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Guiding Light

Kim Zimmer Recalls Reva’s Legendary Baptism on GUIDING LIGHT (EXCLUSIVE)


Back in 1984, GUIDING LIGHT’s Joshua Lewis had a lot to be mad about. Not only had true love Reva Shayne been working with the nefarious Alan Spaulding, but she’d also married Josh’s disapproving father, H.B.! In fact, Josh had been so upset to hear about the nuptials that he’d crashed his car and wound up partially paralyzed! Reva’s portrayer, Kim Zimmer, recalled to Soaps In Depth both her character and H.B. feeling “guilt, guilt, guilt. That’s why they moved Josh into their house, and Reva made love to him and made sure he started walking again.”

However, while still in a wheelchair, Joshua spied a flirtatious conversation between Reva and Alan’s son, Phillip. Following a party that they’d both attended, Josh noted that “the cripple and the tramp” had cleared the place out. What resulted was one of daytime’s most iconic scenes: an epic war of words in which he confronted her about going after yet another man.“We did it on our regular sound stage,” the Emmy winner shared. “They built the outdoor patio stuff and a little pool for the fountain.”

GL Reva Josh montage
During the intense scenes, “Robert was a perfect, innocent bystander,” Zimmer said. “He supported me and didn’t laugh. He was a pro till the bitter end.”CBS

What Josh didn’t expect was Reva’s angry response. “I am tired of this. I have given you everything! I have grovelled, I have taken your orders, I’ve given you love and understanding,” she began. “I’ve given you the best doctors money can buy, and none of it satisfied you!”Reva knew full well that the only thing Josh wanted was to catch her being unfaithful to his father. And if he wanted to see her behaving badly, she noted, “ol’ Reva’s nothing if she ain’t obliging!” Ditching her shoes, the furious woman then stripped off her glamorous gown. Zimmer confided, “That dress was made of really heavy beads, and I remember trying not to hit Robert [Newman, Josh] in the face when I had to throw it at him.”

Strutting around in nothing but her lingerie, Reva began mocking Josh’s thoughts with her own loud pronouncements. “Here she is, folks — Reva Shayne Lewis, tramp, adulteress, scarlet woman. How am I doing, bud?” Bordering on hysterical, she then hopped into the fountain, screaming, “I baptize myself the slut of Springfield!”

GL Reva fountain
“People ask me, ‘How do you cry so easily?’” Zimmer offered. “And I say, ‘If you had to go through what Reva did at that moment, you’d cry, too.’”CBS

Zimmer said that they could “only do one take because I had that camisole on and they didn’t have doubles of it. And the funniest thing that happened was that as I started splashing myself, I had a goldfish in my hand and I didn’t know that it was real until it swam away!”And the argument didn’t end there. Reva grew even more outraged when Josh wouldn’t take her bait. What happened next is something that Newman has never let Zimmer forget. “Robert does an impersonation of my speech, and the best part is where he [mimics Reva sobbing], ‘You look at me like I’m naked all the time. Like I don’t have a heart or a brain! All your dirty little mind sees is my body!’” Zimmer laughed. “He does the whole thing.”

Yep, Reva gave Josh all of herself that night, even going so far as to strip down further. And when the dramatic scene finally concluded, Zimmer recalls the camera operators and sound guys applauding. “I’d done THE DOCTORS and ONE LIFE TO LIVE before that, but this was the first time that I was ever so into the character and what she was going through that it took me a while to realize what was going on,” Zimmer reflected. “It wasn’t until the director, Bruce Barry — who is still a dear friend today — came up and touched me that I was like, ‘Oh my God. Okay. This is pretend. This isn’t happening for real .”

For more on what your favorite GL stars are up to now, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine

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