|Jay Hammer as Fletcher Reade|
|Portrayed by:|| Jay Hammer|
|Duration:|| 1984-1998, 1999 & 2009|
|First appearance:|| May 1984|
|Last appearance:|| September 18, 2009|
|Cause/reason:|| Series finale|
|Created by:|| Pamela K. Long |
|Occupation:|| Journalist |
Formerly Ross Marler's campaign manager in his bid for the Senate
Former Co-Owner of The Springfield Journal
Former Co-Owner of The Blue Moon nightclub
Fletcher Reade is a fictional character on the CBS daytime soap opera Guiding Light.
- Jay Hammer (05/1984-03/1998, 03/1999-05/1999 & 09/2009)
In May 1984, journalist Fletcher Reade was investigating the mysterious Dreaming Death virus in San Rios when he ended up helping Hillary Bauer flee the country and return to Springfield to her true love, Dr. Jim Reardon, who ended up finding a cure for the diseased (created with inspiration from an African medicine man named Zamana). In the midst of their adventure, Fletcher fell in love with Hillary. Knowing that she didn’t share his feelings, Fletcher embarked in a whirlwind romance with Dr. Claire Ramsey. His romance with Claire intensified when they helped investigate Tony and Annabelle's mysterious Cottage in Springfield that led them to Barbados. When Hillary was killed, soon after, in an explosion, Fletcher was devastated, since he was reminded of the death of his first wife, Leah, and he turned away from Claire. Meanwhile, realtor Susan Piper was trying to keep the group from discovering the secret of the cottage and tried to stop them by letting Claire and Fletcher sail on a stormy night. Luckily, the pair survived and, soon, Fletcher discovered the truth and having solved the mystery. He brought the wealthy Alexandra Spaulding to Barbados and the group ended up meeting her father, Brandon Spaulding, who had faked his own death years earlier and was living in Barbados with his mistress and illegitimate child. The mystery solved, Claire and Fletcher resumed their relationship and befriended Ed (Hillary's half-brother) and Maureen Bauer. Unfortunately, Fletcher still wasn't able to deal with his past in Beirut where he lost his daughter, Rebecca, due to a war three years prior.
In early 1985, Claire made plans to marry Fletcher. He freaked and said he didn't love her and then made plans to leave for Beruit. After Fletcher took off, Claire followed. Soon after, Claire called Ed to come and help find Fletcher. While Ed and Claire searched, a reporter found Maureen - thinking she was Claire - and said she knew where Fletcher was. When Maureen found Fletcher, he told her his story: He and Leah lived with their daughter, Rebecca, here in Beruit. For months, he'd been trying to interview Hassan, a leading terrorist. One day while he and Rebecca were at the market, he spotted Hassan and called out his name. The terrorist pulled out his gun and fired twice. Fletcher was only wounded but Rebecca was killed. Fletcher blamed himself for his daughter's death. Maureen was able to convince Fletcher that he needed to get past what happened. Just then bombs went off.
Believing that they were dead, Ed and Claire sought comfort in each other’s arms and ended up in bed. The next day, Fletcher and Maureen turned up alive. After returning from Beirut, Claire and Fletcher continued their wedding plans but there was tension between Ed and Claire. Not long after, Claire found herself pregnant and the baby had to be Ed's since Fletcher had a vasectomy years earlier! Not wanting to hurt Fletcher, Claire left him at the altar. Later, Fletcher forgave her and the two tried to give the relationship another try. Unfortunately, Claire's mood swings were too much for Fletcher and the pair broke up. Not long after, Fletcher found himself embroiled in an investigation into the death of nurse Charlotte Wheaton, who had been struck by a blunt object. Both Ed and Claire were at the top of his list of suspects, Fletcher was determined to clear them and investigated Charlotte in her home city of Philadelphia. There he learned that Charlotte and newswoman Alicia Rhomer (whom Charlotte had leaked word of Ed's alcoholism) were sisters! Suddenly things fell into place when Alicia's assistant, Gina, found what she thought might be proof that Alicia had killed her sister -- a pair of shoes with one of the high heels broken and bloodied. Very soon after, Fletcher learned that Charlotte had blackmailed Alicia with the knowledge that she had launched her television news career by falsely accusing a local doctor of being a lush. Fletcher, with Gina's help, lured Alicia to her TV studio late one night as police officers, including Lt. Jeff Saunders, hid in the wings. With great flourish, Fletcher presented the neurotic telejournalist with a private show of his own titled, "This Is Your Life, Alicia Rhomer." Reduced to a sobbing wreck, Alicia confessed to killing Charlotte, and the police arrested her. After Michelle's birth, an arrogant Claire tried to win Fletcher back but he was no longer interested.
