TV Goodness Reports: The Cast of ABC’s General Hospital @ The Paley Center for Media [PHOTOS]
The cast of ABCâ€™sÂ General HospitalÂ celebrated fifty years of the show with a fun panel at The Paley Center for the Media Friday night, where actors, the executive producer and head writer reminisced about some of the all-time great storylines, moments and actors as well as talked about the recent rejuvenation of the soap.Â GHÂ is experiencing success again when a couple years ago it was on the verge of cancellation.
Frank Valentini, Executive Producer
Ron Carlivati, Head Writer
Tony Geary, â€œLuke Spencerâ€
Jane Elliot, â€œTracy Quartermaineâ€
Jason Thompson, â€œPatrick Drakeâ€
Finola Hughes, â€œAnna Devaneâ€
Jacklyn Zeman, â€œBobbie Spencerâ€
Genie Francis, â€œLaura Spencerâ€
Laura Wright, â€œCarly Corinthos Jacksâ€
Maurice Benard, â€œSonny Corinthosâ€
John J. York, â€œMac Scorpioâ€
Kirsten Storms, â€œMaxie Jonesâ€
Kimberly McCullough, â€œRobin Scorpio”
Moderator:Â Will Keck, Senior Editor & Columnist,Â TV Guide Magazine
What We Learned:
- Finola Hughes (Anna Devane) is crazy fierce. She’s beautiful, witty and awesome. She also loves her some Kimberly McCullough (Robin). Hughes seemed so proud of the person McCullough has become as an adult.
- It is clear that the fans in attendance are really enjoying the revitalization of General Hospital and how EP Frank Valentini and Head Writer Ron Carlivati have been bringing back some of our all-time favorite vets for this year’s 50th anniversary. It’s also clear that Valentini and Carlivati appreciate the show’s history and are going to continue to reflect that respect and admiration whenever they can. They told us a lot of the vets are going to be sticking around.
- Genie Francis’ (Laura) two favorite storylines on the show: 1. The Frank Smith on the run adventure. 2. When she came back to the show and got to work with (her TV son) Jonathan Jackson (Lucky Spencer).
- Francis also mentioned getting to work with the new Lulu, Marcy Rylan. The two worked on CBS’ The Young and the Restless together and when she first met Rylan on Y&R, she thought to herself that she wanted to play that girl’s mother. And now it’s happening.
- It was great to hear the actors talk about some of the biggest storylines in GH history. McCullough talked about the Stone/AIDS story and how amazing it was to be a part of that. “I grew up a lot that year,” she said. But what really got to me was when Maurice Benard (Sonny) talked about Michael Sutton, who played Robin’s boyfriend, Stone. Benard said what was great about being a part of that storyline (that resulted in Stone dying from AIDS) was that he got to watch this kid (Sutton) who didn’t know how to act when he first got on the show — by the end when Stone passed away, Sutton received an Emmy nomination. It was beautiful to watch it all happen before him.
- Jane Elliot and Tony Geary told a great story about Elizabeth Taylor, who appeared on the show as the original Helena Cassadine in 1981 when Luke and Laura were getting married. Elliot and Geary got to go to the New York wedding of Taylor’s daughter. While in the room, Elliot said she looked over and saw Grace Kelly in attendance. Geary said she, of course, was the only one to bring a gift to the wedding.
- We also got to hear Jackie Zeman (Bobbi) talk about the BJ heart story. And it was interesting to hear the actresses whose characters lost a child on the show talk about how draining acting that out can be. Francis said it’s something she never wants to do again.
- Carlivati talked about the state of the Quartermaine family and how it’s his goal is to revive that family as much as he can. That’s great news, right?
- SPOILER ALERT: Ron revealed one little tidbit about upcoming storyline: There’s a new person coming to town connected to someone on the panel. He or she will shake things up (that goes without saying, of course).
All in all, it was a fun event filled with great stories and interesting anecdotes. We especially loved the way the actors talked about the show’s history including some of the actors who’ve long passed away but left a permanent mark on the soap including: John Beradino (Steve Hardy), David Lewis (Edward Quartermaine), Anna Lee (Lila Quartermaine), Norma Connelly (Ruby Anderson) and Emily McLaughlin (Nurse Jessie Brewer).
General Hospital airs Weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings.
PHOTOS (Cast arrivals)
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