leslie charleson GENERAL HOSPITAL - "Episode 14812" - "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday, on ABC (check local listings). (ABC/Scott Kirkland)LESLIE CHARLESON
Credit: ABC

General Hospital viewers were prescribed a bitter pill to swallow when they tuned in to the ABC soap on March 15: Someone other than the beloved Leslie Charleson was scrubbing in as Monica Quartermaine. (Read the full recap here.)

Luckily, the recast, which found Days of Our Lives’ Holly Kaplan (ex-Nurse Brenda) stepping in for the veteran actress, was said to be only temporary — just a single episode, in fact.

holly kaplan monica gh

Charleson’s blink-and-you-missed-it recast is just the latest incident in which a cast member has been briefly spelled by a substitute. In recent days, Kelly Monaco had Lindsay Hartley fill in as Sam again (read her feelings about it here), Inga Cadranel was replaced as Harmony by Sunset Beach vet Priscilla Garita, and Easton Rocket Sweda for a single episode left his role of Leo to an older actor.

Charleson, the longest-serving member of the cast of General Hospital — and one of the longest-serving actors in all of daytime (see where she ranks here) — joined the soap in 1977 after appearing on As the World Turns and Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (as part of a popular triangle with Donna Mills, who decades later would play Nina’s mother Madeline). As she recently told Maurice Benard (Sonny) during an episode of State of Mind, she wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms when she assumed the role of Monica from her predecessor. (Read what happened here.)

Now, of course, it would be hard to imagine General Hospital without her. While you breathe a sigh of relief that the recast is only temporary — and ponder whether Monica’s mention of her ex, Liz’s father Jeff, is another sign that we’ll soon be seeing one of these actors in the role — catch up on all of the soaps’ latest comings and goings in our handy dandy photo gallery.