Guiding Light (1960–69)

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Guiding Light
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The Guiding Light (GL) (known since 1975 as Guiding Light) was a long-running American television soap opera.

Show development[edit]

Agnes Nixon wanted to see social issues worked into the plot, and set the tone for much of the material used during the 1960s. One story, which involved Bert's battle with uterine cancer gave many female viewers the incentive to see their gynecologists.

In 1965, Nixon left the show to become the headwriter of NBC's Another World, at the behest of her mentor, Irna Phillips, who created both GL and AW.

On March 13, 1967, the show was first broadcast in color. On September 9, 1968, the show expanded from 15 to 30 minutes as did CBS' then other 15 minute daytime drama, Search for Tomorrow. Following the industry trend, the show also switched from broadcasting live to pre-taping in 1968.

Major characters[edit]

The Bauers

  • Papa Bauer (Theo Goetz until end of decade)
  • Meta Bauer Banning (Ellen Demming until June 30, 1966)
  • Bill Bauer (Ed Bryce until 1963, and then September 1965 until July 1969; Eugene H. Smith, 1964 only), character presumed deceased
  • Bert Bauer (Charita Bauer until end of decade)
  • Mike Bauer (Michael Allen until January 3, 1961; Paul Prokopf, January 2, 1962, to January 1963; Gary Francis Pillar (later Carpenter), February 1963 to Fall 1965, Pilar also appeared on Another World as Mike Bauer from February 7, 1966, to February 2, 1967; Robert Pickering, March 18, 1968, to December 13, 1968; Don Stewart, December 16, 1968 until end of decade), character SORASed
  • Dr. William Edward "Ed" Bauer, Jr. (Pat Collins until 1961; Robert Gentry, April 4, 1966, to April 25, 1969; Mart Hulswit, September 24, 1969 until end of decade), character SORASed
  • Dr. Bruce Banning (Lester "Les" Damon until November 1960; Barnard Hughes, June 1961 to June 1966)
  • Julie Conrad Bauer (Sandra Smith}, January 1962 to July 1, 1965), Mike's first legal wife, character committed suicide, off-camera, in January 1966
  • Hope Bauer (Jennifer Kirschner, October 2, 1963, to August 1965; Elisa Leeds played Hope on Another World from March 25, 1966, to June 30, 1966, and then again from December 1968 until end of decade; Paula Schwartz, March 1968 to December 1968), Mike and Julie's daughter, character born on screen on October 2, 1963
  • Trudy Bauer Palmer, character talked about, but not seen
  • Clyde Palmer, character talked about, but not seen
  • Leslie Jackson Bauer (Lynne Adams, April 1966 until end of decade), Ed's first wife

The Fletchers and Benedicts and Scotts

  • Dr. Paul Fletcher (Barnard Grant until end of decade)
  • Anne Benedict Fletcher (Joan Gray until April 1962; Elizabeth Hubbard, May to October 1962), Paul's first wife, character killed off
  • Henry Benedict (John Gibson until April 1960; John Boruff, May 1962 to December 1966; Lester Rawlins, February to September 1967; Paul McGrath, September to December 1967), Anne's father, character written out
  • Helene Benedict (Kay Campbell, May 1962 to May 1964), Anne's mother, character killed off, off-screen in 1966
  • Dr. John "Johnny" Fletcher (Sheldon Golumb, January to December 1962; Donald Melvin, January 1963 to December 1964; Daniel Fortas, January to August 1965; Don Scardino, September 1965 to July 1967; Erik Howell, July 1967 until end of decade), Paul and Anne's SORASed son
  • Jane Fletcher Hayes (Pamela King, August 1962 to September 1963; Chase Crosley, October 1963 to November 1968), Paul's younger half-sister; character written out
  • Robin Lang Holden Bowden Fletcher (Judy Robinson until April 1960; Abigail Kellogg, April 1960 to October 1961; Nancy Malone, October 1961 to October 1963; Ellen Weston, October 1963 to December 1964; Gillian Spencer, December 1964 to October 1967), was married and her marriage annulled to Mike Bauer in 1961. In 1964, Robin became Paul Fletcher's second wife. The character was killed off in 1967.
  • Margaret "Maggie" Scott (June Graham, May 1965 to March 1968), Bill's secretary, character killed off
  • Benjamin "Ben" Scott (Bernard Kates, December 1965 to April 1967), Maggie's husband, character killed off
  • Peggy Scott Dillman Fletcher (Fran Myers, June 1965 until end of decade), Johnny's wife, her second marriage, Maggie and Ben's daughter
  • George Hayes (Phillip Sterling, January 1962 to November 1968), Jane's husband, character written out

The Norrises

  • Stanley "Stan" Norris (Michael Higgins, August 18, 1969 until end of decade)
  • Barbara Norris, character talked about but not seen
  • Kenneth "Ken" Norris, character talked about but not seen
  • Andrew "Andy" Norris, character not seen, spoken of as in Vietnam
  • Holly Norris, character talked about but not seen
  • Katherine "Kit" Vestid (Nancy Addison Altman, September 1969 until end of decade), Stanley's second wife

