"Guiding Light" fans are sure to be disappointed over the loss of two major actors from that soap. The first to announce his departure when his contract expires was long-time cast member Peter Simon, who plays Ed Bauer. This is actually Simon's second exit from the show, the first was back in 1984, but he returned in 1986.
There was no further information on Simon, but in a press release, executive producer Michael Laibson stated, "Peter has made this decision. We understand his feelings about leaving and respect those feelings. Many actors feel there comes a time to move on." The show hopes that Simon will return at some time in the future.
The second shocking "Guiding Light" exit is Vincent Irizarry, who plays Nick McHenry Spaulding. Irizarry returned to the show in 1991 [he previously played Brandon Luvonaczek from 1983-85, who was Nick's twin brother]. He will be leaving, for story purposes, in February, when his contract expires. In the story line, Nick and his new wife, Susan (Nancy Bell), who has AIDS, will take an extended honeymoon in Europe.
In another press release, executive producer Michael Laibson says of Irizarry's exit, "It is necessary for both creative and financial reasons to focus our story on a smaller cast of characters. Therefore, we have had to make some tough choices over the last several months regarding our very popular actors."
"Guiding Light" is, however, bringing back an old favorite--actor Michael Tylo, who will resurrect his former role of Quinton Chamberlain, which he played from 1981-85, for a two-week run scheduled to begin Feb. 26. Quinton's return has to do with his estranged wife, Nola (Lisa Brown) and their son, J (George Pilgrim), who had been living with his father until he ran off to join his mother. Also as part of Quinton's return, the show will honor the late William Roerick, who played Quinton's father, Henry Chamberlain. Roerick died away Nov. 30, 1995.
Tylo comes back to "Guiding Light" after recently being written off "The Young and the Restless," where he played Rick "Blade" Bladeson (1992-95).