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'Search for Tomorrow'
Years on TV: 1951-1986
Channel: CBS and NBC
Noteworthy characters and/or actors: Joanne Gardner Barron, later Joanne Tourneur, played by Mary Stuart (pictured) and her neighbor and best friend Stu Bergman, played by Larry Haines. Barbara Babcock, Kevin Bacon, Jill Clayburgh, Sandy Duncan, Morgan Fairchild, Kevin Kline, Hal Linden, Don Knotts and Susan Sarandon were among the actors who got their start on the soap.
The plot: Focusing on Joanne in Henderson, U.S.A., the series evolved with real-life women as they moved into the workplace and became more assertive. Initially, Joanne ran a rooming house, cooking and making beds for her boarders. She wore dresses a size too large, aprons and her hair in a bun. As she aged, she became more glamorous and accomplished, working as a librarian, personnel director, owner and operator of her own inn and a city councilwoman. She learned to play the guitar and often entertained friends and guests.