Just have a seat and fill out these forms, the doctors will be right with you. Also the mobsters, strumpets, cult leaders, martyrs and madmen.
Just have a seat and fill out these forms, the doctors will be right with you. Also the mobsters, strumpets, cult leaders, martyrs and madmen.
General Hospital’s first patient was Angie Costello (Jana Taylor), a young woman who wound up worse for wear after a joyless ride with boyfriend Eddie Weeks (Craig Curtis).
Angie was treated by Dr. Steve Hardy (John Beradino) — that is, when he wasn’t being distracted by the likes of Nurse Jessie Brewster (Emily McLaughin), fiancée Peggy Mercer (K.T. Stevens), Priscilla Longsworth (Allison Hayes of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman fame) and… Angie?!? What the heck are you doing in there?
We can only assume that this is a photo of Steve and buddy Lee Baldwin (Peter Hansen) looking at that last picture and going, “Dude! You had it goin’ on!”
Of course, Steve was destined to fall in love with flight attendant-turned-nurse Audrey March (Rachel Ames), who first had to brush off infatuated patient Randy Washburn (Mark Miller).
Giving Audrey advice every step of the way — on everything from gentlemen callers to how to open an envelope — was her no-nonsense sister, fellow nurse Lucille (Lucille Wall, who joined the cast in episode No. 14).
Throughout the 1960s and beyond, Steve’s right-hand woman was Jessie, who had her hands full with philandering husband Phil Brewer (Roy Thinnes). In hindsight, his wandering eye would’ve been easier to spot if they hadn’t all been looking in the same dang direction.
Jessie knew better than to buy into Phil’s BS. But then he’d look at her like this, and the words “Take a hike, bub!” would get stuck in her throat.
After what doesn’t look at all like it was the world’s awkwardest job interview — hello, HR! — Steve added to the hospital’s staff Dr. Lesley Williams (Denise Alexander), who’d end up providing as much drama as she did medical care.
Did we mention that Steve and Audrey got married? Because they did — three times, as a matter of fact. Apparently, the on-again/off-again Hardys were advised that the third time really was the charm.
Once the Hardys got it right, buildings were tested against their solidity. If Steve and Audrey couldn’t withstand it, then neither, inspectors wagered, could skyscrapers.
The Hardys epitomized #relationshipgoals right up until his death in 1996. Though Audrey still had a lotta life left in her, she never remarried.
In the early 1970s, future Luke Skywalker Mark Hamill was a General Hospital regular as Kent Murray, who moved in with aunt Jessie along with sister Carol (Anne Wyndham).
Occupying the front burner in 1978 were Craig Huebing as shrink Peter Taylor, Alexander as Lesley, Michael Gregory as her love interest Dr. Rick Webber, newcomer Genie Francis as her long-lost daughter Laura and, naturally, Beradino as Steve.
General Hospital was in danger of cancellation when it struck pay dirt in 1978 with the pairing of Francis’ Laura and Kin Shriner’s Scotty Baldwin. After that, the show was only at risk of being… well, too popular!
Is a supercouple really super if it doesn’t have a spoiler? Probably not, right? So Laura and Scotty’s title was secured — and then ripped away — by a jealous Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman), who sought to break them up with the help of big brother Luke (Anthony Geary, pre-perm).
That umbrella might’ve shielded newlyweds Laura and Scotty from the sun, but nothing could protect them from the runaway train that was the bride’s forbidden attraction to Mob flunky Luke.
Luke’s rape of Laura should have put the kibosh on any chance that they might have had as a couple. Somehow, it did not. All it did was ruin Herb Alpert’s “Rise” for the rest of us.
Laura thought long and hard about her feelings for Luke. And then she cast aside all of those sensible thoughts to go with her gut.
No matter the obstacles that life put between her and Luke, Laura surmounted them. Yep, even an understandably vengeful Scotty.
