One of my very earliest soap memories is watching General Hospital's 'Who Killed Diana Taylor?' storyline.
Diana had possessed the bad judgment to adopt crazy Heather's (daughter of Rick and Lesley's housekeeper, Alice) son, Steven Lars, and rename him Peter Taylor Jr. (PJ). Heather had actually sold the baby on the black market, and told his father, Jeff, that their son died. Later, Heather tried to poison Diana with LSD, but ended up drinking the drug-laced concoction herself and ending up in a mental institution.
Resurfacing from catatonia, Heather had a new plan: Kill Diana, frame Jeff's new love, Anne, for the crime, get Steven Lars back, reunite with Jeff, live happily ever after.
The shot of a dead Diana, lying face-down with the word ANNE written beside her in her own blood, was imprinted in my 10 year old memory and probably accounts for many of my career choices today.
You can see it exactly at the 4:00 minute mark, below:
(The clip itself, is in German, but that visual speaks for itself.)
Heather is currently back in Port Charles, and for anyone curious about her mothering instincts, check out the sequence at 4:27, when little PJ is wandering around, calling for his Mommy.
Yes, Heather left the boy she loved sooooo much alone in an apartment with his brutally murdered mother. Forget that a fire could have broken out and he'd be trapped. Forget that he could take a sip of the cleaning products under the bathroom sink. He could find the body! Did that ever occur to Heather?
This evening, Friday, April 6, 2012 at 6 PM EST, Robin Mattson, GH's 3rd Heather, but definitely the one who made the greatest impression, will be guesting on Soap Central Live's Radio Show. And right after Robin, I'll be on to talk about Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book, and which scenes soap actors, writers, directors, producers, experts and fans picked as the best ever! Information on how to listen and call in live at: http://soapcentral.com/radio/news/2012/120406-mattson.php
In honor of General Hospital's, As the World Turns, The Edge of Night's and The Doctors' anniversary this week, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments is on sale through Sunday at 50% off the regular cover price on both Amazon and BN.com.
And here's another fun, literary fact: Denise Dietz, sister of Eileen Dietz, who played Heather's hospital roommate, Sarah, wrote a novel, Soap Bubbles, about life on a soap set. That's Eileen on the cover.
Make sure to listen to the show tonight, and please call in, I'd love to hear which moment you think I missed!