• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 30, 1952
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 71, 72
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Summary: The late soap journalist Christopher Schemering once wrote that soap operas are not just dramas; "they're little pockets of American history." So it's only fitting to consider that at one time, "The Guiding Light,"-the longest running program in broadcast history, spanning 71 years-- brought fifteen-minute bits of escapism to war-weary housewives, as their men trudged off to fight the indignities of WWII. It brought social awareness to a nation that began to think about the big picture beyond their picket fences and suburban streets. Soap opera is a truly dynamic genre that reflects life as it is lived, the quintessential American art form. Although berated and belittled, the soap opera has an illustrious lineage, with no less than the books of Charles Dickins as an inspiration. Created by the legendary, if not iron-fisted Irna Phillips, "The Guiding Light" began its life on January 25, 1937. Originally, the show focused on the Chicagoan suburb of Five Points, a bustling enclave of German-Jewish immigrants hoping to find their own piece of the American dream. Giving them the hope and inspiration they needed was a kindly minister named Reverend John Ruthledge (voiced by Arthur Peterson of "Soap" fame). The Reverend's sermons of hope and forgiveness made such an impression that a bestselling book was published of his most popular homilies. The Reverend's message could be summed up by his favorite mantra from Edwin Markum "There is a destiny that makes us brothers, none goes his way alone, all that we send into the lives of others, comes back into our own." On the desk near his window, the minister placed an old lantern, a "guiding light" to those parishioners passing in the cold, hopeless night. In the 1940's the Reverend Ruthledge enrolled as a chaplain to do his part of the war effort. However, when the production of the show moved to the west coast, Peterson refused to join them, so Irna Phillips had the minister die when his plane was shot down overseas. His "friendship lamp" went too with the production move to the town of Selby Flats, California. Reverend Matthews took over for the late Rev. Ruthledge as the center of hope and inspiration. However, by the time that the show was slated to move to television, the religious undertones of the show were virtually gone and the focus was moved yet again to the family Bauer. * Guiding Light was cancelled on April 1, 2009 and the last episode aired on September 18, 2009.

Details

Network: CBS
Genre(s): Drama
Seasons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 71, 72
Cast Credit
Mary Kay Adams India Von Halkein Spaulding (1984 - 1987; 1990 - 1991; 1998 - 1999; 2002)
Terrell Anthony Rusty Shayne (1986 - 1989,1990,1996-97,1998, 1999, 2000, 2002)
Grant Aleksander Phillip Spaulding [#2+#4] (Jun 1982 - Dec 1984; Jan 1987 - Feb 1991; May 1996 - Nov 2004)
Marj Dusay Alexandra Spaulding [2+4] (9/93-3/25/97; 11/98-2/99; 12/26/02-2009)
Beth Ehlers Harley Davidson Cooper Spaulding Mallet Spaulding [1] (1987 - 93; 97 - 08)
Signy Coleman Annie Dutton (Aka Teri DeMarco) [#2] (Jul 30, 1998 - Jul 20, 1999; Jan 2003)
Ryan Brown Harlen "Bill" Lewis III [#2] (1998 - 2001)
Crystal Chappell Olivia Spencer Lewis Spaulding Lewis(1999 - Present; Contract)
Justin Deas Frank 'Buzz' Cooper Sr. (2/1993 - 9/2009)
Hunt Block Ben Warren [#2] (Nov 4, 1997 - Nov 16, 1999)
Hayden Panettiere Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Spaulding [#1] [Child] (1996 - 2000)
Andrea Navedo Theresa Sandoval (1999 - 2000)
Patti D'Arbanville Selena Davis (1998-2000)
Saundra Santiago Carmen Santos (1999 - 2000; 2001 - 2003)
Miriam Colon Maria Santos [#2] (1999 - 2003)
Elizabeth Keifer Christina 'Blake' Thorpe Spaulding Marler (1992 - Present; Rec.)
