Roger Thorpe

I have a section of the website dedicated to the supporting characters to the Manny story. It was originally intended just to be people you actually met during the story, but has broadened a bit beyond that.

Roger Thorpe – Roger had a long and troubled history both in Springfield and during his various sojourns off screen. Roger really only gets one short mention during the Manny story proper, when Michelle finally decides she needs to make peace with Ben Warren (ironically on the night he is murdered), Michelle explains her decision to Danny that she had gone and talked to her mom’s grave and remembered her mother’s friendship with Roger and Michelle decided she needed to take that as an example for her own sake and for Drew’s. Danny had heard of Roger and said that his family was careful not to mess with him. Roger has a somewhat larger role in several Manny fanfics  (that weren’t limited by sad events in real life) where Roger comes back and helps protect his young friend Michelle from Carmen and in one he even turns out to be Danny’s real father. Here is the episode guide and link to the clip of the Manny conversation about Roger:

I would sum up Roger by saying that he was a very damaged man (partly due to the awful parenting of his father Adam, as Roger always wanted his father to be proud of him and Adam only gave him his disdain) who as a literally tragic hero, who was forever torn between his desire for a true partnership/marriage/family with Holly and Blake that could have brought him true happiness and his desire for the power, wealth, and (in his eyes) community respect, plus revenge he could get by taking over and running Spaulding Enterprises. He flipped back and forth in which to try for seemingly a couple of times a year leaving pain, chaos, and destruction in his wake. In brief, Roger was always drawn to and strongly connected to Holly, but that didn’t stop him from having a series of other affairs and marriages which he viewed as apart and separate from him and Holly. From Holly’s perspective she would spend the majority of her life torn between whether Roger and his dark fascination or Ed and his comparative safety and stability (which goes to show you right there how unstable Roger was) was the path she should follow and I think part of Holly was in love with them both. Roger and Holly (Rolly which was one of the earliest couple codes) were an iconic couple. You probably couldn’t find a more dysfunctional couple (he martially raped her and she shot him), but somehow their connection lasted through all the pain they caused each other and no matter what harm they caused each other, honestly they just weren’t themselves if they were with anybody else or apart.

Ironically probably Roger’s best friend (with the possible exception of Leo Flynn) and one of the few people whose opinion truly mattered to Roger, was Ed’s soulmate Maureen Reardon Bauer. While Maureen didn’t overlook Roger’s obvious problems and misbehavior, she called him on it and saw the good in him anyway. Roger both saw Michelle as his true friend’s daughter and liked her for herself and her own spirit and spunk which brought out the best in him, much as his relationship to Maureen had done. I truly don’t see him abandoning her anymore than he would have Blake and so his defection to California never made any sense. The fanfic writers are right, Roger would have been back to help Michelle and I wouldn’t have wanted to be Carmen Santos when he did.

Sadly real life interfered with reel life. Michael Zaslow who played Roger came down with Lou Gehrig’s disease and as he lost control of his body, TPTB at Guiding Light dumped him thinking that it didn’t fit with Roger. They dropped an amazing opportunity to play what would happen to Roger and his relationships when his own body gave him the ultimate betrayal. Instead One Life To Live rehired Zaslow and they played out that story (very powerfully) as his previously established character there. Meanwhile Guiding Light hired a pale imitation who clearly didn’t get Roger at all and finally realizing their mistake, that there was no benefit to prolonging that story and out of ideas for the poorly written Amanda Spaulding return, sent them both off to California and forgot about them for years before finally giving Roger a posthumous send off story that far below what he deserved.

Although there are a couple of typos in the text and read the comments for clarification on some plot points and there are a couple of jumps and big important parts of Roger’s life glossed over or skipped (Roger deliberately crashing his car to pull Holly back in his life and Roger’s connection to Holly’s daughter with Fletcher Meg spring to mind as examples), overall a great summary of Roger’s life.

Roger’s Dirty Deeds Part 2

Read more:

See more Roger highlights in Roger Thorpe: the Scandal Years:

UPDATED March 29 2016: I added my signature block, but that was really all I needed to do.

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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One Response to “Roger Thorpe”

  1. glmanny Says:

    Reblogged this on Glmanny's Blog and commented:

    Roger Thorpe is connected to Manny through Michelle.

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