Marland Monday: The 3 Faces of Carrie

Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons
4 min readAug 8, 2022

It’s 8/8/22! It’s also Monday so that means it’s…

Marland Monday!

Mondays are when I remember Douglas Marland, one of the GOATS of daytime television. Get a very cool beverage and let’s get started!
A couple of things: You will notice below that I’ve activated the new tip option that Medium is now offering. I want to make it clear that Marland Mondays are a labor of love. Someday soon I hope to turn it into something more.

However, I’m still looking for a job and haven’t had luck yet. Mostly I need to pay for YouTube’s no ads feature and my subscription to, so I can do research. If you can’t use the tip option, please please don’t worry about it. As Cocaine and Rhinestones podcast host Tyler Mahan Coe says, take care of yours and yourself first.

Extra lovely is Joy M. who is helping me editing MMs. She protects me from going on long-winded rants and terrible spelling mistakes.

On with the show!

Last week I wrote about Jane Elliot joining Guiding Light as Carrie Todd, a graphic designer who fell in love with Ross Marler and they were married on February 14, 1982. They settled down in Ross’ house, also known as the carriage house. At first, Carrie seemed happy and content. But then her voice would change, and she would speak in what sounded different, huskier. Other times she sounded like her normal self. Then she would sound like a little girl. It became clear Carrie had dissociative identity disorder or multiple personalities. Let’s break it down:

Jane Elliot has short blonde hair, wearing a red shirt.
One face of Carrie

Carrie Marler: This is the “Carrie” Ross fell in love with, the Host personality. Carrie #1 was warm and friendly. A fantastic graphic designer, she loved her job. She loved to jog and garden. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see her at the local yoga class or Whole Foods (if it existed in 1980.)

Carrie Todd: AKA Carrie #2 — a nymphomaniac. All she cares about is her pleasure, and when she can get it. This Carrie wore revealing clothing and more makeup. Carrie #2 flirted with a young neighbor, along with newcomer Josh Lewis (Robert Newman) Whatever Carrie 2 wants, Carrie #2 gets.

Carrie Mackenzie: A little girl lost, Carrie #3 is confused and scared, wanting someone to save her. She can’t do anything on her own. The world is too much for her sometimes.

Ross and Carrie talking

Elliot relished playing this role. “I’m able to do a lot more evil stuff in this character without the public getting mad at me,” she told the Charlotte Observer. Tracy Quartermaine’s bad girl persona was “very difficult” for Elliot to live with. With all the Carries though, the audience knew that Carrie #1 was a lovely woman. Something must have been terribly wrong for her to act like this. They wanted to know what happened to her, what was going on. They were emotionally invested in this character and wanted a happy ending for her, or a happy for now ending at least. They weren’t going to get it.

“Can’t you love all three of me?”

In June 1982, columnist Jon-Michael Reed revealed that Jane Elliot was let go from the show. She told Reed her version of what happened: “I’ve been informed indirectly that the show’s producer and the sponsor-owner (Clueless Big Business) don’t intend to renegotiate my contract. The reason is not because Doug Marland has run out of steam for this particular story. After months of buildup, the split-personality aspect of the plot is just beginning to be fully explored.”

The official explanation was that Elliot was let go for “budget cuts” She was “absolutely crushed” by this decision and wasn’t even going to ask for a raise. She wanted to continue with the part. But the decision was made and she stated: “I’m simply out of the picture. Period.” Reed slapped Clueless Big Business by saying “…she (Elliot) is undeniably a strong asset to the show. But then (CBB) is not famous for being aware of the strengths of its talent roster.” He was right.

The storyline had Carrie #2 sleep with newcomer Josh Lewis (Robert Newman) then Ross walked in on them. When he confronted Carrie, she slipped back to Carrie #1. Then she made an attempt on her life.

I was ten when I was watching this and was confused. I knew this was going way too fast. I had no idea what was going on backstage. That summer I was busy swimming, hanging out at the local park, going to Wyoming and Seattle and reading Judy Blume and Nancy Drew. I studied the writers’ credits on Guiding Light and I decided that I’m going to be a writer.

The fact that I was noticing the Carrie storyline was going too fast proved I was developing a writer’s eye. It also meant that back East, at CBS and Proctor & Gamble (aka Clueless Big Business) more storms were brewing.

Stay tuned for the conclusion next week…