Stella Dallas is a 1923 novel by Olive Higgins Prouty, written in response to the death of her three-year-old daughter from encephalitis. It tells the story of a woman who sacrifices her own happiness for the sake of her daughter. The novel was subsequently adapted into a stage play in 1924 and movies in 1925, 1937, and 1990, the latter titled Stella and starring Bette Midler. It was also the basis for the radio serial Stella Dallas, which aired daily for 18 years and is often credited as being the first soap opera. Prouty was reportedly displeased with her characters' portrayals therein.