Other characters

  • Richard Hanley (Mandell Kramer until October 1960, character written out
  • Dr. Richard "Dick" Grant, Jr. (James Lipton until June 1962), character written out
  • Mark Holden (Whitfield Connor until August 1961), character written out
  • Ruth Jannings Holden (Virginia Dwyer until August 1961), character written out
  • Marie Wallace Grant (Lynne Rogers until June 1962), character written out
  • Karl Jannings (Richard Morse until July 1960), character killed off
  • Joe Turino (Joseph Campanella until December 1962), character written out
  • Amy Sinclair (in this decade: Connie Lembcke, 1960), character written out
  • Nora Sinclair AKA Marie Grant, talked about but not seen, the biological daughter of Amy Sinclair, adopted briefly by Dick and Marie Grant, they would lose custody and custody would revert to Amy when it was revealed that child was gotten through Joe Turino's illegal adoption scam, character written out
  • Phillip Collins Grant (Carson Woods, 1960 to 1961), character written out
  • Alexander "Alex" Bowden (Ernest Graves, November 1960 to January 1966), Robin's first legal husband and father of 1979 - 1981 character Carter Bowden, character written out
  • Lt. Carl Wyatt (Gerald Stuart O'Loughlin, Jr., January 1962 to November 1962), Los Angeles police lieutenant, investigated Joe Turino's illegal activities and the accidental shooting death of Anne Benedict Fletcher, ceased appearing
  • Andrew Murray (Dana Elcar, January 1962 to November 1962), replaced Richard Hanley as District Attorney of Los Angeles County, ceased appearing
  • Doris Crandall (Barbara Becker, January 1962 to December 1962), Alex's first wife and mother of 1979 - 1981 character Carter Bowden, character written out
  • Dr. Peter Nelson (Gene Rupert, 1963 - 1964), briefly dated and romanced Jane Fletcher before she married George Hayes, ceased appearing
  • Jason Weber (Marc O'Daniels, July 1965 to February 1966), dated Maggie Scott, character killed off in a car accident
  • Dr. Stephen Jackson (Stefan Schnabel, December 1965 until end of decade), Leslie's father
  • Dr. James "Jim" Frazier (Billy Dee Williams, January to October 7, 1966; James Earl Jones, October 10, 1966, to May 31, 1967), character written out
  • Martha Frazier (Cicely Tyson, January 1966 to December 1966; Ruby Dee, January 1967 to December 1967), Jim's wife, character written out
  • Dr. Joseph "Joe" Werner (Ben Hayes, February 1966 to April 21, 1967; Ed Zimmerman, April 24, 1967 until end of decade)
  • Jack Haskell (Paul Larson, February 1966 to November 1966), worked for the New York City office of the advertising agency, Carson & Associates, that Bill Bauer worked for in Springfield, acted as Bill's conscious when he visited Bill, ceased appearing
  • Dr. Sara McIntyre (Patricia Roe, January 5, 1967 until April 19, 1968; Jill Andre, April 22, 1968, to December 3, 1968; Millette Alexander, January 6, 1969 until end of decade)
  • Charlotte Waring AKA Tracey Delmar (Victoria Wyndham, February 27, 1967, to September 22, 1969; Felice Camargo, temporary replacement, September 24, 1969, to December 31, 1969)
  • Nurse Marion McHenry (Marion June Lauer Beniades, 1968 until end of decade)
  • Martin "Marty" Dillman (Robert Lawson, April to October 1968; Christopher Wines, October 1968 to January 1969), Peggy Scott's first husband, character murdered by Flip Malone
  • Cindy Gardner Brown (Dursby Simpson, April 1968 to April 1969), a young widowed patient at Cedars treated by Dr. Joe Werner, who Joe had a brief affair with, written out
  • Flip Malone (Paul Carpinelli, 1968 to 1969), went to prison for murdering Marty Dillman
  • Claudia Dillman (Grace Matthews, 1968 to 1969), Marty's mother
  • Dr. Gavin Hamilton (Paul McGrath, Fall 1968), cardiologist involved in Bill Bauer's heart transplant, ceased appearing
  • Lee Gantry (Ray Fulmer, November 1968 until end of decade), Sara McIntyre's first husband
  • Alice Rawlings, character talked about but not seen, killed off-camera by her husband Lee Gantry
  • Miss Mildred Foss (Jan Sterling Douglas, December 1968 until end of decade), Lee Gantry's housekeeper
  • Margaret "Margie" Wexler (Margie Impert, February to December 1969), character committed suicide
  • Peter Wexler (Leon Russom, February to August 26, 1969; Michael Durrell, August 27. 1969 to end of decade), attorney working with Mike Bauer, Margie's husband
  • Lt. Pete Stassen (Karl Mitchell Light, January 1969 to December 1969), Springfield police lieutenant, ceased appearing
  • Lt. Wally Campbell (Jack Ryland, January to April 1969; Alexander "Alex" Courtney, May to December 1969), Springfield police lieutenant, written out
  • Sgt. DeMarco (Michael Theodore Mikler, January to May 1969), Springfield police sergeant, written out
  • Ira Newton (Sorrell Booke, February to May 1969), District Attorney
  • Judge Evan Kruger (Hansford Rowe, February to June 1969), presided over the case of the state vs. Peggy Scott Dillman for the murder of Marty Dillman, ceased appearing
  • Judy Stassen (Ruth Manning, June to December 1969), Lt. Pete Stassen's wife and former love interest of Dr. Joe Werner, ceased appearing
  • Gilbert "Gil" Mehren (David Pendleton, August 1969 until end of decade), an employee of Stanley's
  • Deborah Herbert Mehren (Olivia Cole, August 1969 until end of decade), Gil's wife
  • Tyler Meade (Paul Collins, August 1969 until end of decade)
  • Janet Mason (Caroline McWilliams, September 24, 1969 until end of decade)
  • Colonel Grove Mason (Vince O'Brien, September 1969 until end of decade), the father of Janet
  • Ellen Mason (Jeanne Arnold, October 1969 until end of decade), the mother of Janet and the wife of Grove
  • Dusty McGuire (James Donnelly, December 1969 until end of decade)

Plot development[edit]

Later in the decade, in 1966-1967, The Guiding Light was also the first show to regularly feature African American characters, Dr. Jim Frazier and his wife nurse Martha Frazier (played first by Billy Dee Williams and Cicely Tyson and then by James Earl Jones and Ruby Dee).

