Archive for the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Category

A Surprise Evening with Don

March 4, 2019

Iowans of certain age hold a great affection for Don MacLaughlin (Chris Hughes – Nancy’s husband) who moved into the role of patriarch on As the World Turns before turning the role of patriarch over to his character’s son Bob in turn. MacLaughlin never forgot he was from Iowa. He’d come back to visit and seeing Don — or even hearing someone had run into him — was a big deal. Honestly I only remember the very end of that time, but I heard the stories. I highlight a few sections of the article below in below.

The character of Chris played into the origin story of As the World Turns. Chris was from a farm family who sent him to law school thinking he’d come back into their farm community. Instead Chris got into a junior partnership in a prominent law firm in Oakdale thanks to his law school best friend. He never got back to that farm community and Nancy wanted to be upwardly mobile. The Lowells were already up there the early years of the show played on the relationships and tensions between the two families.

Maxx, Julian. “A Surprise Evening with Don: He’s Teaching the Stars How to Shine.” Afternoon TV. vol. 5 no. 8. August 1973. pp. 42-43, 72.

Don MacLaughlin Plays Chris Hughes on As the World Turns

Don MacLaughlin has been spending a lot of evenings away from home lately, but for an excellent cause. When he isn’t at the northwestern Connecticut farm he shares with Mary, his wife of almost forty years, he can be found in a downtown Manhattan classroom teaching aspiring television stars how to shine.

Don‘s course is given by AFTRA, the TV actors’ union, and his students include both professionals and novices. Teaching good acting technique is no easy business, but Don has a four-decade career in radion and television roles to back him up. Before creating the character of Chris Hughes on As the World Turns, so 17 years ago, he was a featured voice on many of radio’s top serials.

Although this is a new career for Don, the MacLauglin clan already has two full-fledged academicians. Don‘s older son, Douglas, teaches cyrogenics (the preservation of life by freezing) at the University of California and younger son, Briton, teaches political history at the University of Capetown in South Africa. The MacLaughlins, who are grandparents, also have a married daughter, Janet.

When it comes to introducing young performers to the intricacies of television soap opera acting, who could be more qualified than Don MacLaughlin, who has been starred in As the World Turns for more than 17 years?

And so it was no surprise to find Don at AFTRA (the union for all TV performers) headquarters one recent evening where he was about to instruct a class of ten professional actors and actresses on the art of soap opera acting.

“This is the first of five weekly two-hour seminars for AFTRA members,” Don told us when we met him shortly before the start of the initial class. “Performing on daytime television serials is an art in itself and it’s something which is not touched on in most professional acting schools or classes. I think the union is performing a marvelous service for its members with this seminar.”

Don, gray-haired and distinguished looking, could have passed for a typical college professor as he sat down with his new charages for the first time in one of AFTRA’s large meeting rooms.

The class was evenly divided between men and women. Their ages ranged from 18 to 45. One woman was a professional registered nurse who had previously appeared on a number of TV serials as a nurse. One young girl had worked as an “under five” (less than five lines to speak) on Don‘s own show just the week before. All of them had some acting experience either in school, summer stock, or even on TV Commercials. But none of them had ever worked on a soap opera for any length of time.

“I don’t have what you think of TV soap actors,” said Don at the start of the class, “and I really don’t care. However, I must tell you it is a a nice way to make a handsome living in the profession you have chosen.”

The class tittered.

“The soap opera has provided members of the acting profession with a forum in which they can display their talents while earning a handsome buck,” Don continued. “It also affords you the opportunity to learn more about your profession, and this added confidence will help make you a better performer.”

Don passed out various scenes from old As the World Turns scripts and divided the class into small groups geared to perform these scenes.

As the class separated to learn their lines and rehearse together, Don took a ten-minute break to talk further with us.

“There’s no way you can teach people how to act,” he explained. “It’s something that one is born with. What I or any other counselor can do is to help bring out whatever natural talents a person has. What these kids are learning now is how to digest a scene quickly and learn lines rapidly. These are two ‘musts’ for a daytime television performer.”

“The scenes I have selected for them to perform are what I consider to be typical soap opera scenes,” he noted. “There’s a kitchen scene, a living room scene and even an eating scene. One of the hardest things for an actor to learn is how to eat on camera while doing a dramatic scene. Until you get used to it, you can’t help but look awkward. If you’re sitting at a dining room table with a plate of food in front of you, you have to eat that food as you talk. It’s exactly what you would do in real life, but on-camera you have to look natural doing it.”

The class came together again and began performing their scenes. Don watched each performance closely, commenting only when he had something pertinent to say. Otherwise, he just let the kids perform.

Following the scenes, most of the “student actors” remarked on the difficulty they had memorizing the lines quickly and digesting their meanng.

“I’ve been doing this for 17 years,” Don remarked, “and that problem is still major for me, too.”

The class laughed.

“When I get home at night with a new script, I read through it and then tape the other actors’ lines on my small casette recorder. I memorize my own lines and then rehearse with this tape. I have found that this ist he easiest way for me to learn my lines.”

As the first season broke up, Don passed out longer scenes to members of the cast and asked them to rehearse them together on their own time during the week and to come to class the following week with these scenes polished.

“I love working with young actors,” Don said afterward. “They have such enthusiasm and high hope. And they’re all so talented. Their enthusiasm rubs off on me and helps rejuvenate my own acting prowess.”

Don had been enlisted for the AFTRA seminars by his good friend and fellow actor, Nat Polen, one of the stars of a rival soap, One Life to Live.

Don is one of the finest actors and gentlemen that I know,” Nat said. “He has the perfect disposition to teach. He is knowledgable, he is patient and he can communicate. And most importantly, he loves people.”

