On July 15, 1968, television viewers journeyed for the first time to Llanview where they would thrill to the drama, romance, and adventure of families like the Lords, the Woleks, and the Grays. For the next 45 years, ONE LIFE TO LIVE chronicled the lives and loves of those families plus the Buchanans, Mannings, and more as characters and families came and went.
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 through the special gallery below of memorable moments and characters from its epic history.
For more on the stars of OLTL, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.