Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Agnes Nixon Interview

July 14, 2019

Revisiting Agnes Nixon’s take on “Guiding Light.”

Glmanny's Blog

Read the full Agnes Nixon interview at the link below. I think the most interesting question is her take on the cancellation of Guiding Light and As the World Turns.

How did you feel about Guiding Light being canceled?
I was sad for them. This is going to sound puffed up maybe… but too many people think they’re writers and they’re not. There’s so many people who think it’s easy. The people I work with are so into character, into character building. I didn’t have time to watch Guiding Light. I knew some of the people there, who were very nice. I just thought it wasn’t necessary. If someone had a little more intelligence or understanding of the craft and the medium, it could have been saved.

In a separate interview in the Feb. 16, 2010 issue of Soap Opera Digest, Nixon talks about getting her first…

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The Story of CBS-TV’s The Guiding Light Part 1

July 3, 2019
Guiding Light Christmas Ornament

Guding Light Ornament

I’m working on filling in my collection. So far this is part 1 and part 2 is coming soon. Hopefully I’ll eventually be able to fill in all of it. Although they have some nice photos with the article, I haven’t scanned them because they are on a red background and so you can’t see them very cleary at all. There are a few errors in this that I have noted and that means there are probaby some I didn’t. However, I thought it was well worth sharing because clearly the author had interviewed people involved in the early TV years of the show and some of them back to radio days. These people have since passed on so to have these interviews recorded in part is a very unexpected treat.

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.

The Beginning

The Guiding Light, created and written by Irna Phillips, premiered in Chicago over NBC radio on Jan. 25, 1937. The story was about Rev. Ruthledge (played by Arthur Peterson), a kindly cleric who showed the people of Springfield how to live a better life.

The package was produced by Carl Wester and Co. and Wester and David Lesan were the producers.

In time, the Bauer family replaced the Ruthledge family as the core of the story. The Bauers consisted of Papa and Mama Bauer and their children Bill (or Willie), and Meta, and Trudy.

On June 30, 1952, Guiding Light went over CBS-TV, but the radio version continued for four more years. The story then centered around Bill and his wife Bertha, and their sons, Michael and Ed.

The Bauer family is still the center of the storytime. The character of Papa, a retired carpenter, was dropped when Theo Goetz died and it was decided not to replace him in early 1972. Michael, a leading criminal lawyer, has married Leslie. Ed Bauer, ex-husband of Leslie and father of Frederick, is chief of staff at Cedars Hospital. Bertha Bauer, the mother of Michael and Ed, is still part of their lives.

For a few years, Guiding Light was covering four generations: Papa, his daughter, her sons and their children. With Papa gone, it now covers three generations.

The Original Cast

[Blog Ed. Note: 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 married names to make the character more recognizable.]

The cast, when The Guiding Light (on radio) moved into TV on June 30, 1952, consisted of:

  • Bert Bauer (Charita Bauer)
  • Bill Bauer (Lyle Sudrow)
  • Kathy Grant (Susan Douglas)
  • Joe Roberts (Herb Nelson)
  • Laura Grant (Alice Yourman)
  • Meta Bauer Banning (June Allison)
  • “Papa” Frederick Bauer (Theo Goetz)
  • Richard Grant, Dr. (James Lipton)

From Radio to TV

When Guiding Light, after 16 years on network radio, switched to TV, the people behind the scenes were worried. Lucy Ferri, then associate producer, recalls that in 1952 “daytime serials on TV were barely a year old … and they had to prove themselves. Two had already failed. Only two others others seemed to be succeeding.”

She was worried “primarily about certain preconceived ideas which our radio audience might have formed about the characters on the show. With the show on radio, the audience could conceive whatever mental picture they desired of our key characters. But suppose the actors we cast for TV did not conform to their image?”

So, G.L. decided to go on TV while staying on radio – a technique called simulcasting. And it worked.

Also, G.L. decided not to make changes. The company which produced the radio version from 1947 until 1956 also introduced it to TV. Irna Phillips, who wrote the radio show, also wrote the TV version until 1958, when Agnes Nixon, who had worked for years with Miss Phillips, took over.

The Early Story

When Guiding Light began on TV in 1952, the story concerned Bill and Bertha Bauer, a young couple with two young boys (Michael and Billy, who was later renamed Ed). Papa Bauer, Bill’s father, looked on the bright side of life and represented continuity and wisdom in the family.

The boys, Michael and Ed, grew up to be an attorney and a doctor, respectively. Bill was subsequently declared dead when a plane he on was missing.

