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Guiding Light (1952–2009)
"The Guiding Light" (original title)

TV Series  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama
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Reviews: 27 user | 1 critic

Guiding Light takes place in the fictional Midwestern town of Springfield. In its early years the stories centered on the middle class Bauer family, but later the wealthy Spauldings, ... See full summary »


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2009   2008   2007   2006   … See all »
103 wins & 442 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Reva Shayne / ... (1,666 episodes, 1983-2009)
 Beth Raines / ... (1,521 episodes, 1989-2009)
Maureen Garrett ...
 Holly Reade / ... (1,037 episodes, 1976-2009)


Guiding Light takes place in the fictional Midwestern town of Springfield. In its early years the stories centered on the middle class Bauer family, but later the wealthy Spauldings, Chamberlains, and Lewises, along with the working class Reardons and others, took their own places of prominence, though the Bauers remained the heart of the show. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Life happens here.








Release Date:

30 June 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Guiding Light  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(1952-1968) | (1968-1977) | (1977-2009)

Sound Mix:

(1952-1987)| (1987-)


(1967-2009)| (1952-1967)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many episodes of this show and other daytime TV shows are believed to be lost forever. It was live until the 1960s, and many prior episodes exist as kine-scopes (videotape was invented until 1956). Procter and Gamble Productions did not begin archiving its shows until the late 1970s, believing there was no use for them after their initial airing. The original tapes were re-used. See more »


Harlan Billy: I should hit you with my other hand.
Harlan Billy: Just kidding, Sea-Bass.
Olivia Spencer Lewis Spaulding Spaulding Lewis: Sea-Bass?
Harlan Billy: Yeah, Sea-Bass, my buddy here.
Olivia Spencer Lewis Spaulding Spaulding Lewis: Your buddy?
Harlan Billy: Yeah.
Sebastian Hulce: We sort of bonded.
Harlan Billy: Yeah, we did. I actually went to punch him, but he's a dodgy fellow, this guy. I ended up hitting the plaster.
Sebastian Hulce: Plaster man.
See more »


Referenced in A Wedding Story: Josh and Reva (2002) See more »


Die Springfield Story
Written by Ralph Thiekötter & Maik Weppner
Courtesy of Heinz & Klaus Funk, Hamburg
(German version)
See more »

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User Reviews

The longest running series in broadcast history
12 December 2004 | by (Jamaica, NY) – See all my reviews

For nearly 7 decades, THE GUIDING LIGHT has become one of most beloved daytime dramas. GL has the distinction of being the longest running entertainment program in American broadcast history. Created by Irna Phillips, GL originally told the story of Reverend Ruthledge and his flock of parishioners when it began on radio on January 25, 1937. In 1948, the focus of the show shifted to the Bauers, a German-American family. On June 30, 1952, GL was the first radio soap to successfully switch to television (from 1952 to 1956, GL ran on both radio and TV). The Bauer clan was led by Frederick Bauer (played by Theo Goetz from 1948 until his passing in 1973). Frederick Bauer was affectionately known to those who knew him as Papa Bauer. He had three children: Trudy (briefly played in 1952 by Helen Wagner, who eventually went on play matriarch Nancy Hughes on another Irna Phillips creation called AS THE WORLD TURNS in 1956), Meta (played by longest by Ellen Demming: 1953-1975), whom many of early story lines revolved around, and son Bill (who later became an alcoholic) and his family. Bill's family included wife Bertha, also known as Bert, who would become one of the most beloved matriarchs in daytime television (she was played by Charita Bauer from 1950 until her death in February, 1985) and their two sons Michael and Edward. In the 1960s and 1970s, Michael and Edward became the focus of the show with their various professional and personal problems, including Ed's alcoholism. Beginning in the late 1970s, other families became part of the show's fabric (the Marlers, Spauldings, Coopers, Lewises, Chamberlains, Norrises, Reardons and Thorpes). Like many soaps, GL has had some memorable characters. One of which was Roger Thorpe, the most infamous villain in soap history (played to perfection by the late, great Micheal Zaslow on-and-off from 1971 to 1997). During the years 1995-2004, the show lost its focus. Those years were filled by incompetent producers and writers who created some of the worst story lines in the show's history. Some of these clunkers included the cloning of Reva, the Santos family, the San Cristobal story (the only good thing about that one is the emergence of Our Prince of Darkness---Edmund Winslow), and the Mary Anne Carruthers mystery. In early 2004, GL seems to be getting back on track with competent producers and writers at the helm, who have created story lines that make good use of the show's long history (the only down side is that Grant Aleksander, who played Philip Spaulding since 1982 was sacrificed).

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