Harlan Billy "Bill" Lewis III is a fictional character on the long-running CBS daytime soap opera Guiding Light, currently played by Daniel Cosgrove. The character is the son of twice-divorced couple Billy Lewis II and Vanessa Chamberlain Reardon and was born in November 1984 on-screen. This would be revised to 1980 when he turned nine years old in 1989.
In 1989, a nine-year-old Bill returned to his birthplace with Vanessa and Billy and soon developed a close rapport with lifelong friends, Michelle Bauer and the late Ben Reade. Months later, he was shocked when he discovered that fellow friend, Dylan Cody, was his father's son and his half-brother and this led to him running away with cousin, Marah Lewis. They were found and brought home by Dylan, however, and Bill soon accepted Dylan's place in his family.
In 1990, Bill was overjoyed when his parents became engaged once more but when they broke up upon the verge of remarrying thanks to Bill's affair with Nadine Corley, the ten-year-old rebelled. His hurt lasted over the months to 1991 when he finally began drinking which led him to steal and wreck his grandfather Henry's Bentley. It didn't help when Billy married Nadine because of her pregnancy which turned out to be false in the end.
Fifteen-year-old Bill accidentally set off the second fire in 5th Street which destroyed numerous homes in 1995 and confessed to the crime eventually with his mother's help. He wasn't charged because he was underage. Later that year, his life took another twist when Vanessa married younger man, Matt Reardon. Unable to accept the union, Bill refused to move in with him when Vanessa was apparently killed in a car accident in 1996 and opted to live at a boarding house instead. In 1997, however, his heart softened towards his stepfather when Matt started reaching out to him and with his father's approval, Bill moved back home.
Now a high-school senior, Bill embarked on another law-bending scheme in 1998 with best friend, Michelle, who was determined to find the recipient of her late mother's heart. Michelle's half-brother, Rick (a doctor), wouldn't help her so she acquired his hospital access code to break into the hospital records instead. Though Rick walked in on them, Bill later managed to find the names of two possible recipients. That summer, Bill graduated as valedictorian from high school and unknowingly gave his graduation speech with Vanessa watching in the background. Weeks later, he overheard Dinah and Matt discussing the possibility of Vanessa being alive and became angry at being kept out of the loop. Not long after, Vanessa returned home to her family much to her husband and children's joy. Michelle would find her mother's heart recipient at around the same time which led to her being involved with Jesse Blue. Bill's feelings for his best friend came out full-blown when he kissed her to make Michelle see him in a new light but she, in turn, would use Bill to make Jesse jealous when the latter started becoming close to Drew Jacobs. Things became more complex when Michelle confessed to him that she and Drew had accidentally killed mobster, Mick Santos, in self-defence. Scared for the girls' safety, Bill and Jesse made up alibis for the both of them and agreed to stay with them at all times.
He moved on soon enough and found love with Danny's sister, Pilar. Though he was accosted and warned by Carmen's henchmen to stay away from the girl several times, Bill still insisted on helping the latter when she found out about her family's criminal reputation. Making the decision to shelter Pilar in his home, the duo came close to death when one of her mother's thugs shot up the Santos residence when he spotted Bill helping Pilar sneak in to get clothes. Later, he acquired a job at a company called SanCorp and was shocked when Pilar informed him it was a Santos dividend, though legit. Vanessa panicked however when she heard the news and set out to persuade her son to accept a job she had gotten for him in Spaulding Europe. He immediately saw through his family's plan to separate him from Pilar and was furious at his mother. Vanessa's hunch that Bill was about to get into hot water was right, though, when he was arrested after unknowingly breaking into the Spaulding databases after being tricked by Ben Warren.
Bill accepted a plea bargain and agreed to stay away from the computer business for five years but that deal was suspended when he knocked his cellmate unconscious after the latter insulted Pilar just as the D.A. was arriving with his release papers. He sat through another hearing and this time, the charges were raised to attempted murder when Ross cited Bill's actions as self-defense but he would soon be able to accept the same plea bargain when his former cellmate changed his story. Soon after his release, Pilar unexpectedly broke up with him. Bill accused her of having feelings for Ben Warren and though she tried to deny it, he saw through her lie and walked out on her. Things would escalate to the point when Ben was murdered on the same day Vanessa was involved in a car accident and slipped into a coma (she was also battling a relapse of a terminal illness). Unbeknownst to Bill at the time, Vanessa had gone to confront Ben for trying to ruin her son's life and in the ensuing struggle, her gun accidentally went off. His mother had then gotten into the car accident in her bid to get away from the scene of the crime. Adding to Bill's shock and confusion at the turn of events, Michelle was arrested for the murder of Ben Warren and though his best efforts to help her prove her innocence, it was unsuccessful.