The decade began with Meta Roberts marrying Bruce Banning, by the mid-1960s, the focus of the show slowly moved to Bill and Bert's children, Mike and Ed. Their lives and loves provided high drama for many years. Other popular characters of the time included Robin Lang Holden. By winter 1960, Mike and Robin were Seniors in high school and were growing more closely romantically. The only thing standing in their way to that continued romance was Robin's stepbrother, Karl Jannings, also a Senior in high school, who himself had romantic feelings for Robin. But Robin's romantic feelings were definitely aimed at her "cousin", Mike Bauer. In spring 1960, Mike proposed marriage to Robin and they got engaged. When Karl found out about this he went and told his mother Ruth and stepfather Mark Holdin, who quickly went to both Bill and Bert Bauer, as well as Meta and Bruce Banning who were all livid at the thought that Mike and Robin would marry well they were still in high school. Bert was the worse, and complained to Meta about how Robin was ending up like Kathy was at the same age, and Bert became like the Gestapo spying on Mike's every move. Mike and Robin having enough of Bert and the adults around them decided to elope in May 1960. Karl also found out about this and with the backing of Ruth got into fights with Mike, and Bert and Bill didn't know what to do, but had to take the young newlyweds into their home with Bert continuing her Gestapo-like policies on to the couple much to the chagrin of Papa Bauer. Tragedy soon struck with the fights between Mike and Karl escalating. On the July 4th holiday 1960, hosted by Meta and Bruce at their penthouse apartment, a drunk Karl picked a fight with Mike on Meta and Bruce's patio where in his defense he shoved Karl really hard with Karl landing head first onto one of Meta and Bruce's patio tables! For a couple of minutes Karl laid there not moving with the back of his head all bloody with no one sure what had happened, Bruce and Dr. Dick Grant checked Karl out and it turned out he was in a coma. Ruth Holden was beside herself, and when the police came, not sure of all the facts, yet, but Mike admitting he had shoved Karl, Mike was arrested for attempted murder. Robin and the Bauers stood by Mike as he went to trial for murdering Karl, after Karl died of his injuries at Cedars hospital. Ruth started to admit that Mike might not have been at fault as Dr. Dick Grant pointed out how much alcohol Karl had consumed that night. Fortunately before the end of the year 1960, Mike was charged and later acquitted of the death of Karl Jannings, when it was proved by his uncle Bruce and Dr. Dick Grant that Karl was way to drunk that night for Mike to have caused most of the damage that killed the young man. Once he was cleared of the death, Mike and Robin's marriage was annulled, by Bert. Mike still felt guilty for letting the tension between him and Karl escalate so much that Karl ended up dead even if he wasn't at fault. So, in January 1961, Mike decided to leave Bill and Bert and move to New York City and to his aunt Trudy and uncle Clyde and attend Columbia University as a pre-law student. Bill, Bert and Papa were happy for Mike, but just as with Robin sad to see him go. In the summer of 1961, Bill and Bert received a letter from Mike stating that he was taking a hiatus from his pre-law studies and moving to Venezuela to work on an oil rig which he would do so until January 1962 when he moved back to the Hollywood Hills home of his parents. Meanwhile, in November 1960, Robin met Alex Bowden an art dealer and art museum owner. After Mike left, Robin married Alex Bowden which surprised many people around her, as Alex had the personality of Svengali. Later after Robin learned how much Alex was as bad as everyone said, and after losing their child in miscarriage she divorced him.

Dr. Paul Fletcher struggled to run a free clinic in a run-down area of Los Angeles' near the suburb of Selby Flats. Anne his wife, and later Paul's sister nurse Jane Fletcher, objected, especially when Alex Bowden's estranged first wife, the alcoholic Doris Crandall, who got involved temporarily with criminal Joe Turino, showed up in town and became one of Paul's patients. Things came to ahead one evening, in October 1962, when Doris got a hold of a gun, that Turino had given her for protection, and threatened to commit suicide inside the Fletcher's garage. Anne misinterpreted the whole situation and got into a struggle with Doris for control of the gun and it misfired and Anne was shot and killed with her and Paul's son, Johnny, witnessing the whole tragic event. This set Johnny into becoming a spoiled kid, with Anne's father, Henry, spoiling him the most—sending him money setting up a well-funded trust fund for when he became 18 years old, something that Paul would object to for years. Paul's sister Jane also started doting on Johnny to the point that Auntie Jane also started spoiling him. Joe Turino left for parts unknown shortly after Anne's death, and Doris Crandall left and returned to San Francisco.

Mike, after returning from Venezuela and dealing with Bert having uterine cancer (discovered by Paul Fletcher) and having an operation, got a job as a legal assistant to attorney George Hayes. While finishing law school, Mike first fell for Paul's sister, Jane Fletcher and then Jane's roommate—who was also George's secretary, Julie Conrad. Bert loved Jane and became friends with her, but Bert found Julie to be nothing but a money grubbing floozy. Julie did taunt Mike with sexual suggestions and flirting, and Mike was willing, until a scorned Jane found out and tried to give both of them a hard time by telling all to Bert. Julie then moved out from Jane and then took the very willing Mike to her bed. When Julie wouldn't go to bed with him a second time, Mike forced himself on Julie, and then Julie ended up pregnant! Bert found out about the pregnancy and forced Mike and Julie into an old-fashioned shotgun wedding! And to top it all off, Bert forced Mike and Julie to live with her, Bill, Ed and Papa! Bert restarted her Gestapo type spying on Mike and Julie that she had used on Mike and Robin, earlier. And Mike, with a child on the way and a mother who was becoming increasingly overbearing (to the chagrin of both Papa and Bill), had a difficult time getting through law school studies. After her difficult pregnancy and then delivery of Hope, Mike's daughter, Julie started a downhill spiral into mental instability, especially when she couldn't get pregnant, again, after suffering a miscarriage of what would have been Mike's second child. As Julie became distant to Hope, Bert doted on Hope and acted as a surrogate mother to the young girl (a role she would take on as Hope got older, as well.) Mike didn't know what to do, but started to agree with Bert, Papa and Bill that Julie was not in the best of shape emotionally and eventually agreed she needed to be sent to a mental institution. Robin left town after divorcing Alex Bowden, and Alex left and returned to Doris Crandall in San Francisco. Robin then became involved with Dr. Paul Fletcher, but Paul's sister Jane was opposed to this union and decided to use Johnny to guilt Paul and Robin into not getting married. Jane after causing problems for Robin and Paul and keeping them apart as long as she could and by giving into young Johnny's demands to be treated special, reformed, and married George Hayes after George suffered severe injuries when saving Jane from getting hit by a car. Robin Lang Holden Bowden and Paul Fletcher then married, and Robin soon found herself pregnant with Paul's child.

