Monday, September 29, 2008


Robert Gentry played the role of Ed Bauer on Guiding Light from 1966 to 1969 and then again briefly from 1997 to 1998.

He was the first adult Ed. The character, born William Edward Bauer Jr. on the air in December 1954, was aged to around 25 years old and a new med school graduate when Gentry took over the role twelve years later.

Gentry's tenure marked the end of "Billy," Bert's sweet baby boy, and the introduction of ambitious, judgmental "Ed."

It was this Ed who, after learning of his father Bill's affair, insisted that Bill confess all to Bert. Only Bert already knew and instead of sympathizing with her son's attempt to protect his mother, blasted Ed as "not being fit to shine your father's boots." She told Ed that Bill was a "big man" while Ed was "small." She told Ed that instead of blaming Bill for breaking up their home, she blamed Ed "for not being decent and loyal and loving enough to try to put this family back together again."

Bert's spirited defense of him prompted Bill to reconsider abandoning his marriage in favor of his assistant, Maggie.

Ed, however, took up drinking soon after.

With those kinds of mixed signals coming from his own family ("It's not your dad's fault he had an affair, honey, and its definitely not mine -- it's yours!"), who could blame him?

(Bill's magnanimous return to Bert proved to be short-lived. A few years later he was reported dead in a plane crash. Turned out Bill had been leading a double life with a Canadian woman and their two children and when the plane he was scheduled to be on crashed with him presumably on-board, Bill abandoned Bert, Mike and Ed for Simone, Hillary and Paul. But he felt kind of bad about it. Really.)

Rejecting Bill, Ed latched on to a new father figure, Cedars' Chief of Surgery, Stephen Jackson. Though Ed was really more in love with Stephen than he was with Stephan's daughter, Leslie, Ed went ahead and married Leslie, thus truly becoming the son Stephen always wanted.

Though married to Ed, Leslie soon found herself growing close to his brother, Mike, and Mike's daughter, Hope. A jealous Ed picked drunken fights with his wife, his brother, and his father, the latter causing Bill to have a coronary so severe he required a heart transplant. (In one of those fun, PGP facts, Bill was played by Ed Bryce, father of Scott Bryce, who would go on to play Craig on As The World Turns. Watch Ed introduce a tribute to Charita Bauer, here, including the iconic Bert berating Ed scene mentioned above.)

Wracked with guilt, Ed sideswiped a car while driving drunk. He was arrested and jailed, prompting Ed to slink out of town.

When Gentry returned to the role in 1997, he was confronted by the father of Michelle's boyfriend. Jack Blue blamed Ed for his wife's death, since she'd been Ed's patient. However, Ed had the perfect defense - when Jack's wife died, Ed had been under suspension for his drinking so he wasn't at the hospital. Her death couldn't have been his fault! (It proved to be one of the few documented cases of a doctor successfully using the "Hey, don't blame me, I was drunk!" defense.)

In between his stints on GL, Gentry appeared on OLTL (as Kim Zimmer's brother!), AMC (as Lauren Holly's father!), B&B, Generations and DOOL.

From 1979 to 1981, he played the role of Philip Lyons on Another World.

Philip initially arrived in Bay City at the behest of Iris Cory. Iris wanted her son, Dennis, to marry blue-blooded Cecile de Poulignac. Cecile, unfortunately, was dating Iris' stepbrother and Dennis' best friend, Jamie. Iris hired the perennially unemployed -- though devastatingly charming -- Philip to woo Cecile away from Jamie.

Philip did. He fell in love with Cecile along the way. They were engaged to be married (so much for Dennis) when Cecile found out about Philip's deal with Iris. She waited until their wedding day, then dumped him at the altar, changing, almost on the spot from the sweet girl she'd once been to the, well, bitch on wheels, we all grew to know and love.

Prior to reuniting with Jamie, Cecile, jealous of Philip's friendship with co-worker Pat, decided she wanted Philip back. Cecile had Pat fired from her job. For some reason, that didn't help her case with Philip.

Want to catch Robert Gentry between Eds? Check out the AOL/PGP Classic Soap Channel's current run of Another World episodes, here!

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