One of my favorite pairings from late 1990’s Guiding Light was Phillip and Harley. These two had initially become friends when Harley was married to Phillip’s half-brother Alan-Michael. Phillip attempted to seduce Harley and even though he failed in his quest he found that he liked and respected her as a person. He even gave her lessons on how to fit in with the wealthy Spaulding family.
Years later when both were recovering from bad breakups this friendship rekindled. While Harley was investigating Jenna’s ex Jeffery Morgan she ran into Phillip who was intrigued and wanted to help. Posing as “Starla” Harley made it seem as if Starla were out for Phillip’s money and taped Harley sseducing Phillip. However, once the cameras were off the fake seduction became all too real. Though afterwards both decided to remain friends and put the incident behind them.
Harley and Jenna teamed up to begin a detective agency and soon after Harley received a call from Mallet. He wanted a divorce since he had fallen in love with another woman. Hurt and angry Harley was consoled by Phillip. When Phillip’s ex-wife, Beth, returned to town with their daughter Lizzie, Beth was determined to win back her ex and wasn’t happy to find him now sharing his life with Harley. Harley, meanwhile, wasn’t happy to see Beth either, especially since she was insecure over Phillip’s feelings for Beth. Her fears compounded when Phillip expressed his displeasure at Beth’s new friendship with Ben Warren. Although Phillip tried to assure Harley that his heart belonged to her, Harley couldn’t quite be sure.
Phillip reassured Harley of his feelings by asking her to move in with him. Though she still didn’t trust in her relationship, not fully.
Harley discovered that Beth had a boyfriend in Arizona named Carl. Harley decided to find him in order to ask him about Beth. Learning that she was being investigated, Beth blasted Harley. Beth admitted to Harley about her abusive relationship with Carl but left insulted when Harley continued to interrogate her. Beth then told Phillip about Carl and Harley’s meddling before Harley got to tell him her side of it. When Harley finally got to Phillip, he knew the whole story and yelled at Harley for interfering and jumped to Beth’s defense. Although Carl denied hurting Beth, Harley is soon able to trick him into admitting it.
Later, Harley convinced Beth to help her arrest Carl. Using Beth as bait, the plan was for Harley to tape record Carl admitting his abusiveness. Unfortunately, Harley, realizing that she forgot her gun, left the scene before Carl got there. When she returned, Carl was dead and Beth was the prime suspect. During the investigation, Harley became unnerved at Phillip’s attempts to protect Beth, even going as far as him suppressing evidence. Later, when Beth confessed to killing Carl in self-defense, both Harley and Phillip were unconvinced and investigated further. They soon discovered that the true killer was Phillip’s daughter, Lizzie.
Worried about Lizzie, Harley left Phillip so that he could be with his daughter in her time of need. But Phillip wouldn’t have it and convinced Harley that he could be with her and be a part of his daughter’s life at the same time. When Phillip proposed, Harley happily accepted and the couple made plans to marry, however when the wedding plans seemed to get out of hand, the couple decided to elope in New York. However, to their surprise, their elopement wasn’t quite the secret they thought it was and they found that Buzz and Phillip’s Aunt Alex arranged a beautiful wedding for them at City Hall.
Trouble began to brew again with the arrival of Harley’s daughter Daisy, now called Susan, who was in search of her real mother now that her adoptive mother had passed away. In 1999, after telling Harley and Phillip that her father had “changed” after her mother’s death, Harley allowed Susan to stay the night at her place, to Phillip’s disapproval.
That summer, Harley finally gave birth to a son, who was named Alan Cooper Spaulding, with Harley deciding to nickname him “Zach” after the lead in Phillip’s novel. Things couldn’t have been better when Harley and her new family agreed to join her best friend, Cassie Layne, and her new fiancé, Prince Richard for a Thanksgiving celebration in San Cristobel. After the celebration, Phillip, Beth and Jim were forced to leave early for business reasons, unfortunately, their plane crashed into the mountains. All three were o.k., but Jim opted to leave and brave the cold on his own in an attempt to bring help back. Luckily, Beth and Phillip were rescued and returned to Springfield.
In early 2000, Lizzie was stricken with leukemia. During the course of Lizzie’s illness, Harley tried to be there for Phillip but sensed that something was bothering him. With Lizzie’s condition worsening, her only chance of surviving was a bone marrow transfusion from the baby Beth was carrying. When Jim refused to have his child delivered prematurely in order to save Lizzie, Phillip blurted out the horrible truth: the child Beth was carrying wasn’t Jim’s; it was his! While stranded in San Cristobel , he and Beth were certain they were going to die and made love. Edmund found out and blackmailed Phillip. Though relieved that the child could save Lizzie, Harley refused to forgive Phillip and asked him for a divorce. Though she tried to forgive Philip and give their marriage another try, she was still insecure about his friendship with Beth and decided that she could no longer trust him.
I really enjoyed the Phillip and Harley romance and was sad to see it end. I loved that Harley made Phillip into a more down to Earth person who actually enjoyed his life for a change. And I hated how they ended. Phillip once again reverted to his ?”holier than thou” persona. He had a tendency to treat Harley like a petulant child when it came to their son Zach. This behavior was exacerbated when Harley began her romance with Gus.
But their early romance was great and there was always this little spark of hope they would revisit them as a pairing. However they still remain one of my favorite Guiding Light couples.
Guiding Light Memory Project: Forsaking All Others (The Pharley Wedding)
Guiding Light Memory Project: To the Limit (Early 1998 Phillip and Harley Scenes throughout)
Kaleidoscope – Beth’s return and Harley’s insecurity