Around that same time, in a bit of "retroactive continuity", the show's writers changed the name and location of the series' locale from Selby Flats, which had been described as a suburb of Los Angeles, to Springfield, U.S.A.—no state designated, but apparently in the Midwest. Cedars Hospital (so named to suggest the real Cedars of Lebanon Hospital—now Cedars Sinai—in Los Angeles), introduced in Selby Flats on radio in 1947, remained a central location in Springfield. Springfield as a new locale was first introduced, in the summer of 1965, via Bill Bauer opening a new office of a New York City advertising agency, Carson & Associates, in Springfield, with Bill actually being the only associate. His secretary, at the new agency, Maggie Scott was a widow (or so she thought at that time) whose husband Ben had supposedly been killed in the Korean War. Maggie was raising her and Ben's teenage daughter, Peggy, and Maggie was romantically involved with the young Jason Weber, who started working with Bill at the agency. (This change of locale from Selby Flats to Springfield was clearly intended as a transition and not a move by all of the characters due to later 1966 script writing that aired. For example, Peggy would in dialogue tell others she enjoyed working with Dr. Paul Fletcher at his free clinic in the summer of 1965, although the clinic never did really move locations. And Papa Bauer would tell others he had lived in Springfield all his life that he lived in the United States, even though earlier radio and television episodes would not have been in support of Papa's assertions on that matter.)

Mike Bauer was written off the show after becoming estranged from Bert's overbearing presence in his marriage to Julie and finally graduating law school and passing The Bar in the spring of 1965. Julie became mentally unstable and later committed suicide, in January 1966, in a mental facility just outside the town of Oakdale. (In later conversations, Mike is said to have worked in Oakdale and helped the characters of attorney Mitchell Dru, as well as lawyers Chris and Donald Hughes on some cases, but there seems to be very little evidence that the character of Mike ever appeared on As the World Turns.) In 1966, Mike and his daughter Hope moved to Bay City and the characters crossed over to Another World. Mike and Hope would return to The Guiding Light and its new locale of Springfield in 1968. While in Bay City, Mike got involved romantically and engaged to his boss, attorney John Randolph's daughter, Lee Carter Randolph. Lee Carter Randolph was the daughter of John and his deceased first wife, Lee Dwyer Randolph. Mike met John's second wife, the former Patricia "Pat" Matthews and Lee's stepmother who Lee already was not thrilled about. Mike and Pat found themselves falling in love with each other, despite trying to resist the attraction for John and Lee's sake, but one day they ended up kissing which Lee witnessed. And although Lee didn't tell her father, she became more estranged from Pat and then estranged from her father John who could not fathom the reason as to why. Mike after a confrontation with Lee, where Lee returned her engagement ring, left Bay City with Hope in February 1967. During the year 1967-1968, when the characters were not either on Another World or The Guiding Light, Mike and Hope would be listed, later, as working, going to school and living in Philadelphia. Mike's time and romantic entanglements, with Lee Carter Randolph and her stepmother Pat Matthews Randolph, in Bay City would not be without consequences in Bay City. Lee would end up getting involved, later, with mechanic, later turned attorney, Samuel "Sam" Lucas, who Lee's father John and her stepmother Pat objected too, and they had good reasons. Sam Lucas was dealing drugs during the height of the drugs experimentation by younger people of the late-1960s. One day in 1969, Lee, unaware, would have her coffee laced with LSD by Sam Lucas. This would lead to Lee having her fatal car accident at that time. And much later, in the 1970s, Pat Matthews Randolph would give birth to her and John's son that she would name, Michael, possibly after Mike Bauer.

Bill and Bert's younger SORASed son Ed began his residency at Cedars Hospital in Springfield under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen "Steve" Jackson, Cedars Chief of Surgery. Dr. Ed Bauer had to contend with two other interns at Cedars who were vying to become Steve's new protégé, Dr. Joseph "Joe" Werner and Dr. Jim Frazier, with Jim soon becoming a new resident. Furthermore, Bert was upset that her youngest son would be going by the name of Edward or "Ed", his given middle name, instead of the name she had been calling him since he was first born, "Billy" for William his first name. Unfortunately this would not be the only thing that Bert would find to be disappointing about her younger son.

Meanwhile, Jason Weber started cooling things off with Maggie Scott in January 1966, with Maggie confused as to why. Then Jason, who Maggie realized was hiding something from her in his breaking things off, died in a car accident. Soon after that, Maggie and Bill Bauer started an affair, which Bill soon felt regrets and guilt about as Bert arrived in Springfield. Then in March 1966, Maggie Scott got a big shock, and soon realized why Jason had called off their relationship because Jason knew about this, when her thought to be dead husband, Ben Scott, showed up still very much alive! Apparently Ben had not died in the Korean War, after all, and was hiding out embarrassed that others might have died in his place. Ben then opened a new restaurant in Springfield and served as the restaurant's owner and manager. Soon Ben was ingratiating himself into Maggie and Peggy's life playing the role of the doting father and husband to the hilt. But Maggie, still carrying on her affair with her boss, Bill, started to suspect that Ben had ulterior motives. Soon enough, Maggie, much to her chagrin, would learn that she was right. Maggie was hoping and pleading with Bill to leave Bert and marry her, so she could be done with Ben. But Papa added to Bill's guilt by telling him that it would hurt Bert deeply, if he were to leave her and Bill decided to stay married to Bert and told a very disappointed Maggie that. Ben soon found out about the affair when Bill told Maggie to write a love letter to him, where she would break things off with him, so she might not feel so bad being rejected by him. Unfortunately Ben found this love letter and made a photocopy of it and decided he would blackmail the two of them.