“He is one of the most polished and preofessional performers on television,” Nat added. “He always seems to be in complete command of himself, on matter the situation. He has been on television every week for the past 17 years, and I don’t think I have ever seen him give an inferior performance.”

Helen Wagner, who has been Don‘s television wife for 17 years, calls him, “a complete professional.”

“We have been on the show together from the very first performance,” she said. “We have a fantastic rapport. He always comes to the studio prepared to work. We’ve been a television husband and wife team for so long now, it’s almost as if we are really married.”

Both Nat Polen and Helen Wagner used the term “an actor’s actor” when discussion Don MacLaughlin.

Don was flattered and honstly overwhelmed by the “label.” “It’s great to be appreciated by the people who watch you perform,” Don said, “but it’s even greater to be appreciated by one’s own peers.”

At the conclusion of the five-week seminar, we discussed the results with both teacher and students.

One young actor remarked: “I feel more confident in my own talents now. Don, with his patience and guidance, helped instill that confidence in me.”

Another “graduate” called Don “the best acting instructor I’ve ever had. He knows how to make you feel relaxed. He is always able to find something good in your performance while pointing up some faults. But he always makes you feel relaxed. He is always able to find something good in your performance while pointing up some faults. But he always makes you feel that your good points far outweigh your bad ones.”

“There’s no sense beating these kids’ brains out,” Don said. “They all have ambition and a need to act. Of course, some of them are more talented naturally than others. But they all have the potential to be good solid performers if nothing else. It is not my place to tell any of them ‘go home and find something else to do.’ They have all chosen to become actors and they should be encouraged to go as far as their talents will take them.”

I made the mistake….when the person they were enamored of was Henry Blake

January 17, 2019

Recently I was reading an article on Mental Floss about actors who regretted leaving hit TV shows. It doesn’t include any soap operas, but I think it has a great realization from McLean Stevenson. Stevenson played the Col. Henry Blake in MASH. After 3 seasons Stevenson left the show. It was written in as the heart breaking death of Col. Blake on his way home. Stevenson was thinking he was hot stuff as one of the leads on a hit show. Surely that meant he could be THE lead in a new show and do even better. Years later he had this to say:

“I’ve never been able to work with a group that’s as talented or scripts that are as good,” Stevenson told The Baltimore Sun in 1990. “I made the mistake of believing that people were enamored of McLean Stevenson when the person they were enamored of was Henry Blake.”

I think it’s very brave and self-aware of him to realize it. Sometimes it isn’t the actor that’s so great, it’s a combination of actor, character, writing, and cast chemistry. It’s easy to believe it’s you, when a lot of times it isn’t. Actors had better think of that before choosing to leave any soap.

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.


Guiding Light Press Release 1988

September 25, 2017

I recently purchased on Ebay some Guiding Light promotional material. This is a press release that basically sent out the basics of the show including the setting, past honors, and the current main characters with a short synopsis where they are right then in December 1988. I created the text below by scanning and converting the original document so some formatting maybe off. I’ve tried to fix what I could, but it was faster than retyping the whole thing and I’m short on time right now. My apologies if the formatting is off.

Cast List as of December 12, 1988

Following  are  updated  cast    and   production    credits    for  GUIDING  LIGHT, weekday  drama presented on  the  CBS Television  Network:

ON AIR: FORMAT: A continuing drama revolving around the close-knit Bauer, Lewis and Spaulding families  in  Springfield, USA New  York (tape)


Now  in  its  37th  year on the   CBS  Television  Network. Series  premiered  in  January  1937  on  radio,  and is  now  in   its   52nd  broadcast year.

CAST (alphabetically by actor last name):

Grant Aleksander = Phillip Spaulding
Terrell Anthony = Rusty Shayne
Joseph Breen = Dr. Will Jeffries
Suzy Cote = Samantha Marler
Elizabeth Dennehy = Christina Thorpe
Frank Dicopoulos = Frank Cooper
Beth Ehlers = Harley Davidson Cooper
Carl Evans = Alan-Michael Spaulding
Michelle  Forbes = Sonni  Lewis
James M. Goodwin = Johnny  Bauer
Nicolette  Goulet = Dr.  Meredith Reade
Charles  Jay  Hammer = Fletcher  Reade
Teri  Keane = Lanie  Bauer
Beverlee McKinsey = Alexandra Spaulding
Alexandra Neil = Rose McLaren
Robert Newman = Josh Lewis
Michael O’Leary = Dr.Rick Bauer
Ellen Parker = Maureen Bauer
Audrey Peters =  Sarah Shayne
Daniel Pilon = Alan  Spaulding
William Roerick = Henry Chamberlain
Gil Rogers = Hawk Shayne
Peter  Simon = Dr.Ed  Bauer
Tina Sloan = Lillian Raines
Krista Tesreau = Mindy Lewis Corday
Jerry ver Dorn = Ross Marler
Kassie Wesley = Chelsea Reardon
Kim Zimmer = Reva Shayne

Production Staff:


PRODUCERS: Robert Kochman and Kathlyn Chambers

DIRECTORS: Bruce  Barry,  Irene  Pace, M.J.  McDonnell,  and Scott McKinsey

WRITERS: Pamela Long, with Trent Jones, Nancy Curlee, Richard Culliton, Stephen Demorest, Nancy Franklin, GaiI Lawrence, Pete T. Rich, Melissa Salmons and Nancy Williams

Press Release


December 19,  1988

NOTE    TO     EDITORS:       Please substitute the following announcement,  which contains additional  information,  for  the  one  previously  serviced  you.


