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Paul Raven

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For many years GL probably had the strongest and most complex men and women on any soap. Even at the end there were a lot of strong and interesting characters. Sadly the message the soaps get is that if you aren't a caveman and if women aren't in their place, the sky will fall.

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Pam Long interview from 84

Soap Opera World

February 1984

A candid conversation with a woman who has it all—a husband, a baby, a background as an excellent actress, and most prominently, the job as head writer of a much improved “Guiding Light.” And it’s a job that takes much more than beauty and brains—maybe a heart, which beats with a Southern accent…

She won the title “Miss Alabama” with her performance as a ventriloquist, putting words into Draggles the Dragon’s mouth. But Pamela Long Hammer is no dummy. While portraying the role of Ashley Linden Marshall on “Texas,” she started thinking up story ideas for other characters as well. Executive Producer Gail Kobe suggested she put them down on paper, and she won a job writing that show. Now, as head writer of “Guiding Light” for almost a year, she puts words in the mouths of dozens of Springfield residents every day, and industry observers are predicting that 1984 could be “the” year for the 31-year-old soap.

When “Soap Opera World’s” Linda Susman talked with her in her office recently, Ms. Long Hammer was dressed casually in loose fitting slacks and a red blouse, with her hair pulled straight back in a ponytail. But later that night, at GL’s Christmas party, wearing an elegant, black, off-the-shoulder dress, with her hair set in full, soft waves, she looked like a real Southern belle, the kind who’d fit in just fine having dinner at the country club with H.B. Lewis and his family.

S.O. World:

In the last several months, GL is virtually a new show. How would you define its character and personality right now?

P.L.H.:

I think we’re a hybrid. I think we’re a combination. We have melodrama and, of course, the primary thing is there’s always romance, even in the middle of that melodrama. The basis of our show is romantic, very romantic, but we have a lot of humor and melodrama and sentimentality. So in any given day, I hope we all laugh and cry along with everybody.

S.O. World:

What kind of process did you use, coming in as a new head writer?

P.L.H.:

I don’t know how to write any differently than I do and I’m learning more and more every day. The basis for everything we do is a combination of the head and the heart, mostly the imagination, but it always comes from the characters first. You look and say, “Who all do we have on the show?” We have the Bauers, the Reardons, the Spauldings and the Lewises. It’s a family show and we have three generations. We don’t slight our older people. I looked at those characters, where they’d been, after reading their histories. A lot of it I remembered because I watched the show when I was a little girl. What are these characters capable of? What could possibly happen in their lives? What do they really want, based on who they are right now and what they’ve gone through? For example, Ed Bauer. With another actor and another set of writers, this man had been an alcoholic. We still play that. At one point, some writer had him get shot in the hand because of a love triangle. So what we’re dealing with right now is like—he’s not quite old enough to have a mid-life crisis, but he’s at a point in his life where we make use of things other people laid in before us. Get that hand fixed, will he be able to perform surgery?

(THIS answer ought to be laminated and sent to all head writers!)

S.O. World:

Will he?

P.L.H.:

I don’t think I can tell you. I mean, I can tell you, but I don’t want you to print it.

S.O. World:

How do you respond to people who resent the fact that some long time characters have been let go or are not as important as they once were?

P.L.H.:

When I think of really long time characters, I think of Bert and I think of Mike. Truth be known there is a story coming up for Mike, so a lot of our ladies are going to be real interested to see that. You have only so much time to tell so many stories. We have a large cast and what we do is we try to—I mean, if a cat comes on, we can write a story for it. We rarely, like some shows, use old players as props to get off their guarantees by having them walk through a restaurant and say hello to somebody. When Mike’s on, he’s got a reason. Yesterday, he was helping Lillian and advising her, but truth be known, he does have a love story coming up.

(The Mike love story never happened—I’m not sure what precipitated Stewart leaving the show. There WAS a triangle being set up with him, Lillian, and Alexandra…and then he disappeared.)

S.O. World:

It’s about time.

P.L.H.:

It may not be with one woman, there may be a triangle where you’ve got big conflict. As for Charita Bauer, I think of her as the backbone of the show. She will be coming back after her illness. I hope people don’t think we’re writing her out. She has a big story coming up. It was just getting into motion when she got sick and we had to rewrite a lot of scenes and put Maureen in instead of Bert. We didn’t have time to prepare for it. She was going to have two men, for sure. It wasn’t just one. It was going to be—I’m not going to tell you because we hope it will still happen.