Also moving to Springfield from Selby Flats were the married couples of Dr. Paul Fletcher and his wife, Robin Lang Holden Bowden Fletcher and attorney George Hayes and his wife, nurse Jane Fletcher Hayes. Paul and Jane both got high-powered jobs at Cedars Hospital in Springfield and were prominent in story line at the hospital in the mid-1960s. For a while, Meta became a nursing assistant, answering phones, at Cedars, well Bruce became Chief of Staff at Cedars. The romantic troubles, of two young couples, Ed and Steve's daughter, Cedars nurse Leslie Jackson and Maggie and Ben's teenage daughter Peggy and Paul's son (Robin's stepson) Johnny and how the adults dealt with those romantic troubles became center stage in the show's story line in 1966-1967. Around this time, Meta left with her husband, Dr. Bruce Banning, for Bruce to get a high-powered job at New York City's Presbyterian Hospital as that hospital's Chief of Staff, with Dr. Paul Fletcher becoming Chief of Staff at Cedars.

Ben Scott started blackmailing Bill and Maggie and forced Maggie to remarry him and forced her and Peggy to move into a new house and forced Maggie to stop working at Carson & Associates. Ben also forced Bill to remain married to Bert. Ed also found out about Bill and Maggie's affair and told Bill in no uncertain terms to cut it off or else he'd go to Bert and tell her all. Bill soon fell off the wagon and ended up drinking, again, much to Bert's horror. Maggie soon expressed boredom at being relegated to housewife status, but Ben told her he had her hogtied, due to the photocopy of the love letter, and she couldn't do anything else but be the doting mother and wife! Unknown to Ed and Ben, though, Bert found out about the affair anyway! First, in April 1966, Bert had gone to the offices of Carson & Associates and then found out from Bill's other secretary at the time, Carol, that Bill had gone to lunch without her and when she went to the restaurant she got to see Maggie and Bill having lunch together and getting all romantic in front of her. (What Bert didn't know at the time was that was when Bill told Maggie that they had to end the affair due to Ben's blackmailing of the two of them.) Then in July 1966, while Bert was waiting up for Bill to come home, Bill came in and blabbed about it during an alcoholic stupor. Bert decided to stay married to Bill, and expressed to her sister-in-law, before Meta left with Bruce, that she wanted to change her ways and be less demanding of Bill and agreed to stay with Bill through his latest return to the bottle. Bert also confronted Maggie, who had started working as George Hayes' part-time secretary in spite of and to spite Ben, about the affair at George and Jane Hayes' home, and told her to stay married with Ben and make him happy and not restart anything with Bill or 'else'.

Meanwhile, the departure of Meta and Bruce, put Papa in a quandary as to where to live. Papa wasn't necessarily as enthused to live in New York City, and give up his efficiency apartment in the same neighborhood as where Paul and Robin lived, with his daughter and son-in-law and expressed this to a drunk Bill. Bill feeling bitter that Papa was nagging him over both the affair with Maggie and his alcoholism actually bitterly told off his father, as he had never done before, and Papa decided to temporarily move with Meta and Bruce to New York City. Unfortunately, when Papa came back to Springfield and again moved into the efficiency apartment and only told Ed this, Ed would go and gloat over this to Bill which set Bill to drinking again. Meanwhile, at the same time, Paul found out about Papa's living situation and was livid and suggested that Papa speak to Bert. And when Bert found out from Ed what he had said to Bill about Papa's living situation she was livid at him.

Peggy also got a volunteer job as a part-time candy striper at Cedars. When Peggy overheard Ben and Maggie arguing, she confronted Ben at his restaurant office and Ben lied to her that the argument was about his Will that he had a photocopy of and that argument also had to do with Maggie not wanting to take a family trip to the Canadian Rockies so soon after getting the job with George Hayes. (Maggie later expressed to Peggy she'd reconsider.) Maggie would later express relief at Ben that he made up such a story. Unfortunately for Maggie and Ben, Peggy found out about the affair anyway, when one night she got stuck at Bill's office in an attempt to recover her mother's purse and Social Security card that George Hayes needed for employment papers for Maggie. Bill had stayed late at the office and was, again, in an alcoholic stupor where he started to believe that Peggy was Maggie and ended up blabbing about the affair to Peggy, who was in total shock and disbelief. Peggy turned more towards the continued to be spoiled Johnny for comfort, although Peggy didn't tell Johnny as to the whole reason why.

Meanwhile, in the home of Paul and Robin Fletcher, Johnny was becoming a handful for Robin, especially in terms of him not cleaning after himself. Robin liked Peggy, but was resentful, of Maggie, after Peggy learned the truth of Bill and Maggie's affair, that Peggy would spend so much time with Johnny instead of at home. Robin, while pregnant, one day was cleaning Johnny's room when she had an accident and fell off a ladder and lost the child in a miscarriage. Robin then went into a severe depression, and Johnny blamed himself for what happened, although Paul tried to make his son see that it wasn't all his fault. Johnny moved out, and moved in briefly with his Uncle George and Aunt Jane and got a job as an orderly at Cedars, after he went to his grandfather Henry Benedict with how bad things were and despite Paul's disapproval became more spoiled due to Henry's giving Johnny his trust fund money earlier than when Johnny turned 18. Johnny then admitted to Peggy that he had felt resentment towards Robin, but not to the point that he wished her any harm or to what would have been his half-sibling. Johnny tried to turn to his Aunt Jane, but even the once giving in to Johnny's every whim, Jane Fletcher Hayes was dismayed how spoiled her nephew had become—even as another well-off daughter, Leslie Jackson was willing to do extra work and make extra money, beyond being a nurse at Cedars, was babysitting her and George Hayes' adopted daughter, Amy. Paul though thought that Peggy was becoming a stabilizing influence on his son, although Ben Scott was not of the same mind. Jane's turning Johnny down for any more help, then made Johnny move out on his aunt and uncle, which totally made Paul think he was losing his son, except for the grace of Peggy.