In 1986, Fletcher comforted Maeve Stoddard, publisher of the Springfield Journal, during her unhappy marriage to Kyle Sampson. When Kyle and Maeve divorced, Maeve gave birth to Ben but lied to Kyle and Fletcher that she had a miscarriage. She added that the baby she wanted to adopt was the son of her friend Dr. Louie Darnell. Afterwards, Maeve was forced to admit her deception—Ben was her son with Kyle. With Kyle gone in 1987 and Ben in Maeve's care, Fletcher proposed to Maeve but she refused since she wasn't ready for a new marriage yet. Soon after, Fletcher’s sister, Meredith, arrived in Springfield and Maeve soon found out her and Fletcher's secret--that Meredith had killed her cancer-stricken mother. Maeve threatened to tell everyone the truth if Meredith wouldn't drop the charges that she had pressed against Rick Bauer. Fletcher got fed up with Maeve's interference and left Maeve but later forgave her. In 1988, Fletcher became Maeve's partner at the Springfield Journal and they finally married at the Bauer Barbeque with Fletcher adopting Ben. Tragically, soon after their honeymoon, Maeve was killed in a helicopter accident. Her mother, Julia Stoddard, fought for custody of Ben against a grieving Fletcher but Fletcher finally won since in Maeve's last will she requested that Ben be placed in his care. With Ben now with him, Fletcher got Maeve's shares of the Journal.
In 1989, Fletcher had a short and unsuccessful relationship with Maureen. Though they never slept together, the flirtation contributed to the disintegration of his friendship with Ed and the temporary breakup of the Bauer marriage. Later, Fletcher helped Ed, Alexandra and Rusty Shayne to rescue an injured Alan in Venezuela. Unfortunately, Fletcher and Alex’s plane went down and the pair found themselves stranded on the Caribbean Island. Soon their friendship turned to love, but the presence of a mystery man named Adam Malik after a storm changed all that. Adam charmed Alex after convincing her that Fletcher was dead while sending Fletcher back home believing the same about Alex. Finally, Alex was rescued while Adam turned out to be none other than the presumed dead Roger Thorpe with whom Alex fell in love and later married. When Roger tried to buy the 5th Street in 1990 and hired a henchman named Scully to threaten the occupants, an unsuccessful Scully torched the 5th Street and Fletcher, who hated the manipulative Roger, tried to find evidence of Roger's involvement. When Scully kidnapped Fletcher and attempted to kill him, Roger arrived to rescue him. But since he shot and killed Scully to Fletcher's dismay, Fletcher was no longer able to prove his involvement in the plot.
At this point, Fletcher sold his Journal shares to Alex and started dating Chelsea Reardon. However, since he was still in love with Alex, they broke up and Fletcher became co-owner of the Blue Moon with Hampton Speakes. In 1991, Fletcher's old friend from Beirut, Trevor, arrived and, in 1992, he tried to convince Fletcher to leave town with him. Though Fletcher sold his shares of the Blue Moon to Hamp, he let Trevor leave alone. Not long after, Fletcher rescued Vanessa Chamberlain from a client named Jack Kiley who attempted to rape her. Fletcher helped her to press charges against Kiley and supported her during the trial. In the process, Vanessa and Fletcher grew closer and made plans to marry. However, Fletcher called it off when it became apparent that she still loved her ex-husband, Billy Lewis, though Vanessa denied it.
