Shayne Lewis was a character who had a good heart and who always tried to do the right thing. There is no better way to describe him than to say he was simply a good kid. He loved his family dearly was fiercely protective of his older sister Marah, likely due to her being the one person so present in his life growing up. His mother was considered dead and his father was chasing for clues to if she lived while chasing the nanny. So Marah and Shayne had a close sibling bond that would remain intact until Marah left town in 2004 (with Shayne leaving months later).
As for storylines, following the Annie story, Shayne didn’t seem to be phased by Reva and Josh’s turbulent love life. Unlike his sister he generally accepted the new partners in his parent’s lives quite easily (perhaps he knew what we all knew, Jeva was forever). Though he would conspire with his sister against Olivia it was mainly a Marah plot with Shayne just along for the ride. Afterall, Shayne was simply a good kid.
During his years on the show Joshua Shayne Lewis was portrayed by several actors, some more remember than most. And here are the Many Faces of Shayne Lewis:
1. Travis Cartier. From Shayne’s birth in February 1990 to April 1991. Shayne was the much-anticipated Jeva baby. Unlike his sister there was none of the chaos surrounding his birth, his parents were together and happy. No that drama would come later when Reva dealt with postpartum depression. Following her presumed death his sister and him were largely cared for by their nanny Harley Cooper. In true Josh Lewis form, he began to fall for Harley and even proposed in New York City. However, Billy Lewis spotted what appeared to be Reva on a travel show about Italy. Though Josh denied the possibility that Reva was alive Harley caught him watching the video repeatedly and broke off their engagement. Josh Lewis later uprooted Marah and Shayne, and their Grandmother Sarah, and moved to Italy early in 1991 to search for Reva.
2. Brett Cooper. From December 1993 to April 1997. In 1995 Josh Lewis fell in love with nurse Annie Dutton, who became the only real mother figure young Shayne had ever known. Both Marah and Shayne were in fact happy at this turn of events, they both loved Annie and accepted her as a mother figure in their lives. And in true soap opera fashion, this would also be when Reva would return to Springfield. Unlike his sister, Shayne had no real memories of his mother and thus followed her lead on whether or not to trust Reva…and his sister was full of anger and distrust. All of this contributed to Reva giving Josh custody so they could be a family without her. In 1996, Shayne would be injured in a demolition accident on Fifth Street and be saved by Alan Spaulding. Though it was Alan whose plans to develop Fifth Street (and demolish Buzz’s diner) is what put Shayne in danger in the first place. It wasn’t until 1997 that Shayne finally allowed himself to trust Reva and accept her into his life. Brett Cooper was a great young Shayne. He and Kimberly J. Brown were a great sibling pair who were particularly close to their father and yes, Annie Dutton. This was a good time in Springfield history, before the Reva Clone.
3. Garrett Stevens. From July 1997-May 1999. When Josh left Annie (because he was still in love with Reva) Shayne was understandably upset. Unlike his sister he was not happy about his father’s upcoming divorce from Annie. Yes, he now trusted Reva but he loved Annie as well. Until Reva’s return Annie had been the only mother young Shayne had known and he accused his father of not keeping his promises. He even had nightmares about Annie begging him to let her out of jail. In 1998 the Lewis’s were led to believe that Reva had died yet again. Unbeknownst to Shayne and his sister Josh had Reva cloned in one of the worst storylines in Guiding Light history. By 1999 Shayne had grown close to Reva and Marah and he watched happily as their parents remarried.
4. Tony Michael Donnelly. From October 1999 to December 1999. He was a short-lived Shayne whose biggest contribution includes being kidnapped by Holly Norris Reade during the “Nursery Rhyme Stalker” storyline. Since most fans try to block out that horrible blip in Guiding Light history it is no wonder that I tend to forget this Shayne even existed. His other story was comforting his mother when it was discovered that she had another child from her years missing in San Cristobel. Unlike his father and sister, Shayne supported Reva. The discovery of this child would eventually lead to yet another divorce between Josh and Reva in 2000. Like I noted, this Shayne lasted a whopping two months and I don’t really remember his time in Springfield.