Jerry verDorn Ross Marler (1979 - 2005)
Terrell Tilford David Grant (1998 - 2001)
Kurt McKinney Matt Reardon (1994 - 2000; 2005)
Laura Wright Cassandra "Cassie" Layne Winslow (Aug 1, 1997 - Present; Contract)
David Fonteno Dr. Charles Grant (1995 - )
Robert Newman Joshua 'Josh' Lewis (Oct 1981-Dec 1984; Oct 1986-Jan 1991; Aug 1993-Sept 2009)
Kim Zimmer Reva Shayne Lewis Spaulding Lewis Winslow Cooper Lewis (Nov 18,1983 - Jul 23,1990; Apr 25,1995 - Present; Contract)/ "Dolly Lewi
Margaret Gweneviere Dr. Margaret Sedwick (1979 - Present; Occ. Rec.)
Billy Kay Shayne Lewis [#6] (1999 - 2003)
Morgan Englund Dylan Shayne Lewis (1989 - 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002)
Beth Chamberlin Beth Raines Bauer Spaulding Lemay Winslow (Aka Lorelei Hills) [#2] (1989 - 1991; 1997 - Present; Rec.)
Ron Raines Alan Spaulding [3] (7/1994-7/15/2009)
Jay Hammer Fletcher Reade (1984 - 1999)
Maureen Garrett Holly Norris Bauer Thorpe Lindsay Reade [#2] (1976 - 1980; 1988 - Present; Rec. )
Ellen Parker Maureen Reardon Bauer (1986 - 1993; 1997; 1998; 1999; 2004)
Paul Anthony Stewart Daniel "Danny" Santos (Nov 11, 1998 - Present; Contract)
Paula Garc├ęs Pilar Santos (1999 - 2001)
Audrey Peters Sarah Shayne (1985 - 1991; 1996; 1999)
Michael O'Leary Frederick 'Rick' Bauer (1983 - 91; 95 - Present)
Roger Newman Ken Norris (1970 - 1975; 1998 - 1999)
Victoria Platt Victoria 'Vicky' Brandon Spaulding [#2] (1998 - 2001)
David Andrew MacDonald Edmund Winslow (1999 - Present; Contract)
Frank Grillo Hart Jessup [#5] (1996 - 1999)
Tammy Blanchard Drew Jacobs (Aug 7, 1997 - Jul 25, 2000)
Jordan Clarke Harlan 'Billy' Lewis II (1983-1987; 1989-1994; 1996; 1999-2009; Rec. )/Dr. Tim Ryan (1974-1976)
Jennifer Roszell Eleni Andros Cooper [#3] (1995 - 2000; 2001 - 2002)
Maeve Kinkead Vanessa Chamberlain Lewis Reardon (6/1980-8/1981; 2/1982-1987; 7/1989-7/2000; 6/2002; 4-5/2005; 2/2006-9/2009)
Frank Dicopoulos Frank Achilles Cooper Jr. (10/31/1987 - 9/2009)
Amy Ecklund Abigail Blume Bauer (1995 - 2000)
Paulo Benedeti Jesse Blue (1997 - 2000)
Brittany Snow Susan Lemay (Aka Daisy Cooper) (1998 - 2001)
Bethany Joy Galeotti Teen Reva Clone (1998) / Michelle Bauer Santos [#3] (1998 - 2000)
Mary Stuart Meta Bauer [#6] (1996 - 2002)
Sasha Martin Marina Cooper [#2][Child] (1996 - 1999)
Paul Wesley Max Nickerson [#2] (1999 - 2001)
Joseph Siravo Carlos Sandoval (1999 - 2001)
Orlagh Cassidy Doris Wolfe (5/1998-9/2009)
Tina Sloan Lillian Raines (1983-2009)
Anthony Addabbo Jim Lemay (Dec 11, 1998 - Dec 19, 2000)
Evan Farmer Steve (1998 - 1999)
Robert Turano Bernardo Sandoval (1999 - 2001)
Gloria Irizarry Maria Santos [#1] (1999)
William Bumiller Sean McCullough (1998 - 1999)
Magaly Colimon Ruth Lockhart (1999 - 2001)
Katie Sagona Tammy Layne Winslow [#1] [Child] (1997 - 2002)
Judith Blazer Marissa Spencer (1999)
Tony Michael Donnelly Shayne Joshua Lewis [#3] [Child] (1999)
Lauren C. Mayhew Marah Lewis [#3] (1998 - 1999)
Hayley Sparks Harley Cooper [#3] (1999; 2001; 2002; Temporary Recast)
Garrett Stevens Shayne Lewis [#2] [Child] (1997 - 1999)
Jamie Passer Ray Santos [#1] (1999)