In October 2004, Bill married Olivia Spencer in order to keep her from being deported and adopted Phillip's daughter Emma. In October 2005, Bill divorced Olivia when he has no feelings for her and was accepted a job from Lewis Oil in Venezuela from his father.
Bill will return to Springfield in October 2007.
Bill Lewis came back to town a changed man. He was no longer the good little son of Billy Lewis that he used to be. Marred by mysterious happenings in Venezuela, Bill immediately seemed to have an agenda. In an attempt to steal a business deal from Billy, in compensation for him being fired from Lewis for faulty dealings in Venezuela, Bill Lewis read the diary of his father’s new golden girl, Lizzie Spaulding. He used the information garnered from this to pose as Lizzie’s ‘perfect man’, seduced her into his bed, and then stole her project information as she slept. The plan worked, and the popularity with customers he gained forced Billy to give him his job back.
Despite the fact he used her, Bill was unable to shake his new infatuation with his rival Lizzie. The two had an antagonistic relationship, but shared several close moments in which Bill’s old self began peeking through his brooding façade. He continued his new ‘ladies man’ ways though, and bedded every beauty he came into contact with. One of these being the daughter of his former wife Olivia, Ava Peralta.
Sticking to his tough guy act, Bill teamed up with mayor Doris Wolfe in her new Main Street project. His dealings in this angered the Cooper family, and bad blood developed between them. An incensed Coop, while drinking, set the plans to destroy Company on fire, and threw them into a Lewis Construction trailer. Little did he know, that Bill occupied the trailer. The fire caused an explosion, and Bill lost his sight. Luckily, Lizzie was there to be his saving grace, and called 911.
Lizzie attempted to help Bill cope with being blind, as did Billy and Vanessa. All that was on Bill’s mind was revenge though, and he set out for just that when he found out the fire was Coop’s doing. With the help of big sister Dinah, he broke into Company, lined it with gas, and called Coop there. Seconds before he was to light the fatal match, sending the building, Coop, and himself up in flames, Lizzie burst through the door, and dissolved the situation. She sent Coop away with warning not to speak of the happenings there, and announced to Bill that she was pregnant with his child.
Though he rebuffed it at first, Bill soon warmed to the idea of fathering Lizzie’s child. Excited at the possibility of being able to be the good father and husband that his Dad had tried to be, Bill asked Lizzie to give their relationship a chance. Moments later, while exiting Tammy’s memorial service, he regained his sight. The first thing he saw was Lizzie’s former husband, Jonathan Randall staring through the church window.
He never told what he saw, but a conversation with his sister Dinah hinted that he was jealous of the memory of Jonathan in Lizzie’s mind. Whether Jonathan was alive or not, he wanted him and Lizzie to start fresh with their child, and leave the past in the past.
Everything came crashing down at the Bauer Cabin though, where Lizzie, after a failed attempt to seduce him, revealed to Bill that the pregnancy had been a false alarm. In the middle of an argument the two were having, Lizzie jerked from Bill’s grasp, and ended up tumbling into oncoming traffic, and was saved by her ex-husband, Jonathan.
Over the next few weeks, despite his denial of it, Bill’s jealousy of Jonathan grew. Bill was determined to make Lizzie see Jonathan for what he thought he really was, a loser. He foiled any scheme Jon planned, dug into his past, and even alerted Alan Spaulding of the fact Jonathan was alive (basically offering up Jonathan on a silver platter in exchange for Lizzie and Sarah) Finally, in a last ditch attempt to win her over, Bill broke into her wedding and finally came clean that he thought Lizzie belonged with him. His plan seemed to have failed, as she asked Billy to escort him out, and proceeded with her wedding.
Later at Cross Creek, in the middle of his father giving him the what for about his actions, Lizzie entered, unmarried, and the two reconciled. Though many more misunderstandings would occur, Bill stood by Lizzie when she was forced to give up her daughter, and succeeded in rescuing her from the clutches of her grandfather Alan (via his sister Dinah’s ploy to destroy Alan). In a show of commitment to her and their relationship (after Lizzie’s disappointment in his continued romps with Ava), Bill asked Lizzie to move in with him, and she accepted.
Bill has also allied himself with his sister Dinah in her plot to take down Alan Spaulding. Both doing it for two reasons; Dinah to show everyone she's not brain dead, but more importantly for vengeance over her father Ross's untimely death (she blames Alan for it)and Bill to show everyone he's not 'Little Bill' Lewis anymore, but more importantly to protect Lizzie and her daughter Sarah from Alan's controlling ways.
Bill bailed Alan out of jail after Dinah got him arrested, under the condition that he leave Lizzie and Sarah alone for good.