Meta, Bill’s sister, was falsely acused of murdering her husband. [Blog Ed. Note: This is not true. She killed her estranged husband, Ted White. She was found innocent by reason of temporary insanity which is NOT the same as innocent.] She later wed Dr. Bruce Banning.

The Bauers’ friends always included doctors, like Dr. Dick Grant and Dr. Paul Fletcher and Dr. Leslie Jackson (Blog Editor Note: This is another mistake I think they meant Dr. Stephen Jackson, his daughter Leslie was a nurse’s aide, not a doctor.) and their families.

Dr. Grant married Marie Wallace and they were important in the storyline from 1955 to 1962. Dr. Paul Fletcher married socialite Anne Benedict, but she was accidentally shot. Dr. Fletcher’s son by Anne, Johnny, grew up to become Dr. John Fletcher, resident surgeon at Cedars Hospital in Springfield, a mythical place near Los Angeles. [Blog Ed. Note: The Guiding Light was originally set in the fictional town of Five Points in the Midwest, they then moved to LA and Cedars Hospital was named after Cedar Sinai, a huge hospital in LA. They then moved to Springfield. While they suggested it was one of the many Springfields in the US, they were always cagey about which one for most of the run. Towards the end of the run P&G tied their soaps more closely together tying Springfield down as a fictional version of the one in Illinois if it wasn’t the state capitol.]

John Fletcher married Peggy Scott Dillman, following the death of her gangster husband, Marty. Paul then went away in Washington. Robin Holden died. John left town to recover from mental collapse.

Charita Bauer

Charita Bauer replaced Ann Shepherd on the radio version of Guiding Light in 1950 and continued with the serial when it went on TV in 1952. And she stayed on when the radio version was dropped in 1956.

She has been on a daytime serial longer than any other actress, and she maybe the only actress on daytime whose real surname and character name are the same. “The similarity is mere coincidence,” says Charita. “Bertha Bauer was on the program before I was.”

When she was given a son in the storyline, she suggested the lad be named Michael, after her real son, Michael. [Blog Ed. Note: This caused confusion later when people were convinced she’d named her real son after her TV one. She sounds irritated over it.] Of course, this brought up a problem. Her son became jealous that his mother had another son on the TV set. One day, shopping in a department store she met her TV Michael, Glenn Walken, with his mother. And so Charita introduced her son, Michael Crawford, 4, to Glenn Walken, 4. The little boys shook hands, and later Michael asked his mother, “Momma, whom do you love better – the real Michael or that make-believe Michael?”

Charita says, “I’ve never forgotten his question! Of course, in time, Michael and Glenn became good friends,” Today her Michael is a young man who recently got his college degree, and Glenn is a fine actor making a reputation in repertory and Shakespearean roles.

Charita says she is happy playing Bertha. The storyline provides her with enough challenge to feel she is not in a rut. And she is grateful that she is recognized whever she goes, “I’ve been recognized in London, Italy, Philadelphia and Ireland … everywhere!”

She enjoys talking about “old times,” with Ellen Demming (who goes almost as far back as Charita on Guiding Light) and with producer Lucy Rittenberg, and with Flossie Richards, former actress who’s been wardrobe mistress with Guiding LIght since it went on TV.

She adored Theo Goetz, who had joined Guiding Light six months before she had, and was very broken up by his death in December of 1972.

She recalls that she had been a child actress (radio, stage, and TV) before joining Guiding Light and that she had worried about limiting her career by going on TGL. But her father, “Try it… it’s only for two years.” And she did … and is still on the show, of course.

Theo Goetz

When Theo Goetz read for the role of Papa Bauer in 1947, he was told, “You are the 10th person to try this.”

Theo felt sad to think “how much harder it is here to be an actor. In Austria, where I came from, the theatre is subsidized.”

He had come over, a refugee from the Nazi invasion, in 1940 when he was 45. At age 52, he became Papa Bauer and remained so until he died on Dec. 29, 1972 at the age of 78.

He was so strongly identified as Papa Bauer during his 26 years in the role that Guiding Light quickly decided not to try to replace him.

He had often said that he enjoyed doing his role and that “there is a lot of artistry in doing a serial, and much more difficult than being a stage actor.” Doing TV was much more difficult than doing radio. “On radio, you had a script in front of you, there was nothing to learn.” Having done the radio version for five years before Guiding Light added a TV version, Goetz knew the difference between radio and TV acting.

His widow, Rhea, says he did enjoy playing Papa and being recognized on the street, “although he never could overcome his extreme self doubt.” She adds, “He really WAS somebody, although he never really believed it.”

He was constantly amazed when people asked advice “on everything from bringing up children to how to treat their husband. He was always surprised when total strangers told him their innermost secrets and asking his advice.” “I have become a father image,” he conceded.

