A SKELETON IN BERT'S CLOSET!
No, no your eyes aren't deceiving you. That is none other than Guiding Light matron Bert Bauer - smoking!
These days, the moment a character whips out a cigarette in film or television, you know that they're up to no good. Or are French. Or it's the beginning of A Very Special episode.
But back in the 1950s, when Guiding Light first made the transition to television, the late Charita Bauer recalled, "Even though my character was a wife and mother and basically a good character, she was allowed to smoke. Now no one smokes. Since the Surgeon General's report on the dangers of smoking, the Procter & Gamble shows don't allow people to smoke."
Pictured with Charita is actress Ellen Demming, who played her sister-in-law, Meta.
Charita explained in 1979, "We were all in our twenties when we first started, and Ellen as Meta was supposed to be around thirty-five. (GL's first TV director) Ted Corday decided to have her wear a bun to make her look older and had little white bits of hair glued to her temples. They never really looked like anything but clumps of white hair and we called them her little gray wings."
Ted Corday (far left; above) would go on to create Days of Our Lives. His wife, Betty, took over Executive Producer duties in 1966, after his death. Their son, Ken, is still the EP at DOOL today.
Of Corday as a director, Charita gushed, "He was a wonderful man. When things weren't working out on the floor, he'd push the talk-back button and say, "I'm coming out." It became a standard joke because the technicians would say, "Head for the hills, he's coming out!" He had so many memorable sayings that eventually the crew got together and wrote them all up on a big cardboard."
Sitting next to Corday in the photo above is Lucy Rittenberg (also smoking, FWIW). Rittenberg was with Guiding Light from the beginning, starting as an assistant to the director, and ending her career there as GL's Executive Producer in 1976!