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Guiding Light: Death of a Matriarch


It's hard to imagine 15 years has gone by when feelings about Maureen's death are still so strong among long-time fans. After Charita Bauer (Bert Bauer) died in 1984, there was only one character that was poised to take over as Guiding Light's matriarch. Maureen's stormy marriage to Dr. Ed Bauer was perpetuated over several years, highlighted by alcoholism and infidelity. She was the long-suffering heroine who endured it all like a trouper. The role was originated by Ellen Dolan (Margo, ATWT; 1982-1986), but was taken over by Ellen Parker (1986-1993; pictured).

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For new viewers who think nurse Lillian Raines has been a pillar of virtue, think again. Lillian was the woman who was having an affair with her best friend's husband, and Maureen soon discovered the truth. This led to a series of ultimately fatal events. After an explosive arguement, she left Ed at the Bauer cabin and was killed when her car skidded off the road.

This was a defining, historic moment for Guiding Light. Maureen's death was the result of a decision based on poor responses to a focus group, an idea of then-executive producer Jill Farren Phelps (current EP at General Hospital). It is widely regarded as the moment Guiding Light lost it's soul and many viewers tuned out permanently as a result. Maureen's last hurrah can be seen in YouTube clips found HERE.