News - Soap Buzz

50 October 22nd, 2016 Kim Zimmer, Robert Newman, Beth Chamberlin & Grant Aleksander Talk Guiding Light Reunion & Which Soap They Would Like To Be On Now!

Courtesy/CBS

On the October 12th episode of The Talk, the afternoon series welcomed stars from Guiding Light as part of a special broadcast honoring CBS Daytime’s 30 years as the number one daytime television network.

Iconic cast members: Kim Zimmer (Reva), Robert Newman (Josh), Beth Chamberlin (Beth) and Grant Aleksander (Phillip) were reunited before a live studio audience. Before their entrance, a short retrospective of GL clips was shown bringing the emotion and heart of what fans loved from the characters in Springfield for 56 years on television.   It has been seven years since GL went off the air in 2009, but these actors and the characters they played have left an indelible impression for fans of the genre, and earned the respect of their peers.

Following their on stage segment, On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman sat down with Kim, Robert, Beth, and Grant for a heartfelt reunion, where the actor’s discussed life without the ‘Light’, being back together again for this special episode of The Talk, their legions of fans who miss GL every day, and what daytime soap still on the air would they like to appear on if given the opportunity.   Here’s what they had to say!

Kim, I noticed when you walked out in front of the live studio audience at The Talk, who were standing on their feet and so happy to see you and the GL cast, you were crying.  Obviously, it is and was so emotional for you.  I was crying, too!

Courtesy/CBS

KIM:  I’m always crying.  I was crying on my pre-interview with the woman from The Talk that was pre-interviewing me!  I said “I’m sorry; I just have to have a moment.” (Laughs)

Robert, when was the last time you had a sort of reunion with Kim?

ROBERT:  The last time I saw Kim was when we did a production of Gypsy together a year ago.  We didn’t talk the entire time during the production (Laughs).  Well, I had a restraining order on her! (Laughs)

Is there still a feeling of emptiness for you every day that you are not going to work on Guiding Light, even though it has now been off the air for seven years?

KIM:  We were talking about it in the dressing room, and Grant said it beautifully.  We would have loved to have been those people like: Larry Gates (H.B,) and William Roerick (Henry), and Beverlee McKinsey (Alexandra) who grew old on the show and maybe then appeared on the show two or three times a month, and it would be great.  I would then have the opportunity to continue doing theater, and still be able to make appearances. and mentor younger actors.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Could you ever foresee Guiding Light in some form, ever coming back in an online version?

GRANT:  It’s incredibly doable to do these shows again on the web and at a fraction of what they originally cost, but again it’s the elephant in the room with P&G, and the rights.

Grant, you were the golden boy of Guiding Light, during your run as Phillip Spaulding.  What storylines were most memorable for you looking back?

GRANT:   I think we would all probably agree we don’t see things as they are happening, but in the rear-view mirror.  What was really well-written, and it was springboard to everything else, was the first story I did, but I also think the leukemia story was wonderfully written, and it is all about the writing.  If the writing is good, you can get a lot of people to do these roles effectively. We all got very lucky being in the right place at the right time, and made the most of it.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

BETH:  A young Hayden Panettiere was fantastic in the storyline as Lizzie.

On The Talk, the iconic “Slut of Springfield” clip was shown.  It’s still one of the greatest soap moments of all-time and holds up among the best of the best to this day. What were your thoughts when you saw the scene being played on national television so many years later?

ROBERT:  I think back to the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  story, where Josh was in a wheelchair, and Reva had married H.B.  But to me, that story solidified Josh and Reva as this big thing.  I think it propelled us to a different level, and it was gorgeous storyline.

BETH:  When you were talking about the writing, I think of Downton Abbey’s whose first season was fabulous.   But frankly, as it went on I felt it wasn’t great story.  Our writers wrote great story day after day on Guiding Light.  They were not just writing an arc for 12 episodes.  It really gave me a great appreciation for the great soap writers and what they could do and churn out all of that material all of the time.

Kim, you were always vocal about the good storylines they threw your way and the bad … looking back on it now, do you think the bad were that bad?  (Laughs)  Yes, I know there was the clone!

Courtesy/CBS

KIM:  Even the bad stories were challenging and that’d why we do this, because we love to be challenged.   I used to say, “It’s my job to make the s**t smell like roses”   That was rare that it was really stinky, but when it was …

BETH … Sometimes it was fun though, because you get a rush as an actress and you say, “If I can buy into it, then the audience will believe it”   Now in New York for us actors, there are not any soaps, so now I am doing more primetime guest spots.  You realize how you got addicted to the pace of daytime, because primetime is so slow.

