Credit: NBC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (2)

Sherry Mathis’ Search for Tomorrow ended on January 23, 1994.

In the 1980s, you would’ve been hard-pressed to find an actress who better epitomized the term “soap star” than Sherry Mathis. Owing to her work as Search for Tomorrow heroine Liza Sentell, she was the toast of daytime TV. Heck, she had even been a guest on The Regis Philbin Show — that was a big deal in those days!

And her on-screen pairing with Rod Arrants’ Travis Sentell was the stuff of freaking legend. They were the Luke and Laura of Search for Tomorrow, for Pete’s sake. Mathis should have had the world at her feet. But alas, the fates had other, far less appealing ideas in mind for her.

SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, from left: Sherry Mathis, Rod Arrants, 1982, 1951-1986. © NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

After her highly successful run on the soap, Mathis, by then divorced from fellow soap star Jerry Lanning (best known as Justin Marshall on the Another World spinoff Texas), retired to her hometown of Memphis, Tenn., to tend to her failing health.

Sadly, it was there that she would succumb to cancer.

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After she left Henderson, home of Search for Tomorrow, the show, as shows are wont to do, went on; the powers that be tried to recast Liza. But she was never the same. She was never again Mathis. Lightning isn’t something that you can catch twice in the same bottle.

On this sad occasion, perhaps you might want to work through your feelings via the photo gallery below, which — sigh — revisits Search for Tomorrow in all its lost glory.