S.O. World:

Which family would you see as the glue of the show?

P.L.H.:

That’s a toss-up between the Reardons and the Bauers. I think of the Bauers as the core family, the oldest family on. The only really new family is that we’ve extended the Lewises. We had Trish and Josh and we extended them and I think they work great. The thing that’s so interesting is the conflict between the Chamberlains with their old money, very blue blood and sophisticated, and the Lewises, who are so rough around the edges, with all the family politics and blackmail. The Bauers support and do right, and the Reardons are so demonstrative and affectionate and love each other, they’re very satisfied and comfortable with themselves. The only other new family we brought on was the Raines family, and they’ve got a lot of problems.

S.O. World:

I automatically assumed that Bradley was going to get himself killed off, but I understand he won’t be leaving the show after all. How do you deal with a man who’s raped his own stepdaughter?

P.L.H.:

He will be punished, he’s just not going to die. That’s too easy, just to have some big dramatic thing and he finally gets conked on the head by somebody who’s sick and tired of him. He’s going to be brought to justice. The story we’ve told, this is really close to my heart, this rape story, and people get upset with it. They call and say, “Why didn’t she go to the authorities right away?” “Why didn’t she get an examination within 24 hours?” I say, “Why don’t 95% of the women this happens to do it?” They don’t, and that’s what we’re telling. We’re not telling the perfect way, though we will give a lot of airtime to dealing with that, too. What we’re saying is “this is what went wrong, see where it went wrong, see what happens, but you can overcome it.”

(People were upset because this story was disturbingly real).

S.O. World:

There was a rumor going around that Beth would be pregnant with Bradley’s child.

P.L.H.:

No, she won’t. We decided we didn’t need to go that far. The story I wanted to tell, number one, is the love story between Phillip and Beth. They have severe problems, but the love story is the primary thing. The second part of it is the rape and to be able to tell about that with responsibility, we didn’t need to go that far. Why would she have to live with something like that forever? It’s a whole different thing, then. You’re talking about unwanted pregnancy, teenage pregnancy. That wasn’t the story. The story was the devastation that occurs—rape is one thing, but when it is within the family, it’s a total loss of self-esteem. It’s building that back up because they’ve taken away everything.

S.O. World:

The scene where Bradley took Beth to the gynecologist [to certify that she was a virgin] was very powerful.

P.L.H.:

That was tough. That was my scene, too, that was really my responsibility. I got a lot of flack about that. “That girl’s my friend, I hated seeing her go through that.” It may have gone on a little too long, just in the day. Maybe it could have been one scene in a hook, but it was three long scenes. So I learned something from that. Perhaps I could have told the same story without going so far. I have to watch myself, because I’ll go for it.

S.O. World:

Is that the actress in you?

P.L.H.:

Well, I tell you, part of the fun, the reason I don’t miss acting, is because I get to be all these people. It’s probably that part of me that made me want to be an actress. That’s what motivated me to wind up here. I guess I could still be down in Alabama fixin’ cheese grits and sellin’ Avon like my mother did. It’s like I’m always looking for something else.

(I’m beginning to understand the appearance of the Lewises and Reva right now… )

S.O. World:

Where do you get your story ideas?

P.L.H.:

Well, I read things in the newspapers, or from your own experience, or things you hear about, but mostly what you dream about. I guess I just have a heart like a trashy novel. I just love all that stuff, you know.

S.O. World:

The name of the game in daytime is ratings. How is GL doing in that department?

P.L.H.:

We thought we were going to take a beating when Luke and Laura got back together, and our ratings went up higher than they have been in two or three years. We got as high as number three. I mean, it was just General Hospital and All My Children and us!

S.O. World:

The wrap-up of the fishing trip mystery that coincided with Luke and Laura’s reunion was very well done.

(This was the Eli Simms story they are talking about)

P.L.H.:

That story was written and executed just as we thought it would be when it was laid out last January. The viewers thought it went on a little too long, and I tend to agree. It should have been over three weeks earlier.

S.O. World:

Was it timed to conclude during the November sweeps?

P.L.H.:

Yes, and we’ll never do that again.

(Yeah, right).

S.O. World:

What’s coming up in the near future?

P.L.H.:

In February, after the New York remotes come to a climax, we’re going to have this huge masked ball where a million and one things are going to happen, and somebody new is coming to Springfield. It’s Alan Spaulding’s sister, a baroness, and she’s a wonderful character, really a character. She comes in and turns Springfield on its ear.

