Almost a Quarter of a Century After the End of One of Daytime’s Wildest Plots, We Reevaluate Its Heartbreaking Conclusion — and Rank Soaps’ All-Time Craziest Storylines in a New Photo Album
Robert Milazzo/CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, Gary Null/NBC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, Sean Smith/JPI
On August 11, 1998, Guiding Light put to death its clone of the (once-again) one and only Reva Shayne.
When people talk about the Clone Reva storyline that Guiding Light set in motion in the late 1990s, they usually snicker. “Clones — ha!” And sure, the CBS soap did take a big swing with the plot in which a grieving Josh Lewis replaced his “late” wife with a rapidly-aged clone. But for our money, the show hit a home run with that big swing — especially in the end.
After Reva was reunited with her Bud and their family, Dolly, named after the famously replicated sheep, found herself the odd woman out. Josh and Reva encouraged her to stick around, but no… Dolly could tell. She didn’t belong in their lives. She’d never been supposed to have a life in the first place. So she took a whole lot of the serum that had aged her from infancy to adulthood in order to hasten her demise.
On August 11, 1998, her death wish was granted.
In the final moments of Dolly’s existence, Reva cradled the clone in her arms. “You know something,” said Reva. “I never thought I’d say this. I’ve said it before, too, but… I love you, Dolly. And losing you is like losing myself, because you are a part of me.
“Don’t… ” she whispered. “Don’t die, Dolly.”
Alas, it was too late. Dolly’s choice was made, her fate sealed. And whether non-fans chuckle at the thought of the storyline — and OK, some of it was outlandish — we’ll always remember the poignancy of its last act. (You can rewatch by pressing PLAY on the video above.) On this (what shall we call it, special) occasion, join us in looking back at 15 more of soaps’ wildest plots, some of which deserve more respect than they ever got.