Lee Lawson Dies: Star Of Soap ‘The Guiding Light’ And Broadway Veteran Was 80

Lee Lawson Dies: Star Of Soap ‘The Guiding Light’ And Broadway Veteran Was 80

May 26, 2022

Lee Lawson, best known for her long-running role as Bea Reardon on soap opera The Guiding Light, died on May 22 at the age of 80.

Lawson played Reardon on the CBS soap from 1981 to 1990. The show ended in 2009.

Her daughter, Leslie Bova, shared the news in a Facebook post that revealed her mother had cancer and COVID-19 before her death.

“Rest, you brilliant woman ❤️,” Bova wrote Tuesday. “Thank you, mom. R.I.P.”

Lawson was born Oct. 14, 1941, in New York City, and made her debut on the CBS soap Love of Life in 1965. She also appeared in ABC’s One Life to Live in 1979 (as Wanda Webb Wolek) before beginning her role on The Guiding Light as the owner and operator of a 7th Street boarding house (and a single mother of seven).

The role saw her appear in more than 50 episodes of The Guiding Light, which was the second longest-running drama in American television history, having aired for 72 years on radio and television.

Her last episode saw Bea appearing in a video message to her daughter, Chelsea (Kassie DePaiva), sharing support on her wedding day.

Actress Marian Hailey-Moss also remembered Lawson in her own Facebook post Monday, writing “My down-to-earth, sassy smart and beautiful friend Lee Lawson is telling it like it is in a better place. A fine actress and a super generous friend. I’ll meet you there Lee!”

Lawson was predeceased by her husband, Joseph Bova, and is survived by children Leslie, Chris, and Gaby, and grandchildren Gianna, Wilder and Sterling.

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