In the later half of 1966, Agnes Nixon started a story that she only gave the genesis of before she left as head writer. Leslie Jackson would discover part of the reason why her father Steve would not talk about her mother, Victoria, that much despite him having a painted portrait of her in his living room (the portrait bore a striking resemblance to Lynne Adams who also played Leslie.) Steve told Leslie that Victoria had left the two of them and Springfield when Leslie was a toddler. But in flashbacks of Steve the audience got more: Victoria (played in the flashbacks by Adams) had enjoyed partying, dressing up and being seen. One night Victoria had embarrassed Steve and he ordered her to get out and stay away. As far as Steve knew Victoria was far away and that's how Steve hoped it would stay. In 1974, later writers of the show would pick-up this story from Nixon and expand on it. But from 1966 to 1974, Leslie believed as Steve told her that her mother, Victoria, was dead. This bit of feeling slightly estranged from Steve, because of her dead mother and Steve's ambivalence about talking to her about her mother, led Leslie to be open to romance to Ed, despite his soon to be turn towards alcoholism. Leslie also had had another would-be suitor at Cedars, by then resident Dr. Joe Werner, who for a while was in competition with Ed to get the most patients. Joe would continue to complain for a while in conversations with Ed and his mutual good friend, Dr. Jim Frazier, but eventually realized Ed was a very capable doctor. Ed though would win Leslie's heart and the two of them would marry in September 1967, with Steve's approval.

In January 1967, Dr. Sara McIntyre arrived in Springfield and Cedars. Sara's specialty was psychology and she was known as a psychologist who would soon be called upon to help many of the residents in Springfield through some rather harsh emotional crisis. But Sara also did work in other areas of medicine, including in operations with Dr. Steve Jackson, Dr. Joe Werner and Dr. Ed Bauer. At this time, Joe considered Sara somewhat of usurper when it came to being involved in medicine. As it turned out Joe was actually quite chauvinistic when it came to Sara and woman in medicine, thinking that a woman's place was in the home not in an operating room or anywhere else in a hospital other than as a nurse. Sara though knew how to put Joe in his place and eventually started to win him over that she was just as capable as he was as a doctor. Sara also had a romantic past with Dr. Paul Fletcher. This romantic past between Sara and Paul, caused the already severely depressed Robin Fletcher to sink further into depression. This depression of Robin's would get so severe, that by October 1967, the writers of The Guiding Light recycled a story line and device used to kill off Robin's mother, Kathy, nearly a decade earlier, by having Robin Lang Holden Bowden Fletcher throw herself into oncoming traffic, which was just as unpopular with viewers as it was in 1958 when what happened to Kathy happened.

After Ed and Leslie were married all was not happy with this young couple. As Bert started becoming more attentive to Bill and their marriage started to stabilize and Bill started going to AA and getting sober and with both of them getting Papa to move back in with them (although Papa did keep his efficiency apartment when he wanted to give Bill and Bert privacy or get away from them for his own privacy), Ed would begin drinking heavily and then became alcoholic after he discovered the affair between his father and Maggie Scott. Ed became verbally violent not only to Bert and Bill, but also towards Leslie and Papa. Ed became even more confused and more of an alcoholic, when Bert trying to change her old ways of being so demanding defended Bill towards Ed! And that's when Ed started to become emotionally and physically violent towards Leslie.

Ben Scott continued to be very opposed and antagonistic towards the budding romance between the now 18-year-old Johnny Fletcher and his daughter, Peggy. Johnny and Peggy obtained a marriage license on Peggy's eighteenth birthday, in April 1967, that Ben found out about and then confronted Johnny and Peggy, about, and died of a heart attack. Peggy then got an annulment, disappointing Johnny. (Peggy's mother Maggie would die nearly a year later, after they became close after the tragedy of Ben's death and Peggy's annulment, in March 1968, from a stomach ailment while on the operating table while a drunk Ed was operating, forcing Peggy to live for a while with Bert.) Paul also forced Henry Benedict to stop funding Johnny and so Johnny lost the funds from Henry.

In March 1968, Mike Bauer, with his daughter Hope, moved to Springfield and Mike began working as a partner with his former boss, George Hayes, until George Hayes and Jane Fletcher Hayes stopped appearing and disappeared from story line later that year. Mike immediately was dismayed at Ed's being abusive to Leslie. Leslie found a life line via Mike and then they became romantically attached to each other. Soon Mike and Leslie started an affair, despite Leslie still having romantic feelings for Ed.

During this time, Peggy met Marty Dillman, a gang leader, when he was in Cedars after a gang fight and Peggy the nurse want-to-be, found herself falling in love with her patient and then a short-time later they married. Johnny during this time met another woman that he became romantically attached to named Tracey Delmar, who was already causing problems for another resident of Springfield, and would soon be involved with many more via her real name of Charlotte Waring. (Tracey Delmar also flirted with Dr. Ed Bauer, in the spring of 1967 when she first arrived in Springfield, several months before he married Leslie Jackson.)

