To paraphrase Alfred Hitchcock, a story is only ever as good as its villain is bad. Whether you love them or simply love to hate them, Guiding Light‘s nastiest characters have always made things more exciting. In it’s long history, GL has had some very impressive villains. While many of its heroes and heroines have been morally dubious, most of its villains have followed a line from the gray area to the almost unrelentingly evil. It’s always been a remarkably human evil that crept over them, however, and one which has rarely dipped into caricature. This is due in no small part to the nuanced acting displayed by many of the show’s finest villains. Their wonderful capacity to pull so many devilish gems from the writers’ words has been one of the greatest animating features on the show for the past thirty years.

In honor of Halloween, this years 70th anniversary and the return later this month of David Andrew MacDonald, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at Guiding Light‘s greatest villains. After running a little poll on the site about a month ago, I came up with four main contenders. Each week, for the rest of the month, I’ll be posting a little look back on their infamous lives and highlighting a bit of the unique nastiness of each character.

Villain: Annie Dutton

The Actress
Cynthia Watros played the part of Annie for the majority of the character’s tenure on the show (it was briefly taken over by Signy Coleman after she left). During that time, she won a Daytime Emmy award in the category of lead actress for 1998. After leaving the show that year, she briefly appeared on fellow soap Another World before departing for a successful career in primetime. She could be seen recently on the series Lost and recently shot a pilot for the new Marisa Tomei sitcom, The Rich Inner Life of Penelope Cloud

Brief Bio
From 1994 until 1998, Annie managed to create more chaos and marry more men than even Reva could in her prime. After starting off as something of a goodie-two shoes, the mask began to fall away when she was forced to do battle with Reva over the several men who they shared in common. As a nurse, she got involved with an injured Josh but, before they could be married, her past, as an alcoholic and the wife of pill popping doctor Rick Bauer, came to light. Josh left her but couldn’t stay away. Unfortunately, on the way to the altar, Reva came back from the land of the dead to fight for custody of her children. The battle between Annie and Reva was even more personal because Marah had grown closer to Annie than she’d ever been to her mother. The fights between the two women would become legendary over the next two years. After Annie married Josh, she started drinking again until Rick and Josh finally intervened. But a sober Annie was just as dangerous to everyone. She became Alan’s physical therapist and, in a bid to keep Josh in line, sought out desperate means to become pregnant, including slashing her diaphragm and being artificially inseminated numerous times. After miscarrying the baby, she kept the dead fetus inside her just long enough to get in a fight with Reva. After provoking Reva to throw her down a staircase, she framed her rival for the miscarriage. Her deceptions were soon discovered though. Josh promptly ran back to Reva. Annie was left barren, under probation and with the threat of incarceration in a mental hospital over her head.