Some sons choose to follow in their father’s footsteps, but Guiding Light’s Rick Bauer literally followed Ed’s entire blueprint right down to multiple failed marriages and a penchant for losing his patients.
Who Is Rick Bauer?
Had Leslie not informed Ed of her pregnancy, there’s little doubt that he would have divorced her and pursued a future with his mistress, Janet Norris. But since there was about to be a new addition to the Bauer family, the estranged couple reunited.
Fredrick “Rick” Bauer – named in honor of his paternal great grandfather – was ushered into the world under the cloud of resentment that hung between his parents. And when’s Ed’s infidelity was uncovered, Rick was taken from the family and moved into a small apartment alongside Leslie.
He returned to the Bauers under Ed’s auspice when Leslie chose to marry the much older – and considerably wealthy – Stanley Norris. But after his stepfather’s death, Rick was handed back to Leslie who married the babe’s uncle, Mike – the only man she had ever truly loved.
A mere three years later, Leslie was mortally wounded by a drunk driver, and Rick was retuned to Ed’s custody. Holly Norris, Ed’s wife and Rick’s former stepsister did her best to mother Rick but he received far more comfort from his grandmother, Bert.
In time, Rick was enrolled in Lincoln Prep School and it was at that institution that Rick spent his formative years and gained a lifelong friend…
A Friend In Deed
Much to the displeasure of many in Springfield, that bosom buddy turned out to be Phillip Spaulding, Alan’s adopted son. The Bauers felt that Phillip was a bad influence on the easily-impressionable Rick but Phillip proved his merit when he shouldered the blame for Rick’s reckless driving while without a license.
As thanks, Rick encouraged Phillip to court Beth Raines – despite his interest in the young woman – and he even offered to wed Mindy Lewis when she became pregnant with Phillip’s child – lest she comes between Phillip and Beth.
But those would be far from the only favors that Rick would extend to Phillip. Among the many others was his helping Phillip fake his death, aiding him in his quest to uncover the identity of Neil Everest’s true murderer, keeping quiet about Phillip’s second faked death, and working to ensure that everyone in town believed in his passing.
That latter action would eventually result in the death of Ross Marler, whose plane was tampered with – on Rick’s orders!
Rick also happily forgave Phillip a number of trespasses such as sleeping with Meredith Reade (a woman whom Rick loved) and the kidnapping of Rick’s young son, Jude.
Unlucky In Love
Though he was an old-fashioned romantic a heart, Rick just couldn’t seem to sustain a relationship. His love affair with Roxie Shayne was complicated by his dedication to his medical studies (and a resulting addiction to amphetamines), as well as her involvement with an illegal alien, a bout with amnesia, and her preoccupation with her suicidal sister, Reva.
After the disastrous, above-mentioned brief marriage to Meredith, Rick dated Dana Jones, and briefly reconciled with old flame Mindy Lewis – who dumped him for the nefarious (and very marred) Roger Thorpe.
He briefly wed his good friend Beth – all part of the complicated scheme to unmask Neil’s killer – then enjoyed an even briefer union with the alcohol-dependent Annie Dutton. His eventual one-night stand with Harley Cooper went no further, but it did produce a son, Jude.
Guiding Light Marry-Go-Round
His two longest-lasting Guiding Light relationships were with Abby Blume and Mel Boudreau. The former was a deaf Amish girl whom Rick treated for migraines and the latter a fellow physician-turned-lawyer.
He married a prison-bound Abby hours before she was escorted to her new home – and became instrumental in helping her achieve her freedom. Their marriage was complicated by both the overly protective stance that Rick took where his younger sister was concerned and Abby’s uncertainty about having children.
Their amicable divorce cleared the way for Rick to unite with Mel, though the couple was soon to face a plethora of issues. First, Rick had to win over the prejudices of Mel’s family who found fault with Rick’s age and race. Then he discovered that he was in need of a heart transplant.
Rick selflessly arranged for a candidate lower down on the transplant list to accept the first heart found for him, and his act was rewarded. A second compatible donor (Richard Winslow) was found and his surgery – which took place soon after he and Mel exchanged vows – was a complete success.
But like all his previous relationships, Rick’s latest ended in disaster. His extra-marital affair with Beth Raines decimated the Bauer marriage and despite attempting to repair the damage – for the sake of their daughter, Leah – they both realized it was impossible.
In the divorce’s aftermath, Rick did everything in his power to win the affections of Beth but all his efforts (which included drugging Alan Spaulding, the object of Beth’s desire) were for naught. Beth ended up reuniting with Phillip and Rick was set to marry Mindy as life in Springfield disappeared and Guiding Light ended.