Vanilly: Vanessa Chamberlain and Billy Lewis

February 19, 2018

I had started this series a while ago, but I haven’t added one in a long time. Awhile back an online conversation made me think about what I like in s soap opera couple before they become my couple. As I named off my favorite Guiding Light couples, I started being afraid that all my couples were dramatic and I thought that might possibly mean there was something wrong if all I liked were big drama couples, but honestly as I continued to think about it I found other characteristics they had in common.

I like couples who are strong people. I like couples that bring out the best in each other and really aren’t themselves when they are apart. I also like them to be equal partners. That doesn’t mean they have to bring the same thing to the relationship, it’s better in fact they bring different characteristics. Except for my first couple Kelly and Morgan, all of my favorite couples fit this mold. I decided to share a few of them and why I like them. If anyone wants to do a guest post for a couple they like I’d be interested in publishing it too, but these are mine.


Vanilly, Vanessa Chamberlain and Billy Lewis, are one of my all-time favorite couples. They were truly a supercouple and obvious soulmates. While many other people came and went in their lives and they even had children with other people, time and time again they returned to each other.

Vanessa and Billy Meet

There are really three periods of Vanilly. The first period started with Vanessa. Vanessa was originally a very head strong and spoiled girl who acted out, much like her daughter Dinah later did. When her father Henry discovered his long lost son and her half-brother Quint McCord, Vanessa wasn’t happy to suddenly have to share her father’s attention, love, or money. This jealousy got worse when Quint married his true love Nola. She envied the stable relationship, the even greater attention Quint got, and the fact that Henry had given Quint a trust fund for his wedding present. Vanessa protested and Henry told her as soon as she got married she would get one of her own. Vanessa determined to get married and selected the newcomer to Springfield Billy Lewis as the one to set her sights on.

Billy was happy go lucky fellow, he’d been close to his brother Josh growing up, but he had also been jealous of him. Billy had gotten a girl pregnant and married her after his college football career ended. The baby was Melinda Sue (Mindy of Four Musketeers fame), his pride and joy. His wife who was almost never talked about had died years ago before he came to town. He wasn’t one to be played for a fool. He soon figured out Vanessa’s game, but he took it as a challenge. Vanessa’s cool was the immovable object to Billy’s irresistible force. They became a pair of partners. Billy saw Vanessa as not only a desirable woman, but as a serious businesswoman. Vanessa also took Billy seriously which not many other people did, to some of their regret.

This was the second period of Vanilly was when they were actually together. They ran into dangerous waters when Alan decided he wanted to marry Vanessa (basically as a business deal) and so brought Billy’s ex-wife (Reva Shayne) to town for the express purpose of breaking them up. It was touch and go for awhile and even briefly broke the engagement, but their love persisted and then got married. The marriage was a soap opera great. After coming to a party at Lakeland Country Club with separate dates they sparred all evening until, Billy swung Vanessa over his shoulder and declared he wasn’t moving from the spot until they were married…They did move a little, but were able to throw together an instant wedding which was beautiful and touching. Together they had a little boy (Little Billy later Bill Lewis of best friend of Michelle fame). Sadly they had a normal soap opera break up first when Vanessa became addicted to pills and Billy became an alcoholic and basically they both spiraled out of control.

They tried a couple of different romantic partners for Vanessa (including Fletcher and Ross), but eventually TPTB realized that Billy was the only man for her. However, Billy continued to struggle with his alcoholism and and a second break-up occurred when Nadine basically pushed Billy off the wagon, leading a drunk Billy to stand up Vanessa at the altar and got him to marry Nadine instead of Vanessa. Billy realized this was a horrible mistake and after a period of trying to spare Nadine’s feelings (with rather fuzzy memories of the event and not realizing how hard she pushed him), Billy was ready to divorce Nadine and to do anything he had to get Vanessa back. Nadine could tell where the relationship was headed, Nadine announced she was pregnant so Billy stayed because of the baby. Vanessa had always smelled something fishy about Nadine and eventually proved Nadine had taken Bridget Reardon’s baby with Hart Jessup to pass off as her own. Nadine and Billy divorced and he married Vanessa bringing along little Peter who they both loved and took care off. Kicking off a major custody fight when they learned the baby was Bridget’s and she wanted them back. Worse Hart Jessup’s biological father was Roger Thorpe and Bridget accepted his help in the custody fight meaning that Peter would be exposed to Roger on a regular basis. But Billy and Vanessa stood strong and fought against this threat and to keep Peter whom they both loved.