(The ball was fabulous. Have it on tape…)

S.O. World:

Is the part cast yet?

P.L.H.:

It’s Beverlee McKinsey (ex-Iris, AW & Texas). I’m so proud of that. The Queen Bee of all time. She will be unmasked at the masked ball. It’s going to be soo gorgeous.

S.O. World:

You seem to love big parties. Is that part of being a girl from the South?

P.L.H.:

…who never went to balls. This one’s going to be bigger than last spring’s Antebellum Ball. You’re going to have to watch everyday because something new’s going to be happening.

S.O. World:

How long will it go on?

P.L.H.:

I’m not sure yet, but I think four days. We have so much story right now and I think the characters are so interesting, we don’t have time for filler. I almost wish we did. I wish we could have a scene where people are sitting around having a cup of coffee and talking about their hair. I love scenes like that.

S.O. World:

Aren’t those the scenes that people always ridiculed about the soaps?

P.L.H.:

They’re just a piece of life and I love that, and I think our characters are interesting enough to do it. I mean, these people have so many things driving them to do everything that there’s no time to talk about their toenails. I would love to know what color some of them paint them, stuff like that.

S.O. World:

There’s been some talk that Amanda would be coming back to town, played by Pam Long. Is that true?

P.L.H.:

I have never heard anything more ridiculous in my life. First of all, I’d never be so stupid as to put myself on a show I was writing. I did it on Texas, but I was already working on it and I promptly wrote myself out. I could never play Amanda. Kathleen Cullen is Amanda and she played it beautifully. Nobody else could do that. And third, I don’t have the time. I couldn’t possibly do more than I’m doin’ right now.

S.O. World:

Several taboos have hit the dust recently on daytime television. Now that some of the barriers are down…

P.L.H.:

We had an idea for the homosexual thing on our show when AMC started doing it so we dropped it. We didn’t want to do it at that same time.

(Does anyone remember the AMC story???)

S.O. World:

What about interracial marriage? That really hasn’t been done. Would you tackle it?

P.L.H.:

Not just for the reason that it hasn’t been done. It has to come from a character. I would never plan a plot just to break new ground.

(In other words, no clones, time travel, etc.)

S.O. World:

It seems that not all that long ago, you were a newcomer to New York and to the soaps. Now, you’re a headwriter, you’re married, and you have a baby. How do you account for such rapid personal and professional success?

P.L.H.:

My mother would say it’s because of her prayers, and I’m sure that helps, believe me. I always expect good things to happen. I always say, “Oh, this is going to be terrible,” but I do that as a defense. Deep down inside I’m a very optimistic person. I think the show is really going to go. I just know it will. I knew someday I’d find somebody I’d really love and I knew I wanted to have children. I didn’t know if I could, so that was a miracle when C.J. happened. My mother always said “just go for it, baby,” and my daddy said to me before I went to Atlantic City, [for the Miss America Pageant], “always look up and reach high,” and I guess I always have.

S.O. World:

Which of the characters on GL is most like you?

P.L.H.:

I’d love to be like Maureen, I think it would be fun to be a little bit like Reva. I’d love to have some of the things Vanessa has, be as different as Nola, as good looking as Phillip, and as good a mother and as wise as Bert.

(Looking like Phillip…Don’t get me wrong, I would want a BOYFRIEND who looked like him—if you think GA’s attractive now you should have seen him in 1984, lol—but as a woman…I don’t think I’d want to look like him. Too many muscles!)

S.O. World:

Is it hard to remain impartial with your characters?

P.L.H.:

Do you know who I love on this show, who I have a soft spot for, who I get teased about constantly? I love Floyd.

S.O. World:

And he doesn’t have much of a storyline. Why?

P.L.H.:

Timing. Right now. Tony and Annabelle are involved in consuming story. They’re going along, getting themselves together, getting closer, seeking a normalcy. It goes in cycles. And Floyd does have a story: he won the lottery, he lost Leslie Ann, he punched out Warren Andrews.

S.O. World:

Will Tony and Annabelle get married in the foreseeable future?

P.L.H.:

I sure hope so. They’ve got a real, big obstacle to overcome that hasn’t even come up yet.

(Tony had clots in his brain from Lujack hitting him over the head).

S.O. World:

Will Reva put a permanent crimp in Billy and Vanessa’s wedding plans?

