Roger Thorpe and Holly Norris
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (June 2015)
|Guiding Light character|
|Portrayed by||Michael Zaslow (1971–80; 1989–97) |
Joel Fabiani (Temporarily filled in for an ill Zaslow. August 1992, January to February 1994)
Dennis Parlato (1997–98)
|First appearance||April 1, 1971|
|Last appearance||March 16, 1998|
|Created by||Robert Soderberg and Edith Sommer|
|Introduced by||Lucy Ferri Rittenberg|
|Holly Margaret Norris|
|Guiding Light character|
|Portrayed by||Lynn Deerfield (1970–76) |
Maureen Garrett (1976–80, 1988–2006, 2009)
|Duration||1970–80, 1988–2006, 2009|
|First appearance||August 1970|
|Last appearance||September 17, 2009|
|Created by||Robert Soderberg and Edith Sommer|
|Introduced by||Lucy Ferri Rittenberg|
|Residence||Traveling around the world with Ed Bauer|
Roger was portrayed by Michael Zaslow from 1971–80, and from 1989–97; Joel Fabiani filled in for Zaslow on occasion during the 1990s, and Dennis Parlato briefly played Roger from 1997–98, after Zaslow's departure from the show.
The role of Holly was originated by Lynn Deerfield, who played the character from 1970–76, but is most often identified with Maureen Garrett, who took over the role in 1976, playing Holly through March 1981; Garrett resumed playing the character from 1988–2003, and then sporadically continued in the role on a recurring basis from 2003-2006. Garrett returned to play Holly during Guiding Light's final weeks on the air in 2009.
Roger Thorpe and Holly Norris met in 1971. Roger worked for Holly's father Stanley Norris' company. Stanley chose Roger to date his 19-year-old daughter Holly to keep her out of his hair. Roger saw it as a way to get ahead in the company so he agreed to date Holly. Holly lost her virginity to Roger but he had eyes for Holly's sister-in-law Janet instead. Roger became a suspect in Stanley Norris' murder after it was found out the gun used to kill Stanley was bought with Roger's credit card. But when Holly announced that she had seen Roger with Janet the night of Stanley's murder (which he was), the charges against Roger were dropped. Soon after that Roger left town.
Roger returned for his father Adam Thorpe's (Robert Milli) wedding to Holly's mother, Barbara Norris (Barbara Berjer). Roger tried to convince everybody he was a changed man. By this time Holly was married to Dr. Ed Bauer (Mart Hulswit) but she still had strong feelings for Roger and they started having an affair. Not wanting to return to his old "playboy" ways Roger broke off the affair with Holly and started dating nurse Peggy Fletcher (Fran Myers) and became a father figure to her son Billy Fletcher. Roger asked Peggy to marry him but she was still married to Billy's father Johnny Fletcher. Peggy wasn't ready to divorce Johnny even though Johnny had left Springfield long ago. Roger grew tired of waiting for Peggy's answer and started having an affair with Holly again. Peggy finally decided to divorce Johnny and accepted Roger's marriage proposal. After that Roger broke off the affair with Holly.
Holly soon found out that she was pregnant with Roger's child but led her husband Ed to believe she was having his child. In July 1975, Holly went into labor in the cafeteria at Cedars Hospital and gave birth to a baby girl whom she named Christina. When Christina became sick and needed a blood transfusion to live Holly—who could not donate her own blood, due to her having had hepatitis as a child—was forced to tell Ed the truth, that Christina was Roger's daughter not his. Ed forced Roger to tell Peggy the truth about Christina's paternity leading Peggy to break off the engagement. Roger once again left Springfield. Ed filled for divorce and started seeing a new woman in town, Rita Stapleton (Lenore Kasdorf), a nurse at Cedars Hospital. Even though Ed and Holly were in the process of divorcing, he agreed to continue to raise Christina as his own child.
