Soap Hub Flashback Friday: Tina Sloan Recalls Guiding Light Finale

Tina Sloan recalls Lillian’s sweet scene in Guiding Light’s final days.

tina sloan remembers the final days of guiding light.Tina Sloan remembers Guiding Light's final episodes.

Thanks to the Internet and an official limited release of select DVDS, fans can still watch episodes of beloved soap opera Guiding Light. Actress Tina Sloan played Nurse Lillian Raines on GL from 1983 until the show’s finale in 2009. Soap Hub recently chatted with the actress, and we couldn’t resist asking her to reflect on the show’s bittersweet finale.

Tina Sloan: Remembering Lillian Raines

Post-GL, Sloan has become a writer, penning spy novels. You can read all about her books, Chasing Cleopatra and Chasing Othello, here. While she played Lillian, Sloan served as a trusted medical professional at Cedars Hospital and a supportive mother to daughter Beth (Judi Evans; Beth Chamberlin). Fortunately, Lillian extricated herself from her dysfunctional marriage to her abusive husband, Bradley (James Rebhorn).

Lillian had a sweet romance with Hawk Shayne (Gil Rogers) and later, a one-time fling with Dr. Ed Bauer (Peter Simon) during her battle with breast cancer. Otherwise, she remained a lonely heart. That is, until the soap’s last shows when she found love with Buzz Cooper (Justin Deas). In GL’s final episodes, Buzz and Lillian were wed in a double ceremony.

“I loved it!” Sloan says. “I loved our getting married along with Billy [Jordan Clarke] and Vanessa [Maeve Kinkead]. We were the older couples. It was nice to see us in love and happy. I just loved it.”

Goodbye My Friend

Lillian and Ed may not have set out to hurt anyone, but his wife Maureen (Daytime Emmy-winner Ellen Parker) was devastated over the duo’s betrayal. After blasting Lillian for turning her and Ed’s marriage into a “suburban joke” and a showdown with Ed at the Bauer cabin, a devastated Maureen was in a fatal car accident.

Over 16 years later, on her wedding day to Buzz, Lillian went to Maureen’s grave and made peace. “That was my idea!” Sloan enthuses about the emotional scene. “I said [to the writers] you cannot not give me this!”

At Maureen’s final resting place, Lillian said, “I don’t come here often enough, Maureen. It’s because I’m afraid. Because I don’t want to remember…You were my best friend, and your death…your death changed this town forever. [Editor’s note: Truer words were never spoken!]

“I know I’ve said I’m sorry, but I need to say it again,” a mournful Lillian continued. “I am so sorry, Maureen. I made the mistake, and you paid with your life for it. I didn’t move ahead with my life because I felt so guilty. But now, I’m ready to.

“Oh, I met someone Maureen — Buzz,” Lillian happily shared. “You’d love him. He’s wonderful. He loves me. He loves me! And I love him. Oh, and he asked me to marry him. I said yes. But I wanted to tell you first. I want you to understand. I know you…of all people in the world will understand.” The scene was shot outdoors as GL had moved to a production model that necessitated a great deal of exterior taping. “We did that in one take!” Sloan proudly shares.

Tina Sloan: Guiding Light’s Finale

After 71 years of drama, Guiding Light broadcast its finale on Friday, September 17, 2009. While General Hospital recently celebrated its 60th year on TV, GL will hold the record of being broadcasting’s longest drama for another 11 years. Sloan and co-star Ron Raines (Alan) appeared on CBS’s The Early Show to share their thoughts about GL’s light being dimmed on its final day. “We’ll miss CBS,” Sloan said and added pointedly, “and they’ll miss us.” A chuckling Sloan shared with Soap Hub: “I did say that! I remember that!”

Subscribe Now

Get spoilers, news and recaps in your inbox daily.

Subscribe Now

Get spoilers, news and recaps in your inbox daily.