Unfortunately this is where real life intervened in the storyline. Jordan Clarke, who played Billy, had is own alcohol and drug charges. Both he and his wife were arrested on drug charges and the show was forced to recast. The recast tried his best, but they discovered that even though the recast had many of the same individual parts of Jordan Clarke, rough hewn good looks, a sly smile, height, broad shoulders, and southern drawl didn’t add up to the magic that was Billy Lewis. Realizing they weren’t able to catch magic in a bottle twice, they decided to write Billy off by sending him to jail for the attempted murder of Roger Thorpe.

With Billy off canvas for the foreseeable future, they had Vanilly divorce to free up Vanessa for another story as they had already played her with several of the other characters who were still on canvas and I think most fans expected her to renew an old romance. What happened instead was they brought in Vanessa’s best friend’s nephew. They played a May-December romance between Vanessa Chamberlain Lewis and Matt Reardon.

There are many Mattessa fans and I respect that, but I don’t understand it. If May-December was your cup of tea, I direct you to Lila and Casey Peretti over on As the World Turns who played it off much better in about the same timeframe. Matt and Vanessa had a cute meet where he rescued her on the lake in a storm and they were forced to take shelter in a cave. Matt had a fairly rocky past which involved affairs with older women, previous arrests, and general thuggery. He was very handsome with twinkling blue eyes, a charming smile and a dimple when he smiled. Matt came to Springfield independently to visit his sister Bridget and start over. He ran into Vanessa and they started an affair. Vanessa was embarrassed to admit it even when she could have given Matt an alibi when he was falsely accused of theft. They had a long and happy marriage and even a miracle baby. They had a lovely Scottish themed wedding and a hilarious reception (even though Mattessa fans objects – to which I say get over yourselves Quola fans would have LOVED it!). They also read a lot of Robert Burns and when Matt decided Vanessa was alive he rallied the community to build her dream house (if they build she will come!) and they did and she did come. It truly was a beautiful house set. I especially loved the oval window in the wall near the door. When Jordan Clarke recovered enough that they brought Billy back to town with an amazing party at the Lakeland Country Club, they had him acknowledge that he wouldn’t try to get her back because he had lost her fair and square and she belonged with Matt now.

Mattesa’s biggest problem was Vanessa developing an “always terminal” disease that she recovered from after faking her death to spare her family and fairly soon after she came back from the dead Matt not willing to let her carry their baby to full term as opposed to beginning treatments again when she had a relapse. Eventually their marriage fell apart over his taking her money without asking, investing and losing it without telling her. Part of that was that they had been living happily in Italy because Maeve Kinkead who played Vanessa had retired and was only willing to do brief appearences. When she changed her mind and they brought them both back and his taking some of Vanessa’s money was more an excuse to split them up for more story rather than something Matt would have done. But, although it mostly happened off screen, I think there was reason for it within the story. It was much like the problem with Roger Thorpe and Alexandra’s relationship where he just got tired of feeling emasculated being taken care of by a wealthy woman and tried to do something about it and spectacularly failed.

I had two real problems with the Mattessa relationship, other than that she belonged with Billy. The first was that Vanessa always treated Matt like a junior partner in the relationship. His career, his opinions never counted. Vanessa did whatever she wanted and expected Matt to like it or lump it. I actually liked Matt when they chemistry tested him with Beth during her depression after Phillip decided to marry Harley instead of re-marrying her. He was an equal partner with Beth and they worked on projects together, not with her supervising and him jumping to. He also worked very well taking over the senior role in the relationship, as with Dinah, but pushing her to do better, be better than she was acting right then. Normally I have a firm rule against wanting people to marry relatives of other people they are involved in, but Matt and Dinah had such a strong relationship (I really think the most healthy — if slightly inappropriate — relationship she ever had) I’d have given them a pass and I think in that case Maureen’s future visions that she gave Vanessa was 100% wrong when she showed her Dinah and Matt married and miserable. Dinah and Matt would have had a great marriage.

My second problem with it was that I never felt Matt ever really got to know Vanessa as she really was. It was all surface and poetry with them. Matt’s speech about Vanessa when they named a wing of Cedars in her honor when they thought she was dead, had him describing someone I didn’t know. (MATT had to tell Vanessa that she couldn’t go to important meetings in jeans and tennis shoes? I don’t think I ever saw Vanessa in tennis shoes once in all the years I knew her if she wasn’t, you know, actually playing tennis. The woman was BORN in high heels.) I think that speech was typical though. Matt was often frustrated when Vanessa didn’t do things he expected her to do when no one who knew Vanessa would think that she would even possibly do those things.