(Nah, she helps them marry at the masquerade ball).

P.L.H.:

Nothing Reva would do would surprise me. But I’ll tell you what. Reva will end up surprising you. I bet she does. Talk to me in about four months.

S.O. World:

What about Phillip and Beth?

P.L.H.:

I don’t know. They are truly star-crossed lovers. We’ll desperately keep trying to get them together and see what happens.

S.O. World:

Are three more Reardon children about to arrive in Springfield?

P.L.H.:

They’re out there. We know who they are. They just haven’t come to town yet, but they will.

S.O. World:

Anything we haven’t covered?

P.L.H.:

I can’t think of a thing, except my toenails are red.

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Thank you for sharing this with us. I haven't heard of Soap Opera World.

Some of that, like the comments about Mike and Floyd, I wonder about, as she never did anything with them. Was it Jeff Ryder/Gail Kobe who dumped Floyd from the show?

Edited by CarlD2
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This is taken from an old Soap Central character summary concerning the character of Tom Halverson( now deleted) Most sources claim Tom was played by Chris Sarandon and was on the show in 69/70. This detailed synopsis says Tom stayed around till 74.

I know there were some character summaries that were disputed due to innacuracies. Was this one of them? It certainly reads well and ties into many documented storylines of the early 70's. Or is Tom's involvement just elaborate fan fiction? Hopefully, someone with knowledge of that time frame (saynotyoursoap?) could verify what is fact or fiction.

Whatever, it makes fascinating reading.

>When attorney Mike Bauer first came back to Springfield from Bay City, with his young daughter Hope, Mike knew, in setting up his law firm in Springfield, that he might not be able to handle the workload alone. This could especially be true because of the need that Mike had to want to stay close to raising his daughter, especially with the fact that Hope's mother had committed suicide when she was quite young and there had been some difficulties in Bay City. Mike especially knew that to be successful in defending the clients he would want to represent, occasionally he would need to have an assistant to do what is other wise known as the "leg work" that he couldn't do while either being in court or gathering evidence in interviews -- this would be especially true when it came to criminal investigations. Mike met a man n Bay City, Mr. Halverson through business contacts there that had a young son who was just finishing up his law school education and Mike had briefly met the young man and found this young man to be quite intelligent and the young man himself, Tom Halverson was very pleased to meet Mike (Mike wouldn't know this from Tom at first, but Tom had wanted to be like Mike Bauer as an attorney since he was in his teens.) Since Mike found Tom to be quite personable and willing to want to do a lot of hard work, Mike told Mr. Halverson to have Tom come to Springfield when he finished his law school education and passed the bar. That's what Tom Halverson did and Mike hired him as his new assistant. That hiring would be the most beneficial thing Mike ever did for his career. Although, at first Hope became a little jealous of Tom, because Mike treated him almost like the son, he didn't have even with Mike being his late 30's and Tom being in early 20's -- only about 15 years apart.) Soon though Hope Bauer would treat Tom Halverson as a big bother, especially since Tom would give Hope lessons in how to really get her father to do what she wanted him to do! The first major case handed to Mike as to help his family friend Nurse Peggy Scott Dillman who was up on charges for murdering her husband Marty Dillman. Although, Peggy was suspected of the crime, Mike had a strong hunch that it definitely was not the sweet Peggy and, besides Marty's body was missing. Mike asked Tom Halverson to investigate where Marty's body might have gone. Tom found Marty's body near the lake with a fractured skull and knife wound to his neck and Tom led the police there and then the pregnant Peggy was charged with the crime, but this made Mike believe even more that Peggy couldn't have done it with her being pregnant. With Tom's continuing "leg work" and the help of Charlotte Waring it was revealed that the murderer was actually Flip Malone! Tom continued to be a big help to Mike and even assisted Mike with helping his good friends, Dr. Sara McIntyre and Dr. Joe Werner, when it appeared that Sara's new husband, Lee Gantry and his housekeeper, Mildred Foss were gaslighting Sara for her money. During the investigation, Tom was knocked nearly unconscious by Mildred's boyfriend, Tyler Meade and had to be submitted to Cedars hospital! (Tom wasn't there when Lee would eventually accidentally kill himself.) Although Tom wouldn't realize it then, Tom was about to meet the woman who he would eventually marry while a patient at Cedars. Many of the young nurses staff found Tom to be incredibly handsome and would hope that Tom would ask them out and even more. But, Tom who had led a rather sheltered life, before he went to law school and in law school was so studious that he hardly budgeted himself a social life. Tom didn't know what to make of all the attention the mainly female nursing staff gave him. Besides, Tom who was only in his early 20's was still a virgin! One nurse though was very calm around Tom and didn't necessarily throw herself at him, this beautiful nurse was Marion McHenry. But, Tom barely recognized and even ignored her, at first. Then as Tom was recovering and walking around Cedars, he would run into one woman that very much mesmerized him. That woman was Janet Mason from nearby Tarrywood! Although, Janet at first didn't see Tom, she soon would when she accidentally bumped into him and then Janet saw how handsome a young man Tom was and Janet could tell that Tom was also riveted by Janet's beauty! Finally striking up a nerve, Tom introduced himself to Janet and that's how when Tom was released from the hospital Tom Halverson and Janet Mason would begin to date and then fall in love.