The impact of his character in the story was vividly displayed in 1957 (after Theo had been on Guiding Light radio and TV for several years) when Theo was 65. One day a voice announced over the rolling of the credits, that, “Tomorrow is Papa Bauer’s birthday….It might be a good idea to congratulate him personally.” And the voice gave a mail address. More than 39,000 letters poured in.

Irna Phillips

The legendary Irna Phillips, who wrote and created radio and TV daytime serials some 40 years until she passed away on December 23, 1973, created The Guiding Light.

In premeired on radio, from Chicago, in 1938 and was running strong in 1952 when the sponosrs, Proctor and Gamble, decided to also put it on TV. Other radio serials had tried to make the transition from radio to TV, but Guiding Light is still the only successful from-radio-to-TV-serial.

Guiding Light was one of 21 radio and TV serials Miss Phillips created, but it was also the one she cared for most deeply. She was a talker-writer who dictated the script and who could turn out a half-hour script (2,000 words) in an hour and a half.

She once said that every show she wrote was based on “the importance of the family,” and that she knew the family was not as popular as before but she hoped it would return “as a life style.”

In 1965, she explained in a magazine article that marriage was “the basic storyline of every daytime serial, and a blueprint of every woman’s life.” She added, “Each day brings a new installment in our private soap opera … and who can resist tuning in tomorrow to find out what will happen next?”

She left her stamp of genius on Guiding Light, and the writers of the show who came after her have continue to emphasize family relationships.

Guiding Light, in its 36th year of continuing radio-TV existence, is more than a compelling story running forever: it’s a memorial to its creator, Irna Phillips.

Lynne Rogers and James Lipton

Two of the more memorable actors on Guiding Light were Lynne Rogers, who joined as an artist, Marie Wallace, and James Lipton, who played Dr. Richard Grant in the original cast. [Blog Ed. Note: I’m fairly confident they mean original TV cast, but the article doesn’t specifiy.]

Lynne joined GL in January of 1955 and stayed until 1965. She had been on other serials (Road of Life, My True Story) but GL was her longest-running an entertainment tour service called Command Performance, at 54 Riverside Drive, New York,NY 10024.

Lipton played a doctor who married Kathy (portrayed by Susan Douglas), who was pregnant by another man. When Dr. Grant found out, he had the marriage annulled. Dr. Grant knowing that Dr. Jim Kelly had proposed to Kathy, and been refused, “froze” during an operation. He was in such turmoil that he ran away to New York and sought refuge in a boarding house run by Mrs. Laurie (played by Lois Wilson).

Marie Wallace (not to be confused by the actress of the same name) was in the boarding house and when Dr. Grant  became ill and was hospitalized, she befriended him. With Marie’s help, he became rehabilitated, Marie and Dr. Grant married and went back to his old hospital and he resumed as a surgeon. Marie then got a job in the art gallery, but was unhappy because she and Dr. Grant couldn’t have a child. One Christmas, the storyline sent them off to a medical convention to Switzerland and they were never brought back.

When Lipton left GL he got away from acting and became a writer. He wrote a much-acclaimed book, An Exhalations of Larks and a couple of Broadway musicals, Sherry and There’s No Way to Go But Up. He became executive producer of the serial The Best of Everything, in 1969, and later was writer of Return to Peyton Place. He’s also written for Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, Another World, and The Doctors.

The Meta Role

Jane Allison, of the original cast, portrayed Meta until December of 1952, when Ellen Demming succeeded her.

Meta, daughter of the late Papa Bauer and sister-in-law of Bertha Bauer, is still an active character in the serial, although in recent years she has not been called in too regularly.

Ellen recalls her very first day on Guiding Light, “There was Lyle Sudrow, Theo Goetz, Charita Bauer, Ed Begley (playing a minister) [Blog Ed. Note: This is the father of actor and environmental activist Ed Begley, Jr.], Susan Douglas, and Herb Nelson. We were doing the TV show live out of Leiderkranz Hall in the morning, then hurrying over to the CBS radio studio five blocks away to record at 3:30pm the radio version schedule to be aired the following day. It was quite hectic!”

The CBS serials were then 15 minutes and live. “We did the TV show at 12:45 live, and it did not seem as if we had much rehearsal time,” she remembers. “Now we have a lunch hour. We used to do our own hair, now the studio gives us a hairdresser. We had to wear our own clothes then, now the studio supplies the clothes. We have more time for rehearsal now; the studios are bigger; the lighting is better; everything is smoother!”