Even after Mattessa broke up, they mostly just occasionally toyed with the notion of reuniting Vanilly, but Jordan Clarke reported that for years fans had been coming up to him and asking when he was going to come and take Vanessa back. So, in one of the things they got right about the finale, although it was a little rushed Billy and Vanessa finally married for the last and perfect time.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


Danny and Michelle Valentine Wedding

February 15, 2018

Remembering a VERY special wedding.

Glmanny's Blog

Our third and so far final Valentine Wedding is Danny Santos and Michelle Bauer. Although pushed off Feb 14th, by the fact Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday that year and the wedding went over several days on the show, the Manny church wedding was supposed to be on Valentine’s Day 1999.

Although Manny is a wonderful romance, they had a rough beginning. Danny’s brother Mick attacked Michelle and her friend Drew on the beach. Mick was dragging Michelle off, threatening to rape her when the girls in turn, hit him on the head with a rock. The original Manny wedding off screen in front of a Justice of the Peace was done to protect Michelle from Danny’s mother, Carmen who had sworn to kill her for killing Mick. In the early days of this fake marriage Carmen set many tests for Michelle, one of which was this church wedding…

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Valentine’s Day Week 2015

February 14, 2018

I had several posts I thought I’d get ready this year, but I put the time in my Bauer BBQ story. I’m on chapter 7 and hopefully will be able to share the rest of the story soon.

Glmanny's Blog

Pink Sheets Pink Sheets

We’re wrapping up our very first full week of Guiding Light Valentine’s Day here at GLManny. Thanks to everyone who watched along as we posted and I hope you’ll check back as we add to these categories each year. Also remember to share if you find Valentine related Guiding Light clips online, if you want to share a write up about your favorite Guiding Light couple, or if you want to do a Valentine’s Day fanfic of any couple from Springfield.

Guiding Light Wedding Montage

Valentine’s Day Weddings

Maureen Reardon and Ed Bauer 1983

Billy Lewis and Vanessa Chamberlain 1984

Beth Raines and Phillip Spaulding 1991

Michelle Bauer and Danny Santos 1999

Valentine’s Through the Years

2006 – Part 1 -Harley & astral Gus

2006 – Part 2 – Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? – Mystery sex at Inn


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Bonus Quiz June 1970

February 12, 2018

Just for fun let’s take this quick quiz from TV Circle in June 1970:

What’s her real name? She’s:

  1. Lisa Hughes on As the World Turns
  2. Alice Horton on Days of Our Lives
  3. Naughty Rachel Davis on Another World
  4. Often a 200-year-old witch on Dark Shadows
  5. Sharon McGillis on General Hospital
  6. Iris Garrison who’s fatally ill on Love is a Many Splendored Thing
  7. Aunt Carrie on Love of Life
  8. Wendy that adorable tow-head on One Life to Live

The actress is:

  1. Eileen Fulton
  2. Frances Reid
  3. Robin Strasser
  4. Lara Parker
  5. Sharon DeBord
  6. Leslie Charleson
  7. Frances Fuller
  8. Jan Chasmer


February 11, 2018

Revisiting Nu

Glmanny's Blog

Every Friday night I post a term of soap opera jargon. I give a definition and then once I post it, I put it on the “Soap Opera Jargon” page. Check back for new terms every week.

Nu – Nu is a prefix that is put before a character name when it has been recently recast. Normally it’s only used for a relatively short time before a new actor or actress is accepted in the role. Sometimes, however, a recast doesn’t take. Then even if an actor remains in the role,  he or she never shakes the nu label. For example Nicole Forester was always the nuCassie and Brian Gaskill was always nuDylan (so much so that his original portrayer Morgan Englund returned for the finale week). However, nuMarah only lasted a short time with most of the recasts. It’s pronounced new, as in new Cassie. There is…

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“Learn Some More Spanish!”

February 7, 2018

Listen to Danny and learn some Spanish.

Glmanny's Blog


“While you are at it, LEARN some more Spanish!” Many people’s all time favorite Manny argument is during the “fake” marriage when Danny has been bending over backwards to humor Michelle and she’s been fighting him every step of the way. Finally, he snaps and really lets her have it, ending with the great invective for her to get with program, help plan the wedding, and learn some more Spanish before storming out of the room. (Nobody can storm out of a room like Danny.)

If you feel like following Danny’s instruction, you can learn a few key phrases at this website:

Check out the “Learn Some Spanish Fight.”