GUIDING  LIGHT,  one  of television’s  most  popular  daytime dramas,  began  as a 15-minute radio drama in January 1937, and now ranks as the  longest-running  dramatic  program  in  broadcast  history.  The  serial,  after  more  than  51  years  on   the  air,  is currently  in  its  37th  year  on  the  CBS  Television Network.

The drama, broadcast weekdays  (3:00-4:00 PM,  ET),  has  twice   been   honored with  Emmy Awards as   Outstanding Daytime  Drama. Kim Zimmer  has  been the recipient of  two  Emmy  Awards  for  Outstanding   Lead Actress.  The  series  has  also been  innovative  in  on-location  taping  techniques  (in  such  places  as  Barbados,  St. Croix,  Jamaica  and   the   Canary   Islands)  and  has  received   Emmy Awards  for its remote sequences.                                                                                                             ·

The story of GUIDING LIGHT, set in the Midwestern town of Springfield, centers on the close-knit Bauer, Spaulding, Shayne, and Lewis families. Leading characters and their updated story involvements follow:

The Bauer family is headed  by  Dr.  Ed  Bauer  (Peter  Simon)  of  Cedars Hospital and his wife, Maureen (Ellen Parker), who join  in  the  happiness  of  the  recent marriage  of  his  son,  Dr. Rick  Bauer  (Michael  O’Leary)  to  medical  researcher Dr.  Meredith Reade ( Nicolette  Goulet).  They  are  unaware,  however, that  the  bride  is  pregnant  with  another  man’s  child.  Rick   discovers   she’s  pregnant, but doesn’t  know  that  his  best  friend  Phillip  Spaulding  (Grant  Aleksander)   is  the  father.

The Bauers’ cousin, pilot Johnny Bauer   (James   M.  Goodwin),   has   welcomed the return of his mother, Lanie Bauer   (Teri   Keane) to Springfield.   He  and   the rest of the  Bauers  are  startled  by  the  revelation  that  Blake  Lindsey  (Elizabeth Dennehy], who  has  been  attracted  to  Phillip,  is,  in  fact,  Christina  Thorpe,  the  daughter of villainous  Roger  Thorpe  (who  left  Springfield  in  1980).  Roger had seduced Ed Bauer’s second wife, Holly.  Singer Chelsea Reardon (Kassie Wesley) becomes curious as   well   as   she   assists   Johnny   in   digging   into   Christina’s   past. In fact,  their  collaboration  may   build   to   a   romance   as   the   Christina   puzzle unfolds.

The  Spauldings  are  headed by   ruthless  industrialist Alexandra  Spaulding (Beverlee McKinsey)     and her brother, the  equally unscrupulous  Alan  Spaulding (Daniel  Pilon),  who  has   been  deposed  as   head  of  Spaulding  Enterprises by  his older  son, Phillip. Alan’s younger  son, college student Alan-Michael (Carl Evans),   has  had  a  stormy  relationship with  wrong-side-of-the-tracks Harley Davidson  Cooper  (Beth  Ehlers),  following  their  pact  to  marry   to  get   his  trust fund,  although  they  might  really  be  falling  in love. When Samantha Marler (Suzy Cote) comes to town in early 1989, she might cause more problems for the couple. Frank Cooper (Frank Dicopoulos),  garage owner/mechanic, remains a constant support  to  his  sister,  Harley. Alexandra has   an   adversarial  relationship  with Meredith’s brother, Fletcher Reade  (Charles Jay  Hammer),  with  whom she  co-owns the  Springfield  Journal  newspaper.

The Shaynes are headed by crusty  Hawk  Shayne  (Gil  Rogers),  who  runs Company, a popular local pub, and is now  romantically  involved  with  Cedars  head nurse Lillian Raines  (Tina  Sloan)  and  Sarah  Shayne  (Audrey  Peters),  his ex-wife.  They  have  three  children:  Rusty  (Terrell  Anthony),  who  is  on   the   Springfield police force;  Reva  (Kim  Zimmer),  whose  heart  still  seems  to  belong  to  her  long–time love, oil man Josh Lewis ( Robert Newman); and Roxie, who is away in a mental  institution.  Rusty  has  had  a  stormy  relationship   with   former  drug  addict Rose  McLaren  (Alexandra  Neil).

Josh,  who  is  married  to  the  mysterious  Sonni  Lewis  (Michelle  Forbes),  has been  accused  of  the  attempted  murder  of  his  good   friend,   Dr.   Will  Jeffries   (Joseph Breen), who had come to  town  with  a  twin  sister  posing  as  Sonni,  Josh’s  wife, presumed dead on their honeymoon. As  Sonni  and  Will  quarrel  when  their  original master plan to get their hands  on  the  Lewis  oil  money  falls  apart  because  Sonni  really  falls  for  Josh,  Will  hits  his  head  and  Sonni.  thinking he  is  dead, disposes  of  the  body.   Since  Will’s  return   with  amnesia,   he’s  not  quite  sure  what has happened, but Sonni’s  anxiety  builds  as  Reva,  Josh  and  Will  get  closer  to unraveling the story. Meanwhile, Will marries sympathetic Mindy  Lewis  (Krista Tesreau]   in  Venezuela.

Other prominent Springfield residents include  lawyer  Ross  Marler  (Jerry  ver  Dorn)  and  retired  businessman  Henry   Chamberlain   (William  Roerick),   who  serves on the Board of Directors at Spaulding Enterprises.  Former  publicity  wizard  and  Chelsea  Reardon’s  musical  mentor  is  Jackson  Fremont  (Michael Wilding).