On the show, Meta’s first husband was Ted White, who had been married to June Allison as Meta. Then Herb Nelson became Joe Roberts, her husband, and he died of cancer on Chrsitmas Eve 1959, Meta then married Bruce Banning (played by Barnard Hughes and later by Sydney Walker).

Before Ellen Demming played Meta, Meta had had a little boy … and her husband was trying to make a boxer out of the boy, the boy was killed. Meta then killed her husband, and there was a trial. Reporter Joe Roberts (played by Herb Nelson) covered the trial. By the time Ellen became Meta, she was married to Joe Roberts and Susan Douglas was playing her stepdaughter, Kathy.

Once Ellen fell down at home and broke her leg. The next day Irene Champlin was playing her role. Three weeks later, Ellen returned (on crutches) and did her scenes seated until she was able to walk again.

Susan Douglas As Kathy Holden

When Susan Douglas, as Kathy, was “killed off” in 1958, the show received an enormous amount of protest mail. Susan, part of the original cast, was an important character in the story for six years and her daughter (played by Gillian Spencer) had become a focal point in the plot.

Guiding Light, responding to the protests, sent out this form letter:

“We are indeed interested in any comment you may have regarding the progress of The Guiding Light. You have recently questioned the death of Kathy Holden and we believe there is no one more qualified to answer your question that the writer: ‘We would be most unrealist if we failed to recognize that as there is birth there is also death, as there is happiness there is also sorrow. We would be most unrealistic, lacking in intergrity and honesty if we did not fulfill what we believe is our obigation to you, the viewer.’

” ‘ You have only to look around you, read your daily papers, to realize that we cannot, any of us, live with life alone. There are times when we must face the loss of a loved one. Illness, accidents, tragedy, death, exisst side by side with the wonderful experience of living – love, marriage, family, birth.'”

” ‘ We hope you will continue to watch The Guiding Light that you may see reflected the wonder moments there are in living as well as the tragic.’ “

Bernard Grant

In May, 1956, Bernard Grant and Joan Gray joined as Paul and Anne Fletcher, and later John Boruff and Kay Campbell, were brought in as Anne’s parents, Henry and Helene Benedict.

Dr. Paul Fletcher, the illegitamate son of nurse Marion Winters, fought to hide his shameful origin. Even Dr. Dick Grant and his wife, Marie, his best friends, believed him to be an orphan. Marion tried to help her son, but he fled. Then he returned to pull socialite Anne Bendeict through amedical crisis. Andin time they married.

But she was accidentally shot, and Paul became a widower. He fell in love with Robin Holden, an immature young woman whose marriage to Michael Bauer had been annulled. [Blog Ed. Note: They had eloped and, for reasons I honestly don’t understand, that made it objectional and easily annulled. I wasn’t around then, but apparently this was true at the time at least in general soap opera culture.]

Grant‘s character remained big in the storyline until September 1970, when he was written out. Two months later, he joined One Life to Live in the role of Steven Burke.

Grant recalls he had five wives on Guiding Light (including Joan Gray, Liz Hubbard, Gillian Spencer), and was involved in two murder trials. “Lots of excitement,” he says.

The Michael Bauer Role

Michael Bauer, the elder of Bertha’s two sons, has been a key role since early 1952, when Guiding Light was still only a radio show.

When GL shifted to TV, Michael’s grandmother, Elsie, had moved in with the Bauer and favored Michael’s younger brother, Bill (later renamed Ed). [Blog Ed. Note: Honestly this must mean that Elsie was an idiot because despite fathering two incredible children, Rick and Michelle, Ed was always a twit and Michael was always awesomesauce. — Also judging by the few radio episodes I have been able to find, Elsie is the one who was always pushing Bert to expect a House Beautiful lifestyle, which lead her to push Bill, which helped lead to his collapse. Like Ed, Bill’s big accomplishment was to have two amazing kids.] An artist, Marie Wallace, who had met Dr. Dick Grant in New York after his disappearence, befriended Michael. Then Michael ran away from school, and his idol (a basketball star named Jock Baker) joined in the search. Michael was found and social welfare was called in, in 1956. (Glenn Walker played the troubled Michael.)

When Michael became a grown up, he was played by Michael Allen, Paul Prokop, Gary Pillar, Robert Pickering, and by Don Stewart since December of 1968.

Stewart has undoubtedly become the most popular actor playing this role. He has been in the top 10 of Daytime TV Reader’s Poll consistently since the poll started in 1969. Because of his numberous appearences as a singer in cafes and concerts, and as a personality on telethons and civic events, Stewart is easily one of the best known daytime personalities in the nation today.

