Archive for the ‘Guiding Light Classic’ Category

Take the Ink Blot Test

June 19, 2019

Tonight we revisit the best of the lost Manny scenes that we know about. It was lost because Paul Anthony Stewart (Danny Santos) was sick the day he was supposed to shoot it. I’ve always been a bit fascinated by this scene.

Recreation of Ink Spot from Story

Danny later sends Michelle an ink spot that we don’t see, but I think would have looked like this.

Other fans are, too. In fact we’ve probably built it up more than it deserves in the lore, but it’s a wonderful idea for a cool scene. Just what would Danny and Michelle done or said over the ink blots? I recreated the ink blot Danny sends with the invitation for Michelle to meet him at the Christmas decorated mall.

Screen Capture of the Ink Blot Danny sends Michelle

Learn about the Ink Blots

There is more to Ink Blots than just Danny seeing him and Michelle making love – more’s the pity. Learn more about them. It turns out that they really aren’t all that accepted as valid anymore. However, if you want to take a multiple choice version online, you can. It’s still a great scene.

Manny meet at the mall with ink blot

Screen Shot of Manny at Springfield Mall with Ink Blot tube.

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 Cast List 1952

June 17, 2019

This list was featured as part of a special history of Guiding Light section in the September 1974 issue of Daytime TV. I changed the formatting and rearranged it so it’s organized by character name instead of actor. I added SOME character names to make the character more recognizable. The article this list is from is from the early 1970s, but is a history of the show. I think this is a fairly accurate “opening day” cast list, but so far after the fact there may well have been others especially non-contract players.

Denis, Paul. “The Story of CBS-TV’s The Guiding Light (Part 1 of 3).” Daytime TV. September 1974 Vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 15-22.

Bert Bauer (Charita Bauer)

Bill Bauer (Lyle Sudrow)

Kathy Roberts Lang Grant (Susan Douglas)

Joe Roberts (Herb Nelson)

Laura Grant (Alice Yourman)

Meta Bauer White Roberts Banning (June Allison)

“Papa” Frederick Bauer (Theo Goetz)

Richard Grant, Dr. (James Lipton)

The Positive Growth of the Manny Relationship Essay 17

June 12, 2019

Republisher’s Note: Republishing another one of the essays from the Rustle of the Sheets website. This one doesn’t seem to fit with a particular episode, but is in the timeline sometime right after the Angel of Mind dance.

From The Rustle of the Sheets.

Essay #17

“The Positive Growth of the Manny Relationship”

By Rhonda — posted on the Mannyac Board.

[As for] concerns about the Manny’s storyline. I think you’re suffering from spoiler overload, and it’s coloring your view and dimming your pleasure. I bet you’re so concerned about the possibility of Drew getting pregnant that you missed all the good, promising things that happened with Manny this week.

Just remember that none of the bad spoilers have turned out as bad as they sounded, not even Danny and Drew. For instance, the spoiler about Danny and Drew dealing with the consequences of their actions can’t be about Drew discovering she’s pregnant because it will have only been a day or so after the fact. Heck, one day may last all of next week.

So, relax, read the spoilers if you must, but think positive thoughts instead of negative ones. All of this is about bringing Manny together in a workable, passionate relationship while weaving them into the fabric of the show.

Manny’s story is as tightly knit as it was a week or even a month ago, in fact, I think the quality is improving. All this betrayal has freed Manny from their isolation, and has shaken their relationship and once the dust settles will allow some real growth in this area. Danny has a reason to interact with Drew, Jesse, and even Selena that doesn’t involve Michelle, and he is also developing a relationship with Rabby and will probably develop one with Meta as well. Now that Meta knows that Michelle cares for Danny, she will take as much of an interest in him as she did in Jesse.

