Canceled soap operas we still miss
Credit: Image: CBS, George De Sota, Paul Skipper/JPI

The classic soap opera is still beloved by fans.

Santa Barbara premiered on NBC on July 30, 1984, marking today as its debut’s 36th anniversary. Its final episode aired on January 15, 1993. Though it lasted just under ten years, Santa Barbara left its mark on diehard fans. It also got us thinking about other soap operas we miss. After reminiscing about the classic NBC soap opera, look through our photo gallery of other canceled daytime dramas we still want back…

The glamorous life of the Capwells and their friends and families captured viewers’ hearts and still haven’t let them go. Eden Capwell and Cruz Castillo might be the most iconic couple from the series, but the NBC soap opera gave fans other memorable pairings, including Julia Wainwright and Mason Capwell, Kelly Capwell and Robert Barr/Quinn Armitage, Augusta and Lionel Lockridge, and Warren Lockridge and B.J. Walker. There were plenty of mysteries to solve as well, as the series central murder of Channing Capwell, Jr. kicked off the show. Humor was also sprinkled throughout, like when character Greg Hughes had a dream about Mason and Julia being aliens or when the letter C killed Mary Duvall.

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Santa Barbara was home to many familiar faces. Perhaps most famously, Robin Wright got her start in the soap opera as Kelly Capwell before she landed a role in the beloved film Princess Bride. Of course, A Martinez portrayed Cruz Castillo and then went on to play Roy DiLucca on General Hospital, Ray Montez on One Life to Live, Dr. Ramon Montgomery on The Bold and the Beautiful, and Eduardo Hernandez on Days of our Lives. His counterpart, Marcy Walker (Eden Capwell), created another infamous role of Liza Colby on All My Children.

The rest of the cast is a virtual who’s who in daytime. Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis, General Hospital) played Julia Wainwright, Jed Allen (Don Craig, Days of our Lives; Ed Grant, Port Charles; ex-Edward Quartermaine, General Hospital) was C.C. Capwell, Robin Mattson (Janet Marlowe, All My Children; Heather Webber, General Hospital) played Gina Timmons, Lane Davies (Evan Whyland, Days of our Lives; Cameron Lewis, General Hospital) portrayed Mason Capwell, Louise Sorel (Vivian Alamain, Days of our Lives) played Augusta Lockridge, Justin Deas (Buzz Cooper, Guiding Light) was Keith Timmons, Jack Wagner (Nick Marone, The Bold and the Beautiful; Frisco Jones, General Hospital) played Warren Lockridge, Roscoe Born (Mitch Laurence, One Life to Live; Tom Fisher, The Young and the Restless) portrayed Robert Barr and his twin Quinn Armitage, Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott, The Young and the Restless; ex-Kristen DiMera, Days of our Lives) took over as Kelly Capwell, and many more recognizable daytime actors visited the fictionalized California town.

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Three decades later, Santa Barbara is still remembered as one of the best soap operas in the industry. What are your favorite memories of the iconic series? Look through our gallery of other canceled soap operas we miss and tell us below! Plus, sign up for’s newsletter to get daily breaking news, spoilers and more…