UPDATED February 6 2018: I added a photo and the link to the episode.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939…

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Great Manny Speechs Updated 2018

February 5, 2018

One of the great things about Manny were the powerful speeches/monologues. They some up the important pieces of the Manny story in a clear, powerful manner. Here are some of the greatest. The most famous are the first two, I Am a Man and One Thousand Guns, were separate statements of desire and love given by Danny and Michelle. Ray then explains why they should together. Danny gives a speech about forgiveness and the future. Then in the final Michelle speech she describes their journey and commitment to each other, best summing up of their story anywhere.

For each post find a description of the episode, the complete text of the speech (bolded) and a link to watch it. You may find other surrounding episodes in the same post, but watch for the bolding. Manny speeches will be a continuing project because I think there are others worth calling out and some of these deserve to be given a more devoted post so watch for more.

The Speeches

Danny – I am a Man (Feb. 10, 1999):

Michelle – Thousand Gun (June 17, 1999):

Ray – Urges Manny to Reunite (Sept. 7, 2000):

Danny – Danny’s Speech to an Unborn Robbie (Oct. 31, 2000):

Michelle – Meant to Be Together (Feb. 9, 2001):

Danny –  innocent and beautiful and soft and pink, but underneath you’re like steel (April 17, 2001):

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Why Carmen Favors Danny

February 4, 2018

My opinion why Carmen favored Danny over Mick.

Glmanny's Blog

Mick SantosI have recently been reading a lot of Manny fanfic and a question that is constantly being answered in a lot of these stories is why Carmen so clearly favored Danny over Mick. A lot of these stories suggest that it was because (despite what we know on screen) that they actually had different fathers. The candidates for Danny’s “real” father in these stories range from someone entirely made up for the story, to Ray’s father, to Prince Richard, and, perhaps most intriguingly, to Roger Thorpe. However, I think making this suggestion completely misreads the character of Carmen.

RS Danny between Michelle and Carmen 2

No matter what Miguel might have done to betray her or she to him, Carmen genuinely loved Miguel. In Gone With the Wind, Rhett Butler tells Scarlet after Bonnie’s death that he could pretend Bonnie was Scarlet before the war and life had done things to her. It’s obvious Carmen pretended…

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Bethany Joy Lenz on Hallmark

February 1, 2018

Bethany Joy Lenz (then credited as Joie Lenz), our dearly beloved Michelle Bauer Santos #4, has been busy on the Hallmark Channel. Catch up about how she is described on their website, featuring her work on Guiding Light in the first sentence.

Portrait of Bethany Joy Lenz with dark hair

Bethany Joy Lenz via Hallmark Channel 2018

The Christmas Secret

I didn’t get a post done for her first Hallmark movie. It was one of their Christmas movies that they show November through December each year. If you didn’t get a chance to see it this year, watch for in to repeat in 2018. Read more about it and watch a preview on its Hallmark website.

The Royal Matchmaker

You don’t need to wait that long though to see Lenz on Hallmark, just until March 24, 2018.

Here’s the summary:

A struggling NYC matchmaker is hired by a king to find his son a suitable wife in time for a national celebration. As the clock ticks towards her deadline, the matchmaker finds him the perfect wife — only to realize that she’s fallen in love with him! Stars Bethany Joy Lenz, Will Kemp, Brittany Bristow.

Put it on your calendar for March.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Manny Fanfiction Update Jan 2018

January 31, 2018

So if you’re wondering what’s up with the fanfiction…

When the blog is cooking with gas besides my informational posts I post a chapter of a fanfic. I haven’t been doing that for the last few months because I haven’t had a lot of time to work on the blog. I’ve been putting the time I did have for it in normal posts and in working on my Bauer BBQ.

I’ve also been slowed down because I’ve been trying to do some organizing. I’ve been going through my republished blog posts and creating a landing page with a description of the story and links to all the chapters. The early fanfic chapter I republished I didn’t edit as I went through and I’ve decided I need to fix them. That means I have to edit quite a few chapters before I have a summary post ready to go.

So I hope you’ll continue to be patient as I continue to work on it.

Stories from You

I can can use some help from you. Since Proctor and Gamble aren’t giving us new stories we have to come up with our own. If my example shows anything, it’s that if you’re not writing full time it takes you awhile to write a story. So get started on yours now. I’m looking for Manny, of course, but I’ll also be more than happy to have other Guiding Light fanfic to publish. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s a perfect time to do a one-shot, one scene short fanfic for your favorite couple. GO! ♥

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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