Tracey Delmar was originally introduced as the "niece" of Dr. Sara McIntyre. But "Tracey Delmar" wasn't really Sara's niece. But before Sara could find this out, Tracey already fleeced a whole lot of money out of the good doctor McIntyre. One of the two men who found out, at first, that Tracey was really Charlotte Waring was none other than Marty Dillman, who Tracey started flirting with despite his marriage to Peggy (Charlotte was resentful that Johnny and Peggy were still hanging around each other, at Cedars, as Johnny started to want to become a doctor like his father.) Johnny and Tracey, though, did marry. But then the other man who found out who Tracey really was, garage mechanic Flip Malone, started putting the screws to both Marty and Charlotte and hit them up for his share of the money in the fleecing of Dr. Sara McIntyre. One person who soon recognized who Tracey really was, was Dr. Joe Werner, who had had romantic past with Charlotte. (Joe and Charlotte had dated while he was in medical school.) Joe was able to cue Sara into that "Tracey" might not be her niece and soon the gig was up for Charlotte. But in the meantime, Charlotte being ousted as not being "Tracey", would have to contend with both Marty Dillman and Flip Malone being angry that the money was drying up from "Tracey"'s former "aunt" Sara. Johnny soon asked "Tracey" for a divorce, with Mike successfully suing for Johnny for the divorce. Charlotte was now considered the town pariah by many. Soon though, Charlotte would find a way to redeem herself to many.

In September 1968, after an alcoholic Ed, got into physical fight with Bill, Ed pushed Bill hard and Bill suffered a heart attack. Bill Bauer soon became a candidate for a Cedars first ever heart transplant. Bill was given only nine years to live after the successful surgery. Sara helped Bert through the difficult emotional turmoil that this transplant caused her.

In January 1969, Marty Dillman eventually wound up being murdered and his pregnant wife Peggy was wrongly put on trial for it. (The actual murderer was Flip Malone, but Peggy was the last person who people saw Marty with and it was during a fight where Peggy was very visibly angry at him, because she had discovered how much Marty had been in cahoots with her rival Charlotte.) While in jail, Peggy gave birth to a son she named William Bauer Dillman, or Billy for short, in honor of Bill Bauer. Mike defended and exonerated Peggy of the crime. Peggy ended up being treated as a daughter by Bert and got help through the emotional turmoil via Sara. Peggy and Johnny would also reconcile and get married and Johnny would adopt Billy as his own as he started out as a surgeon at Cedars. Peggy also started as a registered nurse at Cedars at this time. Johnny also started to go by the name of Dr. John Fletcher. Dr. Paul Fletcher was thrilled to see his son, John, get his life straight and go into the profession that Paul also called his own.

Despite Dr. Sara McIntyre doing well helping her friends, Bert Bauer and Peggy Scott Dillman through emotional storms, Sara's life post Charlotte trying to fleece her as her "niece" "Tracey" was anything but as easy for her to deal with. Dr. Paul Fletcher still expressed interest in Sara, but in the end nothing came of it due to how he still felt about the loss of his wives Anne and Robin. Dr. Joe Werner developed romantic feelings for Sara, but Sara held him off still concerned that Charlotte and Joe might restart their romantic past and also having romantic ideals on relationships that seemed old-fashioned to many that Joe should just never be with another woman then her if he was truly in love with her. Joe even proposed marriage to Sara and agreed to take her on a year-long sabbatical to England, but Sara turned him down and Joe went off to England alone. While Joe was, in England, sorting out his feelings for Sara, he met an attractive widow named Cindy Brown, an American living in London, who suffered from a mysterious illness and was not getting the help she needed in England, and Joe talked her into returning to Springfield with him for treatment. This made Sara very uneasy seeing the two of them together. Soon Joe, realizing Sara would still put him off, started a relationship with Cindy, who recovered from her illness. Joe and Cindy ended up having a brief affair with, and Cindy changed her last name back to her maiden name of Gardner because of the affair with Joe. Charlotte found out about the affair between Joe and Cindy, while at the courthouse during Peggy's trial with Cindy changing her last name legally, and blabbed about it to Sara just to get Joe in trouble with her rival, and so it did and Sara decided to move on to other men. Unfortunately the next man who she turned to nearly was her undoing and also nearly deadly to the good doctor McIntyre.

Enter Lee Gantry, a malaria patient at Cedars at this time, who Sara found very attractive as well as charming and erudite. Lee Gantry soon recovered from malaria, and this prompted Sara to find out more about the man. Lee Gantry was also an American who had spent a comparatively large amount of time in England. Sara soon found herself attracted romantically to Lee and once he was cured of malaria she decided to take a trip with him to Great Britain, and on the trip they stayed at his English country estate, where she let herself be charmed even more by Lee Gantry, who the audience was let on to was a man who had a habit of being on the prowl for lonely women such as Sara. It also turned out that Lee had been widowed by a rich English woman named Alice Rawlings that he had married. What Sara didn't realize at that time, in late 1968, was that Lee had already gaslighted his Alice and was actually responsible for her death. Lee was also moving slowly, and incorporating into the architecture of his just outside Springfield farmhouse much of the architectural work of the Alice's English country estate. Enter Miss Mildred Foss. Miss Mildred Foss was Alice Rawlings Gantry's house hold manager and knew of Lee's killing of Alice and so she blackmailed him into rehiring her in Springfield. Sara also met Miss Mildred Foss, who decided this time to work with her boss Lee to gaslight Sara for all of her money. Surprisingly to all in Springfield, although none more than Dr. Joe Werner, Sara soon married Lee and, through, until the end of the decade, sure enough Miss Mildred Foss and Sara's first husband, Lee Gantry, were gaslighting Dr. Sara McIntyre by trying to make her think she was going insane. Lee and Miss Foss first started their gaslighting by changing appointments in Sara's appointment book. They also created noises in Lee's house's attic, that they claimed were squirrels on the roof. Then they started their work on her checkbook. When Lee took Sara on another trip to England, in the summer of 1969, with Miss Foss going with them, Miss Foss set up quite a scare for Sara by not introducing her to the country estate's groundskeeper, Tyler Meade, who could be quite a scary presence with his well built soccer player style form. Sara wasn't sure what to make of Tyler who was peeking into rooms, at the estate house, from outside, but it did make her scared out of her wits for several weeks. (It didn't help matters that Miss Mildred Foss and Tyler Meade were former lovers.) And when Sara got back home to Springfield, things got worse when she consulted another psychiatrist for anxiety and was prescribed medication that Miss Mildred Foss tampered with. Sara soon bought a gun, and Joe was very disconcerted, so much so that he sought out the advice of, and hopefully investigative work of, Springfield police Lieutenant Pete Stassen, who did a preliminary investigation but was convinced nothing was wrong and thought Joe was just being a nuisance, since Lt. Stassen's wife, Judy, had been one of Joe's past lovers. Frustrated by the lack of help from Lt. Pete Stassen, and getting a clue over the phone from his former lover, Cindy Gardner who turned out knew Miss Mildred Foss, Joe went back to England and discovered from one of Cindy and Mildred's shared former lovers, Dusty McGuire, that Miss Foss had previously been fired by Lee Gantry. Something bad was about to happen at Lee Gantry's house, and it would involve Sara.

