Guiding Light is the longest running daytime soap opera in television history. It tells the story of the residents of the fictitious town of Springfield. When the show first aired, it centered around two main families, The Bauers and their rivals, The Spauldings. In recent times, the show has grown to include brilliant story lines played by such daytime Emmy winners as Kim Zimmer
and Crystal Chappell.
In what turns out to be one of the most poignant and unexpected stories, Guiding Light created Otalia, a portmanteau for the characters Olivia and Natalia, played by Chappell and co-star Jessica Leccia. The two women are rivals for the same man, Gus Aitano, who dies in a motorcycle accident. In true soap fashion, Leccia's character, Natalia, married to Gus, donates his heart to her enemy, Olivia, and even nurses her back to health. Through the course of a year, these two women, who have always been straight, find themselves in love with each other. This unexpected love story has caused an internet sensation, spawning chat groups and a new web series, Venice, created by Chappell and starring herself and Guiding Light love interest, Jessica Leccia.
Guiding Light has long been applauded for creating strong, intelligent roles for talented women, such as the character of Reva Shayne, played by Zimmer. Her on again, off again romance with Josh Lewis, may soon be rekindled in the final few episodes of Guiding Light. A victim of bad ratings, this long running series, which started on the radio and has won countless awards, was canceled by CBS. Its final show aired on September 18, 2009.