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Overview of Guiding Light
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The story was based on her personal life experience of finding guidance while listening to on-air
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Hey I'm Lauren Zima for About.com and we're giving you an overview of the long running soap opera--The Guiding Light.The show originally began as a fifteen minute radio show in 1937, and centered around the non-denominational Church of Five Points in Illinois. The Guiding Light name referred to a lamp that stayed lit in the study of Reverend John Ruthlege, to provide comfort to those seeking help. Created by Ima Philips, the story was based on her personal life experience of finding guidance while listening to on-air sermons after giving birth to a still-birth at age 19.In 1945, the character of Reverend Ruthlege sent the lantern to his friend and fellow minister in the fictional suburb of Los Angeles California, Selby Flats. Rutledge died the following year, and storyline shifted to Selby Flats.  In 1952, the show came to life in black and white on television, where the middle class immigrant family, the Bauers became the center of attention. From 1952-1956, the show aired on both television and radio. The fifteen minute serial episodes were performed and recorded twice daily by the actors.The show moved to the midwestern town of Springfield in 1966. In 1967, color came to the guiding light, and the following year episodes increased to 30 minutes in length. In 1975, "the" was dropped form The Guiding LIght and in 1977, Guiding Light became an hour-long series that aired daily.In its early years the stories centered on the Bauer family. Later, the Spauldings, Chamberlains Lewises and Reardons took the scene, though the Bauers remained the "guiding light" of the show. In addition to Kim Zimmer, Robert Newman, and Lia Zang, each who performed in over 500 episodes, other actors and guest performers included Calista Flockhart, Kevin Bacon, Joan Collins, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson and the B52s.The final episode aired on Sept 18, 2009, leaving behind a saddened loyal audience of 1.2 million and a Guinness Book of World Records for the longest running drama in television history.  In addition to the show's "spiritual guidance" theme, the other focus throughout its running years was love...how to find it, how to live in it, and how to hold onto it.Thanks for watching our overview of The Guiding Light, for more information go to About.com
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