Janet at the time was working as the secretary for Dr. Paul Fletcher, the mentor of Mike's brother, Dr. Ed Bauer. Janet herself was still in love with Ed, when she met Tom, whom Janet had an affair with in the recent past, but Ed was waiting to see if his first wife Leslie Jackson would come back to him. Leslie herself had fallen for Mike Bauer, but Mike himself had married Charlotte Waring (despite Hope's utter disapproval of Charlotte.) And, Leslie herself was also very disgusted (and rightly so, since Ed had beaten her while he was drunk when they were married.) During Ed and Leslie's marriage, Mike and Leslie had started an affair, but when Leslie at first wouldn't break free from his brother and divorce him, Mike decided not to wait and married Charlotte out of his frustration. Leslie then married the rich new businessman in town, Stanley Norris, much to Dr. Ed and Leslie's father, Dr. Steve Jackson's absolute horror -- for Stanley was known to cheat on his first wife, Barbara Norris and his second wife, nurse Katherine "Kit" Vested a lot! Into all of this, the lonely Janet decided to have a romance with the sweet Tom Halverson, but secretly Janet was still hoping Ed would come to her and give up his obsession over Leslie. Janet decided to quit her job with Dr. Paul Fletcher and for a while was on an intensive job hunt. Janet also decided to bring Tom Halverson home to Tarrywood to meet her mom and dad. Both approved of Tom, which further reinforced Janet's belief that perhaps it was time to cut all ties to Cedars and drop Ed. At this first meeting with Tom, Ellen, who was in one of her drunken states gave Janet a wink of approval for her choice of Tom. Then Janet finally gave in to temptation and seduced Tom, who finally lost his virginity. Back at Cedars, Ed performed a successful surgical procedure, which won him back his permanent position. Now Ed was ready to divorce Leslie, Janet finally growing tired of being strung along by Ed (and with Tom now in her life) finally dropped him. Then, to Ed's horror, Leslie informed him about her pregnancy! They named their little boy Frederick after Papa Bauer. Janet herself got a job as a secretary to Mike's law firm partner (but, not Tom's boss), Kenneth "Ken" Norris who found himself also attracted to Janet, but Janet was repelled by the man because of how egotistical he could be. Then Ellen, in another one of her drunken stupors and during an argument, accidentally blurted out to Grove that Ed and Janet had had an affair! Grove came to Cedars to confront Ed. Their heated meeting caused Grove to have a coronary, which killed him! After overhearing the altercation, Leslie's father, chief-of-staff, Steve Jackson insisted that Ed tell Leslie the truth about Janet, which he did. Leslie was so livid, she not only divorced Ed, but she forbade the Bauers from seeing Freddie! After Grove's funeral, Janet and Tom helped Ellen move to a new home in Springfield, but Janet was still failing to pick up on signs that Ellen was becoming quite the alcoholic and Janet and Tom's love affair became more heated and passionate, with the sheltered Tom (who'd been raised on a farm) finally losing his virginity. Enter though, the devious and somewhat irrational son of Stanley Norris, fellow attorney, Ken Norris. Mike Bauer had decided to let Ken Norris become law partners with him, but Mike made it clear to Ken that Ken was not Tom Halverson's boss and the only one of the partners that could give work and instruct Tom how to do the work, was Mike Bauer. But, Ken would soon find other ways to make Tom's life, hell! This included his love life with Janet. Ken himself found himself falling in love with Janet, despite the fact that Ken was in a relationship with his father's second wife, Kit Vested. Then Tom would get even more potential competition for Janet from the newly arrived in town, Roger Thorpe! Roger was just as devious as Ken! Roger was a junior executive of Stanley Norris' firm and fancied himself quite the ladies man. Roger was also being pursued by Ken's sister and Stanley's daughter, Holly Norris, much to all of the Norris' horror. Holly even went with Roger to New York City to help Roger move out of his apartment so Roger could relocate to Springfield and Roger let Holly seduce him and they had sex! Now, Tom would find himself to be in competition with not one but two men for Janet's affections and unlike Tom, Roger Thorpe and Ken Norris were not so sweet or so honest! And, this would lead to a series of events that were quite disastrous for all involved!