KIM:  I am so much more fulfilled doing theatre.  I did Wicked and I have been systemically checking out all the theatrical roles I have always wanted to do.   I have about five left they include: Mame, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff?

For each of you, with four network daytime dramas left on the air, which soap would you most like to do if a part were to come up that would be up your alley?

KIM:  I would love to work with Bradley Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B).  I think he is incredible.  Fan have written to me saying I would make a great sister to Sally Spectra (the late Darlene Conley).  They say “That would be a perfect fit for you,” or even Sally Spectra! I think the character is still alive.  It would be hard shoes to step into, but I could see myself playing Sally’s sister!

Courtesy/CBS

BETH:  I have to say, I think for me, Y&R, because of new executive producer Mal Young’s background coming from the BBC.   It is very intriguing to me and the way that they do soaps over in the UK.  I think it’s really interesting, and I think it’s going to be really exciting to watch Y&R.

ROBERT:  Y&R seems to be the closest to Guiding Light, a show that is driven by family-oriented drama.   I felt like the best stuff we did on GL, and yes there were the gimmicky stories we did, and the –not-so gimmicky like when we told a cancer storyline. But at the core of it, Guiding Light was about family – brother to brother, father to son,  husband and wife, and sister to sister.  I feel like Y&R hits on all of those.

GRANT:  I think for me any of them for a short arc or as a new character, because they have a pretty good idea of what they want to do, who you are, and what you want to accomplish. When you are on a soap long term the things you tend to fight on a soap after awhile is they don’t know where they want to take you, or what they want to do.  But, I love this medium and I love the workload if it.  I think I would enjoy doing an arc on any of them.

Seeing you all together meant so much too so many people watching at home, those of us here with you today, and those who will be reading this.  Guiding Light is forever in all of our hearts.  What do you want the fans to know right now?

Photo: MF Soaps Inc

KIM:  We want the fans to know that we are OK, and we hope they are too!  We met some really emotional fans when we did the So Long Springfield Tour that were devastated.  It was just so hard to talk with them, because they were worried about us, and they were worried about themselves, and about filling that hour in their life every day.   It was sad.

ROBERT:  It’s amazing how many times when I am somewhere in the country or walking down the street, how fans come up to me and get so weepy about it.  Sometimes they will ask me, ‘What are Josh and Reva doing today?”   As if in their own mind their story has continued, but they don’t get to watch it anymore.  I think that is what makes it so frustrating for them that they want to know what is happening to these characters.  I am also grateful that we have left a lasting memory with them.

So, what did you think of what Kim, Robert, Beth and Grant has to say about being back together again and thinking back at their time on Guiding Light? Were you moved to tears watching the GL stars on The Talk? Would you like to see Kim on B&B, Robert and Beth on Y&R, and Grant do a guest star turn on anyone of the four soaps?  If so, what role would you cast them in on your favorite daytime drama?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  1. Lou piikes says:

    I hope P&G is paying attention. Fans would enjoy an online reboot of GL, EON, and ATWT.

    Reply

    Ben replied

    They should put it back on TV, in my view, but re-mount it the right way. They need the fast pace, great (interior) sets, and good dialogue that they had in the 90s.

    Reply

  2. Lana says:

    I really loved GL and love this interview! I would love to see kz as Sally’s sister but B and B is a ghost of its former great self. It truly is written horribly now. I would wish better things for my favorite GL actors.

    Reply

    Ben replied

    I haven’t watched B & B for a while. Periodically, they used to present it in continuous format — with no commercial interrupts — and it was a much better show without the interruptions. Were I hired by CBS, I would advise them to bring it (the format) back.

    Reply

  3. susan blackman says:

    I loved GL and still miss it very much,of course Josh an Reva were my favorite. I was so grateful they ended the show with Josh an Reva together,I would love to see a special or something showing them years down the road and what their characters are doing now.

    Reply

    KansasGuest replied

    I started watching GL because of Reva Shayne. But, what really held me was the “Four Musketeers” in the mid-80′s. I’m sorry. But, Judi Evans will always be Beth for me. She slayed in that story as a teenager abused by her evil stepfather. GL had so many great stories in those years, and Beverlee McKinsey was still appearing as Alexandra Spaulding.

