, and her portrayal of Margo’s ordeal helped shed light on the wide array of emotions a woman goes through after a sexual assault.
Lily Walsh had lived her first 17 years believing she was the daughter of business barracuda Lucinda Walsh. After Iva Snyder came to town, it was revealed that Lucinda had illegally adopted Lily, and Iva, who had been raped at 13 by her cousin Josh, was Lily’s biological mother.
Penny Hughes and Jeff Baker were still in high school when they fell in love. The wedding of the popular couple, the Luke & Laura of their time, was one of the most-watched and anticipated events in television.