Roger and Ken both decided to make Tom jealous. Ken went as far as telling Tom, that he and Janet were having an affair. Roger started stalking both Tom and Janet while they were out together. Then both men used a drunken Ellen to find out where Janet was living. Roger's stalking went further and Roger even got a hold of Janet's keys (he stole her purse, but replace it, before she caught on.) Roger walked in while Janet and Tom were having sex in the bedroom, but he quickly walked out without Janet and Tom realizing he was there. And, Roger continued to lead Holly on, despite Ken beating him up. Then one night all hell broke loose! After being reassured by Janet, that he indeed was the only man she was having sex with, Tom was ready to propose marriage to the woman That night though would become disastrous for any long-term relationship between Janet Mason and Tom Halverson (including marriage!) For one rainy night, Tom had every intention to propose marriage to Janet that evening and was going to after dinner, Janet though asked Tom to go to the store and buy some ice cream for dessert. Tom, already wanting to show how dutiful a husband he would be when he and Janet were married, went to the store to pick up the ice cream and postponed his marriage proposal. That would be unfortunate for both Tom and Janet! Because while Tom was out, Roger Thorpe came by Janet's apartment with the duplicate key and tried to force himself on her, Janet held off Roger's advances, but Roger got Janet's lipstick on his shirt collar! Then as Roger was leaving Janet's apartment, Holly Norris was coming to see Janet (they had become friends), but Holly seeing Roger leave Janet's apartment with lipstick on his collar, misconstrued the whole episode and thought that Roger and Janet had consensual sex and Holly bolted from the apartment building -- Roger saw Holly and he too went running after Holly. At that moment, Tom Halverson was coming back to Janet's apartment building with the ice cream and Holly in her rush ran right into Tom! Holly and Tom who had met each other and Holly knowing that Tom was seriously in a romance with Janet, told Tom, "Roger Thorpe and your girlfriend are having sex! I just saw them kissing!" Tom was livid and totally bought into Holly's misconstrued reconstruction of the events she had just witnessed and then Holly went running into the street without looking where she was going. Tom then ran into Roger coming out of Janet's apartment building and would have beat up Roger right there on the spot, if not for the fact that Tom and Roger both suddenly turned toward the street to see Holly get run into by a passing motorist! Roger bolted the scene and Tom totally forgetting about the spilled ice cream went to try and assist Holly and stayed around to be a witness to what had just occurred. Being a witness to what happened and what Holly had told him before she got ran into, made Tom's blood totally curl and he decided against going back up to Janet's apartment and went home. Meanwhile, well all of that was going on outside of the apartment, Ken came by Janet's apartment and saw absolutely terrified Janet and Ken asked if Janet needed any help. Taking advantage the situation and Ken helped Janet calm down and Janet let Ken hold her and Janet fell asleep in Ken's arms. The next morning, Janet still fully dressed from the night before thanked Ken (who also was still fully dressed from the night before) for being there! Ken then left to go to work. Janet would arrive to Mike and Ken's office later in the day to find out why Tom had not come to her apartment after what Roger had tried to do to her. Instead, Tom wouldn't even let Janet speak and looked in her straight in the eye and showed the engagement ring and told her, "Your not ready for this." and then threw the engagement right into the trash can near his office desk. Then Tom walked away with Janet blubbering, "But, Tom....why?" Ken Norris witnessed this whole event and went to comfort Janet, who had fished out of the trash can the engagement ring and put it back on Tom's desk, thinking that sometime in the future Tom might change his mind or at the very least realistically sell it!

