Legacy Character

Every Friday I add a definition to another piece of soap opera jargon. See the “Soap Opera Jargon” page for more.

Legacy Character – Although this is an incredibly soft term and seems to be used different ways by different people, a true legacy character is one that actually was born on the show. Other people use it to describe a member of a core family or even someone who has merely been on the show a long time. These are considerable weakenings  of a term that is almost exclusive to soap operas. Only on a long running soap or possibly a science fiction franchise with multiple outlets do you have the possibility of literally knowing a character from cradle to grave in real time (with allowances made for SORAS-ing).

Guiding Light, with its nearly impossible to equal 72 years, has a long list of legacy characters that we knew as children and into adulthood. The following list is the character name followed by their year of birth onscreen. Only characters whose birth was actually shown or talked about contemporaneously (for example, Jenna was shown pregnant on the show and called Vanessa to announce the birth) and we saw as older children,  teens or adults are included. I have not included “sudden” children that were rewritten into the soap’s history (like Dylan Lewis or Jonathan Randall, both sudden children of Reva Shayne Lewis) and am probably missing some, please feel free to add to the list.

  • Mike Bauer (1954)
  • Ed Bauer (1958)
  • Hope Bauer Spaulding (1963)
  • Rick Bauer (1970)
  • Blake Thorpe Marler (1975)
  • Alan-Michael Spaulding (1981)
  • Anastasia “Stacey” Louise Chamberlain (1982)
  • Anthony James Chamberlain (1984)
  • Michelle Bauer Santos (1985)
  • Bill Lewis aka H.B. Lewis III (1985)
  • Ben Reade (1986)
  • Marah Lewis (1987)
  • Daisy Susan Lemay Cooper (1987 – a surprising case where instead of SORAS-ing she actually got younger)
  • Lizzie Spaulding Lewis (1990)
  • Shayne Lewis (1990)
  • Marina Cooper (1993)
  • Henry “Coop” Cooper (1994)
  • Marguerite “Meg” Meredith Reade (1996)
  • Kevin and Jason Marler (Twins – 1996)
  • Ian Stavros “Rocky” Cooper (1998)
  • Maureen Reardon (1998)
  • Alan Cooper “Zach” Spaulding (1999)
  • James Spaulding (2000)
  • Robbie Santos aka Robert Fredrico Santos (2001)
  • Jude Cooper Bauer (2001)
  • Clarissa Marler (2001)
  • Hope Santos (2005)
  • Sarah Randall (2006)
  • Leah Bauer (2006 – an especially drastic SORAS-ing)
  • Peyton Spaulding (2008 – although almost never shown)

There is also a definition of this term in comic books where a character takes on another one’s secret identity, but that has nothing to do with soaps.

UPDATED February 20 2016: I added my signature block.

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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2 Responses to “Legacy Character”

  1. soapfanccb Says:

    check out the legacies going on soap cruise!!

  2. glmanny Says:

    Reblogged this on Glmanny's Blog and commented:

    Have you thought about Legacy characters.

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