The Secret Storm (TV Series aired 1954–1974)
The Secret Storm
was a soap opera which the CBS television network transmitted from February 1, 1954, to February 8, 1974. It was created by Roy Winsor, who also created the long-running soap operas Search for Tomorrow and Love of Life. Gloria Monty, of General Hospital fame, was a longtime director of the series. Like most CBS soap operas of the time, such as Guiding Light and As the World Turns, The Secret Storm was broadcast live, and later taped, in New York at the CBS Broadcast Center on West 52nd Street.
The story follows the Ames family, a prominent clan in the fictional Northeastern town of Woodbridge (eventually identified as being located in New York). The Ames family initially consisted of Peter, his wife Ellen, and their three children: Susan, Jerry, and Amy. However, Ellen was killed in the first episode and subsequent stories focused on Peter raising his three children. Lending a hand, however dubiously, was Peter’s sister-in-law, also his former fiancée, Pauline Rysdale (Haila Stoddard).
Despite Susan’s and Pauline’s efforts to derail any new romances in Peter’s life, he eventually remarried two more times. His first remarriage was to Myra Lake (June Graham), one of Amy’s teachers, but that ended in divorce. His second and most successful remarriage was to divorcee Valerie Hill (Lori March), to whom he was married until his death.
Later, the villainous Belle Clemens (Marla Adams) was the main source of trouble for Woodbridge, taking over from Aunt Pauline, the show’s original villain. Originally due to die of kidney disease, the writers had Belle’s daughter Robin drown in an accident. Belle blamed Amy for the death.