Tom though wouldn't have time to mourn the ending of his relationship with Janet or even find out how badly Holly Norris had misconstrued what she had seen. The same night that Holly had seen Roger leave Janet's apartment and then went outside and yelled out her misconstrued telling of the events and then getting run into by a car, her father, Stanley Norris had been shot and killed. The night of the murder, Gil Mehren, another junior executive at Stanley's company walked into Stanley's office and saw Leslie Jackson Bauer Norris standing over Stanley's body with the gun nearby! Although, Leslie told Gil that she had just arrived, Gil didn't believe her and Gil called 911 and Leslie was arrested by Capt. Jim Swanson of the Springfield police department and Leslie was sent to jail! To Leslie's rescue, came Mike Bauer who was in total disbelief that Leslie could have murdered Stanley, even if Stanley was as much of a cheat as people were saying. Mike suspected himself that Stanley's secretary, Linell was the murderer, but at first had no proof and the D.A. Ira Newton was out for blood, Leslie's that is! Two of the problems with the gun was that, 1. there were no fingerprints -- obviously whoever had committed Stanley's murder had used gloves and, 2. the gun had been bought with one of Stanley's employees, Roger Thorpe's credit cards, yet Roger Thorpe quickly turned out to have an alibi for the night in question -- he was across town trying to rape a woman, Janet Mason! (This wasn't really known at the time, Roger's "girlfriend", Stanley's daughter, Holly had told everyone that Roger and Janet were having an affair!) Even Tom had seen Roger across town. Roger was quickly cleared by the Springfield police department of Stanley's murder and left town in disgrace. So Leslie was put on trial and the trial was rough, with D.A. Ira Newton giving very little ground. It also didn't help that Mike's third wife, Charlotte was doing her utmost to make sure Leslie (the woman Mike truly loved) was taken to prison and out of their lives forever! Charlotte fed information about Mike and Leslie's tortured love affair to the prosecution through Ira's secretary, Rita Putnam. Charlotte even went further and told the secretary of Springfield D.A. Ira Newton (who was out for blood), Rita Putnam, finer details of how Mike planned to save Leslie from what was certain to be a heavy sentence for the murder of Stanley. Luckily, Tom would then get Mike two lucky breaks. After the disastrous end of his romance with Janet Mason, Tom decided to date Rita Putnam and found out from her what Charlotte was doing and told Mike. That would almost seal the end of Mike and Charlotte's marriage. Fortunately, Tom was dating Rita and clued Mike into what Charlotte was doing. Then Tom stumbled across four clues about who the murderer really was: 1. Tom found out through the forensic analysis of Springfield officer Camilla Crawford that the aim of the bullett would indicate that a woman had murdered Stanley (that didn't necessarily clear Leslie, but gave Tom some help.) 2. Then one of the security guards at Stanley's office building told Tom that a woman who was wearing Linell Conway's coat was let into the building sometime during the evening. 3. Then Tom found out from the gunshop owner that a woman fitting Linell's discription had bought the gun, claiming to be Roger Thorpe's wife. 4. Finally, Tom also found out about the fight between Linell and Stanley at the office party the week before Stanley's murder. Tom quickly turned all this information over to Mike and Mike quickly put Linell on the witness stand. While on the witness stand a shocking conclusion happened. Marion Conway, Linell's elderly, protective mother, confessed to killing Stanley (she wore Linell's overcoat the night of the murder to gain access to the building and took the gun out of her daughter's desk.) All hell broke loose, when Marion collapsed and died of a heart attack. Charlotte was not happy to see Leslie exonerated of Stanley's murder. With Leslie now free the only thing left for her and Mike to marry was for one more tidbit about Charlotte to come out and that would be from Mike's daughter Hope -- who with Tom's urging told her father that she had seen her stepmom in a romantic embrace with Dr. Dick Carey! Now free after a divorce Mike asked Leslie to marry him and they did, with Tom being Mike's best man (although his brother Ed was in attendance too, despite formerly being married to Leslie.) In the midst of this trial, Tom finally discovered the equally sweet young and pretty nurse Marion McHenry at Cedars when he suffered a broken leg while trying to help Mike on another case! Tom finally asked Marion out on dates and they became lovers, much to Marion's happiness! And, eventually Tom asked Marion to marry him (although not with the same engagement ring as Janet had fished out of the trash can) and they were married soon after. Not longer after, Janet would become pregnant with Ken's child and confessed to Tom that she wished it were his. Tom, who by now suspected that Holly was wrong about what transpired with Roger and Janet, agreed but by this time he was committed to Marion.