GUIDING LIGHT made  its  television  debut  on  June  30,  1952.  It  was  one  of the first radio dramas to  make  the  transition  to  television,  and  is  the  only  former radio  drama  still  on  the  air  today.

Among  the  many  “graduates”  of  the   serial   are   Barnard   Hughes,   Kevin Bacon, Sandy Dennis,  JoBeth  Williams,  Cicely  Tyson,  Jan  Sterling,  Joseph Campanella,  Christopher  Walken,  Chris  Sarandon,   James   Earl   Jones,   Arthur Peterson (the radio  version’s  original  cast  member),  Billy  Dee  Williams,  Blythe Danner and  Ruby  Dee.  The  late  Charita  Bauer  portrayed  beloved  matriarch  Bert Bauer  for  more  than  35  years,  until  her  death  in   1985.

GUIDING LIGHT, which is taped in New York City, is a Procter & Gamble production, with  Joe   Willmore  serving   as   executive   producer.   Robert   Kochman and  Kathlyn  Chambers  are  the  producers.   Emmy Award   winning  writer   Pamela Long  is  the   principal  writer  for  the   serial.

Editor Note

So just to remind you where some of these stories they are talking about turned out. What happened to Ed and Maureen is well known. Rick soon figures out that Meredith couldn’t be having his child (she conceived while they were broken up), but doesn’t realize it was Phillip’s (Meredith and Phillip were a drunken night when they were both upset with the world) until after the baby was taken in a medical procedure to save Meredith’s life. (Although it took awhile, especially since this was the SECOND time Phillip had impregnated someone Rick had made a serious commitment to, Phillip’s advice to save Meredith’s life even when it was really his child on the line helped a lot.) Constantly clashing over Meredith’s self-worth issues (namely her being older, unable to have children after the procedure, and guilt over her night with Phillip) broke them up and she left town.

Johnny Bauer wasn’t on the show all that long, but logged time as a pilot (see Bauer BBQ 1987), a TV host, a duet singer, a cancer patient, and finally a sort of new age preacher before he left town. He had serious relationships with Chelsea who he often sang with and Roxie who was driven crazy by the strain of taking care of him when he was a cancer patient – not that he even seemed to notice.

Blake Lindsey was revealed to be Christina Thorpe, although the Blake name stuck. Her relationship with Phillip went south, it’s biggest long term impacts being Alan accidentally shooting Phillip when he meant to take out Blake at their wedding (thankfully escorting Daniel Pilon’s version of Alan off screen) and Blake having Phillip declared insane to keep him from reuniting with a back from the dead Beth Raines. Blake’s return meant that Holly and Roger would soon follow (Zaslow had held that immensely long still shot to there would be no way he could be brought back after his fall from the cliff was for nothing).

Alan-Michael and Harley were a wonderful couple, but sadly were not destined for a long run, although A-M did end up long term happily married to her half-sister, Lucy. (Harley briefly married A-M’s brother, not really over each other entirely much?) I don’t remember Sam having much to do with them although she did have a long term relationship with Dylan Lewis which included her being paralyzed when they jumped from the car when Reva drove into the ocean at the start of her long term amnesiac absence. She gave me problems though. Actually now I think about it that would mean that Phillip’s sister and brother would be dating. That’s all kinds of wrong. They didn’t play the sibling angle with Sam and Phillip strongly enough and I kept thinking my beloved Jackie and Justin Marler produced this? She was not helped by a weak Justin recast (Jackie died when Sam was a baby and Justin took Sam out of the country, to India I think.)

Fletcher and Alexandra had a steady live in relationship for years, followed by some off and on, until Fletcher returned to town in the finale to take Alex away for a great adventure.

Hawk reunited with Sarah, spent all her money, reunited with her again, and basically continued to gum up the works through the finale. Rusty inexplicably married Rose McLaren ruining his chance of the Rusty-Mindy romance fans were a clamoring for and then ruined it again when he left Springfield alone to take a job in Tulsa shortly after unmasking Will Jefferies as Rose’s killer even though he had reunited with Mindy.

Josh’s wife was eventually revealed to really be Sonni after all who had developed an alter in Solita after her twin sister Solita was killed and she felt it was her fault as a young woman. It was really too bad because amnesiac Will was really great and Sonni, while not the woman for Josh, seemed like a very nice person who had some horrific things happen to her. Neither of them ended well. However, Josh and Reva, got together, broke up, got together, broke up, etc. until they reunited for the last time in the shadow of the lighthouse in the finale.

For more information, follow this blog.

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.

Demarva Life Interviews O’Leary and Aleksander Guiding Light Breathing Under Dirt

July 18, 2016
Phillip and Rick 2016

Phillip and Rick 2016

In late June 2016 Michael O’Leary (Rick Bauer #5, the adult one we know and love) and Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding #2, adult Phillip) sat down for a Baltimore area regional talk show DemaraLife. They discuss both their time on Guiding Light and their new joint production – with O’Leary as author and Aleksander as director and star –  Breathing Under Dirt. O’Leary says it’s based in part on his coming to terms with unresolved issues dealing with his deceased father’s alcoholism.  Find out about the current production August 13-14, 2016. Keep up with future news on Facebook. Today O’Leary says he gets up everyday at 5 am just to do a little writing before his day really starts so look out for new material.