Michelle is about ready to make a real commitment to Danny, and Danny will no longer be willing to settle for anything less (both good things in my opinion). Besides, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Michelle’s discovering that Danny sought sexual comfort from Drew will clarify, once and for all, her true feelings for Danny. I suspect that she and Danny will both be surprised by how intensely she reacts to that bit of news. Personally, I can’t wait … Michelle’s passionate nature has been struggling to get out, and I think this will be just the thing to set it free. Danny better watch out!



Don Stewart’s Life Story Epilogue

May 27, 2019

Concluding our article from Afternoon TV (see citation in the first post). We learn a little more about the wonderful Mike Bauer aka Don Stewart‘s life. Learn more in a roundup from his boyhood town of Norfolk, NE. Included is a couple of lines from Jerry verDorn (Ross Marler) and Tina Sloan (Lillian Raines).

Magazine Photos 11


While Don is a star of daytime television and a very successful nightclub entertainer, he is the first to admit that his career has not yet reached the heights on which he long ago set his sights. “I have had some very poor representation,” he says frankly when summing up his accomplishments thus far, “I haven’t been sent up on as many auditions as I’d have liked. Now I’ve changed things around a bit and a I’m hoping the situation will get better.”

“The big question is, what direction do you go? I’m doing nightclubs and I’ve got good nightclub management. But, because the money is so good in nightclubs, they don’t want me to continue as a an actor. But I don’t want to do only nightclubs. I want to do television and films; possibly host a TV variety show. It’s really a dilemma. You get to the point where you have to decide. But I hate to have to make a choice.”

Such a choice for a guy who loves all media of entertainment would indeed be hard to make. But, as I sat there in his studio dressing room, I couldn’t help thinking how exciting it must be for him to have reached such a point in his life. Back in Norfolk, when he was too shy to sing for his friends, the idea that he would one day be playing to packed nightclubs would surely have seemed incredible. And during his years in Hollywood, when he was struggling to get a foothold in the movie and nighttime TV industries, it never occurred to him that soap opera would become his own special “guiding light.”

Today he has achieved the kind of stardom he never even dreamed of, and now he’s reached the point where he has to start thinking about limiting himself to certain kinds of jobs. But whether he will actually set any such limitations is doubtful. Knowing Don, and having seen and heard him preform. I feel certain he is capable of doing everything!

Blog Editor Note: According a description on his IMDB page that says it was written by his daughter, he did marry a few years after this. He and Susan Tremble married and then divorced in 1993. They had two daughters, Heather-Michelle and Genevra.

Don Stewart’s Life Story Chapter 5

May 16, 2019

Continuing our article from Afternoon TV (see citation in the first post). We follow the wonderful Mike Bauer aka Don Stewart‘s life focusing on recent romance. I should mention I’m not exactly how much of this “I want a wife that stays home” stuff is really from Don. It was a major theme of all the soap opera magazines I’ve read from that time in – every – single – interview. So while it might just reflect the mindset of the times, I think it more than likely reflected what the magazines thought their buyers wanted to read. It could be that it fit that mold and be true. It could also be that the interview was hammered into shape to fit that mold. Apparently he married relatively soon after this interview, within a couple of years.

Chapter 5

A year ago, when I interviewed Don for the first time, the handsome bachelor confided that he was desperately looking for the right girl to marry and settle down with.

“I think marriage is great,” he said then, his brown eyes reflecting his sincerity. “But it’s difficult to meet people in my business – to meet the type of girl who is attuned to marriage. I think girls are programmed for marriage at an early age. But the girls are programmed for the type of life one has to accept as a wife.”

Since that interview, it has been rumored that Don has found the girl he’s been looking for and that he’s engaged to be married. However, when I sought to confirm the rumor that day in the actor’s CBS dressing room, he shock his head emphatically. “It’s not true,” he assured me. “I’m not engaged and I’m not getting married. I don’t know how that rumor got started. Everything I said to you the last time we talked still goes. I’m still looking for my future wife.”

