|Guiding Light |
The Guiding Light (known since 1975 as Guiding Light) was an American television soap opera.
On June 30, 1952, The Guiding Light began airing on CBS television. From June 30, 1952 to June 29, 1956, The Guiding Light ran on both CBS television and radio, with the actors performing, the same scenes but for different audiences, live twice each weekday. The live television performances were in the morning, and then in the afternoon the actors read for the live radio show. On July 2, 1956, The Guiding Light became a CBS television show, only, and the show no longer was heard on radio. Episodes continued at 15 minutes in length.
In 1953, CBS strongly persuaded Irna Phillips to let The Guiding Light experiment with television's first color broadcast. Phillips was not thrilled with the concept of color television, and thwarted the effort by CBS by having that day's episode take place entirely in a hospital setting with gray walls and white uniforms. The Guiding Light was broadcast in black and white for the remainder of the decade.
In 1956, Phillips created As the World Turns, which first started airing on April 2, 1956 on CBS. When the workload of writing both that show and The Guiding Light became too much for her, Phillips handed the reins at The Guiding Light to her protégé Agnes Nixon. There is some indication that Procter & Gamble and CBS may have forced Phillips out of writing for The Guiding Light when on the March 31, 1958 episode, popular heroine Katherine "Kathy" Roberts Lang Grant Holden (played by the equally popular Susan Douglas Rubeš) was killed off in a Phillips-created story. Kathy, confined to a wheelchair, was killed after being struck by a car. CBS was deluged with protest letters.
Prior to the launches of the half-hour shows As the World Turns, and The Edge of Night (both launched the same day), CBS and Procter & Gamble tried to convince Phillips to combine The Guiding Light and Search for Tomorrow into one single half-hour show. Phillips declined.
Original television cast (starting June 30, 1952)
- Friedrich "Papa" Bauer (Theo Goetz to end of decade)
- Meta Bauer White Roberts Banning (Jone Allison to November 14, 1952)
- Bill Bauer (Lyle Sudrow to June 29, 1956)
- Bert Bauer (Charita Bauer to end of decade)
- Trudy Bauer Palmer (Helen Wagner to August 22, 1952)
- Reverend Dr. Paul Keeler (Ed Begley to November 1952)
- Joe Roberts (Herbert "Herb" Nelson to December 24, 1955), character died of a heart attack.
- Katherine "Kathy" Roberts Lang Grant Holden (Susan Douglas Rubeš, to March 31, 1958), character killed off.
- Joey Roberts (Tarry Green to September 1953)
- Dr. Richard "Dick" Grant, Jr. (James Lipton to end of decade)
- Bob Lang, Kathy's first husband, father of Robin, killed off
- Richard Grant, Sr. (Ed Prentiss to 1954), written out
- Clyde Palmer, Trudy's husband, character talked about but not seen
Replaced original television cast members
- Meta Bauer White Roberts Banning (Ellen Demming, January 5, 1953 to end of decade)
- Reverend Dr. Paul Keeler (Melville Ruick to 1954)
- Joey Roberts (Richard Holland to December 1953), written out.
