Is it me or was Danny and Michelle Santos’s love affair one of the best storylines of Guiding Light’s history? You can never go wrong with the bad boy and good girl routine. Whoever came up with this storyline should get a medal.
Danny Santos was the dark prince of The Santos Mob Family in Springfield. Michelle Bauer was the good girl from a suburban family who had strong ties. One night Michelle and her friend, Drew Jacobs was being attacked by Mick Santos, Danny’s older brother. In self defense Michelle killed Mick. The Santos Family sent Danny to find out who killed Mick and to take vengeance on that person. During Danny’s investigation he sensed Michelle knew more than what she was telling him. He also became attracted to her. At the time, Michelle was dating Jesse Blue and had no interest in Danny. Matter of fact, Danny disgusted her because of his mob ways. After a few weeks, Jesse decided to make the ultimate sacrifice by taking the blame for Mick’s death so Danny could come after him instead of Michelle. However, Jesse’s decision came too late because Drew ratted Michelle out to Danny sending him into a rage. Danny abducted Michelle and took her to an abandoned dock. He heard one of the Santos Family’s henchman approaching, so Danny drew is gun on Michelle, but he couldn’t shoot her. Danny decided to trick the henchman by shooting a bullet into the air and throwing a “still alive” Michelle into the freezing waters. Knowing that he couldn’t fool the family for long by faking Michelle’s death, he married her to keep the family from killing her. Santos Family rules state that you can never harm a family member. By marrying Danny, Michelle became a real Santos. Danny’s mother, Carmen, was not pleased by this turn of events and worked diligently to prove to Danny that Michelle was trouble. Carmen’s dream was to get Michelle out of Danny’s life and then kill her to avenge Mick’s death.
Michelle was grateful to be alive, but resented being married to Danny. She gave him heck behind closed doors. Nevertheless, Danny kept trying to make the marriage work because he truly loved her. Michelle decided that the only way she could have her life back was to collect information on the family and turning it in to the FBI. However, Michelle started to have feelings for Danny when she realized that he had a loving heart. She regretted trying to send him to prison.
Through the years, Danny and Michelle Santos broke up many times because of Danny’s yearn for the family business. In true good girl form, Michelle wanted Danny to change and break ties with his mobster family once and for all. As evil as the family business was, this made the character of Danny Santos more sexy and appealing. The intensity Danny had for life gave depth to his character. He could see into Michelle’s soul or any other woman’s soul for that matter. Danny’s testosterone driven passion is dreamed of by women and written about in romance novels. Paul Anthony Stewart did an awesome job in this role.
Bethany Joy Galeotti set a romantic and vivacious standard in the role of Michelle Bauer. The chemistry that Bethany had with Paul Anthony could not be matched, as viewers could see when Nancy St. Alban took over the role. Don’t get me wrong, St. Alban is a fine actress and fans accepted her, but she and Stewart couldn’t quite capture the intensity and passion Stewart had with Bethany Joy.
The angst, fire, and desire were also intensified by the meddling of Carmen Santos, Rick Bauer (Michelle’s older brother), and a den full of soap opera villains and do-gooders. Viewers became personally invested in the couple. Not only did viewers love them, they cheered the couple on. Guiding Light has had amazing storylines during its run and the Michelle and Danny Santos storyline was one of the best in Guiding Light’s history.