He wants, understandably, a girl who is pretty. He’d also like the for her to have blue eyes, be lively and fun, and, while he definitely doesn’t want a Women’s Libber, he expects her to have a mind of her own. “I’d like a girl who is basically strong and knows where she is. I don’t like followers, either in men or women. I wouldn’t mind if my wife worked — I think it’s a good idea if a wife works. But her attitude would have to reflect the importance of being a wife.”

The latter remark does not mean he would expect her to be his slave. “I’m a male chauvinist, “he admits, adding with a smile, “I believe in ruling with an iron hand – covered with a velvet glove. I think,” he goes on more seriously, “women have always been the boss over men, and always will be. If a woman is feminine, she will always be the rulers. If not, she never will be.”

The girl who wins Don will have to have a liking for outdoor life, and will have to respect the love of flying that is still very much a part of his live. Don is a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserves, and once a month he flied jets out of Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Philadelphia.  “Currently, I’m flying the P-E Orian, which is an anti-submarine patrol plane.”

He and buddy, Nick Coster (Robert Delany of Another World) sold the boat they owned together, but Don still loves boating, as well as golf and skeet-shooting.

Don is close to his family and tries to make one or two trips a year out to Nebraska. His folks also make a point of catching his nightclub act whenever they can. “Dad and Mom were in Bermuda for a week when I was appearing at the Princess Hotel,” he says. “And my brother George and his wife came to see me at the Rainbow Grill.”

Don and George are partners on the ownership of an enterprise known as Ernie’s Feed and Field Service Store in Storm Lake, Iowa. The store, which George ruins, is very successful, supplying, as it does, farmers with much needed fertilizer, seeds said grains. (Don’s younger brother Jack is an ecologist for the Nebraska Power Company.)

Don also owns a farm in Minnesota where he grows corn, barley, and wheat, so even though he lives in sophisticated New York apartment, the country hasn’t been completely taken out of the boy.

What with being an entertainer, a businessman, a farmer, and a weekend pilot, Don’s life is incredibly busy. Too busy, one might suspect, for him to really concentrate on finding that wife he says he wants so much. However, Don insists that the bachelor life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and if his dream girl would only come along, he would manage to find plenty of time to devote to pursuing and winning her. “Being in love is very important to me,” he says earnestly. “I think I am more romantic than any girl I’ve known.”

It certainly seems a shame for all that romanticism to go to waste!

Magazine Photos 10

Don Stewart’s Life Story Chapter 4

May 15, 2019

Continuing our article from Afternoon TV (see citation in the first post). We follow the wonderful Mike Bauer aka Don Stewart‘s life starting with his early years on the show.

Magazine Photos 7

Chapter 4

“I never thought of the soap as a steeping stone,” Don says now, after five years on The Guiding Light. “I just thought of it as a job.”

Although he was replacing another actor in the role of Mike Bauer — a difficult task for anyone — he won favorable audience response right from the beginning. “All the mail I received was favorable,” he confirms happily.

Unaccustomed as he was to doing soap opera, however, he found those early days on the show something less than simple. “Even now I find learning a new script every day very difficult. So at the beginning, it was very hard to get adjusted to the hectic schedule of the show. It takes months to really get relaxed and feel easy in a part. You have to strive for relaxation with a script so the lines will seem real. I’d say that anyone who comes on a show like ours has a difficult time turning out a good performance in the beginning.”

Although The Guiding Light is done on tape, it is shot exactly as if it were living, making no excuses for the forgotten lines or mishaps with props. On David Frost’s Festival of Soap Opera, Don recalled one of his more embarrassing bloopers. “My assistant said ‘What’s the matter with Lynell Conway?’ and I was supposed to say, ‘Well, Peter, I think it’s fear. It’s fear that she may tell what she knows and has been sitting on all these months.’ And I forgot to say ‘what she knows.’ I said, ‘It’s fear that she may tell what she’s been sitting on!'”