- Trudy Bauer Palmer (Lisa Howard, March 14, 1957 to March 14, 1958)
- Bill Bauer (Ed Bryce, November 1959 to end of decade)
- Gloria La Rue Harper (Anne Burr McDermott, November 1952 to April 1954), written out
- Sid Harper (Philip Sterling, November 1952 to April 1954), written out
- Richard Hanley (Mandel Kramer, January 1953 to December 1955, then October 1959 to end of decade)
- Janet Johnson (Ruth Warrick, March 1953 to October 1954; Lois Wheeler, October 1954 to September 1956, then May 1957 to August 1958), written out
- Peggy Ashley Regan (Patricia Wheel, May 1953 to March 1955), written out
- Laura Ashley Grant (Katherine Anderson, 1953; Alice Yourman, 1953 to 1956), written out
- Michael "Mike" Bauer (Glenn Walken & Christopher Walken, January 12, 1954 to June 22, 1956; Michael Allen, 1957 to end of decade), eldest son of Bill and Bert Bauer, born in March 1952
- Robin Lang Holden (Zina Bethune, May 1956 to April 1958; Judy Robinson, April 1959 to end of decade), daughter of Kathy and Bob Lang, adopted by Dick Grant and then by Mark Holden, born May 3, 1953
- William "Billy" Edward Bauer, Jr. (Pat Collins, from 1958 to end of decade), second son of Bill and Bert Bauer, born on December 31, 1954
- Lila Taylor Kelly (Nancy Wickwire, 1954 to January 1956; Teri Keane, December 1957), written out
- Dr. Jim Kelly (Paul Potter, 1954 to January 1956), written out
- Dr. John Brooks (Charles Baxter, 1954–1955), written out
- Dr. Bart Thompson (Barry Thomson, 1954), written out
- Dan Peters (Paul Ballantyne, 1954), written out
- Mrs. Laurey (Lois Wilson, January 1954 to December 1955; Virginia Payne, January to April 1956), the landlady of the apartment building that Marie Wallace and Dr. Dick Grant lived in located in New York City, written out
- Marie Wallace Grant (Joyce Holden, January to December 1954; Lynne Rogers, December 1954 to end of decade)
- Mark Holden (Whitfield Connor, October 1955 to March 1956, then August 1957 to end of decade)
- Dr. Paul Fletcher (Michael Kane, January 1956 to April 1956; Bernard Grant, May 1956 to end of decade)
- Elise Miller Franklin (Ethel Remey, 1956 to 1957). Bert and Alma-Jean's mother. Elise's 2nd husband Albert Franklin died offscreen in Arizona.
- Alma-Jean Miller, talked about but never seen. Youngest daughter of Elise Miller. Bert Bauer's Younger sister.
- Dr. Bruce Banning (Lester "Les" Damon, January 1956 to end of decade)
- Alice Holden (Sandy Dennis, May to June 1956; Diane Gentner, July 1956 to April 1958; Lin Pearson, April to December 1958 and May 1959), written out
- Anne Benedict Fletcher (Joan Gray, July 1956 to end of decade)
- Ruth Jannings Holden (Irja Jensen, January to June 1958; Louise Platt, June 1958 to September 1959; Virginia Dwyer, September 1959 to end of decade)
- Fred Fletcher (John Gibson, January to February 1958), Dr. Paul Fletcher's biological father, written out
- Marian Winters Lipsey (Katherine Meskill, January 1958 to June 1958), Dr. Paul Fletcher's mother, written out
- John Lipsey, character talked about but never seen, Dr. Paul Fletcher's adoptive father and husband to Marian Winters
- Henry Benedict (John Gibson, March 1958 to end of decade)
- Helene Benedict (Kay Campbell, April 1957 to 1964)
- Amy Sinclair (Joanne Linville, January 1959 to December 1959)
- Nora Sinclair AKA Marie Grant, talked about but not seen, Amy's daughter who Dick and Marie Grant adopted not realizing Nora/Marie was part of Joe Turino's illegal adoption scam ring
- Karl Jannings (Richard Morse, September 1959 to end of decade)
- Joe Turino (Joseph Campanella, December 1959 to end of decade)
In the late 1940s, the show started focusing on the Bauer family, where it remained the main focus into the 1950s. The Bauers, living in the fictional suburb of Selby Flats in Las Angles, are headed by their wise patriarch, Friedrich "Papa" Bauer. "Papa" is the father of three children: William "Bill" Edward, Meta, and Gertrude "Trudy." Papa Bauer immigrated to America from Germany with little more than a dream. He is a hard worker and full of wisdom. He imparts his knowledge to his children in a folksy tone, commonly interweaving German words. The original focus of the Bauer storyline is on Meta, who had left the Bauer household in the 1940s to pursue a career in modeling under the alias Jan Carter.
