Wishful Casting: Robin Mattson as Hope Bauer Spaulding on Guiding Light

Anyone who listens to the CBS/Days Podcast realizes that Mike and I both worship at the altar of a goddess named Robin Mattson. Mike first came to adore Mattson during her early 80’s stint as psychotic, desperate housewife Heather Webber on General Hospital.

I fell for the actress in 1985 on Santa Barbara, when she took over the role of the sexy, outrageous, hilarious Gina Capwell (okay, really she was Gina Blake DeMott Capwell Capwell Timmons Capwell Lockridge, but who’s counting?). While Mattson wasn’t the first Gina, she was without a doubt the real Gina.
I watched with glee as Gina schemed her way in and out of the lives and beds of the fabulously-wealthy Capwells on Santa Barbara, providing constant thorns in the sides of her ex-husband C.C. (most notably played by Jed Allan), his true love Sophia (Judith McConnell) and their daughter-in-law Julia Wainright Capwell (Nancy Lee Grahn), the later whom she battled for C.C.’s son Mason (Lane Davis, the late Terry Lester and Gordon Thompson). Mattson’s Gina wasn’t just a vamp, however, she was also a fiercely-protective Mama Lion, who would stop at nothing to keep her adopted son Brandon out of the clutches of his adopted dad C.C., even if it meant faking blindness to keep C.C. from inforcing a custody order!

Along the way, Gina Capwell met her soulmate in fellow schemer Keith Timmons, played by none other than Justin Deas. Now there have been a lot of sexy grifter duos on daytime: Another World‘s Jake and Vicky, General Hospital‘s Scotty and Lucy, but none have compared to Gina and Keith. Imagine my utter glee last year when I read on IMDB, that Mattson once played the role of Hope Bauer Spaulding on Guiding Light.

Hope was  Alan’s wife and Alan Michael’s mother. She was also the daughter of Mike Bauer, and a raging alcoholic (Settle down Luke, we know how you love your lushes!)  With the Spaulding/Cooper feud once again firing on all cylinders, and the soap reinventing the Bauers, wouldn’t it be the perfect time for Hope to return and turn Alan’s life upside down?

Usually I am not a fan of attempts to recapture past glory from another soap, but  Mattson’s Hope teaming up with Deas’ Buzz to take down Alan would be this Santa Barbara fans dream come true! The only thing that could possibly make it better is Jed Allan assuming the role of a less-mustache-twirling Alan, but I digress. 

From what I’ve read, Alan caused Hope to be separated from her family, the Bauers, on numerous occasions, and provided such a terrible influence for her son Alan-Michael, that this character should have decades of built up hostility. The story is there. The history is there, and Mattson and Deas have a chemistry unlike any I’ve ever seen in daytime.

What if Hope returns just in time to announce at a board meeting where Phillip (Grant Aleksander) is trying to wrest control of Spaulding from Alan? What is she has proof that her divorce from the miserly patriarch was never properly finalized? Or maybe she has the missing AM’s proxy in hand?
Hope could move back into the Spaulding mansion, immediately clashing with Alex (fellow SB alum Marj Dusay) over who the true mistress of the manor is. She could also provide Tina Sloane‘s Lillian with a rival for Buzz’s affections.Hope would no doubt have issues with Lillian, whose affair with Hope’s uncle Ed sent beloved Bauer heroine Maureen to her death.

Hope could also be a support system for her cousins Rick and the soon-to-be returning Michelle, providing the Bauers with a matriarch. I bet a storyline like this could be soap opera GOLD, especially if my other Wishful Casting came true and Rick Hearst eventually reprised the role of Alan and Hope’s son, AM.

Getting Mattson on GL should be a fairly easy move for P&G to make, since her most recent soap stint was as Noah’s prostitute mother Cheri on GL’s sister soap As The World Turns, so call a sistah up already! What’s that they say? Hope Springs Eternal!


23 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Bob

    Hope was a great character. I loved Elvera Roussel’s portrayal. I don’t remember Hope as being a “raging alcoholic” at all. Seems to me that she was just shown as drinking too much right before she written out. I remember thinking that it a rather convenient excuse to usher her out of town and away from Alan.

    Maybe she continued to drink for all the years after she left.

    I think Mattson would be great and agree that seeing her with Deas again would feel like a reward.

  2. Profile photo of SoapSnob

    Brazilliant idea! Robin Mattson’s return as Hope Bauer Spaulding coupled with a Rick Hearst return as Alan-Michael would another great move for a resurgent Guiding Light.

    I LOVED Elvera Roussel’s portrayal of Hope as well. But Robin Mattson could return and really breathe life into this character that we have not seen in more than two decades. Plus, her addition could Buzz, Lillian, Alan and Alex a true adult story to play that has gravitas.