Don describes Mike as “for right and honor and justice, and a good father, and a veteran.” On the Frost show he revealed that the Guiding Light writers pattern Mike after the character of F. Lee Bailey. “They have taken some of the things that F. Lee Bailey has talked about in his books and things like that. And then they write it into the script and I say, ‘This is the reason that I stand here and so forth, and this is the reason I cross-examine the way I do, and this is the way I staged it, and so forth.’ And this is out of F. Lee Bailey‘s books. They admire his work quite a bit.”

And Guiding Light audiences admire Don‘s work. His dark, almost Gothic good looks reap several marriage proposals among his fan mail every week. “It’s the kind of mail I like to get,” he says with a chuckle.

But, while Don is gratified by his success as Mike, being a soap opera star is the last thing he expected to happen. “I never thought I’d make it as an actor before making it as a singer,” he confesses. He has never stopped pursuing his singing career, and is currently enjoying a great deal of success as a nightclub headliner. He has appeared at such impressive spots as the Princess Hotel in Bermuda, Palumbo’s in Philadelphia, and the Rainbow Grill and the Maisonette in New York City. “People come to hear me because I’m Mike Bauer. Women come out in droves, and I’m very well-received.”

Once, during a performance at New York’s now defunct Living Room, Don took off his jacket and asked a pretty young lady sitting ringside to hold it for him. “Hold my coat and I’ll pick it up at your house later,” he said with a broad wink. “Of course,” he explains, “I was joking. But she went along with the joke to the extent that she walked out with the coat.” Happily, she returned it to the club the next day and gave up her souvenir.

More recently, Don was signing autographs after a performance at a club in New Jersey. “A little girl about 13 years old came up and asked for my autograph, and after I gave it to her, I kissed her on the cheek. She looked sort of dazed and she said, ‘Now I’m going to start biting my fingernails again!”

Don decided to go into nightclubs rather than continue trying to make it in Broadway musicals because, with the way theater is today, successful musicals are few and far between, and the ones that make it are usually written with a particular star in mind.

“I went up to audition for a show called, Sugar,” Don says by way of explaining his disillusionment with legitimate theater. “I auditioned four times. The director and writers told me how marvelous I was, and I was starting to think about how I was going to spend all the money I was going to make. At the third audition, I sang a song called ‘I Want To Be Happy,’ which started with the lyrics, ‘I’m a very ordinary man.’  The show is the musical version of Some Like It Hot and the two male stars dress as women. I decided to surprise everybody and go on stage for the audition dressed like a girl. I got a wig from CBS and I rolled my trouser legs up and put my coat on backwards so it looked like a dress. And I went out there dressed in this ridiculous outfit and sang ‘I’m an ordinary man.’ They loved it and called me back for the fourth time. Later, I found out that Tony Roberts had been promised the part of David Merrick months before. So instead of wasting my time going to auditions for parts that had already been cast, I decided to create a nightclub act. And I’ve made more money and gotten as much recognition in a single weekend as I would get in a week in a Broadway show.”

Don has had some help in the arranging of a few of his songs, but for the most part, the act is strictly his own. “I started taking a little of what everyone told me and I ended up writing my own act. So the act is completely mine. I received a lot of help from Earl Wilson and Julie Allen, his secretary. And my conductor is Sal Sicari, who was the conductor at the Copa Cabana.”

Since The Guiding Light takes up so much of Don’s time during the week, he usually has to limit his nightclub engagements to weekends. This is a little frustrating for him since he loves singing so much, but he’s much too loyal to The Guiding Light and his daytime fans to consider parting company with Mike Bauer at this point.

“The Guiding Light has helped to get an audience for me,” he says candidly. “This has been the real force and mainstay. So I don’t feel I should leave the show.”

Magazine Photos 8

Don Stewart’s Life Story Chapter 3

May 13, 2019

Continuing our article from Afternoon TV (see citation in the first post). We follow the wonderful Mike Bauer aka Don Stewart‘s life starting with his early years in show business.

