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“The Guiding Light” Is Off, But Alumnus is Still On

Long-time viewers of the recently departed CBS soap opera “The Guiding Light” who are still undergoing withdrawal may not have realized that they were watching a Washington and Lee alumnus in one of the show’s key roles. Grant Aleksander (Grant A. Kunkowski in W&L’s Class of 1982) played Phillip Spaulding on the series, which left the air last September after 58 seasons and 15,761 episodes.

Grant was not around for all 15,761 episodes, but he was a featured member of the cast for many years. He was on the show from 1982 to 1984, was replaced for two years by another actor, returned from 1986 to 1991, left again until 1996, and was part of the central story line until 2004, when he was apparently murdered. But, as it turned out, he wasn’t actually dead and rejoined the cast in February 2009 for the final few months of the show.

Now that “The Guiding Light” is off the air, the cast, including Grant, continues to make personal appearances. For instance, earlier this week Grant was on a radio program on WRCH radio in Connecticut, and he and other cast members will participate this summer in a So Long Springfield Tour on a five-day Carnival Cruise.

Grant was nominated for seven Soap Opera Digest Awards and, with actress Beth Ehlers, won for Favorite New Couple in 1999. He was also nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards and has been in several movies and other TV series and shows. You can see all his credits on Grant’s IMBD page here.

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