    With all the right elements in place – WRITING, acting, “good” production values, a strong team player attitude – Guiding Light could be around for more than just one more year at a time.

  3. Profile photo of Mike Jubinville
    Mike Jubinville

    Obviously there is a lot that could be done with Hope’s return. The show never addressed the death of Don Stewart (Mike Bauer), so I always thought it would be a good way to get the Bauer family back together and back in Springfield.

  4. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Bob, while Gina did initially go blind temporarily, after she got her sight back, she kept faking her blindness to keep C.C. and Sophia from taking Brandon. It was some of the most hilarious stuff I ever saw on daytime! LOL

  5. Profile photo of Doobiekat

    I hope the casting director is reading these posts….I love these suggestions. She would be wonderful in the role of Hope…the chemistry between Mattson & Deas is undeniable!!!! Although there is no need to ever recast the role of Alan unless you dig up the late Chris Bernau and bring him back from the dead…then we could recast the original ..

  6. Profile photo of jpp1975

    Last time I saw her was on GH as Heather Webber chasing CC Capwell Edward Q. into marriage. That was awful. But if GL can do it better, I’d love a Gina and Keith reunion.

  7. Profile photo of jefhamlin

    I suggested bringing Robin Mattson back as Hope many times, though Elvera Roussel was the only Hope I ever actually saw on the show. At this point Hope could even have had additional kids.

    And Bob is right, Hope’s drinking has been mostly off-camera…normally used to excuse her absence from Bauer reunions.

  8. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Ah, let’s not forget she was also Janet from Another Planet on AMC for years. I would so love her to return as Janet on AMC!
    I GREATLY preferred her complicated, slightly off-kilter Janet over that fruit loop they write for Kate Collins to play.

  9. Profile photo of petitejolie

    I actually liked the actor that played Jason (the guy who shot Laurel). Palmer adopted Kevin’s gay brother afterwards and he disappeared after the actor was hired to play another short-lived Chris Hughes on ATWT.

  10. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    I love Robin Mattenson. I saw the actress on “GH” and B&B and was good, but they didn’t do her justice. I also saw youtube clips when she was Janet and her and SMG Kendall was in the cabin when the tornado came. I want her back on a soap, now.

  11. Profile photo of zurge

    “Obviously there is a lot that could be done with Hope’s return. The show never addressed the death of Don Stewart (Mike Bauer), so I always thought it would be a good way to get the Bauer family back together and back in Springfield.”


    I agree. This would be the quickest, and the most *character-driven* way to have Hope Bauer Spaulding return. Why would Hope suddenly return to Springfield after being gone for over 30 years (GL time, over 25 real time)? If Alan-Michael’s various marriages couldn’t get her to come back, then what could now? Burying her father (and the character of Mike Bauer) would be the most logical option. As someone else said above, it could also quickly get some other Bauers back on the canvas(Michelle, Alan-Michael, even Ed!). Current viewers wouldn’t necessary need to be bogged down in Mike Bauer history and continuity (Hope and Alan could expand on that as time goes on) – they could simply know that Rick’s uncle passed away and some of this family are coming to Springfield to bury Mike per his dying wish).

    I wouldn’t want Hope to be dumped into the “Spaulding vs. Cooper” mess right away. In fact, Hope should simply come back to Springfield to bury her father, with no intentions of staying at all…

    …until she sees Alan (and, this being a soap, should be a coincidental encounter). If done right, this could allow Ron Raines to move away from “mustache-twirlling” and into making Alan into a more complex character again. There are very few people that turn Alan into a generous, sympathetic character – Phillip is one, and Hope would be another. Seeing Hope again after all of this time should knock Alan for a loop – this is the first woman that Alan truly fell in love with, and actually made Alan want to become a better person (brief, thought that was…). Has Alan truly gotten over Hope? I could see Alan being the one overcome with loving emotion, versus bitterness and scorn for her.

    On the other side of the coin, Hope has resisted dealing with all her unresolved issues with Alan, but after returning to Springfield and seeing him (combined with her father’s recent passing), she decides that she needs to get her s**t together and start confronting and stop avoiding (which has led to her constant battle with alcoholism). No one could play this better than Mattson. As much as I love and remember Elvera in the role, Robin could knock this out of the park.

    Then, if they could get Alan-Michael back, the dysfunctional family dynamics could really begin. And here is where Hope could start getting entwined in Spaulding-related issues.

    Then there is Robin and Justin Deas. Again, this being a soap, it would be a nice “wink” if they could write that Hope and Buzz actually knew or were acquainted previously in the past, whether via a brief fling or otherwise – something that would give Alan further issues with Buzz.

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