Magazine Photos 5

Chapter 3

At first his life in New York considered mainly of attending the Hunter College Opera Workshop and singing in the choir at St. Bartholomew’s Church. Then he got a job singing in a quarter at Radio City Music Hall. “I did four shows a day,” he recalls. “I was really in the big time!”

He left Radio City after a month to join the chorus of the musical, Camelot. It meant doing only one show a night — plus Wednesday and Saturday matinees – but, after all, it was Broadway!

“At the audition, I sang an operatic aria because I didn’t know any other songs to sing. Franz Allers was the conductor, and he was a real stickler on musicianship. The chorus members were all top-notch classical musicians. It was because of my classical training that I got the job.”

While in the chorus, he understudied the role of Sir Lionel, and went on in the part a couple of times. Later, he became the understudy for Sir Dinadin and was second understudy for Mordred and Lancelot. He left the show for three months while he did summer stock, then returned to play Sir Dinadin and understudy Robert Goulet as Lancelot. Unfortunately – for Don, that is – Goulet was healthy and reliable, and Don never got the opportunity to sub for him.

After Camelot, he went into the off-Broadway hit, The Fantasticks, playing the role of El Gallo for three months. He returned to Broadway to do the lead in The Student Gypsy, which was a spoof on the old operetta days and also featured Dom De Luise, but the show was not a success and lasted only a month.

The closing of the show in which he had the lead was discouraging, but Don continued to study (by this time he was studying acting with Sandy Meisner) and he kept busy doing summer theater and off-Broadway shows like Babes in the Woods, in which he appeared with Ruth Buzzi. He also understudied the leading role in the Broadway show, Anyone Can Whistle.

If Don thought being a pilot was a hazardous occupation, he soon found out that things can happen in the theater that are just as unpredictable.

“Once,” he recalls with a smile, “I was playing in The Desert Song – sort of a camp version of it – and I had a deal where I was supposed to take off my sword and lay it on the bed with the frills and all the silk and all that sort of thing. So the first night, being a Method actor, I decided to play it straight, so I took it off and laid the sword on the bed with all those silk things on it. I’m supposed to say ‘Margo, come away with me,’ and of course that was the first night.”

“The second night I decided, being a Method actor, I’m going to try something a little different. Now, mind you, these beds are made out of plywood. I decided not to lay it down, but I was going to throw it down. So I said, “Margo, come away with me.” Crack. And it fell on the bed and the audience broke up because it wasn’t a soft bed at all. It was plywood, and the audience broke up and my leading lady broke up and I broke up. We were in a dead heat for five minutes. Couldn’t say a word.”

Despite such catastrophes – or possibly because of them — Don attracted the attention of Universal Studios and went to Hollywood with a contract in his pocket. The contract was for a year, and during that time he appeared on such TV shows as Dragnet, The Virginian, Loredo, and McHale’s Navy. (Blog Editor’s Note: I’ve got to try and find some of these episodes!) However, the studio lot was overflowing with handsome, young actor types, and Don felt he was “rather lost in the place.” When his contract expired, he stayed on in Hollywood for two more years. “I did a couple of movies,” he says, “but nothing really marvelous.”

“I liked the life in Hollywood — the tennis and the golf and the weather. But the business is a lot different than it is here. And you’re expected to go to so many parties. I don’t drink, so I didn’t go to many of them. But that’s all part of the scene out there, I guess.”

Don‘s career seemed to be in limbo until he was sent to audition for some Procter and Gamble people who were looking for someone to replace the actor who had been playing Michael Bauer on The Guiding Light. Although the show was shot in New York, they hadn’t been able to find the kind of Mike they were looking for there, so they had gone all the way to California to continue their search.

When they saw Don Stewart, they knew their search was over. The next thing our guy knew, he was heading back to New York. And television stardom was just around the corner.

