Soap Opera History

Guiding Light Wayback: Remembering Dr. Ed Bauer

Guiding Light Ed BauerGuiding Light Ed Bauer

The Bauer family is one of the most well-known and longest-running not only on Guiding Light but in all of soap opera history. Anchoring that clan in later years was Dr. Ed Bauer, played the longest by Emmy-nominated actor Peter Simon.

Early Days
William Edward Bauer became a doctor and was determined to be his own man, so he started going by the name Ed as his dad was known as Bill. Ed blasted his alcoholic father for cheating on his beloved mother, Bert, having no idea how much like him he’d become.

At Cedars, Ed met and fell in love with his first wife, Leslie Jackson, daughter of his mentor, Dr. Stephen Jackson. Ed fought brother Mike for Leslie’s affections and took up with Janet Mason. Leslie gave birth to Ed’s son, Frederick (AKA Rick). Ed got drunk in Las Vegas and impulsively wed Holly Norris. He believed her daughter Christina (Blake) was his, but the true dad was Roger Thorpe!

It’s A Miracle
After splitting from Holly, Ed fell in love with Rita Stapleton, a nurse. Roger faked his death and kidnapped a pregnant Rita who lost Ed’s baby in the ordeal. Later, Roger took Holly to Santa Domingo. Ed and Mike tracked him down there, where Ed would eventually shoot Roger and he fell to his death (not really) despite Ed’s efforts to save him from falling.

Moving On
Ed became chief of staff at Cedars Hospital and dated spoiled socialite Vanessa Chamberlain before settling down with stable Maureen Bauer. In the mid-80s, the Bauer clan took some big hits: niece Hope and brother Mike moved away; Hillary was killed; Bert died a few years after having her leg amputated. Ed fathered a child, Michelle, with Claire after he thought Maureen was dead. Ed and a barren Maureen had a fight at the Bauer cabin over his infidelity.

Playing Doctor
Claire gave up custody of Michelle to Ed and Maureen, who settled into a few years of stability. All that changed when Fletcher Reade’s wife, Maeve, died and Holly returned to Springfield to check on a grown Blake (no longer calling herself Christina). Maureen had an emotional relationship with Fletcher which Ed thought was physical, so he reconnected with Holly. Eventually, Ed and Mo reunited and renewed their wedding vows.

Goodbye My Friend
Ed and Maureen’s marriage was challenged when her troublemaking niece, Bridget, came to live with them. Next, Ed threw his dying pal Lillian a mercy love-making session. Lillian lived but in a tragic twist of fate, Maureen died after finding out about the affair following another showdown at the Bauer cabin over Ed being unfaithful.

Out Of Africa
After Ed’s wife Eve died, he took an assignment in Africa to get away from the pain. He returned in time to see Rick through a heart crisis. Viewers learned that Ed, Alan Spaulding, Buzz Cooper, as well as Billy and Josh Lewis had all been involved in the death of a young woman named Maryanne Carruthers after a car they were in plunged into the water.

Her Aunt Carrie sought revenge against the men who she blamed for her niece’s death. Ed’s guilt over his role in the scandal prompted him to slap Michelle. But it turned out Carrie killed Maryanne, who had survived the crash.

Turn Off The Light
After another stint in Africa, Ed returned to the States and set up shop in California. He was visited by Rick’s best pal Phillip Spaulding. Ed told Phillip that he was dying. Back in Springfield, Ed oversaw an experimental procedure that saved Phillip’s life. Ed decided to go on a trip around the world, but he didn’t want to go alone. He asked Holly to be his companion and she said yes.

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