Meta, as Jan, became romantically involved with the British Theodore "Ted" White, who worked for his father as the head of the California advertising agency that handles Jan's modeling career. Jan found herself pregnant with Ted's child and decided to give her son up for adoption to Ray Brandon and his wife, Charlotte Wilson. Around the time Jan finds out that Ray and Charlotte are the adoptive parents of her son, Charles "Chuckie," Ted reenters her life. They get married so she can sue for custody, despite the advice of her friends, Dr. Ross Boling and Dr. Mary Leland (Ross' wife), not to do so. Jan and Ted eventually win custody of Chuckie. At the same time, Mary tells Jan (who had revealed her true identity as Meta) that her mother, "Mama" Bauer, is ill with cancer and will soon die. Mary also tells Meta that Papa has continued to ask for her so that he could make amends to Meta for what had happened to drive her away.
Meanwhile, Meta's brother Bill has married a woman striving for material success and thinks Bill should as well. Bertha "Bert" Miller has convinced Bill to give up his job working at the pharmacy to go into the work he trained for, advertising. Still, as Jan to him, Meta convinces Ted to hire Bill at his father's advertising agency. Ted does so but later becomes mad at Meta for covering up her true identity. Meta and Papa eventually make amends, although Trudy is jealous of her older sister and her lifestyle. She also finds herself in love with the married Dr. Ross Boling. Ted's behavior becomes increasingly violent toward Chuckie and Meta, and she sues for divorce. Ted and Meta end up in a custody battle over Chuckie, which Meta wins. However, Ted is granted some lenient visitation times and is permitted to take Chuckie on outings of his own. It is on one such outing that Ted leaves the now five-year-old Chuckie to die in a freak boxing accident.
Meta would leave the Bauers (and audiences) in a daze when she ended up in front of Ted's house and shot him dead in 1950. At one point on the radio version, listeners got the chance to choose whether or not to find Meta guilty of murdering her ex-husband Ted White. Ray would defend Meta on Charlotte's urging, despite the previous custody battle between them. The radio audience eventually voted to have Meta acquitted due to temporary insanity.
Ray and Charlotte Brandon, Dr. Ross Boling, and Dr. Mary Leland faded into obscurity shortly afterward. The only mention of the Brandon's is Bill and Bert buying their house in the Hollywood Hills. Meta and Trudy eventually become best friends before Trudy marries the wealthy Clyde Palmer and moves to New York City.
The conflicts between the Bauer clan and Bill's headstrong wife Bert are also an integral part of the plot in the television show's first decade. Although Bert and her sister-in-law Meta would eventually become very close, there is considerable hostility between them initially. An additional plot-line in this period focuses on Bill Bauer's alcoholism and his career difficulties. These troubles are exacerbated by Bert's materialistic nature as she wants to live much more extravagantly than Bill's salary allows.
1951 sees the introduction of two people who would cause much turmoil over the next four years of Bill and Bert's marriage. After Ted White's death, Bill seeks employment with another advertising agency and begins working with show business manager Sid Harper. Sid is trying to get a singer named Gloria LaRue to sign with him and asks for Bill's help. None of the men know that Gloria is also an alcoholic, and Sid is unaware that she and Bill have started having an affair. Gloria nearly has Bill divorce Bert, but Bert refuses to let him go after discovering she is pregnant. When Bill learns that Bert is pregnant, he agrees to stay with her. Gloria then falls off the wagon, but Sid helps her establish a new radio and television career, which gives her the strength to get sober. Gloria and Sid then decide to get married. With Bill and Bert together again and expecting their first child, things seemed to stabilize for the Bauers.
Bert gives birth to a boy named Michael (named after Charita Bauer's first son, also named Michael) in 1952. Bill keeps it secret from Bert when he is instrumental in signing Gloria LaRue Harper to a new television contract. Bert and Sid watch in anger as Gloria becomes more emotionally dependent on Bill for her new career. However, Gloria begins to develop vocal problems and is forced to abandon her new show. She and Sid eventually decide to move to New York City.
In 1953, new complications arise via Meta's new stepdaughter and her former roommate.
