The Truth About The Married Days Of Our Lives Co-Creators, Betty And Ted Corday

"Days of Our Lives" fans know the names Ted and Betty Corday very well. The couple, along with Irna Phillips, is responsible for creating the NBC soap opera, which has captivated audiences for more than five decades (via HITC). The sudser revolves around the fictional midwestern town of Salem and follows the lives of the town's most prominent families — the Hortons, Bradys, Dimeras, and Kirakis, per Sony Pictures.

The Cordays and Phillips reportedly chose the name "Days of Our Lives" for the title of their daytime drama after a bible verse (via Reuters). The show took off and eventually earned the nickname "DOOL" for short. Since it's premiere in 1965, the series has created a plethora of beloved characters such as Bo Brady, Marlena Evans, John Black, Victor Kiriakis, Stefano DiMera, Sami Brady, Hope Brady, Steve Johnson, and many more (via Soaps). The soap has also introduced fans to epic love stories, wild twists and turns, and other memorable moments all thanks to the hard work that Ted and Betty Corday put into the creating the show.

Ted and Betty Corday met in New York

Ted and Betty Corday both have interesting backgrounds in the entertainment business. According to a tribute to the Corday's at the 1995 Daytime Emmy Awards, the couple met in New York in the 1930s. Ted was working on Broadway while Betty was trying to break into the acting business, per Reuters. Ted later moved into a career as a radio director (via RUSC) and in 1942, the couple tied the knot.

The same day that Ted married Betty, he was admitted into the army and fought in World War II, splitting the couple up as soon as they were married. Betty continued to work amid Ted's absence, and when he returned home from the war, he also went back to his career in radio. Following Ted's return home, he and Betty started a family and the actress opted to leave her acting career behind to step into the role of wife and mother to the couple's children.

However, the couple eventually got the chance to work together when they created the beloved soap opera "Days of Our Lives."

Ted Corday was an assistant D.A. before moving to New York

Theodore "Ted" Corday was born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1908. He attended the University of Alberty and got a degree in law (via Epaper News). After finishing law school, Ted worked as an assistant D.A. before moving to New York to realize his dream of working in the entertainment business, per Reuters. He also made the big decision to change his last name from Cohen to Corday. Ted eventually landed a job on Broadway as a stagehand before working his way up to a director and eventually taking a job in radio. After meeting Betty and completing a stint in the army, Ted returned home. He and Betty started a family and he continued on with his career in radio.

As radio began to lose popularity and television came into play, Ted eventually decided to move his family to Beverly Hills in 1964, where he would go on to create "Days of Our Lives" alongside his wife and Irna Phillips.

Betty Corday was a struggling actress when she met Ted

Betty Corday was born Elizabeth Shay in 1912. She was an aspiring actress when she met Ted Corday on Broadway, and after marrying the director, she found herself separated from her husband when he left to fight in World War II in 1942. During that time, Betty worked for ad agencies she moved on to radio where she worked on serials such as "Pepper Young's Family" and "Young Dr. Malone" (via People Pill).

After Ted returned home from the war, Betty left her entertainment career behind in order to focus on her role as a wife and a mother. However, after Ted decided to move the family to California in the mid-1960s, Betty took on a more hands-on role alongside her husband as she helped him create "Days of Our Lives" with Columbia Pictures TV division, per Reuters. Betty and Ted went on to create a long-lasting legacy with "DOOL."

Ted Corday died shortly after DOOL premiered on television

In the 1960s, TV soap operas were gaining major popularity, and Ted Corday was commissioned to create his own sudser for NBC. After he and Betty Corday created "Days of Our Lives," the network decided that Ted should also produce another 30-minute series titled "Morningstar." The series was launched in 1965, but didn't do well and was canceled after just one year on the air. The following year in 1965, "DOOL" premiered and quickly became a successful soap for the network (via Reuters).

Sadly, Ted didn't get to enjoy the success of his creation for very long. He was soon diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, and Betty joined her husband to help him with the series. Ted tragically died in July 1966 just as "Days of Our Lives" was taking off, but NBC gave Betty the job as the show's executive producer and she hit the ground running, per Epaper News.

The show quickly became known for pushing the limits of daytime television, and in 1970 aired a storyline about an interracial couple, which garnered protests in many areas, particularly the south. After ten years on the air, the sudser went from a 30-minute drama to an hour-long series, proving that fans were still interested in the show and its beloved characters.

The couple's son eventually took over the show

In 1979, Ted and Betty Corday's son, Ken Corday, began working on "Days of Our Lives" as an assistant producer. At the time, Betty was running the soap opera, but was beginning to deal with her own health problems. In 1980, Betty withdrew from her working on the sudser and Columbia ended up choosing Ken to take over the helm over senior execs, hoping that he would continue his parent's legacy and bring a young and fresh perspective to the show. Ken opted to bring in a new, younger generation of actors and writers, and "DOOL" began to thrive yet again, per Reuters. Betty died in November 1987 (via People Pill), leaving Ken to run the family business so to speak.

In 2015, "DOOL" celebrated its 50th anniversary, and Ken was front and center to mark the milestone. "My folks would be so proud—proud and shocked—that we are hitting the 50-year mark," Ken said at the time, per TV Insider. "My dad never thought the show would last more than a year."

Over the years, "DOOL" has outlasted many other network soap operas, and become one of just four remaining serials on daytime television — thanks in major part to Betty and Ted Corday, and their son Ken, who have made it their life's work to create entertaining stories for the viewers.