In March 1969, Ed's alcoholism finally caught up to him, when Leslie asked him to move out and gave him an ultimatum to either get sober or get a divorce! Ed ended up moving back in with Bill and Bert, but even a now sober Bill couldn't reason with Ed to go to AA and get sober. Shortly after that, in April 1969, he was involved in a traffic accident that caused one of Sara's pregnant patients, Margie Wexler, who was driving the car Ed hit, to have a miscarriage and lose her and her husband, Peter Wexler's child. Peter Wexler was an attorney who was working with Mike Bauer in their law practice and had to later, in December 1969, watch as Margie would commit suicide due to the miscarriage and how busy Sara was dealing with Lee Gantry and Miss Mildred Foss. Ed didn't help matters any, by originally leaving the scene of the accident and originally resisting arrest by Springfield police Lt. Wally Campbell and Springfield police Sgt. DeMarco. Mike and Bill would post bail for Ed, but then Mike and Bill got more of a surprise when Ed would end up skipping town telling himself he couldn't face any of his family or his wife any longer.

In July 1969, Bill took a plane trip for work to Alaska, and the plane crashed. Bill was then presumed dead. Sara again tried to console emotionally her friend, Bert, who was also dealing with the missing Ed. Mike and Leslie's romantic relationship went into a state of limbo as no one had any clue where Ed had gone too. Hope, though, was hoping that Leslie would soon be her new stepmother because she really liked Leslie.

During this time, Mike Bauer started to hang around Charlotte and in waiting for Leslie to reconcile how she felt about Ed, developed romantic feelings towards Charlotte. Although Charlotte was still considered by many in town the town pariah, Mike was much more lenient towards her, for Charlotte had been the one who would turn over evidence to Mike Bauer that would exonerate Peggy, by seducing Flip Malone. Charlotte, though, was still not over her feelings for Dr. Joe Werner, and Joe over his for Sara. This and Ed being missing, left an impasse over relationships for Mike, Leslie, Charlotte and Joe heading into the end of 1969 and the beginning of 1970. To field out how she felt about Joe, Charlotte was able to get a job as vice administrator of Cedars, which made more than a few people very unhappy. Before the end of 1969, Mike proposed marriage to Charlotte, but Hope was still hoping for Leslie to be her new stepmother. Hope told Bert that Charlotte would be bad news for her father, and Bert agreed with her granddaughter about the woman.

Also in 1969, the rich businessman Stanley Norris was introduced. Stanley was divorced from his first wife, cookbook writer Barbara. Barbara was left alone to raise their three children, Kenneth ("Ken"), Andrew ("Andy") (who was listed as fighting in the Vietnam War), and Holly. Stanley would soon divorce his second wife, Katherine "Kit" Vestid, a Cedars volunteer, when she found out that he was carrying on affairs with several other women. One of those women was Deborah Herbert Mehren, who was the wife of one of Stanley's employees, Gilbert "Gil" Mehren. (Gil and Deborah Mehren were the second major African-American married couple seen on The Guiding Light played by David Pendleton and Olivia Cole.) Kit herself ended up having an affair with her stepson, Ken, who was an attorney who eventually went into practice with Mike. Kit also found herself falling for Dr. Joe Werner, despite befriending Charlotte Waring, who was also Kit's boss at Cedars.

In September 1969, a sober, going to AA, Ed surfaced in nearby Clayton, working at Hastings Electrical Supply as the company's doctor, and got involved with the company's secretary, Janet Mason, from the nearby town of Tarrywood. Ed didn't know while in Clayton, that Bill had been declared dead in the Alaska plane crash and wouldn't learn of this until December 1969. Janet's father, Colonel Grove Mason, was the manager of Hasting Electrical Supply and therefore Ed and Janet's boss there. At first Grove was not happy to see his daughter involved with Ed. Ellen at first was also not happy with Janet's involvement with Ed, and then Janet also contacted, via phone, a friend of hers in Springfield named Debra Mehren (yes, that Debra Mehren), who told Janet she was aware of Ed and some of his romantic past (as well as his alcoholic past—although she didn't tell Janet that) and warned her cryptically to be on guard about starting a romance with Ed. But although Janet was warned she eventually had her defenses worn down and decided to take the romantic plunge into a deep romance with Ed. Ellen also came around quickly and realized how much of a great young man Ed was, and thought he was perfect for her daughter. Janet and her mother Ellen worked on Grove to change his mind, on the subject, and after a work accident where Ed saved many lives, Grove changed his mind. But Grove would be a bit concerned when he found out why Ed was returning to Springfield in December 1969. (Ed also wanted to find out if his wife Leslie wanted him back, Ed alluded to this to the Masons, but didn't tell them everything before he left.)