10 Soap Opera Patriarchs We've Loved and Lost
No. 1: Friedrich "Papa" Bauer, Guiding Light
When popular radio serial The Guiding Light made the jump to television in 1952, creator Irna Phillips took the focus off Reverend Ruthledge and his congregation and centered the rebooted soap opera on the German immigrant Bauer clan, headed by blustery Friedrich "Papa" Bauer.
From 1949 to 1972 the role of Papa Bauer was held by Theo Goetz. Following Goetz's death, Papa died in his sleep in 1973. Papa's children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great grandchildren kept the Bauer name going until the Light went out in 2009.