Six years ago, on Jan. 13, ONE LIFE TO LIVE aired its final network episode. Daytime legend Agnes Nixon created OLTL hoping to feature ethnically and socially diverse characters, and the first episode premiered on July 15, 1968. For more than 43 years, viewers thrilled to the romance and adventure of the Lords, Buchanans, and more families who resided in the town of Llanview, Pennsylvania.
A cast photo of the 2013 online revival of OLTL. (Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler)
The original title of the soap was BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL but was changed to avoid controversy. Upon its premiere, OLTL was a half-hour soap until 1976, when it expanded to 45-minute episodes, and finally a full hour in 1978. Unfortunately, after nearly 43 years on the air, ABC canceled OLTL and its final episode aired in 2012, but it enjoyed a brief reprise as an online series from The OnLine Network in 2013.
During its years on the air, OLTL launched the careers of stars like Judith Light (Karen), Ryan Phillippe (Billy), and Nathan Fillion (Joey). And many actors remained in their roles for decades, like Erika Slezak (Viki), Robert S. Woods (Bo), and Robin Strasser (Dorian).
Celebrate this classic soap’s legacy by browsing this gallery of memorable moments and characters from its epic history. And for more on the stars of OLTL, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!