Thursday, February 16, 2017

Michael Zaslow

Michael Zaslow was one of the many talented actors that started on Broadway, had a few guest staring roles in television, then carved his niche in the often underappreciated industry of soap operas. Anyone that witnessed his portrayal of the villainous Roger Thorpe on The Guiding Light is well aware of the charisma, strength and sheer artistry he brought to that role.

That artistry is mastered when an actor has complete control over the tools they use - their body and voice. Sadly, Michael Zaslow lost control of both of those when he was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, which eventually led to his dismissal from The Guiding Light.

That dismissal gave him the opportunity to perform his bravest, strongest and greatest performance of his career - David Renaldi on One Life to Live. He had played that role before and when the producers heard of his predicament they decided to bring back the character and have him face the same ALS challenges that Michael Zaslow was facing.

The result was a courageous, heartbreaking journey which forced both actor and character to communicate without the normal tools an actor uses. Michael Zaslow is remembered today by the villain he played on The Guiding Light, but those of us that have followed his career remember him as the talented actor he was. And a very brave one at that.


  1. I grew up on Guiding Light. I loved his portrayal of Roger Thorpe. No matter how evil his actions, your heart would go out to Roger...amazing acting! I always felt that the show was wrong to fire him and recast the role. No one else could play that role, and he deserved better for everything he brought to the show. And P.S. He was also the male lead in You Light Up My Life :)

  2. Agreed the earlier comment about Mr. Zaslow. What a joy it was to watch him in Guiding Light -- he was a character that I loved to hate! What a fine talent we lost with his passing....

  3. Thank you for remembering him. He was so charismatic, and powerful as Roger on Guiding Light, as mean as the character was, you still cared about him. I stopped watching Guiding Light when they fired him. It was the beginning of the end for one of the longest TV shows ever.