5. Billy Kay. February 8, 2000 to January 24, 2003. In the midst of divorcing Reva Josh became involved with a woman named Olivia Spencer. Marah and Shayne conspired together to try to get their parents back together, to no avail. And in the process Shayne grew to actually like Olivia. Also around this time Shayne also began to notice the growing romance between Marah and mobster Tony Santos. Shayne was the protective little brother and informed Josh in concern. Shayne was also involved in Reva’s Time-Travel story as well as when Reva stood trial for turning off Richard’s life support. Shayne stood by his mother then and later on when his mother was being harrassed by a stalker. Shayne had a big crush on Marina Cooper, and helped her to get her grades up, but Marina never saw Shayne as more than just a friend (which was sad because other than Ben I thought Marina was best with Billy Kay’s Shayne). Another great aspect of this Shayne was his protectiveness of his sister Marah. Shayne may have been the younger brother but he stood up to Tony a number of times and when Tony physically attacked Marah he was his sister’s source of comfort and support. I really loved Billy Kay’s Shayne! He was the perfect teenage blend of Josh and Reva and had great brother/sister chemistry with Lindsey McKeon (Marah). He was funny and caring, but tough when he needed to be. Sadly they really underused Billy Kay in the role and they decided to recast the role with someone with more “sex appeal”. While yes Billy Kay did have a baby face, he was a genuinely good actor and in my opinion they did the show, and the character, a disservice by getting rid of him.
6. Marty West. February 14, 2003 to August 16, 2004. Marty West took over the role of Shayne towards the end of the Stalker story. But his big storylines included him working towards a baseball scholarship and his growing relationship with Marina who was dating Ben Reade, future serial killer. Just when it seemed as if he and Marina were getting closer, Shayne found himself with a dilemma—he could go to Stanford on a baseball scholarship or skip college and play professionally. Josh took Shayne at his word and secretly mailed in the draft contract and was picked up by the Chicago Cubs. Shayne invited Marina to a concert on the same night he was to meet with the manager of the Cubs and on the way home got in a car accident and was paralyzed. The biggest part? The other driver of the car was Josh! Towards the end of 2004 Shayne decided to do something meaningful with his life and volunteered with the peace corps in Bosnia. Marty West was new to acting, and it showed in his scenes. Any joking or teasing Shayne didn’t come across as joking and it seemed…mean in nature. Where I felt Josh and Billy Kay’s Shayne joking was genuine any joking with Marty West’s Shayne felt forced. There was no mutual brother/sister support, it was all about Shayne. Though he had more of the “sex appeal” the show was looking for he lacked the warmth that was the hallmark of the Shayne character.
7. Jeff Branson. December 1, 2008 to September 18, 2009. We first see this Shayne in a wheelchair and angry at the world. Turns out that Shayne had been working to deactivate land mines and was injured in one. Touched that he confided in her, Dinah told him all about her problems, and during her rant, mentioned that her ex-husband was marrying Marina Cooper. Intrigued, Shayne left Germany for Springfield. Shayne continued to push everyone away and was uncomfortable with people labeling him a hero. The one person he confided in was Dinah and on New Year’s Eve, Dinah told Shayne that she wanted to ring in the New Year with him. When Shayne rejected her, she relentlessly pulled him into a kiss. Dinah and Shayne continued to grow closer and when Shayne contemplated suicide Dinah was the one who talked him down. Shayne proposed to Dinah and they were married—when she mysteriously left town. It didn’t take long for Shayne to learn the reason—Dinah had killed the man believed to be Edmund. Dinah’s departure left Shayne reeling. Deeply hurt and angry, Shayne gave the wedding rings to Vanessa and said nothing as Josh secured an annulment on Shayne’s behalf. Shayne continued to act angry at the world until Marina convinced him that Dinah should be applauded for what she’d done since she did it in defense of Henry (Shayne’s son). In the finale episode we are led to believe that Shayne and Marina are raising Henry together. I really loved Jeff Branson’s Shayne. If Billy Kay was my favorite younger Shayne than Jeff Branson would be the adult equivalent. He had the tortured soul down, and I adored his romance with Dinah. As for the Marina thing? I think I fixed that in….