Wednesday, November 15, 2006


SUDDENLY SUSAN

Bonnie Dennison joins the cast of Guiding Light as Susan Lemay, Harley's daughter.

Little Susan initially made her GL debut on the same day as Harley. In 1987, viewers got their first glimpse of Harley Davidson Cooper (Beth Ehlers) in the back-seat of Frank's car, legs in the air, giving birth. Alan-Michael crashed his (well, technically, it was "borrowed") motorcycle into the vehicle, requiring Dinah to deliver Harley's baby girl, whom Harley named "Daisy" after the flower her dad, Dylan, used to bring Harley (before he went to jail).

Deciding that her daughter deserved a better life, Harley gave Daisy up for adoption (with then-best friend, Dinah, who had serious adoption issues of her own, by her side). Daisy's new parents called her Susan.

In 1989, Dylan returned to Springfield and, upon learning he had a daughter, got a job doing yardwork for her adoptive parents, Connie and Jim Lemay. Convinced that Susan was in a good home, Dylan decided to leave the Lemays alone. But, Alan-Michael, then married to Harley, thought the best way to keep his wife away from Dylan was to offer the Lemays a hunk of cash to give up their daughter. The Lemays, politely, told Alan-Michael to go to hell. Undaunted (he is a Spaulding, after all), Alan-Michael kidnapped the little girl. Harley gave her back.

In 1994, Dylan was dealing with another adoption triangle when his girlfriend, Bridget, fought Dylan's former stepmother, Vanessa, for custody of Peter, Bridget's biological son whom Vanessa and Billy had adopted (this was after Harley's mother, Nadine, tried to pass the boy off as her's and Billy's). Dylan grew sympathetic to Bridget's cause after the Lemays came to him with a request to donate bone marrow to a sick Susan -- without seeing the girl. Dylan did.

Four years later, a pre-teen Susan (Brittany Snow) showed up on Harley's doorstop, explaining that her mother had died and claiming that her father, Jim, was neglectful. That proved to be untrue and both Susan and Jim ended up becoming a part of Harley's life. Jim married Beth and raised her and Phillip's son, James, as his own, before dying in a fire saving Susan, Lizzie and James from a fire on Christmas Day 2000.

Telling Harley that she was "technically an orphan," Susan declined the chance to live with her biological mother (she was actually closer to stepmother Beth) and, instead, left for boarding school a few months later. Since then, she and Harley have kept in touch -- off-screen.

Bonnie Dennison assumes the role on Wednesday, January 10th, 2007. She has previously appeared on Third Watch and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.