During Meta's murder trial, she had gained a champion for her cause to be acquitted via City Times newspaper reporter Joseph "Joe" Roberts, Sr. who wrote a series of articles that helped get Meta acquitted. They quickly fall in love, and it is revealed that Joe has two children from a previous marriage. Katherine "Kathy" Roberts is an older teenager while her brother Joseph "Joey" Roberts, Jr., is a pre-teen. A nanny and nurse named Peggy Ashley Regan had been hired to look after the family as Kathy and Joey's mother, Joe's first wife, had died a few years earlier. Kathy and Joey had become quite fond of Peggy. But as Meta starts hanging around Joe and the household and begins dating him, Joey takes a liking to her while Kathy does not.
Joe eventually desires to marry Meta, but she keeps putting him off. She explains that if both of his children are not comfortable with her being their new stepmother (i.e., Kathy), she is unwilling to proceed with a marriage. Meta escapes to New York City and to her sister Trudy and her husband Clyde to sort out her feelings. She even starts to become involved with one of Clyde's friends, Dr. Bruce Banning, who also eventually desires to marry her. Despite this, Joe follows Meta and wears down her defenses, and the two are finally married. However, they decide to keep the marriage a secret to everyone (Bill, Bert, Papa, Kathy, and Joey) with only Trudy, her bridesmaid and Clyde the best man knowing about this union. Although thrilled to be married to Joe, whom she truly loves, Meta knows that they are in for some troubles with Kathy, and Joe agrees. They decide that when they return to Selby Flats, Meta will live separately from Joe and his children until they can win Kathy over. But once they are back in the Los Angeles area, Meta struggles to get along with her.
Unknown to everyone else, including Meta and Joe, Kathy has her own romantic difficulties. Kathy first becomes involved with a garage automobile mechanic several years older than her named Bob Lang. Bob Lang tries his best to take Kathy to bed with him. Still, the teenage Kathy wisely continues to feel that might not be for the best. But Kathy's defenses are weak where Bob is concerned. Then Kathy suffers an illness for a few days and is taken to Cedars Hospital, where she meets the eligible bachelor and first cousin to Peggy Ashley Regan, Dr. Richard "Dick" Grant, Jr. (Peggy was the niece of Dick's mother, Laura Ashley Grant, who was married to Dick's father, Richard Grant, Sr.)
Dick is everything Kathy dreams about when it comes to a man, but although Meta and Joe approve, the rich and snobby Laura does not. Dick even proposes marriage to Kathy, but seeing how Laura disapproves turns him down. Meta and Joe are still not forthcoming about their wedding until Kathy overhears them talking one day and finds out about the whole marriage. Kathy is livid that her father lied to her and Joey and betrayed their feelings regarding Peggy. She moves out of Joe's house and gets an apartment with a model that works for Bill's advertising agency, Alice Graham. Kathy then decides to accept Bob Lang's marriage proposal, only telling Alice and Dick that she is marrying the man. Dick is not thrilled about this union, and when Kathy ends up getting pregnant with Bob's child, neither is she. In marriage, Bob becomes abusive, and Kathy is his primary target.
In the spring of 1952, having grown tired of his abuse, Kathy moves out of the house she shared with Bob. She moves back in with Alice, who isn't too thrilled to have a mother-to-be as her roommate. Dick tries to get Kathy to divorce Bob, but she refuses. Unknown to Kathy, Joe finds out about his daughter being pregnant and then has her and Bob's marriage annulled. By the summer of 1952, Bob is angry and tries to force Kathy back into their abusive marriage, but Kathy refuses. So Bob tries to woo her by becoming as romantic as possible, but Kathy still won't budge. However, she agrees to see Bob, even while she resumes dating Dick. Caught in the middle of all of this is both Alice Graham and Meta. Alice, because she is the only one who knows that the pregnant Kathy is seeing both Bob and Dick; and Meta, because she could wisely see that Kathy's actions directly resulted from her and Joe's marriage. This leads Meta to run off again to New York City to Trudy and Clyde.
