The right guy at the wrong time

When I was talking about the ten “old friends” I’d like to see on Guiding Light the other day, I enjoyed the comments that followed and the dialogue about those old favorites. India was at the top of my list.

As September gets closer, I’ll definitely be strolling down Springfield’s memory lane, and there’s one actor in particular who I thought merited an honorable mention. He was, as the title of this post says, the right guy at the wrong time.
51456_583I’m talking about John Bolger, who played Phillip Spaulding for two years, from 1985 until Grant Aleksander’s return in late 1986.

Of course, Aleksander is the quintessential Phillip, and it’s hard for any of us to see anyone in the role but him. (It’s why the show wisely didn’t recast when Aleksander was either unable or unwilling to return over the last few years.)

I think many Guiding Light fans shared the same feeling I had about Bolger – he wasn’t quite Phillip, but we liked him all the same. He’s an engaging actor and he did great, solid work at Guiding Light. I often wish he’d have been cast as another character on GL.

Bolger’s Phillip led to a slightly different Spaulding family during that time: Mary Kay Adams and Aleksander had great chemistry as India and Phillip; Bolger and Adams had glorious chemistry.

Bolger’s Phillip came across as more patrician – a younger Frasier Crane, if you will – and the scenes between India, Phillip, and Beverlee McKinsey’s Alexandra were often filled with Noel Coward-esque dialogue.

I’m reminded how different Bolger was when I saw this video on YouTube. I’d forgotten all about it.

It’s quite un-Spaulding behavior from Phillip and Alexandra, as well as Reva being……well, Reva. (Red dress sold separately.)

The 80s – gotta love ’em!

I have to admit, I’ve always had a crush on John; he’s a handsome man with movie-star, leading man looks. But he’s a great actor, as well. He was phenomenal in Parting Glances, one of the best and earliest movies to take a look at gay men living together and loving each other.

And he’s done great work at One Life to Live and Another World, where he was also woefully underused.  He’s been on tour with Dirty Dancing for the last several months, and he’s slated to make more appearances on General Hospital this summer.

Not only will we get to see him on screen (as Mayor Garrett Floyd) but we’ll also get to see the much-missed, much loved Emmy winner Martha Byrne as Mayor Floyd’s wife Andrea. I may actually have to watch these scenes on GH. (Yes, the sound you heard was hell freezing over!)

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7 thoughts on “The right guy at the wrong time

  1. WOW! Bolger’s Phillip was just before I started watching GL, but if I’d had an inkling of what incredible fun was in store for me, I’d have watched sooner! That was a great scene — and watching Beverlee McKinsey dance around put a big grin on my face! 😀

  2. Loved John Bolger’s work on AW and OLTL but I have to admit I have not seen this side of him! Oooolala! Hmmmm…has he considered DWTS?

  3. He never did it for me as Philip, even though he and India had great chemistry. It was as if someone else had stepped in and pretended to be Philip for a short while. I like the actor, but the role had already become G.A.’s to such an extent in my mind, and they were so very different in every way.

  4. Patrick,

    That Proud Mary scene is one of my all time favorite Reva scenes. And John Bolger was having a ball in it too.

    You’re right, although he was a very good actor, Bolger never was exactly right as Phillip. If he’d been cast in another part, he might still be on the show today.

    I can’t imagine Grant performing that Proud Mary scene, especially the thrusting of the hips part that Bolger did with such ease.

    But that scene was so fun. They even referenced it back in 2002 during Reva’s bachlorette party. I was hoping they’d replay it, but alas, it wasn’t to be. Thanks for digging up the clip and thanks for the memoreis.

  5. Bolger had one of my favorite scenes of all time—tying up India in the Christmas lights.

    For awhile, my memories replaced that scene with GA, and then I saw it again and realized that I must have bought into Bolger’s Phillip fairly completely if I have Phillip-memories that I can’t pin to a specific actor. lol

  6. I really like John playing Philip more than Grant. Grant plays an quite arrogant Phillip who is clear to read if not even a bit dangerous…
    John plays a Philip by showing the human behind the mask of a rich son. John plays a Philip who is able to be angry, who is able to be hard at the business, who is able to show most loving and caring feeling especially for Beth and who is able to let us cry and suffer with him when he got the news that Beth was dead. John´s Phillipmis able to show his inner conflict between being a rich son having his two feet in business, and the privat Philip, who just is sseking for a normal life, with normal friends with a normal someones, loving him because of himself, not because of the money…Unfortunately (please forgive me Grant) I stoped watching GL when John left…He is even able to talk with his eyes without himself saying a word…Thanks a lot to John for having been there…

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