After over seven decades of being on air, Guiding Light is bowing out of the soap opera race after struggling against tough economic times and changes in viewing habits. But during its historic run (the Guinness Book of World Records cites it as the longest-running television drama), it served as a launching pad for some of today’s biggest stars.
Click here for a Then and Now look at some A-listers who basked in the Guiding Light glow
Some celebrities who got their start on the soap’s set:
Hayden Panettiere got her start as Lizzie Spaulding when she was fives years old. Spaulding suffered from leukemia and the role got special recognition for bringing attention to the disease.
Kevin Bacon followed up a small bit in Animal House with a short stint on the soap to kick of the eighties. Calista Flockhart’s first role ever was as a baby sitter on the show in spring 1989.
At twelve, Brittany Snow played a troubled teen named Susan LeMay. Melina Kanakaredes was nominated twice for a daytime Emmy for her portrayal of Eleni Cooper- an immigrant newcomer looking for a husband so she could get her greencard.
Other notables: Taye Diggs, Victor Garber, Morgan Fairchild, Nia Long, and Ian Ziering.