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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?

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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!