Actress Maeve Kinkead
), has announced her decision to depart Guiding Light. Her last airdate will be Wednesday, July 5; the role will not be recast.
This is not the first time Kinkead has taken a breather from Guiding Light. She's played Vanessa Reardon from June 1980 through 1987, July 1989 through 1996 and 1997 through the present.
In a statement she issued earlier on June 7th, Kinkead said:
"Guiding Light has been my home away from home for 20 years and I have had the time of my life there playing Vanessa. It's a wonderful show filled with wonderful people. It's had 63 years of life and deserves at least another 63. I'm so happy to know that Claire Labine and her team of writers will be spinning stories for Reva, Josh, Matt, Holly, Billy, Ross, Blake, Lillian, Harley, Phillip, Rick -- characters portrayed by actors whom I've worked closely with and adored for years -- as well as the rest of the terrific cast. I know the fans have a lot to look forward to and take pleasure in.
"It's never easy to say goodbye, but at this point in my life it just feels right. I'm very excited to have some real time for me and my family in the next few months. Soon I'll be working on theater projects, some of which I hope will involve Guiding Light players.
"How can anyone possibly say an adequate thank you to the fans? Their interest in the show and in Vanessa and her family has been so steady and so real -- it has been one of the chief pleasures of playing the part. A million thank you's. A million, million thank you's."
Executive producer Paul Rauch said, "I've been a fan of Maeve's since I cast her in her first soap role as Angie Frame on Another World in the '70's. All of us at Guiding Light wish her and her family the very best for the future. We shall all miss her."
Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin, Executive-in-Charge of Production, added, "On behalf of Procter & Gamble Productions, I would like to thank Maeve for her dedication to Guiding Light and her portrayal of a vibrant character whom so many loyal fans have taken into their hearts."