GL CLASSIC MOMENT #20
Of all the questions Guiding Light fans have about their show's history, the one that comes up most often is inevitably: So, who are Phillip Spaulding's parents again and how did the poor boy end up so confused?
Alright -- here we go. Pay close attention.
Once upon a time, away from Springfield and off-camera, lived two couples: The very wealthy Alan and Elizabeth Spaulding, and the upper-middle class Justin and Jackie Marler. (Or, as The New York Times would have dubbed them, the Rich and the Super-Rich).
Alan and Elizabeth were not particularly happily married, since he cheated on her quite regularly, but they were expecting a baby, and both were rather happy about that.
Justin and Jackie were no happier, since he'd only married her to kiss up to her father, his medical mentor, and was also cheating on Jackie. On their honeymoon, no less. (Years later, when the Marlers loved taking the moral high-ground over Alan, it would have been nice if Justin had been a bit more regularly reminded of his own marital escapades).
When Jackie discovered Justin's infidelity -- by walking in on it -- she promptly filed for divorce. Only to learn that she was pregnant. She moved to Amsterdam, gave birth to a baby boy and surrendered him for adoption.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Spaulding gave birth to a stillborn child. Alan, afraid of what the news might do to the fragile Elizabeth, paid his wife's doctor to pass Jackie's baby off as her own. The doctor then told Jackie that her son had been adopted by the Spauldings. Jackie didn't object. (Another fact that should have been brought up years later, when the official version of Phillip's adoption was revised by the people of Springfield to suggest that Alan had stolen Phillip from an unwilling Jackie. Alan may have adopted his son illegally, but he is hardly a kidnapper. Well, he wasn't one then. Sarah is a different story).
Years passed. In 1977, Alan, Elizabeth and five year old Phillip moved to Springfield. Justin and Jackie -- still divorced -- were already there, as well.
Elizabeth soon fell in love with the much more upstanding Mike Bauer and divorced Alan. Meanwhile, Justin -- who had become Phillip's doctor -- was falling in love with Elizabeth, as Jackie, to be close to her son, married Alan! (Got all that?)
Unfortunately for Elizabeth, Phillip didn't like Mike -- he preferred Dr. Justin. Because her son had a congenital heart condition that conveniently flared up whenever Mike was around, Elizabeth went ahead and married Justin. (Another point of defense for Alan -- he was hardly the only one who catered to his son's every whim).
So now Phillip's two biological parents were married to his two adoptive parents. But the story wasn't even close to being over yet.
Jackie and Alan divorced and Elizabeth slept with Mike while married to Justin.
Jackie finally told Justin that they were Phillip's birth parents, but the stress of keeping the secret from wife Elizabeth tore apart Justin and Elizabeth's marriage. Then, Jackie and Justin remarried and Elizabeth learned the truth about her relationship to Phillip. Though crushed, she graciously offered to help Jackie and Justin get custody of Phillip away from Alan.
Alan, outnumbered, gave up the fight, leaving Phillip to believe that the father he worshipped had abandoned him.
In 1982, Jackie died in a plane crash and a now high-school age Phillip returned from boarding school, where his two dads, Justin and Alan clashed over how he should be raised.
As more and more people -- including Phillip's best friend, Rick, and Beth's stepfather, Bradley -- learned the truth about Phillip's parentage, Alan and Justin decided to tell "their" son everything.
Unfortunately, Bradley got there first, setting the scene for a dramatic, Phillip Has Two Daddies confrontation at the Springfield Country Club.
Was Phillip's discovery of his parentage GL's Greatest Moment ever? Watch it at CBS.com and vote now!