Beth Ehlers

Beth Ehlers
Occupation Actress
Years active 1981–2009, 2012
Spouse(s) Dr. William Parsons (1991–1992)
Matthew Christian (1996–2005; 2 children)

Beth Ehlers /ˈɛlərz/ is an American actress. She is known for playing Harley Cooper, between 1987 and 2008, on CBS's longtime daytime drama Guiding Light.


Ehlers grew up in New York City and begin appearing in television commercials at the age of nine. As a child actress, her first role was in the 1981 television film Family Reunion starring Bette Davis. She was cast in several other television films, including "In Defense of Kids" and "Mystery at Fire Island". Her big screen debut was in the film The Hunger with David Bowie. She was also featured in the feature film Hiding Out and the short lived NBC TV series The Best Times which was in the vein of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and the later (and far more popular), Beverly Hills 90210.

To date, Ehlers' role of note has been her portrayal of Harley Cooper on Guiding Light, a role she originally played from 1987 to 1993. The character of Harley was a bad girl with a heart of gold — the character was introduced giving birth to her illegitimate daughter in the back seat of a car — and Ehlers' portrayal won her praise and many fans, eventually making the character of Harley a linchpin character.

Ehlers left the show in 1993, along with co-star Mark Derwin, to relocate to California. After her relationship with Derwin ended, Ehlers worked as a production assistant on commercials and music videos. She was featured in the 60th anniversary show for Guiding Light in January 1997. Fan response was so overwhelmingly positive that the producers asked Ehlers to return as a contract player. During her time on "GL", she was nominated five times for a Daytime Emmy (for Outstanding Younger Actress, in 1992 and 1993; Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, in 1999 and 2002; and, in 2006, for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series). She was the first daytime actress to ever be nominated in all three categories.

In 2005, fans voted Ehlers and former co-star, Ricky Paull Goldin, as their characters Harley and Gus, the top couple in "The Most Irresistible Combination" contest (which was partially sponsored by Procter & Gamble, the company that produces Guiding Light).

In 2006, Ehlers became part of a collaboration between the show and Marvel Comics when her character was tagged to appear on a special fantasy episode of the show as a superheroine, named "The Guiding Light" after the show itself.[1]

In 2007, in an episode celebrating the 70th anniversary of Guiding Light, the current cast portrayed actors and behind-the-scenes personnel from the early years of the series (both in radio and television). Ehlers had a central role in the episode with her portrayal of Irna Phillips. Phillips was the creator of Guiding Light and many other soap operas; she was often credited with creating the soap opera genre.

In June 2008, Ehlers left Guiding Light to join the cast of All My Children in the newly created role of Taylor Thompson, an Army lieutenant of the Iraqi war who believed she had lost her fiance, Brot Monroe (portrayed by real-life war veteran and now actor/spokesman J.R. Martinez), in action. The move from Guiding Light to All My Children led to an onscreen reunion with her former Guiding Light co-star Ricky Paull Goldin, who had also moved to All My Children to portray Dr. Joseph "Jake" Martin.[2]

In 2010 Ehlers was announced to be in the cast of The SFN's television series River Ridge.[3]


Year Film Role Notes
1981 Family Reunion Jamcie Lyman Television movie
1981 CBS Children's Mystery Theatre Dah Littlewood Episode: "Mystery at Fire Island"
1983 The Wilder Summer Janis Television movie
1983 In Defense of Kids Marie Shurtleff Television movie
1983 The Hunger Alice Cavender Film
1984 Things Are Looking Up Mia Braithwaite Television pilot: became The Best Times
1985 The Best Times Mia Braithwaite Main role, 6 episodes
1987 Hiding Out Chloe Film
Guiding Light Harley Cooper Contract role: September 1987 – September 28, 1993; guest role: January 21–30, 1997; contract role: May 29, 1997 – June 23, 2008
2001 Supertalk N/A Short film
2002 A Wedding Story: Josh and Reva Harley Cooper Television movie from Guiding Light
2003 Crossing Over with John Edward Herself
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mrs. Kester Episode: "Home"
2008–2009 All My Children Taylor Thompson Regular role: July 24, 2008 – September 21, 2009
2012 River Ridge Coryn Foster Main role, 6 episodes


  1. "Pulpy TV and Soapy Comics Find a Lot to Agree On". The New York Times. October 21, 2006.
  2. "ABC finally confirms Beth Ehlers has joined AMC".
  3. Michael Logan (July 28, 2010). "The Young and the Restless Dreams Up the Return of Signy Coleman". TV Guide. Retrieved 2016-11-18.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/18/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.