Patricia Barry and Val Dufour as Laurie and Zach James, 1954.
|Created by||Adrian Samish|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of episodes||389|
|Running time||15 minutes|
|Original network||NBC Daytime|
|Original release||5 July 1954 –|
30 December 1955
First Love is an American soap opera which ran on NBC Daytime from July 5, 1954 to December 30, 1955. The series aired at 4:15 p.m. EST, between Golden Windows and Concerning Miss Marlowe. Although the show had a strong fan following, at the time NBC had little use for developing any of their daytime shows (the first successful NBC daytime soap was not until 1963's The Doctors) and canceled First Love after a year and a half. Many cast members such as Patricia Barry, Val Dufour and Rosemary Prinz went on to become long-running daytime stars.
Created by Adrian Samish and written by Myrna Starr, the series centered on jet engineer Zach James (Val Dufour, then Tod Andrews) and his difficult marriage to Laurie James (née Kennedy) (Patricia Barry). Due to being neglected as a child, Zach was obsessed with building a name for himself. Laurie tried to understand him but was unable to help him deal with his problems, as he went on trial for the murder of a woman aviator he may have been having an affair with.
The show became known chiefly for a major blooper early in its run. A Friday cliffhanger involved Zach (Dufour) seeing his friend Chris (Frankie Thomas) crash his plane. Zach ran to tell Chris' wife Amy (Prinz), "Chris cracked up the plane." In his rush, Dufour blurted out, "Chris crapped", then abruptly added, "...on the plane." Patricia Barry began to giggle. When the camera cut to a "bereaved" Prinz, she was shaking with laughter. Supposedly NBC nearly fired all three actors, but changed their minds after fans wrote in praising them for the scene. In 2003 Prinz denied such a scene ever made it to the air.
- Zach James - Val Dufour, then Tod Andrews
- Laurie James - Patricia Barry
- Matthew James - Paul McGrath
- Amy - Rosemary Prinz
- Chris - Frankie Thomas
- Paul Kennedy - Melville Ruick
- Doris Kennedy - Peggy Allenby
- Judge Kennedy - Howard Smith
- Mike Kennedy - John Dutra
- Bruce McKee - Jay Barney
- Quentin Andrews - Frederic Downs
- Peggy Gordon - Henrietta Moore
- Phil Gordon - Joe Warren
- Hyatt, Wesley (1997). The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television. Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 157. ISBN 978-0823083152. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
- Schemering, Christopher (1987). The Soap Opera Encyclopedia (2nd ed.). Ballantine Books. pp. 107–108. ISBN 0-345-35344-7.
- Copeland, Mary Ann (1991). Soap Opera History. Publications International. pp. 266–267. ISBN 0-88176-933-9.