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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.
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
Richard Biggs Clayton Boudreau [#1] (Oct 1, 2001 - 2003)
Mark Pinter Mark Evans (1981 - 1983)/ Brad Green [#2] (2003 - 2004)
Allison Hirschlag Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Spaulding [#4] (Aug 12, 2002 - Jan 28, 2003)
Gil Rogers Hawk Shayne (1985-1992, 1995-1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009)
Gil Rogers Hawk Shayne (1985-1992, 1995-1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009)
Daniel Cosgrove Harlan 'Bill' Lewis III [3] (2002-2005; 2007-2009)
Daniel Cosgrove Harlan 'Bill' Lewis III [3] (2002-2005; 2007-2009)
Daniel Cosgrove Harlan 'Bill' Lewis III [3] (2002-2005; 2007-2009)
Grant Aleksander Phillip Spaulding [2+4] (Jun 1982 - Dec 1984; Jan 1987 - Feb 1991; May 1996 - Nov 2004)
Grant Aleksander Phillip Spaulding [2+4] (Jun 1982 - Dec 1984; Jan 1987 - Feb 1991; May 1996 - Nov 2004)
Shari Headley Felicia Boudreau [#1] (Aug 30, 2001 - Mar 7, 2002)
Ruth Warrick Janet Johnson (1953 - 1954)
Marj Dusay Alexandra Spaulding [2+4] (9/93-3/25/97; 11/98-2/99; 12/26/02-2009)
Marj Dusay Alexandra Spaulding [2+4] (9/93-3/25/97; 11/98-2/99; 12/26/02-2009)
Ricky Paull Goldin Gus Aitoro (Aka Nick Augustino) (2001 - Present; Contract)
Ricky Paull Goldin Gus Aitoro (Aka Nick Augustino) (2001 - Present; Contract)
Beth Ehlers Harley Davidson Cooper Spaulding Mallet Spaulding [1] (1987 - 93; 97 - 08)
Beth Ehlers Harley Davidson Cooper Spaulding Mallet Spaulding [1] (1987 - 93; 97 - 08)
Stephanie Gatschet Tammy Layne Winslow [#2] (Jul 5, 2002 - Present; Contract)
Crystal Chappell Olivia Spencer Lewis Spaulding Lewis(1999 - Present; Contract)
Yvonna Wright Melissande 'Mel' Boudreau Bauer (Sept 20, 2001-2009; Rec.)
Yvonna Wright Melissande 'Mel' Boudreau Bauer (Sept 20, 2001-2009; Rec.)
Wesley A. Ramsey Sam Spencer (2000 - 2002; 2003; 2004)
Deborah May Renee DuBois (1979 - 1980)/Ivy Pierce (Aka Brenda Lowry) (1982-1983)
Ellen Dolan Maureen Reardon Bauer [#1] (1982 - 1986)
Ellen Dolan Maureen Reardon Bauer [#1] (1982 - 1986)
Linda Cook Brenda Jensen (2003)
Michael Swan Brad Green (2003)
Justin Deas Frank 'Buzz' Cooper Sr. (2/1993 - 9/2009)
Justin Deas Frank 'Buzz' Cooper Sr. (2/1993 - 9/2009)
John Fiore Vinny Salerno (2003 - 2004 )
Allison Janney Ginger (1993 - 1995)
Tonja Walker Marie Green (2003 - 2004)
Tonja Walker Marie Green (2003 - 2004)
Thom Christopher Colonel Dax (Jul 1999 - Feb 19, 2002; 2003)
Saundra Santiago Carmen Santos (1999 - 2000; 2001 - 2003)
Russ Anderson Dr. Christopher Langham (Jun 6, 2003 - 2004 )
Miriam Colon Maria Santos [#2] (1999 - 2003)
Elizabeth Keifer Christina 'Blake' Thorpe Spaulding Marler (1992 - Present; Rec.)
Jerry verDorn Ross Marler (Mar 1979 - Present; Contract)
Jerry verDorn Ross Marler (Mar 1979 - Present; Contract)
Crystal Hunt Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Spaulding [4] (2/25/03 - 1/31/06)
Crystal Hunt Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Spaulding [4] (2/25/03 - 1/31/06)
Stephen Martines Antonio 'Tony' Santos [2] (10/15/03 - 4/25/05)
Stephen Martines Antonio 'Tony' Santos [2] (10/15/03 - 4/25/05)
Kurt McKinney Matt Reardon (1994 - 2000; 2005)
Laura Wright Cassandra "Cassie" Layne Winslow (Aug 1, 1997 - Present; Contract)
Jeffrey Scaperrotta Kevin Marler [Child] (2002 - Present; Rec.)
David Fonteno Dr. Charles Grant (1995 - )
Robert Newman Joshua 'Josh' Lewis (Oct 1981-Dec 1984; Oct 1986-Jan 1991; Aug 1993-Sept 2009)
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
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.)
Margaret Gweneviere Dr. Margaret Sedwick (1979 - Present; Occ. Rec.)
Nicholas Art Alan 'Zachary' Cooper Spaulding [Child] (2002 - Present; Rec.)
Marty West Shayne Joshua Lewis [5] (2/14/03 - 8/04)
Marty West Shayne Joshua Lewis [5] (2/14/03 - 8/04)
Billy Kay Shayne Lewis [#6] (1999 - 2003)
Lindsey McKeon Marah Lewis [#5] (Nov 6 2001 - Apr 16 2004)
Tom Pelphrey Jonathan "JB" Randall (9/2/04-2/1/07; 7/31/07-8/2/07; 1/23/08-3/6/08; 8/5/09-9/18/09)
Tom Pelphrey Jonathan "JB" Randall (9/2/04-2/1/07; 7/31/07-8/2/07; 1/23/08-3/6/08; 8/5/09-9/18/09)
Carrie Nye Susan Piper (1984) / Carrie Carruthers (2003 - 2004)
Beth Chamberlin Beth Raines Bauer Spaulding Lemay Winslow (Aka Lorelei Hills) [2] (1989 - 1991; 1997 - Present; Rec.)