The cast from Guiding Light includes:

  • Cynthia Watros (Annie Dutton #1) ,
  • Michael O’Leary (Rick Bauer #5), 
  • Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding #2),
  • Tina Sloan (Lillian Raines)
  • Beth Chamberlain (Beth Raines Spaulding #2 – played Watros’s role in the original prize winning one-act play production)

Most of the Guiding Light stuff you would have heard before, but since this really isn’t directed at a GL fanbase audience what they say about their connection to fans is interesting. The best part, as always, is O’Leary‘s description of Charita Bauer (Bert Bauer). They also say that they are real life best friends and that Aleksander was determined to dislike O’Leary coming in since he was replacing the previous Rick (Phil MacGregor – who played the first adult Rick for about half a year) who had been a friend of his “and is now wildly successful at something else, but who could hold out against Mikey? He could melt an iceberg.” Aleksander said both he and O’Leary are still friends with MacGregor. They also briefly touch on how the cancellation hit them and especially recall their last time playing basketball together in character.

Aleksander: “Actually in an odd way, and this used to drive some of the ladies that we worked with nuts, because you internalize, you can’t help it you internalize a little bit about what’s going on, and every time we’d have one of these situations the writers sort of knew that the rooting value was always that Phillip and Rick, as long as they’re still going to be friends as long as they’re going to be friends. And sometimes the love interest whoever it might be would be ‘we were married and we do have a child and we care about THIS!'”

O’Leary: “They’d come up to me in the elevator and say ‘um Rick, Roxie may be a prostitute and have amnesia, but she loves you, child and Phillip, Phillip he’s cheating on you, but you’re going to still love Phillip. And I’d say, Ya, ya and ‘thank you Lord!'”

Interesting question on difference between soap opera acting and being on stage.

Besides the performance they’ll also have an actor workshop with Michael O’Leary in the same venue.

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.

Newspaper Update From a Collector

April 6, 2015

IMG_0001If you are a regular reader of this blog or my Twitter account (@Robansuefarm) , you’ll know I’ve long desired to have a copy, any copy of the Springfield Journal. In my quest I purchased copies of the Geona City Chronicle and the Port Charles Herald. Comparing the two I realized they had to be made by the same company or at least in the identical way because the filler was exactly the same. Now I know what to watch for I’ve seen the same filler on other shows. The same filler appeared as the Hazzard County Gazette in a 2nd season episode of The Dukes of Hazzard shot in 1980 and since the ones I purchased were from the 2000s they’ve been using the same filler for a long time. Check out the photos in the Port Charles Herald post and look for the filler yourself. I’d love comments about the spottings.

That’s where it was resting for awhile when out of the blue I got a very kind message from a person who collects these kind of newspapers and other props. He’s given me permission to publish his message here:

 Hi, I found your January post about the prop newspapers. I collect props and can offer some info about them. Most of the newspapers in movies and TV shows today are usually created by a prop house called ‘The Earl Hays Press’ which is located in Sun Valley near Los Angeles, CA. They also make most of the custom printed paper props for the same productions, which may include signs, generic food or product packaging and labels, license plates, magazine and book covers, matchbooks, stationery, or any other custom printed material you could think of. They create these to avoid copyright issues with real companies. The filler newspaper’s inside page format was first used in the late 1980s. As late as 1985-1988 there was an older version of the inside pages in use, which had no text and alternate headlines. The inside pages were always a complete fabrication made from many combined elements. Some real headline plates recycled from old newspapers were mixed in with the fake stuff. The back page was consistent all the way back into the mid/late 1970s as can be seen by its use in ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’. Some time in the early 2000s, this back page was modified slightly, probably due to wear/damage to the original printing elements which were very old by this time. Also, the back page template was made from a real newspaper plate from San Francisco dated April of 1971. Hope this info helps! You can also google ‘recurring prop newspaper’ for more info about this particular prop. – Hill Valley Telegraph

Here is the Earl Hays Press website:
Always wanted a fake bookcover with your name on it or beer or anything else? Looks like for the right price you can have it.

Here’s a news story about them with screen capture examples:

And remember keep an eye out for that Springfield Journal for me!

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.

Soap Opera Coma

March 30, 2015

Every Friday night, I try to post another term of Soap Opera Jargon. Find previous entries on the Soap Opera Jargon page on this site. I haven’t had a chance to get this published on Friday night for the last couple of weeks so I’m going ahead and posting it tonight.

Soap Opera Coma – Like soap opera dead, soap opera comas happen far more common than in real life and have much happier outcomes. I found a post where they actually made a scientific study of soap opera comas, see link below for the popular press summary.

And below this for a link to the actual journal article. It’s open source so anyone can read it for free. 🙂

Out of 64 identified soap opera comma cases (it’s unclear if these are only main characters or if they include “patients” of main characters at the various hospitals in soap towns, if they include patients & recurrences in a single character that total seems low):

  • Nearly nine out of 10 fully recovered
  • 8 percent (five “patients”) died
  • 3 percent (two “patients”) remained in a vegetative state

They also identified several “causes” or types of soap opera characters falling prey to comas; Recast Coma, Moonlighting Actor Coma, Fantasy/Self-Growth a la It’s a Wonderful Life Coma. Like soap opera death, these have been used past the point of meaning, but unlike soap death they weren’t usually meant to be taken all that seriously to begin with. Actors who’ve filmed a coma story tell interesting stories about falling asleep during these scenes and about how hard it is to lie style and not react while other their scene partners are emoting like crazy for their Emmy bait scenes. Both Danny and Michelle were among the soap opera coma victims on Guiding Light, although they were both plot driven and meant to make the other one see how they really felt about their significant other and their life. Sadly Michelle’s ended in the deep, dark, best forgotten amnesia year. See Soap Opera Dead

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.