On September 12, 1952, Kathy agrees to go for a driving date with Bob Lang, and during this date, Bob's car ends up having brake trouble. Bob gets Kathy to leave the vehicle shortly before it ends up going off a cliff near the Hollywood Hills, with Bob plummeting to his death. Kathy is beside herself and has no idea what to do but realizes she needs to get away from the accident. A pregnant Kathy is left unsure what to do or to whom she can turn. Dick, going against Laura's wishes, agrees to marry Kathy not only for the sake of her unborn child but also to protect her from legal trouble over Bob Lang's death. Kathy realizes she left one of her gloves in Bob's car the night he went over the cliff, and the police find it. Kathy's new uncle and aunt by marriage, Bert and Bill Bauer, are dragged into the whole mess to top it all off. Alice Graham (Kathy's now former roommate) ends up being in breach of contract after she signs a deal to do television commercials without telling Bill's advertising agency. When Bill tries to force Alice to do the right thing and disavow the commercials, Alice is unwilling, deciding instead to spill the beans to Bill as to what and how much trouble Kathy is in, including about Bob Lang's death. She threatens to go to the police with the information, which would make Bill an accomplice after-the-fact to Kathy's "crimes." Meta, reading all about this in New York City, decides it is time for her to go back home.
The first few months of 1953 are anything but comfortable for the three families. District Attorney Richard Hanley puts Kathy on trial for the murder of Bob Lang. There are articles in the newspapers, both in the City Times (which is done, despite Joe pleading to his boss, the editor, not to do so) and the Times competition. This has the effect of causing problems for Joe and Meta as they finally have to reveal to everyone that they are married. The union of Bill and Bert suffers after an episode with Alice Graham reminds Bert way too much of Bill's problems with Gloria La Rue Harper. Alice eventually backs off in naming Bill as Kathy's accomplice. However, she still testifies at Kathy's trial, and her testimony is nearly damaging enough to send a pregnant Kathy to prison. This causes conflict in the marriages of Kathy and Dick and Laura and Richard, with Richard trying to be lenient to the young couple, but Laura trying to take pound-of-flesh against Kathy at every chance she can. The advertising agency fires Bill due to all of this, and he must deal with the demanding Bert trying to get him to find another job soon. Kathy is acquitted by the end of March 1953, when Joe discovers that another mechanic who had claimed he had repaired Bob Lang's car's brakes had not done so.
Shortly after this, Meta, Joe, and Joey began to fade into supporting roles, as Kathy and Dick's romantic difficulties started to take center stage. Joe dies in his sleep, peacefully, on Christmas Eve 1955, and Meta has to begin again. Joe's funeral is the last time that Joey Roberts appears. Joey, who had never had problems with Meta and Joe's marriage, had since become a successful member of the Air Force and had moved away to Arizona with his wife, Lois. Joe's death unites Meta and Kathy into the mother-and-daughter team that Meta had hoped for from the beginning as both women console each other over the man both of them loved.
Bill soon finds another job at an advertising agency, but it requires many hours and days away from his family and Selby Flats. Bert is thrilled when they can afford to buy the Hollywood Hills home formerly occupied by Ray and Charlotte Brandon. Papa moves out of Selby Flats and in with them, and Bert starts relying more on Papa's sage advice. She finally begins to feel like his daughter, which Papa had said for years she was to him.
A young, slightly SORASed Michael becomes another issue. With Bill spending so much time alone, Michael starts feeling as though he has been abandoned by his father. He even started telling Bert and Papa that he has no father and that he had died. This dramatically hurts and confuses the two of them. Bert takes Michael to a child psychologist, despite Papa saying he has enough advice to help. The psychologist agrees with Papa that Michael is headed for many problems down the road, unless Bill spends more time with him, soon. Bill, finally on the persuasion of Papa and Bert, takes Michael on one of his advertising agency trips. In the hotel, Bill makes a game out of Michael trying to find him, which Michael does. Soon he and Bill bond and became the best of pals. Michael would not speak of his father being dead again until 1969.