Beth Chamberlin Beth Raines Bauer Spaulding Lemay Winslow (Aka Lorelei Hills) [2] (1989 - 1991; 1997 - Present; Rec.)
Matthew Bomer Benjamin "Ben" (Sampson) Reade (Oct 23, 2001 - Jul 31, 2003)
Ron Raines Alan Spaulding [3] (7/1994-7/15/2009)
Ron Raines Alan Spaulding [3] (7/1994-7/15/2009)
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)
Jordi Vilasuso Antonio 'Tony' Santos [#1] (Aug 29, 2000 - Oct 3, 2003)
Michael O'Leary Frederick 'Rick' Bauer (1983 - 91; 95 - Present)
Michael O'Leary Frederick 'Rick' Bauer (1983 - 91; 95 - Present)
Mandy Bruno Marina Cooper [5] (5/2004-9/2009)
Mandy Bruno Marina Cooper [5] (5/2004-9/2009)
David Andrew MacDonald Edmund Winslow (7/8/99-11/10/05; 1/19 - 20/06; 10/14/07-12/28/07; 1/23/09-9/17/09)
David Andrew MacDonald Edmund Winslow (7/8/99-11/10/05; 1/19 - 20/06; 10/14/07-12/28/07; 1/23/09-9/17/09)
Jean Carol Nadine Corly Cooper Lewis Cooper (1988 - 1995; 2003)
Kit Paquin Marina Cooper [#4] (Mar 2004 - Apr 2004)
Aubrey Dollar Marina Nadine Cooper [#3] (2001 - 2004)
Jordan Clarke Harlan 'Billy' Lewis II (1983-1987; 1989-1994; 1996; 1999-2009; Rec. )/Dr. Tim Ryan (1974-1976)
Jordan Clarke Harlan 'Billy' Lewis II (1983-1987; 1989-1994; 1996; 1999-2009; Rec. )/Dr. Tim Ryan (1974-1976)
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)
Troy Kurtis Nico CastaƱo (Aug 28, 2003 - May 2004)
Frank Dicopoulos Frank Cooper (Oct 31, 1987 - Present; Contract)
Frank Dicopoulos Frank Cooper (Oct 31, 1987 - Present; Contract)
Frank Dicopoulos Frank Cooper (Oct 31, 1987 - Present; Contract)
Miles Williams Roger Joshua "R.J." Winslow [Child] (2004 - Present; Rec.)
Peter Simon Dr. William Edward "Ed" Bauer (1981 - 1984; 1986 - 1996; 2002 - 2004)
Jim Davidson Alonzo Baptiste (Aka William Winslow)
Nancy St. Alban Michelle Bauer Santos [4] (10/2000-11/2005, 07/2009 - 09/2009)
Nancy St. Alban Michelle Bauer Santos [4] (10/2000-11/2005, 07/2009 - 09/2009)
Deborah Zoe Eden August [#2] (Sept 30, 2003 - 2004)
Teresa Hill Eden August [#1] (Aug 9, 2002 - Sept 18, 2003)
Bradley Cole Richard Winslow (1999-2003)/ Jeffrey O'Neill (2003-2009)
Bradley Cole Richard Winslow (1999-2003)/ Jeffrey O'Neill (2003-2009)
Ty Simpkins Marina Cooper [5] (5/2004-9/2009)
Ty Simpkins Marina Cooper [5] (5/2004-9/2009)
Robert Cuccioli Chief Franklin (2002? - 2003)
Colleen Dion Ramona Hendon (2003)
Orlagh Cassidy Ross Marler (1979 - 2005)
Orlagh Cassidy Ross Marler (1979 - 2005)
Orlagh Cassidy Ross Marler (1979 - 2005)
Tina Sloan Lillian Raines (1983-2009)
Tina Sloan Lillian Raines (1983-2009)
George Alvarez Ray Santos [#2] (Aug 23, 1999 - Present; Rec. )
George Alvarez Ray Santos [#2] (Aug 23, 1999 - Present; Rec. )
Mackenzie Mauzy Lizzie Spaulding [#3] [Child] (Nov 21, 2000 - Jul 16, 2003)
Ethan Erickson Anthony James (J) Chamberlain [#2] (1996 - 1998)
Scott Bailey Sandy Foster (Aka Faux Jonathan Winslow) (Aug 20, 2003 - Present; Contract)
Scott Bailey Sandy Foster (Aka Faux Jonathan Winslow) (Aug 20, 2003 - Present; Contract)
Geoffrey Arend The Mole [Voiceover Only] (2003)/Gavin(2003)
Victor Slezak Andy Ferris (1984 - 1985)/Dr. Webster (2000)/Roy Baker (2003)
Peter Francis James Clayton Boudreau [#2] (Nov 26, 2003 - Present; Rec.)
Sophie Hayden Lucia Renaldi (Aka Regina Tessori) (2003)
Kim Brockington Felicia Boudreau [#2] (May 6th, 2002 - Present; Rec.)
Meghan Wolf Monica Parker (2002 - 2003)
Stephen Zinnato Nolan (2002 - 2003?)
Gavin Alexander Houston Remy Boudreau [#2] (May 14, 2002 - Present; Rec.)
James Kukinski Jason Marler [Child] (2002 - Present; Rec.)
Amanda Serkasevich Darci Matthews(Jun 2, 2003 - Aug 2004)
Justin Klosky Joey Luppo (2003 - 2004)
John Riggins Mitchell Hendon (2003)