    Reply

  4. Scoma60 says:

    I miss GL to this very day. The characters were truly like family to longtime viewers. There’s a contingent group of GH viewers who really want Robert Newman and Colleen Zenk to play Mr and Mrs Jeff Webber.

    Reply

    soapqueenforever replied

    As a long time fan of ATWT, I would love to see Coleen Zenk back on the screen. She was always one 8f my favorites. What I don’t understand is why all of these fantastic soap actors are be mentioned to play Jeff Webber? Is there a reason why Richard Dean Anderson is not eing asked. Unless he was asked, and he turned it down because the show is a shell of its former self.

    Reply

    soapqueenforever replied

    On a post script I would like to add that I enjoyed that episode of The Talk. The clips and the actors brought back great memories of afternoons with my mother, who was a fan ofATWT in the early seventies. I felt so grown up watching this show, that I continued watching it as much as time would allow until it went off the. I watched the last episode and cried throughout

  5. Ghpert says:

    Shock shock……when reading question, I thought CBS shows. Bingo.

    Reply

  6. Ric says:

    Would love Grant on Days as Mike Horton!

    Reply

    Dylan replied

    What a good casting idea! I always said Grant would have made an awesome Ridge on B and B, but he is too good an actor for that kind of drivel. Mike Horton is funny in that anyone from, like Jonathan Jackson to Jerry VerDorn could play the role. Lol. That is a character that has been aged and de-aged more than any other character. I think DAYS realized in 1989 when they aged Scotty Banning that they better lay off on SORAS. Aging Scotty meant Alice and Tom would have been 114 years old in 1989. Thats why Mike was brought back in 1994 in the same age range as Carrie and Austin, even though Mike was a doctor before Carrie was born.

    Reply

    Richard replied

    I said the SAME THING!! Grant wouldve been awesome as Ridge on BOLD!!!!!

  7. Jimh(leave it to beaver) says:

    Robert Newman as Dr. Jeff Webber on GH,,,Grant Alexander as Peter Blake Days with Beth Chamberlain as his neglected alcholoic socialite wife Tracy who could be Victor’s daughter..Kim Zimmer as Hilliary Quartimaine…a long lost unknown daughter of Edward Quartimaine on GH if Jane Eliot does retire…

    Reply

  8. Jamesj75 says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this interview, and I wasn’t even a GL viewer. Of course, I knew about these actors and their roles. I empathize with them. We all lament the loss of soaps, several terrific shows, such as GL. These actors all seem so genuine and humble. And they really appreciate the fans!

    Reply

  9. Mark in FLA says:

    I didn’t know Robert Newman & Kim Zimmer did the musical “Gypsy” together.
    Does anyone know where that was?
    I would love to see Kim in Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” What an incredible Martha she would be. It sends chills up my spine thinking what she would do with that role.

    Reply

  10. Coco says:

    I think Robert Newman would be an excellent choice for Ashley Abbott. Make him a strong smart wealthy take no nonsense business mogul who falls in love and marry Ashley.

    Put Beth Chamberlain with Jack Abbott.

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    OMG ! Timmm brought it up … about Robert Newman and Ashley… AMAZING !

    talk about adult drama… brought on by two actors with intellect, who recognize each others wants, play off of each other… and can deliver the hurt… with so much love

    OMG… Beth Chamberlin and Peter Bergman …. the gods say … NOW

    CLASS all around

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    I get it… Beth Chamberlin returns as Sage sister… and lays claim to Sage baby… the dna was “rigged” LOL… and Sharon nuts up again

    Beth CHamberlin and just jack… ignite

    Patrick replied

    for “want” of nothing – more – than better… show (s)

    Mal Young… the Abbotts were and are… the dynasty of Y&R

    Jack and Beth Chamberlin
    Ashley and Robert Newman
    Tracy and … to be determined

    Billy and …

    tis is far and away far more an interesting hook line and sinker for viewers to see this family rise from the ashes.

    it’s so much more interesting than any and all Newman. so blasé beyond care

  11. kevin says:

    I was so happy to see all four of them…I got hooked on GL when Douglas Marland begin his stint as head writer which I think was GL at it’s best. I did watch after Doug Marland left from time to time and GL did have many good moments and story lines after Doug. I would love to see Kim on B&B and Robert on Y&R and Grant and Beth on any ot the four. I wish them all nothing but the best in the future and they along with GL will live on in our hearts. BTW, I remember when Robert started on GL, he was not a nice guy but I have always loved his character and think he is a fantastic actor and we all know Kim, WOW…an emmy winner multiple times.

