Four-time Emmy winner Zimmer, best known as Reva “The Slut of Springfield” Shayne on Guiding Light, chronicles her career and shares behind-the-scenes gossip from the daytime drama.
Achieving longevity on a soap opera is no mean feat, and the author can’t help but brag about surviving daytime TV as a manic-depressive, cancer-surviving, time-traveling vixen for close to three decades. Weaving between her own life and that of her character, the author lets it all loose as she revisits her career both on and off the screen. “I had it made,” she writes. “I got to have affairs and live out almost every fantasy possible through the characters I played on TV.” Zimmer shares the laughs and tears she experienced with fellow cast and crewmembers, her real-life struggle with alcohol and subsequent DUI arrest and a look at the zany scripts that led to her character being thrice-resuscitated from the beyond. That all came to a screeching halt in 2009 when the network pulled the plug on Guiding Light after a 72-year run (it began life as a radio serial in 1937). Ratings were down, core characters were pushing retirement age and a new writer and producer couldn’t manage to turn things around. But Zimmer’s here to relive it all as both herself and Reva. As one fan recently moaned to the actress-turned-author, “You’re my family. What are we supposed to do now?”
Die-hard Guiding Light fans should enjoy the book. Others? Not so much.