On New Year's Eve 1954, Bert gives birth to her and Bill's second son, named William Edward or at the time "Billy" for short (later in the 1960s, as he aged, he'd refer to himself as Edward or "Ed" for short.) Coming from Arizona to help out is Bert's recently widowed mother, Elsie Miller, whom Michael takes an instant disliking too and acts up around. But Michael had every reason to do so, as Elsie starts to turn the Bauer household upside down. Even Bill and Papa begin to dislike her and her demands. Eventually, even Bert becomes fed up with her mother. Elsie is soon taken care of when the new man in her life, whom she was escaping, comes for a visit. Albert quickly breaks down her defenses, and the two are soon married and leave the Hollywood Hills home for Arizona. For a time, peace reigns in the Bauer household, but not for long. Michael begins to go by the name of Mike and is SORASed yet again, to quickly become a teenager by the end of 1957.
Meanwhile, Kathy's marriage to Dr. Dick Grant takes some rather exciting twists and turns. Kathy gave birth to Bob Lang's child, whom she names Robin, for the springtime that she was born in. It isn't easy childbirth, with Kathy being hospitalized before, during, and afterward. Dick agrees to adopt Robin, despite his mother's protest. Still, Kathy suffers from an internal infection which causes her to hallucinate people out to get her. However, someone is out to get something of hers, specifically her new second husband, Dr. Dick Grant. Initially hired by Laura to look after and care for Kathy is private nurse Janet Johnson. Janet takes an instant shine to Dick, and she is encouraged to go after him and break up his marriage by Laura herself. Dick, waiting for Kathy to get better, nearly succumbs to the charms of Janet Johnson. As Kathy's health improves, so does her marriage to Dick. This is until Dick faces personal and professional crises at work. He is overworked at Cedars and has to meet a father and son team of doctors. Not realizing that they are father and son causes Dick to want to give up on his marriage to Kathy and his profession as a world-class surgeon.
Soon, Dick leaves Cedars (during an operation) and then leaves Los Angeles for New York City, where he lives under an assumed name. Dick meets a young woman who becomes his new love interest, artist Marie Wallace. Laura, finally agreeing Kathy is not as bad as she had once seemed, rallies with both Kathy and Richard to try and figure out a way to get Dick back home. Still, none of them knew where he is. Eventually, Kathy seeks a divorce due to the abandonment of affection from Dick. Soon after this, Laura and Richard Grant were written out of the show. Dick eventually returns to Los Angeles with Marie. It is quickly realized by all that they truly love each other when Marie is temporarily blinded, and Dick helps her regain her eyesight.
By 1957, Cedars has hired a new surgeon named Dr. Paul Fletcher. Despite Dick and Marie's new marriage, Paul and Marie instantly hit it off, much to Dick's chagrin. Marie is also feeling less than a woman when she learns she can't get pregnant. With adoption being insufficient to satisfy Marie's maternal instincts, she nearly has an affair with Dr. Paul Fletcher. But not all was as it seems for Paul. Dr. Paul Fletcher is an assumed name that he adopted during the Korean War. Paul took the name from his mother, Marion Winters Lipsey, who had told him about his biological father, Fred Fletcher. Marion tells Paul that Fred abandoned them years earlier, so her husband John Lipsey had adopted him. However, it is revealed that Marion left Fred. Paul is finally able to meet and forgive Fred just a few short months before Fred dies of cancer in April 1958. After this, Paul feels less deserving of love than others. Bert Bauer nicknames Paul a "sour apple" due to his demeanor. Another woman soon enters Dr. Paul Fletcher's life, Anne Benedict from San Francisco. She soon becomes the love of his life and helps him realize that he does deserve love after all. The changes in Paul make Bert realize his personality isn't as bad as she first thought. Anne and Paul are soon married, despite the disapproval of Anne's rich father, Henry. Anne Fletcher gives birth to Paul's son, whom they name Johnny, and this wins the approval of Henry and his wife Helene of their daughter's marriage to Paul.
