1 9 7 0 – 1 9 7 1 (USA)
325 x 30 minute episodes
Debuting on 30 March 1970, this daytime soap opera from ABC revolved around Betty Kahlman (initially Elisabeth Lawrence and then Augusta Dabney), a Chicago-based soap opera writer and the single mother of adopted children, Patrice (Susan Sarandon) and Chris (Matthew Cowles).
Betty found herself consoled at work by her attorney TD Drinkard (Tom Ligon) and associate writer Meg Johns (Anna Minot). She eventually married Russell Barry (William Prince, pictured).
She also saw her friends, the Simms – Dr Ed Simms (James Noble) and his extremely conservative wife Adrian (Kathleen Maguire) – endure their own troubles with their rebellious daughter Becky (Erin Connor) and her hippie pals Bud Whitman (Kevin Conway) and Julie Stark (Dorothy Lyman).
Other regulars included token black family Matt and Olivia Hampton (Clifton Davis and Jane White) and Oliver Harrell (played by David Birney following his departure from Love Is a Many Splendored Thing over a salary dispute).
Recalling her role as Patrice to TV Guide in 1988, Susan Sarandon said, “I loved it. I was the girl everything happened to . . . I aged from like 17 to 20 in a year. My boyfriend was this terrorist who was dying of mercury poisoning. I also had a nervous breakdown and became a nurses’ aide – all in about a month. And then I got pregnant – after unbuttoning one button of my nurses’ uniform.”
A World Apart was created by Irna Phillips, who also created As The World Turns for CBS and Another World for NBC. It was consistently one of the worst-rated soaps on the three major networks, and the final episode aired on 25 June 1971.
Betty Kahlman Barry
Elisabeth Lawrence (1)
Augusta Dabney (2)
Dr Ed Simms
Dr John Karr