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Don Stewart’s Life Story Chapter 1

May 9, 2019

Continuing our article from Afternoon TV (see citation in the first post). We follow the wonderful Mike Bauer aka Don Stewart‘s life starting with his boyhood in Nebraska.

Chapter 1

Childhood: “I fought a lot.”

Although he thinks of Norfolk, Nebraska, as his home town, Donald Bruce Stewart was actually born in Staten Island, New York, on a chilly November 14th. Dr. George Stewart and his wife Marian were already the parents of one son, George, and when Don came along, the arrival of a second healthy son was a real cause for celebration.

Perhaps if he had spent his childhood in the New York area, Don, with his big brown eyes and his shy smile lighting up his eager, little boy’s face, would have found his way into show business earlier. But his parents moved to Norfolk when he was four, and he grew up amid farm lands, fresh air, and wide open spaces.

When you ask him what kind of a kid he was, he’ll tell you that he fought a lot. “I remember we had a new kid on the block named George Kendall. I went up to him and said, “Tell me your name or I’ll beat you up.”

“He said, “better not, ’cause my Uncle Bruce is looking out the window.

“Actually, I didn’t want to beat him up anyway. I just didn’t know what else to say. How do you meet people when you’re a little kid? You don’t go up and introduce yourself.”

Don also fought with brother George, to his disadvantage. “I was the only kid on the block he’d beat up,” he says, shaking his head. “The others, he felt sorry for.” Fortunately, Don also had a younger brother, Jack, who was NOT able to beat him up.

Don‘s childhood ambition was to become a pilot (“I wanted them to lower the age requirement to seven years old during World War II so I could join the Air Force”) and, lucky for him, his father had his own private plane. Don began going up with him when he was fourteen. “I got my solo license when I was sixteen, and I got my pilot license when I was seventeen. We used to have fly-in breakfasts, when all the people who had planes around the countryside would fly to a particular airport for breakfast.”

Dr. Stewart was proud of his son’s competence in the cockpit, but he was not above administering discipline to the young pilot if he thought it was needed. “My parents were not terribly strict, but my dad was boss and we all knew it,” Don says. “I remember once I was out playing with George Kendall and my dad wanted me to do something. I said, ‘I’m busy.’ My dad said, ‘You’re going to do it or we’re going out to the woodshed.’ We had a woodshed out back, I said, ‘Oh, we’re going to cut some wood, huh?’ Well, I saw black. That was the last time I ever sassed him back.”

Don doesn’t remember exactly when he started singing, but he does remember he was too shy to let anyone hear his early efforts. “In junior high school, I remember thinking that I had a better voice than the other kids, but I wouldn’t sing for anyone to show them. Anyway nobody cared. Mostly, I’d sing in the shower when my parents were out. But sometimes, if my friend Jerry Moss, who played the piano, was at our place and the family was just sitting around, my brother would throw me a quarter to sing a song. In those days, a quarter was a lot of money. I’d sing just about anything for a quarter.”

Although he wouldn’t sing in public back then, he always seemed to have a flair for the show business, and a definite desire to take center stage. “When I was in second grade, we had a year-end talent show. I wouldn’t perform with the rest of the kids. I had to have my own spot. The teacher finally allowed me to get out and do my own act. She didn’t know what I was going to do– and neither did I! I got out there and I didn’t know what to do, so I told a story about the girl on the Morton Salt Box. I had seen the box in the kitchen that morning, and I decided to make up a story about the girl walking in the rain. I don’t remember what it was, but I walked back and forth across the stage and told it, and my mother said it was hilarious. It went over very well.”

When Don was twelve, his folks purchased a farm on the outskirts of town. He and his brothers had chores to do and like most farm boys, they were members of the 4-H club. “We each had a calf and a hog to take care of. I also had to fix barbed wire fences. I still have the scars to remind me of it!”

