Where Are They Now: 'Guiding Light' Actress Carey Cromelin

Paul Williams and Caroline Cromelin. Photo Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times
Carey Cromelin, who played Lewis Oil secretary Wanda Hyatt on and off Guiding Light during the show's finale 24 years, was featured in a New York Times story on Monday. Cromelin and her husband, Paul Williams, and their 11-year old twins, live in an Upper East Side brownstone. Their apartment has a windowed air shaft that their landlord has controversially sealed, which eventually led to the family receiving an eviction notice.

Five years ago, the building’s owner covered the top of the shafts to stop leaks that had begun to make the walls crumble.

Losing light and not-quite-fresh air in the heart of one’s home would be difficult enough for Ms. Cromelin and her downstairs neighbor Jillian Murray. Then they refused to let workers in to place drywall over their already darkened windows. The landlord responded with eviction notices in 2013.

In a twist of fickle justice, two housing court judges ruling on almost identical living situations reached opposite decisions. Ms. Cromelin gets to keep her windows for now, but Ms. Murray might lose hers, or even her apartment.

Three other eviction cases have been brought against Cromelin and illiams, including a nonresidency case in 2011. It claimed the family actually lived at a farmhouse near Danbury, Conn., grounds for terminating their stabilized lease. Each time, the family was allowed to stay.

Complicating the decisions, the Buildings Department could soon revoke its approval for the work because a city board ruled in November that closing the shafts “cut off existing (albeit minimal) light and air to the room used as a bedroom” and violated the building code.

Ms. Cromelin said she and her family were hopeful they would again see the light of day inside their apartment soon.

To celebrate, they may form a band, with Mr. Williams on guitar, Ms. Cromelin on piano, George on saxophone and Virginia on trombone, plus Ms. Murray, who plays the trumpet.

“We’ve all been sued so many times,” Ms. Cromelin said, “we’re thinking of calling ourselves the Respondents.”


  1. I loved Wanda on GL. Daytime just doesn't create such great ancillary characters anymore. Well, actually, I think DAYS is the only soap doing a decent job at it with characters like Rory (JJ's friend), Anne Milbaugher (HR director from hell/Theresa's partner in crime), Derek (the extremely hot bellboy) and I even enjoyed the brief appearance of Roxanne (JJ's former boarding school friend/fake girlfriend.)

    I digress.

    I hope Ms. Cromelin, her family and neighbors get the justice they deserve.

    1. When the Daytime Emmys added the Supporting Actor categories in 1979, there were GREAT supporting players that added so much to their shows, especially the older actors/characters. Now those slots are mostly filled with lead actors jockeying for position.

      The ancillary characters probably cost too much but they sure helped shaped these (mostly fictional) towns and make them seem real. DAYS does have the most now. GH has Alice, the Quartermaine housekeeper, and sometimes Max and Milo. B&B has Dick Christie as Charlie, and occasionally Princess Theodora as Alison, Bill's assistant.

    2. I so agree with you about the Emmys. I also agree that the ancillary characters help shape these fictional towns and support the narrative. I don't know enough of the mechanics of how these things work behind the scenes but as a viewer, I wish there were more of these characters to provide the main players opportunities to show different sides of their personalities.

      GH and Y&R have such bloated casts of contract players, I wish they would reduce their numbers to make room for smaller parts ala Wanda on Guiding Light. My family would cheer when Wanda showed up in a scene! She made a big difference in a small role.

  2. Let's not forget my pal Laura Bryan Birn, who for years called Paul Williams "Boss" as his long suffering assistant Lynne on Y&R!