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Bob Harvey looks at Mary Worth history

Comic historian Bob Harvey takes a look at the history of the serial comic strip Mary Worth.

The version of history that inspires this diatribe claims that Martha Orr, a niece of Chicago Tribune editorial cartoonist Carey Orr, started the comic strip that has always been dubbed the first soap opera strip. But she didn’t start it as a soaper; and it isn’t the first anyhow. Orr’s strip is the aforementioned Apple Mary, and it was launched in October 1934 and owed its being, doubtless, to a 1933 Frank Capra movie, Lady for a Day, which also starred a little old gray-haired lady who eked out a living during those hard times by selling apples from a cart she wheeled down the streets, broad and narrow. In her spare time, she helped everyone who stumbled into her path.

Via Tom Richmond

Community Comments

#1 John Read
February/1/2012
@ 5:03 pm

I certainly hope Mark Tatulli (and Stephan Pastis, for that matter) read this informative history lesson!

#2 Darryl Heine
February/2/2012
@ 2:46 pm

Too bad there’s no Chicago newspaper currently carrying Mary Worth since the Chicago Sun-Times dropped the strip in 1995.

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