Don began noticing girls at an early age, but he was as shy around the pigtail-and-hair-ribbon set as he was about his singing. “In grade school,” he confesses with a reminiscent smile, “I was madly in love with a girl named Harriet Landers. I finally got up enough nerve to ask her to a Saturday movie, but I couldn’t go through with it. My brother and I had load some hogs that morning, and I used that as an excuse. But we finished early and I was able to go to the movie anyway. Harriet saw me there, and we never spoke to each other again.”

Then there was the psychiatrist’s daughter, who asked him to a dance. “I decided the night before that I didn’t want to go, but my mother insisted because she said it was too late to back out. I went but, knowing me, I probably acted surly and didn’t speak to her the whole time.”

“I was in love with the preacher’s daughter in junior high. She was the prettiest girl in school, and about the first girl I ever dated. Then I went away to St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin, and she was unfaithful! She started dating my best friend — and a few others. I was broken-hearted. And when you’re in military school, it’s not as if you can be untrue to somebody to get back at them.”

Don went to military school mainly because his brother had gone there. “I went to his graduation,” he explains, “and it was very glamorous. So I went, too.”

After his own graduation from the academy, he enrolled in Hastings College. And it was there that Don got over his fear of singing – and regained his faith in women.


Don Stewart’s Life Story Introduction

May 8, 2019
Top to Bottom: Ed - Bert - Mike Bauer

Top to Bottom: Ed – Bert – Mike Bauer

I’m sharing a biography of Don Stewart who played the incomparable Mike Bauer, Michelle’s uncle on The Guiding Light. Mike was not only a great character in his own right, he was a serious missing piece in the Manny story. If I ever finish my current fanfic, I’m going to write one that shows it. This article was originally published in novelette fashion in the January 1974 issue of Afternoon TV. I broke it up according to the sections it was published in. The show is referred to as both THE Guiding Light and Guiding Light, but they will drop the THE next year and popular use seems to be heading that way already.

Sherwood, Debbie. “Don Stewart’s Life Story.” Afternoon TV, vol. 6, no. 1, January 1974, pp.27-38

I met Don at the ancient CBS studio where The Guiding Light is shot. When he appeared, he kissed my hand , a courtly gesture which definitely got things off to a rousing start.

“Let’s go to my dressing room,” he said, steering me through a maze of narrow corridors. “We can talk there until I have to rehearse.”

I had been trying to interview this handsome daytime idol for several weeks, and each time we had set a date something came up and Don had to cancel.

“I’ve really been busy,” he admitted when I told him how happy I was finally pin him down. “I’ve had a heavy schedule on Guiding Light and I’ve had a lot nightclub bookings on weekends. Also, I just finished two weeks of appearances in The Roar of the Greasepaint in Poughkeepsie, New York, and I’m going to be doing Camelot in Fishkill soon.”

His dressing room is good-sized and brightly lit, with a long make-up table stretching across one wall and a long mirror hovering over it. On the table were strewn books, photographs, old scripts and shooting schedules, and a pile of envelopes that looked as if they contained fan mail. An open closet door revealed several suits that Dan wears on the show.

My host offered me a comfortable stuffed chair while he took the straight-backed, less comfortable one. Out in the corridor I could hear the voices of other Guiding Light stars greeting each other as they went in and out of their own dressing rooms. I recognized the voices of Melinda Fee (Charlotte Bauer) and Nanci Addison (Kit Vestid) and I caught a glimpse of Anthony Call (Joe Werner) when Don opened the door to a production assistant who wanted to explain some changes in the day’s script.

It was exciting, and glamorous in an unostentatious kind of way. The dressing rooms of daytime stars aren’t the opulent things you might expect to see if you were visiting a movie star on a Hollywood sound stage. Not even a star of Don‘s magnitude rates a luxurious spread complete wit plush, wall-to-wall carpeting, chaise lounge and built-in her. XXXXXXXXX But as rehearsals and run -throughs progress, and air time nears, the atmosphere – plan as it is – fairly crackles with anticipation.