1990s Guiding Light Locations

March 5, 2015

Search for a Springfield Journal

I did a quick search today for a Springfield Journal in hopes that a copy would come up. I still really want one! I’d take a photocopy, a scan anything! Even though I have a Geona City Chronicle and a Port Charles Herald, it’s just not the same. 😦

Sadly a search didn’t bring up any sign of the Journal, sigh, but it did lead to mini-miracle. It DID turn up an article from a Hartford, Connecticut newspaper back in the 1990s which tells how Guiding Light was coming to town to shoot exterior shots and it tells you exactly what buildings they used. I’ve been trying to track down exteriors used over the years and here they are! Please keep an eye out as you are watching clips and let me know if see when an exterior changes so we can work on the dates. These 1990s ones I’ve had the most luck locating.


A couple of other exteriors were shot in 1994 from Long Island, New York.

This is what I found.

These establishing shots were taken in July 1996. That was around the time they were airing Dinah and Hart teaming up to drive Roger crazy so look for these locations as you watch and let me know if you see them. I don’t know if they also changed up things like the exterior of Company, Spaulding Mansion, or the Bauer House at this same time for Connecticut locations, keep an eye out and see if they shift before and after that time.

Locations Around Connecticut

Establishing Streetscape = Asylum Street Hartford CT

Towers = Goodwin Square office building, 225 Asylum Street, Hartford CT

Spaulding Enterprises = 100 Pearl Street Gallery, 100 Pearl St Hartford CT

Lewis Oil = New Haven Savings Bank, Can you believe this is their website? New Haven Savings Bank50 S Frontage Rd New Haven, CT 06519

Springfield Journal = Connecticut Post, 410 State St. Bridgeport, CT

WSPR = WFSB-TV’s Broadcast House, Constitution Plaza – Demolished in 2009 😦

Advantage Systems = CityPlace, 185 Asylum Street, Hartford CT (Note as a refresher the article says “Alan Spaulding’s base of operations for his attempts to thwart Buzz Cooper and win the love of Cooper’s wife, Reva.”)

Film of various buildings was taken from the Hartford Civic Center roof.

“Closer to the Goodwin Square building, crew members saw an opportunity — a newspaper honor box. With prop first aid of tape, placards and a fake newspaper, it was transformed into a Springfield Journal box. After mounting the honor box on a 3-foot-tall camera case, Schneider shot it from below with the Goodwin Hotel’s red-stone exterior in the background, creating the illusion that the camera was at ground level. With a plastic branch or reddish- green leaves inserted in the frame, summer became fall.”

tweeted on 2014  Dec 30

The article is right on for what they used for what. I watched them cover the WFSB sign with the WSPR sign

 Cast and Crew listed

Francine Versalie, an associate producer

Rick Dennis, the show’s art director

John O’Connell, Director

Mike Schneider, Camera Man

Linda Mysel, Production Manager

Brett Barry, Crew Member filmed carrying a Towers vest into the front door of building as a member of the waitstaff arriving to work

The total crew assembled were: “Dennis, Versalie, a cameraman, a director, an administrator, a utility worker, two engineers and two prop people set.”

Follow Up

I’ve got an online friend who lives near who said she’d try to get some photos for me. I found specifically that Broadcast House, which was apparently a pretty historic building, had been torn down. I don’t know if any of the others have been lost, businesses moved, or buildings remolded. But I’ll keep digging and I’ll let you know when I find more.

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.

Soap Opera Magazines Update Feb 2015

February 7, 2015

What does a reference librarian do when their interest in something deepens? They build a reference library collection of course! So I’ve been collecting books about soap operas and soap opera magazines. I want to create a list as complete as possible. I had been playing around with this idea for awhile and finally decided it was better to share what I had and see if anybody had anymore information.

This is the first update (the second post) and I did get some feedback and corrections last time. My idea is to share information about what resources are available for you own soap opera research. Some of these titles were given to me second hand and it’s possible that titles are remembered slightly wrong and some of these might be duplicates. I’ve added date ranges, publication frequency, soaps covered, and ISSN (older publications came out before this standard came into place and may not have one). If I didn’t have the end of the range, I have included a notice on the most recent copy I personally own. If you have an issue later than mine, please let me know to help me identify a clearer idea of the date range. If I couldn’t find the information for this pass, I didn’t include it, but I’ll keep looking. I also didn’t get the full information copied in for the In Depth publications, so look for that next year. I hope future postings will give better information with your help.

  • ABC Soaps in Depth – 1997 – Present, Every other week publication, ABC Soaps only,
  • Afternoon TV – 1969 – ?, Latest issue I own August 1983 14.12, Monthly Publication, All Soaps, ISSN 0164-6508
  • Afternoon TV Stars – November 1973 – ?, Latest issue I own September 1974 1.6, Monthly Publication, All Soaps
  • The Best of Daytime TV – ? – ? Latest issue I own 1979 No. 4 (Celebration of the 1970s), All Soaps
  • CBS Soaps in Depth – 1996 – Present, Every other week publication, CBS Soaps only, ISSN 1533-967X
  • Daily TV Serials
  • Daylight TV – Continued under the title Soap Opera Stars
  • Daytime Digest
  • Daytime Serial Newsletter,1207640
  • Daytime TV – 1970 – ?, Latest issue I own March 1997 27.7, Monthly Publication, All Soaps (at least some special one soap issues – Days of Our Lives is the example I own from December 1991), ISSN 0011-7129
  • Daytime TV Super Special – 1974-?, First is from 1974 No. 1, Latest Issue I own 1974 No. 2 (25th anniversary of daytime TV), All Soaps
  • Daytime TV Soap Opera Special – possibly alternate title for Daytime TV Super Special
  • Daytime TV Stars – ? – ?, Latest issue I own January 1974 No. 6, Monthly Publication, All Soaps
  • Daytime TV Yearbook
  • Episodes
  • NBC Soaps in Depth – 1997 – 1999?, Every other week publication, NBC soaps only,
  • Rona Barrett’s Daytimers
  • Soap Opera Digest –  November 1975 – Present, Weekly Publication, All Soaps, ISSN 0164-3584
    Contact and Back Issues
    Wikipedia Report
  • Soap Opera Illustrated
  • Soap Opera Magazine
  • Soap Opera News
  • Soap Opera Stars – 1975 – ?, Monthly Publication, All Soaps ISSN 0199-3003, Is noted that it was previously published under the title of Daylight TV. It doesn’t say whether the volume, issue started over at that time.
  • Soap Opera Update – 1988 – ?, Latest issue I own October 4, 1994 VII.40, Weekly Publication?, All Soaps ISSN 0898-1485
  • Soap Opera Weekly – 1989 – April 10, 2012 , Weekly Publication, All Soaps ISSN 1047-7128
  • Soap Stars
  • TV By Day
  • TV Dawn to Dusk
  • TV Day Stars – 1972 – ?, Latest issue I own March 1977, Monthly Publication, All Soaps,
  • TV Radio Mirror –? -?, Latest issue I own March 1955 43.4, ?, TV and radio shows in general, but does articles about soap operas
  • Weekday TV
  • Who’s Who in Daytime TV
  • Young and the Restless Magazine

