Today is National Coming Out Day, and leave it to a former soap star’s story to be in the spotlight on this important date for the LGBT community! In a brand new feature at Out.com, Guiding Light fan favorite Maureen Garrett, who played the complex and long-suffering, Holly, and was part of the super couple of Roger (Michael Zaslow) and Holly Thorpe, has come out publicly. She discusses it in the piece about her time on Guiding Light, and her off-screen family.
The actress revealed her 20 year relationship with her partner, Janet Morgan and that together they raised three sons. When Garrett talked about the commonality between her and her on-screen alter-ego Holly she said, “She wore far too much makeup,” noting that her friends and family were entertained by her glamorous appearance on television: she’d arrive on the GL set straight from her cabin, clad in jeans and boots, and was completely made over. The daily transformation remained temporary, of course. “At the end of the day I almost always washed off the make-up, and with it, Holly’s brand of crazy.”
Below are some other excerpts from the feature detailing why Maureen never shared her story publicly during her run on Guiding Light, and how she stepped away from acting, but has begun getting her feet wet in it, once again!
Garrett’s story on being on Guiding Light while remaining closeted to the public: “While Garrett’s Guiding Light costars knew of her relationship with Morgan, fans of the Holly/Roger saga never had a clue. Several reasons the actress never shared her family story publicly. The first was Garrett’s predilection for privacy. The other reason is even more obvious: when she was center stage on GL, it was simply a different time in history. In the early ’90s—often considered by viewers to be the Holly/Roger heyday—very few celebrities publicly deviated from the socially prescribed norms. Despite what was happening to celebrities coming out in the real world, Garrett says she still approached GL’s writers about creating a storyline for Holly that involved a same-sex love affair. The result? The network wouldn’t touch it. That storyline would come several years later, in a notoriously G-rated plot involving Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia as Olivia and Natalia. (The fact that the storyline wasn’t between Olivia and Holly infuriated viewers, who bombarded Internet forums with comments about the tense undertones and chemistry that the two shared onscreen).”
Garrett on life post-Springfield: “After Guiding Light ended in 2009, Garrett’s decision to leave acting was simply a case of knowing when to move on and not looking back. “I no longer felt the desire to pursue acting,” she says of not turning up in a new onscreen role after the GL’s cancellation. “That muse had flown.” She left New York and pursued other interests, from sculpting and writing to studying Spanish. However, it wasn’t long before she was drawn back into performing. When Charles Towers, the artistic director of the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, offered Garrett the chance to return to theater in the new play, Ghost Writer, she accepted. The timing proved to be perfect. Playing the character of Vivian Woosley provided a welcome distraction from her mother’s recent passing. For an actress who began in the theater, it was also a return to her acting roots.”
At the end of this story, Garrett had a special message to her fans: “I am very happy and fulfilled,” she says, before adding in a semi-mocking tone reminiscent of Holly, “and the kids are all right.”
So soapers, what do you think of the news of Maureen coming out? What went down at Guiding Light when Maureen suggested a same-sex storyline for Holly? Where you a fan of Holly on GL? Let us know!