In 1959, Dick and Marie Grant find themselves caught up in criminal Joe Turino's illegal adoption scam ring. Their involvement, however, is purely innocent. One of Dick's patients is a runaway drug addict named Amy Sinclair, who gives birth in the spring to a daughter she names Nora. Feeling as though she can not raise Nora independently, she agrees to let Dick and Marie Grant adopt little Nora, whom they rename Marie. However, this adoption is set up through Joe Turino's scam ring. In 1960, the district attorney's investigation into this scam leaves Dick and Marie Grant heartbroken when they lose custody of Marie to Amy. Dick gives Amy money to hide from Joe Turino and skip town in the process. Later, in the fall of 1960, Dick and Marie Grant try again and succeed in adopting a boy named Phillip Collins. Dick and Marie Grant leave town with their adopted son in 1962 and are not heard from again.
After Joe Robert's funeral, Meta starts seeing Mark Holden, a wealthy structural engineer and friend of her brother-in-law, Clyde Palmer. Mark is hired at Cedars to do some work on the building, and Bert tries to set him up with Meta. Mark, however, takes a shine to Meta's stepdaughter, Kathy, instead. Meta agrees to step aside for Mark and Kathy on the advice of Dr. Bruce Banning, who continues to have romantic feelings for her. Kathy soon marries her third and final husband, Mark Holden. It doesn't take long for Kathy to find out that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" when it comes to her daughter with Bob Lang, Robin. By the time Kathy marries Mark, Robin has also been SORASed into a pre-teen acts every bit the brat around Mark as she had towards Meta. Kathy and Mark can't understand why until she tells them she wishes Kathy were still married to Dr. Dick Grant. Once Meta and Dick talk with her, Robin turns around and agrees to accept Mark, just in time for Mark to agree to adopt her with Dick's blessing.
Meanwhile, Mark's younger sister, a rebellious 16-year-old Alice Holden, shows up in Selby Flats to live with Kathy, Mark, and Robin. Right away, it is clear that Alice and Robin mix like water and oil. Alice is resentful of how spoiled Robin appears to be, while Robin can't stand having the older and more worldly Alice living in the same household. This leads to the introduction of Mike Bauer, the "cousin" of Robin, on whom Robin has a crush. While Mike does allow her some flirtations, the 13-year-old Mike quickly falls under the spell of the older Alice. Alice picks up on this, leading to a stalemate of constant tension between Robin, Mike, and Alice that would soon lead to a tragedy for the helpless Kathy. Kathy finds out she is pregnant, again, this time with Mark's child. In a ploy to get back at Robin and treat her like the spoiled brat she was, Alice took a kitchen chair and decided to screw out some of the bolts used to hold it together. Alice hopes it will fall apart when Robin sits in it—so Robin will be embarrassed and perhaps keep her spoiled bratty mouth shut. However, it is the pregnant Kathy who decides to use the chair to do some work in one of the kitchen cabinets. When Kathy stands on the chair, Alice's plan comes to fruition, but for the wrong victim. The chair gave way, and Kathy falls hard onto the kitchen floor. Kathy is taken to Cedars, where the doctors reveal that Kathy's injury is severe and has caused her to miscarry her and Mark's child. Kathy then develops an infection and is soon permanently restricted to a wheelchair as she develops paralysis. Alice is quickly sent packing back to Mark's parent's home, and then a year later to a school whose living arrangements are closer to where Mark lived with Robin. In March 1958, Kathy is killed when bicycling children accidentally push her wheelchair into oncoming traffic. Mark is left to raise the now SORASed to a teenager Robin on his own.
Robin and Mike, as teenagers, soon become more seriously romantically involved. But Robin also becomes troublesome to Mark and Meta, trying to break up Meta's romance with Bruce and get her to marry Mark so Meta would become her stepmother. Robin also takes an instant disliking to Mark's new romantic involvement with housekeeper Ruth Jannings, a widow herself.
On New Year's Eve 1959, Robin finds out very harshly that she can't control everything when she comes to Mark's hotel to discover there is a new Mrs. Mark Holden, and they are on their honeymoon. Matters are made worse for Robin when she goes to Mark's hotel room, and the door is answered by the new Mrs. Mark Holden, who revealed to be Ruth Jannings. But Robin was soon to cause more trouble in the New Year and first year of the new decade, 1960, by getting involved romantically, more, with Mike Bauer and Ruth's son, Karl.