Daytime soap opera Days of our Lives premiered on NBC 49 years ago today (November 8, 1965). Created by Ted and Betty Corday, the show is run by their son, Ken Corday, today.
In the serial's original stories, Tom and Alice Horton (Macdonald Carey and Frances Reid) were almost alone in a house that once brimmed with the activity of five children: twins Tommy and Addie (Patricia Huston), Mickey (John Clarke), Bill (Paul Carr) and Marie (Maree Cheatham). Only Marie, the youngest, remained at home. She was a university student planning her Thanksgiving wedding to Tony Merritt. More than ten years earlier, Tom Jr. had been killed in Korea, but his body had never been recovered. Before shipping out, he had married Kitty, whom he met while in basic training. She bore them a daughter, Sandy.
Social climber Addie married into the richest family in Salem when she wed Ben Olson (Robert Knapp). They had two spoiled teenagers: Steve and Julie (Charla Doherty). Outspoken Addie never passed up an opportunity to flaunt her status to Marie, who preferred to follow her heart. Mickey, a bachelor, was a successful lawyer. Bill was finishing his final year at Harvard Medical School. The two were constantly competing for Tom's approval. Julie was troubled, and her penchant for shoplifting finally got her arrested. It became clear that she had everything she needed or wanted--except large doses of parental love, understanding, and involvement. Ben was a workaholic and Addie filled her time with social events, leaving the household and the children in the care of hired help.
Marie was high on love preparing for her wedding. She was too enraptured to notice her fiancé was having bouts of pain and dizziness. On the night before the nuptials, Tony jilted Marie without explaining that he had a potentially fatal illness. Fragile Marie became so depressed that she attempted suicide.
Watch the pilot episode below: