After five years on "Guiding Light," Lenore Kasdorf says she she had mixed emotions about returning to a soap opera. But now that her character of Caroline Wilson is involved in an unusual interracial romance, she's glad she joined the cast of NBC's "Santa Barbara."

Kasdorf"s decision to accept the role of Caroline stems from her past association with Jerome and Bridget Dobson, creators and former head writers for "Santa Barbara." The Dobsons had also created her role of Rita Stapleton Bauer on "Guiding Light," which she played from 1975 to 1981.

"From time to time the Dobsons would ask if I was ready to do a soap again and I wasn't," Kasdorf remembers. "But when they told me about the role of Caroline, I realized that the part was definitely right up my alley, even though I did have qualms about playing the mother to two grown daughters (in real life, Lenore has a 7-year-old daughter, Vanessa)," she laughs. "But it's turned out all right and I love getting letters saying I don't look old enough to be the mother of Alice (Jackson) and Jane (Wilson)."

Caroline's interracial romance is with Gus Jackson (played by David Fonteno), who is Alice's father.

"I've made sure that the story is being done the right way," Kasdorf says. "I think it's a courageous story line to take on, and I don't think any other daytime drama has done a similar story."

Viewer reaction to the sensitive Gus-Caroline story line has been positive.

"I've gotten very good reactions from the viewers," she says. "People say that they love to watch David and I work together. It's all been very positive. I think the story line's being handled tastefully."

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