“People who watch soap operas are the most loyal fans in TV,” says Don. “When I play night clubs, they show up in droves to see me.” He also says Guidng Light “has stayed family oritented. Other serials have changed and gotten into controversal themes, but not Guiding Light.” [Blog Ed. Note: What Stewart is referring to is the transformation of soap operas from the era of family focus to the era of super couples which would soon also infect Guiding Light. Writing has shifted again from writing for super couples to writing permenant triangles. He could also be talking about the social issue storylines that featured highly in the publicity over on All My Children and One Life to Live, although they also were falling into the supercouples format.]

Meeting Emergencies

During Guiding Light‘s 18 years on TV, there have been times when actors phone in to say they’re just too sick to come to the studio and do their show. “We rewrite the script in the studio. Then we try to reach another actor and write a different kind of scene.”

“Of course, in addition to having a fast-learning cast, you must have a sharp director to handle these emergencies.”

She can recall one time when Guiding Light couldn’t go on, and CBS substituted a news program. Actor Phil Sterling (as George Hayes) had to go out of town to do a play, so the show had pre-taped two months ahead. But the night before the telecast, CBS called the producer to say the tape had been lost. It was too late to put a new show together.

Another time, the first rehearsal revealed that the script was five minute short. The Robert Soderbergs, who had been writing the show from their home in Santa Barbara, California, were phoned and told of the problem. Within minutes, the Soderbergs phoned in enough new dialgoue to fill the five-minute gap. The cast quickly learned the line, and the show ent into taping without a hitch.


Guiding Light began as  15-minute TV serial, black and white. It expanded to a half hour in the Fall of 1968. It went to color on March 13, 1967, the same time as Search for Tomorrow.

This serial was originally telecast live out of the converted Liedercranz Hall in midtown New York when As the World Turns, Love of Life, and The Secret Storm were also airing from the same building. When CBS opened its huge Broadcast Center on W. 57th St. Guiding Light used the studio and a few years ago it moved to space rented in the Hi Brown studio in downtown New York.

The Leslie Role

Lynne Adams created the role of Leslie, daughter of Dr. Stephen Jackson and Victoria Ballinger, in 1967. It was Lynne‘s first TV role, and it was sort of in the family tradition: her father, Robert K. Adams and her mother, the former Rosiland Gould, had both played on the radio version of Guiding Light in Chicago.

When Lynne left the show in 1971 to live in Spain, Kathryn Hays replaced her while the show continue to look for a permenant replacement. Betty Rea, casting direct, interviewed 250 actresses and narrowed it down to 78 actresses for producer Lucy Rittenberg and Proctor and Gamble to choose from. Barbara Rodell was chosen and stayed until Lynne Adams returned in 1973.

Lynne says she’s surprised she ever got the role. “Betty Rea saw 1,000 girls and read about 500, and I read four or five times. At first I was considered too young for the role, but they changed their minds and took me.”

On the show Leslie married Dr. Ed Bauer (played by Bob Gentry and Mart Hulswit), and later married Stanley Norris (played by William Smithers). [Blog Ed. Note: Stanley Norris is Holly Norris Bauer Thorpe…et al’s father. She will later be accused of his murder. Leslie’s most important role in the years after her death – she was hit by a car – was that she’s Rick’s mother. I can’t believe they didn’t mention that here. Rick was around, if called Freddie, he was at Papa Bauer’s funeral.] Then she married Michael Bauer (played by Don Stewart).

The Music

The theme music for Guiding Light was, for years, variations on “Wieniaswki’s Romance.” Burt Buhrman was musical director until 1964 when John Gart took over. In August of 1968, Charles Paul became musical director, and the Hammond organ was replaced by a Conn organ. The theme music then became “La Lumiere” by Charles Paul.

Fat Captions

[Blog Ed. Note: In addition to the text there are fat captions under a series of photos. Although I didn’t think they were worth scanning in – while some of them are cool they were all printed on a light red which makes them very strange looking and they are newsprint quality – I wanted to include the information under them. This is not a separate section. I’m just adding them all here.]

1952: One of the earliest scenes on Guiding Light had, from left, Herb Nelson, June Allison, Susan Douglas, and Lyle Sudrow in a confrontation. Nelson and Sudrow subsequently moved to Hollywood and are active there, but Susan Douglas, accompanied her husband, orchestra conductor Jan Rubes, to Toronto in 1959 with their 3 sons.

1952: Anne Marie Geyer, left, seems anguished in this dramatic moment, June Allison, a member of the original cast as Meta Banning, was later succeeded by Ellen Dumming. June subsequently portrayed Claire Cassen on As the World Turns during 1964.

