Wednesday, July 25, 2012

50 Greatest Soap Couples: #25 Phillip & Beth From GUIDING LIGHT

COUPLE: Phillip Spaulding & Beth Raines
RANK: 25
Phillip: Grant Aleksander, John Bolger
Beth: Judi Evans, Beth Chamberlin
YEARS: 1983-1986, 1989-1991, 1996-2004, 2009

Phillip met Beth at the hospital when he was visiting Mindy Lewis (Krista Tesreau).   Along with Rick Bauer (Michael O'Leary), the four of them became known as The Four Museketeers.  At Phillip, Rick and Beth's prom, Phillip and Beth connected but spent the summer fighting their feelings. Rick was interested in Beth and Phillip dated Mindy.  At Mindy's 18th birthday party, Phillip and Beth finally confessed their love for each other.  They were interrupted by Beth's evil and sexually abusive step-father, Bradley Raines (James Rebhorn), who revealed to Phillip that Justin Marler was his biological father (a secret GUIDING LIGHT kept since the character of Phillip was introduced in November 1977).  Phillip eventually learned that Bradley was abusing Beth and the two of them went on the run to New York City (Rick and Mindy would soon join them).

Mindy became pregnant with Phillip's baby and the two of them married. Beth fell in love with Phillip's cousin, Lujack (Vincent Irizarry), breaking Phillip's heart.  After Lujack died, Phillip and Beth reconnected and were back together when she was presumed dead in a boating accident.  Three years later, Beth turned up alive with no memory and unable to speak.  Beth recovered and Phillip and Beth finally reunited and the two of them were married.  Life was never easy for them though and they divorced and married other people.  As GUIDING LIGHT ended in 2009, they were back together and planning to be married again.

GUIDING LIGHT fans of the early to mid-1980s always talk about The Four Musketeers, The Prom, and their on the run story in New York City.  Beth and Phillip are one of the rare soap couples who survived a recasting and continued to maintain a rooting interest.

Their legacy is obvious in many ways from their grown children driving story on the show in its later years to their significance on the soap more than 26 years after they first met.

Phillip and Beth were nominated at the 1991 Soap Opera Digest Awards as Outstanding Super Couple: Daytime.  Aleksander was nominated as Outstanding Lead Actor that year as well as in 1990, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2005.  He was nominated as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the 1998 Daytime Emmy Awards, and for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2003, 2004 and 2005.  Evans won a Daytime Emmy Award for her work in her first year in GUIDING LIGHT as Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Daytime Drama Series.   Chamberlin was nominated as Outstanding Villainess at the Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1999 and for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 2010 Daytime Emmys.

From Patrick Erwin (A THOUSAND OTHER WORLDS): From their first moments to their last, you never doubted Phillip & Beth’s love and concern for each other, even when they were with other people. In my opinion, this pairing also benefited from having two Beths – Judi Evans’ interpretation of a younger, skittish Beth and Beth Chamberlin’s more complex, complicated adult Beth.

Phillip & Beth's meet, fall in love, go on the run and get engaged (1983-1984)
Phillip learns he's the father of Beth's baby
Phillip proposed to Beth and then finds Alan dead (2009)

You can purchase a number of amazing Phillip and Beth moments at on several different DVDs including The Phillip Spaulding Collection.

Share your thoughts on Phillip and Beth in our Comments section below or on our message board.

- 50 Greatest Soap Opera Actors: The Complete List
- 50 Greatest Soap Opera Actresses: The Complete List
- THE COMPLETE LIST: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History


  1. Halfway through the list and not one couple from Another World yet????

  2. ANOTHER WORLD was my all-time favorite soap so rest assured they were well considered (as was every current and former soap). Just outside the Top 50 was Sam and Lahoma from AW/SOMERSET. You will see AW coming up in this poll. That's all I can say for now. :)

  3. LOVED them, because I was a Lighter! What fun period with the all four, and even when Beth Chamberlin was recast it wasn't shocking because of resemble to Judi. After all the years Beth was Beth and proved over and over it again...especially the story involving Lizzie shooting Karl and Lizzie having cancer resulting in James for that purpose...simply wonderful. As for AW...Rachel\Mac of course and Steve\Alice. I loved Donna\Michael, and Jake\Vicki, & Vicki\Ryan. As for GL I hope to see Harley\Gus and Michelle\Danny, for ATWT CarJack is a well worthy number 1!!

  4. Are nighttime soaps included in this poll regarding best couples?
    my favorites are danny/michelle from gl
    carl/rachel from AW
    Mac/Rachel AW
    Blake/krystle DYNASTY
    Richard/maggie FALCON CREST
    gary/val KNOTS
    JACK/Mary ryans hope
    frank/jill ryans hope
    john/marlena DAYS
    bo/hope days
    austin/carrie days
    leo/greenlee amc
    and many others

  5. Grant was on AMC in 1995 so that was not related to Phillip he only came back in 1996. And neither character was on GL in 1993-1994. Please update the years.

  6. Beth Chamberlain's Beth was just as emotionally fascinating to watch as Judi Evans's. I'm still perturbed that Beth Chamberlain was never recognized at Daytime Emmy Award time for her wonderful performances--Heaven Love Her!

    Brian :-)

  7. Beth Chamberlain's Beth was just as emotionally fascinating to watch as Judi Evans's. I'm still perturbed that Beth Chamberlain was never recognized at Daytime Emmy Award time for her wonderful performances--Heaven Love Her!

    Brian :-)