In late 1975, Roger returned and started to bond with Billy and Christina. Peggy forgave Roger and they finally were married. But Roger and Rita had a secret: they'd met a few months earlier in Texas, where Rita had worked as a private duty nurse for an elderly rancher, Cyrus Granger, and for whom Roger had also briefly worked; Roger and Rita had had a brief affair before going their separate ways, after Granger's sudden death. After arriving in Springfied, Rita was accused of Granger's murder and was put on trial, though she refused to disclose her alibi: that she and Roger were involved in a sexual tryst at the time of Granger's death. Roger convinced Rita to keep their night together a secret even though it was costing Rita her freedom. (Rita had by this time become engaged to Ed and, aware of the animosity between Ed and Roger, Rita herself was also in no hurry to divulge her sordid past with Roger.) Rita's lawyer Mike Bauer (Ed's older brother) found out the truth and forced Roger to confess the truth in court. The charges against Rita were dropped but Peggy was tired of Roger's secrets and lying and divorced him. Once again Roger left town and not too long after that Peggy took her son Billy and left Springfield also.
Roger soon returned to Springfield in mid-1978 and took a job at Spaulding Enterprises. He started dating Hillary Bauer, a young nurse at Cedars, who had recently been revealed to be Ed's half-sister, though he was also pursuing Holly, for whom he still had feelings. Roger was becoming angry and jealous of all the time Christina was spending with Ed and wanted to get back at him. Rita, who had become close to Hilary, confronted Roger about his misguided relationship with her, but Roger, resentful of how providing Rita an alibi had cost him his relationship with Peggy became enraged and raped her. Though she and Ed had reconciled and had become engaged, Rita did not tell Ed about the rape, for fear that he would not believe her (given her previous history with Roger), and she and Ed were married. Not long after that Roger was hit by a car and while injured Roger convinced Holly to marry him for Chrissy's sake. Roger and Holly got married. But trouble in their marriage started when Holly began to suspect that Roger was having an affair. But Holly really knew that the only reason Roger married her was to get close to Christina. Holly refused to tell Christina that Roger was her real daddy and she stopped having sex with him too. Roger thought that Holly was still in love with Ed and that she made him feel like less than a man. All of this boiled over and Roger raped Holly.
Unlike Rita, Holly came out and pressed marital rape charges against Roger. Roger was arrested and he blackmailed his boss Alan Spaulding (Christopher Bernau) into hiring him a lawyer, Alan hired Ross Marler (Jerry verDorn) to be Roger's attorney. During the trial Ross tried to make it look like Holly misunderstood and that it wasn't rape but just wild sex. Rita, who could no longer live with the guilt of not having come forward earlier, finally admitted that Roger had also raped her and told Ed. Ed went after Roger and the got into a fight in Roger's office. Holly soon arrived and saw Roger and Ed's violent encounter. Holly grabbed the gun that Roger kept in his office and told them to stop fighting. When Roger started to walk towards Holly she began having flashbacks of the rape, and shot Roger three times. Roger was declared dead and Holly was charged with his murder. But in truth Roger had blackmailed Alan again, this time into helping him to fake his death. Roger was secretly sent to a private clinic in Puerto Rico to be treated. With Roger believed to be dead, Holly was convicted of his murder and sent to prison; Chrissy was sent to live with Ed and Rita.
Holly had trouble dealing with prison life though she got to work with an old flame of hers, Dr. Peter Chapman. Peter and Holly worked together in the prison infirmary where Peter fell back in love with her. But Holly was being bullied by another inmate named Gail. But she befriended another inmate named Carla Jones who would help her deal with Gail. Gail was extremely jealous of Holly's relationship with Peter and her "cushy" job in the infirmary. One day Gail and Carla got in a fight and Gail pulled out a knife. Holly begged Gail to put away the knife but Gail just ended up stabbing Holly in the abdomen. Peter had Holly sent to Cedars Hospital for treatment. Mike Bauer (Holly's lawyer) got a temporary injunction so Holly wouldn't have to go right back to prison. Mike believed Roger was still alive and that Roger's old boss Alan Spaulding helped Roger fake his death. Holly was finally cleared of Roger's murder and released from prison. Holly convinced Mike to handle her friend Carla's case and Mike was able to get Carla released from prison too.