1952: From left, June Allison, Herb Nelson and Tarry Green in a quiet home scene. In recent years, Nelson toured in stage dramas and in 1972 played Phil Peters on Days of Our Lives. He’s married to Joan DeWeese and they have three children (Dawn, Ericka, DeWitt) now in their 20s and on their own.

1953: Charita Bauer and her husband in the story Bill, played by Lyle Sudrow. Charita is now the longest-running actress on any serial (24 years), and Lyle is living in the Hollywood area.

1953: Herb Nelson was married to Ellen Demming (as Meta) in the story. Susan Douglass, left, played Kathy, with Tarry Green playing her son. Nelson played Joe Roberts, a reporter who covered the murder trial of Meta and then fell in love with her.

1954: Glenn Walken, as the child Michael Bauer, and his parents in the story, Charita Bauer and Lyle Sudrow. Glenn later played Kippie on World of Mr. Sweeney, and recently has been in the movies.

1955: James Lipton (as Dr. Richard Grant) and Susan Douglas (as his wife Kathy) played a tender love story until she was “killed off” in 1958. Lipton wasn’t “written out” until 1962.

1955: Herb Nelson and Ellen Demming were key characters in the story: after Herb left, Ellen remained as Bert Bauer’s sister-in-law. “I’m party of the Bauer family continuity,” she explains.

1955: Ruth Warrick played Nurse Janet when Susan Douglas was a hospital patient. Ruth didnt’ leave GL until she became pregnant with her son, Tim.

1955: Nurse Janet (played by Ruth Warrick) and Dr. Grant (James Lipton) had many dramatic scenes. Ruth had just returned to NY from years in Hollywood.

1956: From left, Charita Bauer, Lyle Sudrow, Les Damon, Ellen Demming, and Theo Goetz in a Bauer Family discussion. Damon went on to As the World Turns and Jim Lowell and died from a heart attack at 48, in 1960.

1957: From left, at this party scene, were Lyle Sudrow, Lynne Rogers, Jane Ward, James Lipton, Theo Goetz with his arm around Glenn Walken, Herb Nelson, Ellen Demmings, Charita Bauer, and Ethel Ramsey. The small lad up front is not identified.

1957: From left, the front row, were Erwin Nicholson, stage manager; director Jack Wood, James Lipton, Joan Gray, director Peter Andrews, Lynne Rogers, set director Bob Elwell, Back row, from left, were Hugh Gibson, Kay Campbell, Lynn Pierson, Zina Bethune, Whit Connor, Bernard Grant, Theo Grant, Charita Bauer, wardrobe chief Flossie Richards, who is still with the show. Nicholson is now producer of The Edge of Night. Andrews produces How to Survive a Marriage.

1957: Zima Bethune played a rebellious child in this scene with Whit Connor (as Mark Holden) and Susan Douglas. Conner, still an active actor, is also producer at Elitch Gardens, Denver, CO.

1958: Susan Douglas, playing Kathy Holden, drew enormous protest mail when she was “killed off.” The show had to send out a form letter to explain why death was a must in plot.

1958: Zina Bethune, Whit Connor, and this actress who cannot be identified were vital to the story of family relationships. The problems of a growing child have always been important in Guiding Light created and written by Irna Phillips, who said her stories were always based on “the importance of family.”

1959: John Boruff, as Henry Benedict, portrayed a key character, and later became head writer Agnes Nixon‘s assistant. He’s been a busy playwright the past few years, working in New York.

1959: Theo Goetz, as the patriarch Papa Bauer, had sentimental scenes with daughter Bert (Charita Bauer) and daughter-in-law Meta (Ellen Demming), Goetz, playing his role since 1947, when he was 52, had become a national “father figure” and was constantly swamped with requests for advice. A refugee from Vienna, he was humble and grateful.

1959: Lynne Rogers played Marie Wallace, later married to Dr. Grant, from 1952 until 1962, her longest running role on a serial. She was sent off to Switzerland with her husband in the story and never brought back.

1960: Joe Campanella stayed on GL until 1962, then moved out to Hollywood to star in other series and movies. Barbara Becker came out of radio serials to GL in the role of Doris Crandall, and is now living in the Midwest with her son, Bryden.

1960: Ellen Demming and Theo Goetz were for years stalwarts in the Bauer family story. Ellen is still in the plot intermittenly and Goetz died Dec. 29, 1972 at age 78.


Cornfield in June

June 23, 2019

Remembering back to the first year of my blog.