Occasionally, during the course of our interview Don was called upstairs to the soundstage. But, like the pro he is, he always came back ready to resume our conversation where we left off. Each time he left I took I took advantage of the free time to look over the batch of pictures he had brought for me. It was delightful to see suave, handsome Don as a mischievous little boy…a gangling adolescent…a dashing Air Force pilot…an aspiring singer and actor. And as he, serious at times, chuckling at others, told me his life story, it was fascinating to visualize the path that took the Nebraska doctor’s son to singing and acting stardom.

This Young Man is From a Blood Simple Culture! Essay 16

May 6, 2019

Republisher’s Note: Republishing another one of the essays from Rustle of the Sheets. Tonight’s post takes us to the Angel of Mine dance. Check out the episode.

From The Rustle of the Sheets

Danny and Michelle Angel of Mine Dance

Essay #16

“This Young Man is From a Blood Simple Culture!”
(Written after the March 18th episode)

By BettyM — posted on the Mannyac Board.

Jen L. wrote … I suspect I’ll catch a lot of grief for this post, but Friday’s episode brought something into focus for me: Danny’s character is certainly complex. We all seem to agree that he is not all good or all bad, but much more realistic and three-dimensional than that. However, lately his “complexity” has become simple volatility … he flips from tenderness to rage on a dime.

Friday I was reminded of my own sometimes petulant 22-month-old son when Danny refused to even talk things out with Michelle and declared that he couldn’t even look at her right then. Give me a break! Adults don’t act this way — children do! That scene in particular seemed forced to me — Danny’s usually complex character was sacrificed (and made unidimensional), in my opinion, to advance the story line and give Danny an excuse for sleeping with Drew.

I hope that the writers realize this kind of emotion without more substantive motivation is not any more interesting than watching TWV try to drum up emotions he obviously doesn’t feel.

In response, BettyM had an interesting opposing point of view to offer …. No, you won’t catch grief, but I strongly disagree. It’s just my humble opinion, but you are making a mistake I think many fans do with Danny — ever since we’ve seen his ‘sweet’ side, some people see him as a normal guy who does normal leading man good guy stuff. He is not!

Danny is not Ozzie, and Michelle is not Harriet! This is a mafia prince who, I repeat, was trained to be and is in blood, steely, a trained killer, perhaps, and certainly ruthless; a passionate man, a man who has been raised in a volatile “blood-simple-don’t-tread-on-me” culture, a cobra taught to bite into the heel that stomps it. It ain’t pretty, but he isn’t Matt Reardon!

As he told Michelle, he put his ass on the line for her. His ass is still on the line for her, and I think many folks have forgotten that at this moment, he is expected to still take care of Michelle! Everyone keeps forgetting what Danny is, due to having seen his sweeter side, as though a man like Danny simply says, “oh gosh, honey bunch, next time you feel like turning me into the F.B.I., my feelings will be hurt, so buy me a tie, instead.”

I’m sure Danny resents even Michelle putting him on the spot, and in a situation where he not only almost messed up the people to whom he’s responsible; but has to now do something about her! Added to that, a large part of Danny’s anger was understandable passion and male ego, a sense that he wishes Michelle would look at him like Jesse, and her indications have been that she finds him unappealing, nay, recoil-worthy.

Some of his anger, was as he said, he knows she feels so contemptible of him, she didn’t care. He simply doesn’t trust her — all she’s done, for her understandable reasons, is lie, and that was why he said, on the dance floor, “don’t tell me you did it, because you love me, because I don’t know what I would do to you.”

See, he simply thinks she’s full of it, when it comes to him! He did not/does not/never did trust her feelings for him; Michelle, understandably uncertain, gave him every indication that she did find him recoil-worthy; so I understand where both [of them] are coming from.



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