    Reply

  12. mark says:

    I would love this show on the web it was just so good and it was such a part of my life
    I would love Kim as sally spectra tho!!!!!!!

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    if ATWT, GL, and/or Another World ever returned

    i’d say bye bye to the current 4.

    Reply

  13. James R. Poissant says:

    I was close to being emotional when I saw the ladies from ATWT but I do understand how the GL fans felt. It’s a real pisser these 2 shows are gone just like it’s that same exact feeling about AMC and OLTL. Cancelling these shows was a very big stupid move on the part of the networks. Shows the fans are just peons in their eyes.

    Reply

  14. Dollar bill says:

    Grant would make a great Jeff Webber! Make it happen GH!

    Reply

  15. mmc says:

    I miss GL & ATWT so much …these were well written shows with memorable characters…I would even watch them for a half hour .once a week if P& G would work with the fans….I know a lot of these actors have moved on….but it would be so good to see any of them on a soap once in a while….

    Reply

  16. JK says:

    GL and ATWT WERE TERRIFIC…..THOSE WERE THE DAYS OF FANTASTIC ACTORS AND WONDERFUL WRITING!!!! I WOULD LOVE TO SEE ALL OF THEM ON A CURRENT SOAP IF THEY COULD GET A DECENT STORYLINE!!!!!!

    Reply

  17. Mark Y says:

    Thank you Michael Fairman for giving these four their due! So great to see them and the ladies of ATWT. I could have listened to the speak for hours. Miss them all so much.

    Reply

  18. fginaspy says:

    I appreciate these actors so much. The show is gone, but memories live on. I love what Grant said that if the show had continued they would eventually been the senior players mentoring the younger actors. I loved the question about which soap left you would want to appear on. Even posters had great ideas. I loved the idea of KZ being a lost Quarterrmaine.

    Reply

  19. Rodd says:

    Seeing these wonderful actors was so uplifting; brief, but uplifting. So many great memories came flooding back.

    While reading the interview, I couldn’t help but wonder about how the show could be brought back in some fashion. P&G is a real bugger when it comes to allowing fans the opportunity to see their stable of shows. But I would LOVE to see even a two-hour movie or mini-series where someone tells the story of the towns where the P&G shows took place and we had the chance to see some of the characters from the shows, where they went after the final episodes and really focus on them, not a bunch of new ones, and give us a brief update: marriages, divorces, romances, births, deaths, careers, adventures, things like that.

    Ah, one can wish! I’d LOVE to see some kind of update on shows that have gone off the air. My top picks: AW, ATWT, GL, OLTL, EON, TX, SFT, mostly the P&G ones that I used to watch.

    Reply

  20. Judy says:

    I realy miss Another World It was my all time favor and Day of our live we need to keep watching so it dont get canceled for it wll become a merory too love my dvr

    Reply

    mark replied

    I miss AW too although the writing was uneven but Anne Heche as Vicky/Marley was just fantastic soap opera!

    Reply

    Judy replied

    Anne Heche Vicky\Marley I agree and the guy who played Jake they made it fantastic soap opera

    Lou piikes replied

    Its all about the writing. We need new and interesting storylines to attract the younger demographic and retain the older generation.

    Reply

  21. Rapids says:

    Enjoyed The interview until Beth asserts GL was better written than Downton Abbey. What a ridiculous thing to say.
    GL had its ups and downs but I remember the very classy ending. I will never forget Philip and his father sitting on that bench.
    I became a big Kim ZImmer fan but the writing for Reva was just ridiculous at times.
    Love Grant in anything he does, I hope he can find work.

    Reply

    Michael (not Fairman) replied

    I noticed that too, Rapids, and it cracked me up. Love Beth Chamberlin to death and would be thrilled if she showed up on another soap, but I just have to disagree with her on this. GL, at its best (Douglas Marland, Pam Long, Nancy Curlee) was probably every bit as well written as Downton Abbey, but even Downton Abbey at its lowest was not nearly as awful as GL when it was mediocre (too many headwriters to mention) or bad (McTavish, Ellen Weston). DA was always watchable (even when I was so sick of Daisy in the final season that I wanted to throw things at my screen); GL, not so much. (And yes, I know there’s a world of difference between turning out a dozen episodes and doing 250 a year. But if Beth C. is going to make the comment and open the door, I’m going to follow her through it!)