Glmanny's Blog

Instead of new chapter of Manny fanfic tonight, I decided to take the second post position as a call out to the set designers, producers, prop

Cornfield for June Cornfield in June

people, heck, everybody behind the scenes at The Young and Restless. THIS is what a cornfield looks like in June. Note the corn plants are about 2 feet high. Modern hybrids beat the old saw about “knee high by the 4th of July,” but NOT by THAT much. There are no Halloween looking 6 ft. tall corn plants and that shaking noise from the scene was definitely plastic. Also, you only need to cropdust in HUGE fields. Wisconsin fields as a rule aren’t that big and most people are more likely to precision GPS applications anymore rather than crop dust around here anyway. Oh, and since Springfield 😉 is farther south than Geona City, fields in Minnesota or Wisconsin should…

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GL Trivia Part 3

June 9, 2019

Revisiting some trivia questions.

Glmanny's Blog

I’ve gotten good feedback on the set of trivia questions I posted earlier so I decided to try some of my own. This is my second batch. The answer “None of the above” means the statement in the question doesn’t match any of the answers given (e.g. chose this option if you believe all three couples listed DID get married at the Bauer BBQ, etc.). Answers are at the end, but don’t peek!

1. Which much younger woman NEVER slept with one of Alexandra Spaulding’s then husbands?

a. Marina Cooper

b. Mindy Lewis

c. Lizzie Spaulding

d. None of the above

2. After true love Jenna Bradshaw Cooper was senselessly killed, which of the following women did Buzz Cooper NEVER date?

a. Alexandra Spaulding

b. Selena Davis

c. Holly Thorpe

d. None of the above

3. Which of the following people NEVER had sex with each other at the lighthouse?

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Don Stewart’s Life Story Chapter 2

May 10, 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 college years and his time in the Air Force.

Magazine Article 3

Chapter 2

College and Air Force: “I was the best singer of all the pilots I knew.”

Being a doctor’s son, it seemed natural for Don to major in pre-med when he entered Hastings College. But his talent for singing became apparent almost immediately, and his faculty adviser heartily urged him to major in music instead. So, though he knew his father would be at least a little disappointed, he made the switch, minoring in math, which he knew he would need for the flying he still intended to do.

Don made quite a name for himself as a singer in college: although at first his shyness made performing something of a traumatic experience. “The first time I sang,” he recalls, “I told my dad I had a cold. He took me down to his office and sprayed my throat. I’m sure he knew it was psychological. After that, I’d get a dry throat before I sang and have to have a couple of cough drops. Cough drops have always been my psychological crutch.”

During his sophomore year he became the only sophomore ever asked to appear in a junior concert. Also in the concert was a girl- a junior- named Greta Hirsch with whom Don fell deeply in love. “We were engaged and were going to get married,” he reveals. “But I went into the Air Force. She was faithful to me for two years while I was gone. Then we decided it was either time to get married or break our engagement. I couldn’t bring myself to get married right off, so we broke up.”

Don quit college after two years to join the Air Force because he simply couldn’t wait any long to fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot. He did, however, continue his education while in the service by enrolling in a Florida State extension course.

He got his pilot training in places like San Antonio, Texas; Reno, Nevada; and Wichita, Kansas; then went overseas, where he was stationed in Morocco, England, Spain, and Germany. He flew his plane in good weather or bad, was forced, on occasion, to make crash landings; sometimes even forced to bail out. “I’ve had different problems here and there, ” he admits frankly. “But I’ve managed to live through them.”

“It’s fun to fly jets,” he goes on. “And, of course, there’s also the element of responsibility. You’re responsible for a million-dollar airplane. And, because it’s unforgiving of carelessness and neglect, you feel there’s a challenge you have to beat. Totally. In other words, if you fly and run into weather, there’s no compromise to be made. You’re already in the airplane, you’re flying it, and you have to get through there. If you do, it means that you have the discipline and the training to make it. If you don’t you’re gone. It’s a very black and white type of challenge.”

“You can partially fall in the theater, you can partially fail as a car driver, you can partially fail as a businessman, but you don’t partially fail when you’re up against bad weather or emergency conditions in an airplane. You just don’t do that. Then it becomes a total success by getting through it. It’s this challenge of knowing that I have the discipline to face and to beat this thing that’s exciting.”

When Don joined the Air Force he fully intended to make it his career. However, there were times when he was not up in the air meeting those challenges he found so exciting. Much of the time he was down on the ground, and he used that time to further develop his interest in singing. “Even in the Air Force I did concert work and sang in churches. People were always encouraging me to go into singing.”

While in the Air Force, he met a fellow named Richard Anderson, who was also considering a singing career. Finally, Anderson left the service and moved to New York, and at one point Don visited him there.

“I went to see Eleanor McLellan, who was Eileen Farrell‘s teacher, and she suggested I get out of the Air Force and become an opera singer. She thought I had a great opera career in store for me. Little did she know it would turn out to be soap opera!”

