It's the end of one of television's most long-running, beloved affairs: today, after 54 years on the air, "As the World Turns" comes to a screeching halt.
The CBS soap opera made its debut in 1956, sponsored by Procter & Gamble, the famous maker of household products. It was once a major hit, but last year CBS announced that it would cancel "As the World Turns" on Sept. 17, 2010 because of low ratings. In its place, the network will start a new daytime, female-friendly talk show called "The Talk," in the same vein of ABC's "The View."
In more than five decades on the air, "As the World Turns" launched a host of careers. It's not the only soap with that distinction: "Guiding Light," which ended its 72-year-long run on television last year, also gave a start to some of today's top stars. So did other soaps like "The Young and the Restless" and "Knots Landing."
Below, take a look at 12 actors who found serious stardom after a soap opera stint.
Before the big Hollywood roles rolled in, Julianne Moore was a New York City waitress, born in North Carolina, who got her start in the acting world on "As the World Turns." In 1985, Moore was cast in the dual roles of half-sisters Frannie and Sabrina Hughes. She played the girls for three years and won a Daytime Emmy for her work in 1988.
The big actress from Brooklyn got her start on the New York City set of "As the World Turns." In 1983, while studying at New York University, Marisa Tomei landed the role of teenager Marcy Thompson Cushing on the soap opera. She dropped out of school to pursue her acting ambitions, staying on "As the World Turns" until 1985.