the romance of helen trent
For 7,222 episodes—more than any other radio soap opera—The Romance of Helen Trent followed the titular heroine in her valiant quest to prove "that because a woman is 35, or older, romance in life need not be over… that the romance of youth can be extended into middle life and even beyond…"
The Romance of Helen Trent debuted over CBS on October 30, 1933 and aired until June 24, 1960. Created by the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Anne Hummert, Helen Trent was conceived as the epitome of virtue in a world where behavior was usually judged in black-and-white terms. Helen Trent never smoked, drank, or swore—even her thoughts were pure.
It was estimated that the ageless Helen was pursued by no less that 28 serious suitors during the run of the show. Regrettably, her hopes for marriage were perpetually thwarted by the plotting of former suitors, jealous women and, on some occasions, the hand of fate.
Virginia Clark played Helen until 1944, when Julie Stevens assumed the role of "queen of the soaps."
Frank Hummert died on March 12, 1966. Anne Hummert died on July 5, 1996. Julie Stevens died on August 26, 1984.
The Romance of Helen Trent was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990.