50 Greatest Soap Couples: #31 Bob & Kim From AS THE WORLD TURNS

COUPLE: Bob Hughes & Kim Reynolds
RANK: 31
Bob: Don Hastings
Kim: Kathryn Hays
YEARS: 1972-2010

Nancy Hughes wanted her son Bob to reunite with Lisa (Eileen Fulton) in 1972 but the popular doctor ended up dating Jennifer Ryan (Gillian Spencer) instead.  Jennifer's sister, Kim, was a former lounger singer who dated John but was enamored with Bob.  When Bob attended a medical conference in Florida he was shocked to see Kim there performing "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" (with Bobby Short on piano) which immediately made him smitted.  Kim had plotted to be there while Bob thought it was just a coincidence.  The two of them made love but when they returned to Oakdale Jennifer revealed she was pregnant.  Bob and Jennifer decided to be together for the sake of the baby  unaware that Bob had also impregnated Kim!  John Dixon (Larry Bryggman) used the opportunity to convince Kim to elope with him to Las Vegas.  Kim would later develop complications during a snowstorm that required surgery.  When she awoke John told her she had lost the baby.

Fast forward to 1985 and Bob and Kim reunited and planned to finally marry.  Jennifer had died, Bob and Kim had married and divorced other people (Dan, Nick Miranda), and Bob's daughter with Jennifer, Frannie (Julianne Moore), was now in college.  Bob and Kim had a beautiful sunrise wedding at the Oakdale Botanical Gardens and were ready to live happily ever happy.  But not in Oakdale!  Doug Cummings' obsession with Kim, Bob and Kim's daughter (Sabrina) turning up very much alive, and Bob's affair with Susan Stewart (Marie Masters) nearly derailed them but when the show went off the air in 2010 they had just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

From Patrick Erwin (A THOUSAND OTHER WORLDS): Bob and Kim went from complicated romantic twists and turns to being the next Chris and Nancy Hughes, but were never boring. It may be odd to describe a strong romance by mentioning Bob’s affair with Susan, but that affair, and Bob and Kim’s subsequent reconciliation, felt like you were watching people you knew. Bob and Kim had the marriage everyone wanted.

Kim was one of the last characters ever created by Irna Phillips.  It is believed that Kim was created based on Irna's life as "the other woman."  Bob and Kim would have many near misses over the years before they finally were got together which kept fans tuned in wondering if the couple would ever get it right.  The Douglas Cummings mystery and Bob's affair with Susan are considered two of the best stories in AS THE WORLD TURNS history (both written by Douglas Marland).

Hastings and Hays were honored with a special Editor's Award at the 1998 Soap Opera Digest Awards.  Presenters Jon and Kelley Hensley called them the "foundation" of AS THE WORLD TURNS.

Hastings was awards a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2004 Daytime Emmy Awards.

Bob and Kim sing to each other (1985)
Bob and Kim in therapy (1990)
Bob & Kim celebrate 25 years, Julianne Moore returns as Frannie (2010)
Don Hastings & Kathryn Hays Honored (1998)

Share your thoughts on Bob and Kim in our Comments section below or on our message board.

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  1. Bob and Kim were so beloved and are still missed (they were replaced by five boring yentas, referring to ATWT's replacement, THE TALK).

  2. Love. That is all. Just plain love!

  3. You know... in less capable hands, Bob could easily have been made into a cad and Kim could've been cast as a naive and scorned character (like they do on today's soaps) but it was truly ingenious character construction that made them a couple that one roots for and it is a lesson that today's writers that you can have a mature couple remain relevant and maintain their dignity by NOT indiscriminately pairing them up with half the cast (I'm talking to you Y&R). Kim and Bob did indeed become the last two decades' matriarch and patriarch of ATWT. Many of their storylines were not as compelling in the last few years of the show but they were still involved in storyline. I wish today's soaps would understand this and stop shopping excessively for guest stars from random talk shows and yesteryear's sitcoms.
    I absolutely appreciate Bob & Kim and their very memorable storylines, among some of the show's best!

    Thanks Roger for your careful consideration with these lists. I always enjoy and often I learn a lot in regards to those shows that I am less familiar with.

    And I've never watched a full episode of the Talk and I'm less inclined now.

  4. Let's shout big Amens to Bob & Kim & ATWT Classic DVDs!

    Brian :-)

  5. Next to Nancy...Don & Kathryn were the "pillars" and it was so easy for them to end the pariarch & matriarch of ATWT. Where's Nancy & Chris?