Soaps in Depth Report:

As I move forward, I want to confirm these names, confirm any name changes (magazines are always changing names, ask any serials librarian) during the run, the run dates (publication start-publication stops), how often it was produced and if that ever changed, the ISSN, and if any library holdings. Sadly I don’t expect too many library holdings, popular magazines are often not collected by academic libraries who archive old copies and public libraries who do buy popular magazines don’t keep deep archives, but we can hope. And maybe if any institution starts collecting in this area we might be able to donate someday for instance the University of Iowa actively collects old zines now based off a collection donated to them. I still have resources to check for some of the information, but if you can tell me a title I missed or provide the ISSN, the run dates, or any other information about soap opera magazines, please comment below or contact me at Watch for future posts.

And for more soap opera research news like Soap Opera Conference on Facebook and on Twitter.

Thanks to @itsonlythesoaps for an addition to the list.

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.

Odds and Ends 40

December 1, 2014

While looking for Guiding Light information, I sometimes find things that I think are of interest relating to other soaps. This collection of Odds and Ends related to various soaps that someone may want to know some time. Look for another odds and ends post soon.

Happy 15th Anniversary Cory and Topanga! From Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World.

A roundup of 1999 in the July 7, 2014 in Soap Opera Digest listed behind the scenes TPTB changes. Megan McTavish was All My Children‘s head writer, she was first replaced by Agnes Nixon and Elizabeth Page. Before the year was out Page was replaced by Jean Passanante. The recently cancelled Another World‘s executive producer Christopher Goutman took over the same position at As The World Turns, meaning Felicia Minei Behr was out. Another World writers Leah Laimen and Carolyn Culliton also replaced then As the World Turns writers Lorraine Broderick, Hal Corley, and Addie Walsh. Days of Our Lives head writer, Sally Sussman was replaced by Lorraine Broderick and then Co-EP Tom Langan. Megan McTavish took over as One Life To Live’s head writer.

Michael LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin on The Young and the Restless) gives fans a behind the scenes tour of The Young and the Restless. It includes Tony Lorito and Gayle Mosley (Wardrobe stylists), Luis Godinez (Boom operator who passed away in 2013), Mary Ianelli (costume designer), Bill Roberts (lighting director), Tony Morina (supervising producer), and Tom McDermott (stage manager). See all the photos in the December 30, 2013 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Read a look behind how much soap stars are really making today in the June 16, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman) and Sharon Case (Sharon Newman) from The Young & the Restless on Home & Family (Sept. 2014).

Eileen Fulton (Lisa Miller Hughes, etc.) is recovering from a shoulder injury she sustained in a fall in July. Read more in the August 4, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

The July 7. 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest has a small article with Kin Shriner (Scott) talking about when Gloria Monty (Executive Producer, General Hospital) had to go to bat with the network to get them to green light his Scotty and Laura storyline because it was the first time the show had featured a storyline on such young people. Shriner sees it as having set up a trend for young people storylines, especially in the summer.

LauraLee Bell (Cricket Williams on The Young and the Restless) has created a webseries to argue the point about not texting and driving called Mi Promise. Read more about it in the December 30, 2013 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Thaao Penghlis (Tony DiMera, Days of Our Lives) has released a book about his travels, Places: The Journey of My Days, My Lives. Read more about it in the August 4, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Thank heavens Michael Graziader (Daniel Romalotti, The Young and the Restless) has finally gotten a decent haircut. See a photo and read an interview in the August 4, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott, The Young and the Restless) is featured in an interview in the August 4, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Victoria Mallory who played concert pianist and Lori Brooks’s sister, Leslie Brooks on The Young and the Restless, passed away on August 30th, 2014. Read a tribute in the October 6, 2014 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Nice feature on the epic Shick engagement party which was one of best friendship building episodes of The Young and the Restless ever in the October 6, 2014 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

The Bold and the Beautiful threw a great retirement party for set decorator Elsa Zamparelli. See photos in the Oct. 21, 2013 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Although they still use the traditional country house front of the building, The Bold and the Beautiful has taken to using the CBS studio loading dock, rooftop, and parking lot of the actual CBS building. Read more about it in the January 27, 2014 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Big Brothers Big Sisters held an event honoring Lee Phillip Bell. She co-created both The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. Current and former stars of both soaps attended the celebration. See photos in the July 14, 2014 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