    Limiting that comment strictly to writing, of course. I never had any problems with the acting–at least, the acting by those who were cast for their acting ability. (Those who were cast mostly because of how they looked when wearing very little, well, you get what you get, on any show, not just GL.)

    Reply

  22. SAndra says:

    I would love to see Kim Zimer and Robert Newman on BB . They were my favorite couple.

    Reply

  23. janet says:

    I was always a GL and ATWTs fan first and foremost. certainly was happy they at least ended the storylines happily. Loved seeing Josh and Reva together again. The only good thing they did for the fans in the last year.
    Thanks Michael for putting this up. I make it a point to never watch the scummy show that they replaced my show with. I never forgive or forget.

    Reply

  24. sonniorsolita says:

    Thank you for this great interview. I would love to see any of these fine actors anywhere!

    Reply

  25. Patrick says:

    Robert Newman… undoubtedly… is the sexiest man alive.. and can ACT

    Guiding Light with Josh, Annie, and Olivia…. smolder

    I love love love Beth Chamberlin… to no end

    Reply

  26. Guiding_light Twitter says:

    What a wonderful article from Michael! Bravo! This is exactly what we fans want to hear from our beloved stars! Thank you!

    If only P&G would sell the rights to GL to someone who would let us see more. Wake up! This valuable resource is worth less each year as you lose more of your fan base. We aren’t getting younger each year! Put it back on the air so we can increase the market share!

    Reply

  27. Ray says:

    Fantastic interview. I love the idea of Grant playing Mike Horton on “DOOL,” Kim Zimmer playing Sally’s sister on “B&B”, but my dream would be to see Colleen Zenk play Kate Roberts’ sister on “DOOL.” Robert Newman and Beth Chamberlain would be a great addition to any show.

    Reply

  28. Courtney says:

    This may sound crazy, but why doesn’t P&G put ALL episodes online? I would re-watch so much of it, Especially the early episodes before my time. “SoapFlix!” Add some retro advertiser spotlights from each year. Ad dollars potential!

    Reply

    jaybird369 replied

    Hey, Courtney…EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT IDEA!!!!! AW, HELL YEAH!!!!!

    Take care, Courtney.

    Reply

    Rapids replied

    Many soap fans have died off. Surviving soap fans are older and less likely to watch any online programming.
    I don’t think there would be enough interest and there are conversion and operating costs to go online.
    It would also be expensive to market and advertise these old soaps. I don’t see it happening. Just enjoy your memories.

    Reply

    Lou piikes replied

    There are enough of us old soap fans around to sustain and support a subscription service for a an online soap channel filled with our favorite shows. It wouldn’t hurt to reboot several of these shows to cater to a new and younger audience.

  29. Andrea says:

    Loved grant alexander and Beth chamberlin together . There was no better couple on daytime ever and i watched many soaps and none compared or held my interest as much as gl. I remember watching it with my mom in the 60s and continued watching til the end.
    Please consider bringing these two very talented and gifted actors back to daytime.

    Reply

  30. blake says:

    thank you for this article Michael. Guiding Light has always been my favorite soap, ever since the 80′s when I was little.

    As much as I love and miss GL I’m not sure if it’s a good idea if it came back, the stories wrapped up perfectly. I think it would have been good if Paul Raunch brought it back like he was going to before he died. Grant Alexsander said that Raunch pretty much had it all worked out with P&G.

    Beth Chamberlain still looks amazing, she’d fit right in on Y&R or B&B with no problem. Robert Newman doesn’t even look like he’s aged.

    Reply

  31. clb says:

    So happy for my GL favorites but I miss them beyond words. I felt like someone in my family died when GL was cancelled after 70+ years. I watched the show as a kid in the 1970s with my grandmother (as though we had a choice to turn the channel) and agree that the best written years were with Pam Long, Douglas Marland, Melissa Salmons, Jeff Ryder, Courtney Simon, Lloyd Gold, and especially Nancy Curlee. P&G needs to release the rights to this show so that it can be brought back in some form. They wanted to get out of the soap opera business anyway. The Light will always shine for me! Thanks Michael for keeping us up to date.

    Reply

  32. Reagan says:

    I loved gl. I love reva. I grew up watching the show and cried when it ended. I love Daisy and reva. I went threw the same issues as Daisy (together with Daisy and reva). Thanks Kim for great memories. Love u reva. Ahhh Kim zimmer love u Kim zimmer! Always.

    Reply

Leave a comment