Today is a monumental anniversary for soap vet and multiple Emmy-winner Kim Zimmer… and here’s why:
Believe it or not, folks, it was 35 years ago today that the fan favorite debuted as Reva Shayne Lewis on Guiding Light!
The actress had been on other daytime dramas, but it was the role of Reva, which Zimmer won four Daytime Emmys, that made her a household name among soap fans!
Reva had been mentioned here and there for months prior to her arrival on the scene. Finally, the woman talked about by Billy (Jordan Clarke), H.B. (the late Larry Gates), and Joshua (Robert Newman) came to life when the show cast Zimmer, fresh off her stint as Echo DiSavoy on One Life to Live.
Viewers met Reva in the flesh — and as she was seen getting a massage in her debut, we mean ‘the flesh!’ — when Alan Spaulding (the late Chris Bernau) showed up where Reva was staying hoping to lure her to Springfield so she could break up the relationship between Reva’s ex, Billy, and Vanessa (Maeve Kinkead), the woman Alan desired.
From her first scene as Reva (which you can see below), Zimmer brought a fiery, feisty, lovable passion to the screen. Sure, Reva was aligning herself with a bad guy, but fans rooted for her anyway.
Under the guidance of head writer Pamela K. Long, Reva made both a figurative and a literal splash in Springfield, first as Vanessa’s foil and later her ally in her marrying Billy.
“Reva Shayne is one of the most unforgettable characters in television history as far as I’m concerned,” Long tells Soap Hub. “And Kim Zimmer [has] more heart and passion and pure sexiness in her little finger than any actress working today. And [I had] more fun [writing for her] than I ever had in my life.
“From the first time I set eyes on her when she ran up to me and humped my leg to standing on stage crying, winning Emmy after Emmy, I’ll never forget her…”
Reva’s love for Joshua was clear, but there were obstacles along the way. Josh’s rejection of Reva led her to marry H.B. because she loved him and he accepted her for who she was.
After Josh was paralyzed in a car accident (after finding out Reva and H.B. had wed), Reva did her best to get Josh back on his feet.
She broke, though, after Josh taunted her at a party Vanessa threw, leading to the infamous fountain scene (which you can also see below) in which Reva self-baptized herself as “the slut of Springfield.”
The pair finally wed for the first time during the summer of 1989. Over the years, there were other love interests for Reva including Kyle Sampson (the late Larkin Malloy), Buzz Cooper (Justin Deas), and Jeffrey O’Neill (Bradley Cole).
However, when the show concluded in 2009, the long-running series’ last moments showed Josh and Reva reuniting for “always,” the word Reva used to describe her love for Josh.