After recovering at the clinic in Puerto Rico, Roger secrently returned to Springfield with plans to kidnap Christina and take her away so that he could raise his daughter. Roger hid out at the Reardon boarding house disguised with a beard and glasses going by the name Professor Schneider who had a European accent. Roger saw his chance to take Christina at the "Cedars Winter Carnival". Disguised as a clown, Roger's plan was to abduct Christina. But the plan fell apart when at the carnival, Roger's voice was recognized by Rita. Rita, who was eight months pregnant at the time, tried to get to Ed to tell him that Roger was alive and was there at the carnival. But Roger chased Rita into the "Hall Of Mirrors". The loud disco music inside the Hall Of Mirrors muffled Rita's screams, and Roger finally caught her. At gunpoint Roger took Rita to a cabin outside of town. When Ed, Mike, and the police determined that Roger was, in fact, alive they sent Holly and Christina to Santo Domingo with Peter Chapman. When Roger realized that Mike and Ed had determined his and Rita's whereabouts and were on their way to the cabin, he rushed out the back door, knocking over a lit kerosene lamp. The cabin caught on fire with Rita tied up inside. Ed and Mike were able to save Rita from the fire but Rita suffered from smoke inhalation and ended up losing her and Ed's baby. As a result of this, Ed hated Roger even more than he already had.
While listening to a bug he had planted in Ed's house Roger found out Holly and Christina were hiding out in Santo Domingo. Roger went down to Santo Domingo to get Christina. But his attempt to get her failed and he took Holly as a hostage instead. Roger dragged Holly through the jungles of Santo Domingo with Ed and Mike hot on their trail. Ed and Mike finally found Roger and Holly. Roger shot Ed and went after Mike. Roger and Mike were struggling when Ed shot Roger in the back. As Roger tried to reach for Mike's gun Ed kicked him over a fence that covered the edge of a cliff. Ed grabbed on to Roger's arm and tried to pull him up and save his life. But Roger lost his grip and slipped out of Ed's hands. Roger fell over the cliff to his presumed death. After a while Holly took Christina and left Springfield and moved to Switzerland.
Unbeknownst to Ed and Holly, Roger had survived his fall. He had stayed off the radar, traveling the world and working for the CIA. Holly left Springfield, and was, for a time, married to a man named Dietrich Lindsey. Holly, her new husband and daughter Christina lived in Switzerland.
In 1988, a young woman named Blake Lindsay (Elizabeth Dennehy) arrived in Springfield. After she was in town for a few months, Ed recognized her as Holly and Roger's daughter Christina. Blake was intertwined with the Spauldings, as she was engaged to marry Phillip Spaulding (Grant Aleksander) and had been involved with Alan Spaulding (Christopher Bernau, later Daniel Pilon). Meanwhile, Alexandra Spaulding (Beverlee McKinsey, later Marj Dusay) became involved with Roger, who was wearing a mask to disguise his appearance and was using the pseudonym Adam Malik.
Alan, who was trying to stop Blake and Phillip's wedding, planted a bomb at the site of the ceremony. Roger-as-Adam attempted to stop the bomb from going off by swinging down on a vine, but before he could, Alan shot him. When his mask was removed, Ed, Holly and Blake (and everyone in attendance) learned that it was, indeed, Roger Thorpe.
Now back in Springfield, Roger caused trouble. He and Holly continued to cross paths, and briefly tried to put the past behind them, but their ceasefires seldom lasted for long. Holly dated Daniel St. John and Ross Marler, reunited with Ed, and eventually married Fletcher Reade, while Roger because involved with many women in Springfield, including Jenna Bradshaw, Dinah Marler and Amanda Spaulding. Roger left town again in 1997.
In 2004, Roger died, and Ed, Holly, Blake, Alan and Ross were among the mourners who received his ashes. Later that year, Sebastian Hulce (Roger's alleged son) crossed paths with Holly. Sebastian and Holly had a strange relationship, with echoes of Roger and Holly's relationship, but he, too, fell to his assumed death.
Holly last returned to town in August 2009 (a month before the show ended). Holly came back to Springfield at Blake's request. She rekindled her friendship with Ed, who had also recently returned to town. A few weeks later, Holly agreed to accompany Ed Bauer (Peter Simon) on a worldwide trip.
- "1970s Guiding Light". Soaps In Depth. 2001-03-18.