Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lynn Deerfield, Original Holly On GUIDING LIGHT, Dead At 61

Lynn Deerfield, who played Holly Norris on GUIDING LIGHT from 1970 to 1976 died Friday, November 11 of undetermined causes at her home in University City, her family said Monday. She is pictured to the right with GL co-star Mart Hulswit, who played Ed Bauer. Their characters married in Las Vegas in 1973 when Ed got drunk and Holly lied that they consummated the marriage to prevent an annulment.

Deerfield, whose original name was Rosalind Jane Hirschfeld, was 61.

StlToday.com had a bio of Deerfield on their website today. She was the youngest of three children born to Madelienne Moscowitz and antiques dealer Richard Hirschfeld. She graduated in 1967 from Ladue Horton Watkins High School, where she starred as Emily in "Our Town," and in other productions. Her family also recalled her as a gifted pianist.

After a year at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, she moved to New York City, where she trained as an actor at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse. Her classmates included Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton.

She changed her name and chose Deerfield because Hirschfeld, when translated from German to English, is Deerfield, said her sister-in-law, Adrienne Hirschfeld.

Deerfield married three times. Her first husband was Paul Mates, a Wall Street lawyer who survives her.

In 1975, Ms. Deerfield married Bill Beutel, the late ABC news anchor. After they divorced, Ms. Deerfield married Michael Kelly. He preceded her in death.

She returned to St. Louis in the mid-1980s.

Burial will be private.

Survivors include three brothers, Mark Hirschfeld of Ladue, Michael Hirschfeld of University City and David Carter of University City; and a sister, Joan Johnson of Glendale.

Deerfield is pictured below with GUIDING LIGHT co-stars Maureen Silliman (Pam), Fran Myers (Peggy), Lynne Adams (Leslie) and Caroline McWilliams (Janet) in 1975.

Maureen Garrett assumed the role of Holly in October 1976, two months after Deerfield last aired.


  1. OMG--I remember watching Lynn Deerfield's Holly on GL during my high school days in Chicago. Rest In Peace, Lynn. Another Soap Veteran Has Left This Planet Way Too Soon & Way Too Young!

  2. I remember her on GL, I was only 9 when she started but my mom wasn't a fan of "Holly" until Maureen took the role over. Maureen brought something to the part that was lacking in the character of "Holly". It's one of those rare cases where the recast became the character that fans loved. I think it was the chemistry between Michael & Maureen that lit up the character of Holly. Lynn had chemistry with then Ed but not Roger. In this case Betty Rea was right on target for a recast and the rest is history. Maureen Garrett will always be Holly...rest in peace Lynn.

  3. Lynn Deerfield was excellent as Holly and played her from a confused teen to a neurotic young wife. Her performance was convincing and the character, interesting. Her Holly was innocent but manipulative, selfish and misguided; a nice foil for Dr. Ed. Deerfield and Zaslow sparked as did the Ed-Holly-Roger triangle, though many were rooting for an Ed-Janet pairing. The writers matured the character somewhat with Garrett but made her a damsel in distress and victim and ultimate heroine by the late '70s, with Rita now as the foil. Garrett's Holly was stronger and more enjoyable when she returned in '89-90.