The 2014 animal shelter and animal rescue scenes on The Bold and the Beautiful were shot at the South L.A. Animal Shelter. Kim Matula (Hope Forrester)’s boyfriend Ben Goldberg had a cameo during those animal shelter scenes. See that and photos in the June 30, 2014 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Eric Braeden (Victor Newman, The Young and the Restless) is pictured with his son Christian Gudegast in the June 16, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Thorsten Kaye is known by his nickname of Toast and is close enough friends with Lawrence Welk III that he’s godfather to his daughter. He’s spoken of both these facts in several interviews recently for instance check out the June 16, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Kristina Wagner, who plays Felicia on General Hospital, has released a documentary Children of the Internment: An Oral History of Children Behind Barbed Wire. Read more about it in the February 17, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.  Wagner discusses the documentary on Buzz Worthy Radio:
Read more about it on her website: It’s also available on DVD on her website.

In 2014, The Bold and the Beautiful took their foreign location trip to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. See photos and read more in the June 30, 2014 CBS Soaps in Depth.

The July 7. 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest has a round up of stars sharing the dumbest thing they did when they first started the soaps. It includes: Bryan Craig (Morgan, General Hospital), Scott Clifton (Liam Spencer, The Bold and the Beautiful), Darin Brooks (Wyatt, The Bold and the Beautiful), Alison Sweeney (Sami Brady, Days of Our Lives), Lauralee Bell (Cricket Williams, The Young and the Restless).

Days of Our Lives is currently renewed until September 2016. It will celebrate its 50th anniversary on November 8, 2015.

Check out the fabulous dresses from the Delia fundraiser on The Young and the Restless in the February 17, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

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.

Electronic Press Kit 1992

November 6, 2014
Guiding Light Logo Shirt Back

Guiding Light Logo Shirt Back

 Thanks to  itsonlythesoaps for pointing me to these links. This is the electronic press kit that was sent out in honor of the fortieth anniversary primetime special for Guiding Light. They were released to news organizations in hopes that they’d be used as background as part of news stories. I actually like these press kit clips better than the actual anniversary special.

It’s divided into short pieces for easier editing. I’ve added short notes and descriptions to help you find particular points. I’ve listed the people the first time they speak in each clip. They often come back on later in the same clip. I hope you enjoy them.

The Light is On

Jill Farren Phelps (Executive Producer), Bruce Barry (Director), Talk about male only episode (Hamp’s bachelor party – Pure Boy), Vincent Irizarry (Nick McHenry Spaulding), Maeve Kinkhead (Vanessa Chamberlain Lewis), Michael Zaslow (Roger Thorpe), Tina Sloan (Lillian Raines), Breast Cancer storyline, Episodes included Tina Sloan coming out as herself and encouraging women to be tested,

Behind the Scenes

Nice close up shots of main ballroom of Lakeland Country Club, Filming equipment and off-set stage area, several scenes around Gilly-Hamp wedding with related characters, Looking like a camera blocking, On set makeup touch up, People waiting out of shot for cues, more filming work.

Not Your Grandmother’s Soap

How Guiding Light has changed over the years (length, sets, music, costumes, writing, pacing,treatment of women,  : In between interview clips classic Guiding Light footage from between 1950s and 1970s, maybe some early 1980s, Michael Zaslow (Roger Thorpe), Maureen Garrett (Holly Norris Bauer Thorpe Lindsey Reade), Peter Simon (Dr. Ed. Bauer), Beverlee McKinsey (Alexandra Spaulding),  Jo Anne Sedwick (Director), Jill Farren Phelps (Executive Producer),
Note: Anytime you use the word hip about your self or your product, you are, by definition, not.

Love and Kisses

How romance and making love, must tell a story: What Makes a Love Scene: Jo Anne Sedwick (Director) – Focus on little things that lead up to a kiss because only so far you can go, Melina Kanakaredes (Eleni Spaulding Cooper) and Rick Hearst (Alan-Michael Spaulding) – honeymoon scene, Working relationships with costars, dry blocking, Beth Ehlers (Harley Davidson Cooper), Mark Derwin (A.C. Mallet) – Harlett love scene at Cross Creek,

Here Comes the Brides

Focuses mainly on the Eleni and Alan-Micheal Spaulding wedding and the Gilly Grant and Hampton Speakes wedding: Clap Board – Guiding Light, Episode 11,390 Scene 3A 4-15-1992, Take 1 (Clapboards are used at the beginning of shots so help editors identify different takes and parts of the episode to make a seamless whole, it also has a clap and the beginning which they use to make a noise so everyone realizes the cameras are now live), Bruce Barry (Director), Process of putting on a soap wedding and how it compares to a real wedding, James Stewart (Scenic Designer) talks about A-M and Eleni wedding describes how they did, black box, 1,000 candles, round set, problem lighting 1,000 candles at once, David Loveless (Costume Designer), Amelia Marshall (Gilly Grant Speakes)

Fans of the Fans

Special connection between soap opera fans and soap opera characters: Guiding Light soap opera event, Melina Kanakaredes (Eleni Spaulding Cooper), Rick Hearst (Alan-Michael Spaulding), Beth Ehlers (Harley Davidson Cooper), Mark Derwin (A.C. Mallet), Frank Dicopoulos (Frank Cooper), Amelia Marshall (Gilly Grant Speakes), Maureen Garrett (Holly Norris Bauer Thorpe Lindsey Reade), Michael Zaslow (Roger Thorpe), Vincent Irizarry (Nick McHenry Spaulding), Peter Simon (Dr. Ed. Bauer),

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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