In 1994, Fletcher bought back one half of the Journal from Nick Spaulding and became Holly Lindsey's partner. Fletcher and Holly got involved after Holly left her ex-husband Roger and they married in July 1995. Soon after, Holly believed she was entering menopause, but was surprised to learn that she was pregnant (since Fletcher's vasectomy had obviously been flawed). Despite the high risk of birth defects, she decided to carry the baby to term, so, in May 1996, Meg was born with an extra chromosome which resulted in her having Down-Syndrome. Though initially hesitant to see her baby, fearing her competency as a mother, Holly soon embraced being a mother to Meg.
In 1997, Holly began softening toward Roger out of concern for their daughter, Blake, who was hiding the fact that her twin boys had different fathers. Although Blake initially only told Holly about her indiscretion, the news became public when one of her sons, Kevin, needed an operation. With the shocking revelation, Holly's relationship with Fletcher became strained (since he was angry she never told him) and she softened toward Roger because of his efforts to comfort Blake and take care of her sons. Roger and Holly's closeness didn't go unnoticed by Fletcher either, who, after seeing Roger give Holly a "grandmother's" ring, asked Holly point blank if something was going on between them. Although she denied it, Fletcher realized that Roger and Holly still had a connection. Later, in early 1998, Holly gave up a kidney to transplant into Vanessa's baby daughter, Maureen. Throughout this time, Fletcher had been trying to convince Holly to move with him to Toronto so that Meg could go to a special school and was annoyed that Holly kept finding excuses to stay in Springfield (and near Roger). After witnessing Holly and Roger in a passionate embrace, Fletcher, in an extreme emotional state, fled Springfield with Meg without telling anyone of his whereabouts.
In 1999, Holly was exposed as the "Nursery Rhyme Stalker" who had stalked all mothers who had abandoned their children. Holly eventually kidnapped the children) and was charged for the crime. When Fletcher learned about this, he returned to Springfield along with Meg and went to the court just as Holly was about to declare herself guilty. Upon seeing Fletcher, a shocked Holly collapsed in his arms and Fletcher asked to address the court. The judge allowed him to speak and after Fletcher stated that it was his disappearance that caused Holly's problems, Holly was sentenced to serve three months in a rehabilitation center. Fletcher promised to help Holly and even allowed her to see Meg. Over the next few weeks, Holly tried to recover as quickly as possible so that she could be the mother and wife she used to be but Fletcher hesitated to reunite with her since he was still concerned about her mental state. Later, Fletcher arranged a picnic for Holly, Meg and him at Laurel Falls (with a nurse by their side) and after Holly found a picture of a woman in his bag, Fletcher had to confess to her that she was Meg's teacher, Kate, with whom he had fallen in love (since he had thought that Holly reunited with Roger). When Fletcher was distracted for a moment, Holly disappeared with Meg and a worried Fletcher went to the police.
To his relief, Holly soon showed up with Meg and stated that they had just played hide-and-seek and lost sight of Fletcher. As a result, Fletcher realized how Holly had felt during his disappearance, while Holly understood his relationship with Kate. Later, Fletcher phoned Kate and told her that he would stay in Springfield for Holly's sake. However, when he attended one of Holly's therapy seats, she forced him to confess that he loved Kate more than her. Suddenly Kate herself arrived and told Fletcher that, despite her love for him, she would leave him so that he could reunite his family. To Fletcher's shock, Holly asked him to leave town with Meg since she had to resolve her problems alone. Although Fletcher refused, Holly ordered him to leave. So they shared a tearful goodbye and Fletcher and Meg left Springfield for good.
In the summer of 2003, back in Springfield, Ben found himself in a world of trouble. Accused of murder, by summer's end, Ben was not only revealed to be the serial killer and a child molestation victim (while he was at boarding school), but had also committed suicide. Mysteriously no one in Springfield was able to contact Fletcher to inform him of any of this. However, at some point afterwards, Fletcher was notified of Ben's tragic death.
In September 2009, news came over the AP wire of Alan Spaulding's sudden death. Fletcher immediately flew to Springfield to comfort Alexandra. Afterwards, Alex agreed to accompany Fletcher on a tour of Europe.