Don thought about it and decided to take the great teacher’s advice. “I knew I would hate myself if I didn’t try,” he says today, adding with a wink, “after all, I was the best singer of all the pilots I knew.”

So, after five-and-a-half years of living with danger on a day-to-day basis, the rugged, singing pilot turned in his uniform and headed for a brand-new kind of challenge. The challenge of making it in show business.

2nd WSPR News Story

May 5, 2019

Check out one of our WSPR news stories.

Glmanny's Blog

Here’s the second in my series of news stories from the WSPR archive. Tonight’s is about when Beth Raines Spaulding was struck by the car driven by a Spaulding employee.

See the scenes it refers to here:

Note the employee was making himself look better. Her coat is not black. The clip originally aired Jan. 31, 1998. I also created a new playlist to for the clips the news stories will reference.

See the first WSPR story here:

And watch for more upcoming stories as they are brought out from the archive.

UPDATED May 4 2019: I added my signature block and double checked links.

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…

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Fireplaces of Springfield

April 21, 2019

Have you thought about the fireplaces of Springfield?

Glmanny's Blog

Room with fireplace and Michelle sitting on Danny's lap Fireplace in Bauer Living Room

One of the strange things I noticed watching a lot of Guiding Light back to back is that from at least the early 1990s on every single house had at least one fireplace. The Spaulding Mansion had several. The Bauer House had one in the living room. The Jessup Farmhouse and the Bloss Carriage House both had ones people got shot in front of. The Bauer cabin had one. Even Dinah’s penthouse had one. Once I thought A HA! the Jezz firehouse doesn’t have one and then I saw a scene of the Jezz bedroom upstairs and there it was — a fireplace.

Can you think of a house in Springfield pre-move to Peapack that didn’t have a fireplace? (Hotels don’t count.)

UPDATED April 20 2019: I added a screen capture of the living room and my current signature block.

Robansuefarm is the handle of…

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Charita Bauer 60th Anniversary Tribute

March 10, 2019

Everyone loves Charita.

Glmanny's Blog

Bert and her husband Bill Bauer

Ask most fans and the first Bauer that comes to mind is Bert Bauer played by actress Charita Bauer for 35 years. Bert simply was the Guiding Light of the show, especially after Papa Fredrich Bauer’s passing. For Manny fans, Michelle’s unused first name was Bertha after Bert and Robbie’s name was also in honor of Bert because Michelle said Robbie had Bert’s eyes.

The Power of the Bauer by Adam Kelley

Kelley, Adam. “The Power of the Bauer.” Soap Opera Digest 28 January 1997 p.28

To millions of fans, Charita Bauer (Bert Bauer) was the heart and soul of Guiding Light. “She was wonderful,” says Robert Newman. “I still miss her very much. She was no-nonsense, a real straight shooter, with no ego at all. And she brought such a sense of honor and history to the show.”

She sure did.

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Soap Opera Jargon Voice Overs

March 9, 2019

Updating a soap opera jargon term – voice overs.

Glmanny's Blog

Every Friday night I try to post another term of Soap Opera Jargon. I haven’t gotten in done much lately, but hope springs eternal. Find more on the soap opera jargon page.

Voice Overs – A voice over lets you inside a character’s head to hear their thoughts. It used to be used more heavily. It gives you a chance to hear why a character is doing what they are saying and can show a difference between their actions and their words. Sometimes they are used just to give a character a chance to say “if you only knew.” An alternative way to do this is a soliloquy. Below is a link to a scene that has dueling voiceovers from Phillip Spaulding and Harley Cooper to show what an effective device it can be. Their scene starts at 5:20 into the clip.

UPDATED March 8 2019: I added my…

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The Lighthouse Princess: A Manny Fairytale by Robansuefarm

March 3, 2019

Flashing back to a favorite fanfic.

Glmanny's Blog

The Lighthouse Princess by Robansuefarm

Author’s Note: In putting together my Manny Story Index, one of the most surprising things to me was the fairytale category. Having enjoyed a couple of them, I decided to try my hand at one myself. I tried to decide what was the best not previously done fairytale for them and sat on a bucket and thought and thought. Finally, I remembered The Light Princess by George MacDonald. I hope you enjoy this Manny parody version, but please read the original. I should also explain that I wanted to include Rick as the doctor in this story, but as that would make several plot points more difficult, I de-Bauerized him. I’m going to call him just Dr. Rick, but yes, that is supposed to be our Dr. Rick Bauer. The old nurse is Dr. Claire Ramsey. I also appropriated one of my favorite lines from…

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