The last case Tom would work on for Mike Bauer, though would again involve Mike's good friends, Sara McIntyre and Joe Werner. After they had gotten married, it would appear that Kit Vested had set her sights on the handsome Joe and then when her supposed good friend, the former Charlotte Bauer (Mike's ex) got in between Kit and Joe, Kit had Charlotte poisoned and Charlotte died on the operation table with Joe performing the surgery, but not before Charlotte wrote an anonymous note to Sara saying, Another woman is after your husband!" The lead to it being Kit would come from Tom who while out on a date with Marion McHenry got to witness Kit with the now married to Tom's former lover, Janet Mason, Ken, and Tom got to overhear Kit's plans to poison and kill Sara and then have her sexual way with Joe. That same night, Janet saw Kit and Ken together and assumed they were having a renewed affair (Kit and Ken had been item before Janet and Ken married.) Then, on one of her dates with Wilson Frost, Mike Bauer happened by and Sara, feeling guilty,cut off the date. While Mike and Sara were sitting together, Mike's assistant, Tom Halverson, admitted that he had seen Kit and Ken together and thought he overheard them talking about where Joe was (at this point Sara was nervous that perhaps Joe might be dead.) Ken and Janet were having an argument about Kit, when Mike and Sara came to their house and when Janet went in the other room -- Mike and Sara berated Ken as to where Joe and Kit might be. Eventually Kit completely lost her mind. She made a phone call to Sara and tricked her out to the cabin (Kit didn't know that Mike was nearby and was following closely behind) and then Kit poisoned Sara (who was fortunately saved by Mike). Kit then shot Joe, only to be fatally wounded while struggling with Joe over the gun! ! Meanwhile it would be the bieginning of the end for the Norris marriage since Janet learned what Ken and Kit were discussing. Tom though wouldn't be around for Janet after the marriage fell apart, because Tom would get a lucrative job offer at a huge law firm in Los Angeles and move with his new wife, Marion McHenry out to California, with Mike wishing his protégé well. Before Tom left, Tom finally told Mike how much he had looked up to and admired him and hoped to someday be even half the man that Mike was. Mike told Tom, he was already there. Through the years, Mike would occasionally receive letters from Tom and they were always treasured by Mike, who was always thrilled that Tom and Marion were doing quite well in Los Angeles.

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Thank you for typing all that. I will have to look over it soon it seems fascinating. I had forgotten Soapcentral had some of those in depth profiles for older characters (Wikipedia would probably delete them). Are they still around?

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The Halvorson profile in interesting in its possibilities, though I don't recall ever encountering his name in synopses of those storylines. Pre-internet sources (known as "books") seem to agree that Sarandon was on the show from 1969-70 (Julie Poll and the Wesley/Hyatt Encyclopedia at least; can't locate my Schermering and LaGuardia doesn't list him at all). Other internet sources such as IMDb and Wikipedia show Sarandon's dates as '69-73 (but that could all be from the same person who wrote the Soap Central profile).

One small possible point of near-corroboration is that the Poll book lists the character of Marion McHenry (with whom Halvorson supposedly left town) on the show until 1972.

We know that, even at a 30 minute episode length, much more must have happened on those shows than is preserved in the few pages of synopses that have come down to us in the books of LaGuardia or even Poll. Halvorson may well have intersected with those storylines but not in a way that affected their ultimate outcomes, and so it was possible to leave him out entirely (he only appears in the Poll book in the cast listings; never mentioned at all in the synopses).

Further verification (at least as to Sarandon's tenure on the show) could come from those Daytime TV yearbooks from the early 70s that listed the full casts but I don't have any back that far.

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Finished with watching most of the stuff from GL in 1989, and now I'm moving onto 1990. Watching some of the stuff from Reva's postpartum depression storyline, and it's really intriguing. Was GL the first soap to tackle such an issue after a pregnancy?

I know KZ gets criticized as being such a ham, especially when playing Reva, but seeing her play an unbalanced Reva is top notch. Seeing KZ play out the many ups and downs of Reva's personality around this time is must see tv.

Here's a part of the episode, where Reva is starting to suspect that Vanessa and Josh are carrying an affair (in reality they're not), and Reva gets quite snippy with Harley.

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Did Vanessa have post-partum depression after Little Billy?

I believe you might be correct there Carl, I'm not sure though. Soap Opera Central says she started "Obsessing over her new baby", I'm not sure if that's some polictially correct term for postpartum depression or not. :wacko:

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