Mind you, Luke didn’t make it easy for Laura to choose him. He was as determined to have her as she was at first unsure that it was a good idea to be, well, had.
Executive producer Gloria Monty took a hands-on approach with Francis as she studied her lines.
Yup. Francis made Laura the hottest thing since sliced bread. And who doesn’t love sliced bread?
While all of that was going on, Rick (by then Chris Robinson) showed an interest in auditioning for Deliverance. Cue the banjos!
When not sucking face, Laura and Luke sought to thwart the villainous Cassadines’ attempt to turn the world into a popsicle with a formula for carbonic snow hidden in the base of a supremely ugly statuette called the Ice Princess.
The daring endeavor called for the couple to hurl themselves into one scenario after another that had to have been lifted from a James Bond movie.
In the end, Laura and Luke were so successful in their endeavor to stop climate change before anyone even knew that climate change was a thing that Port Charles insisted they have the biggest, best wedding ever.
During this period, the sweethearts were so beloved that their portrayers took part in photo shoots that we’d never even seen before putting together this gallery — and we’d have sworn that we’d eyeballed every picture of them that had ever been taken!
An unexpected — and unwanted — guest at Luke and Laura’s wedding was Helena Cassadine (Elizabeth Taylor), who blamed the bride and groom for the demise of her husband, Mikkos.
At least Luke’s pal, Robert (Tristan Rogers), appeared to be able to hold Helena’s interest as much as the notion of retribution.
Then again, the she-devil might have just been plotting to poison him. She’s always been like that, you know.
How was Laura — or any bride — supposed to compete with a diva in an outfit like this? The curse that Helena placed on the Spencers was almost superfluous!
Aaanyway… Laura and Luke’s nuptials wound up being a simple affair… attended by some 30 million viewers, making it the most-watched episode of a soap opera in TV history.
The newlyweds saw a bright future ahead of them. They just didn’t realize how short it would be, at least at first.
To this day, the Spencers’ lavish wedding remains the standard against which all other soap ceremonies are measured.
In other plots — and yes, there were some — once Monica Webber (Leslie Charleson) had for the most part stopped ping-ponging between Rick and his brother, Jeff, she focused her attentions on… well, as you can see, General Hospital’s newest doctor, filthy-rich Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon).
Alan’s parents, Edward (David Lewis) and Lila (Anna Lee), knew better than to involve themselves in his squabbles with Monica. This, of course, did nothing to stop them from involving themselves in the Bickersons’ quarrels.
Here, Edward sits idly by waiting to see if Monica is going to remind his son of the time he almost dropped a roof on her and loverboy Rick. (Hey, we only said that she was done ping-ponging between the Webber boys, not that she was done ping-ponging.)
Mind you, Alan was not without his own peccadilloes. In addition to his fling with Susan Moore, he up and married gold digger Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring), a move that could’ve put his family in the same color as her plus-sized hat and gown.
At least Alan’s affair with Susan brought into the fold golden boy Jason (Steve Burton), the saintly antithesis of his ne’er-do-well older half sibling, A.J. (Sean Kanan).
Jason and A.J.’s early-1990s peers included scheming Brenda Barrett (Vanessa Marcil), muscle-bound Jagger Cates (Antonio Sabato Jr.), secret stripper Karen Wexler (Cari Shayne) and Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough), the daughter of superspies Robert and Anna. More on them in a bit…
Neither Monica nor brother-in-law Paul Hornsby (Paul Satterfield) were really interested in hearing how justified Alan had been in contemplating dropping a roof on her and Rick. Let it go, buddy. Let. It. Go.
A car wreck with a drunk A.J. transformed Jason from a promising future doctor into a Mob flunky who, if he was going to wear any shirt at all, was going to wear a tight black T. No exceptions.
But we’re getting way ahead of ourselves. Let’s rewind to the 1980s once more, shall we?
In its Golden Age, General Hospital attracted a Who’s Who of famous folks, among them Sammy Davis Jr., who passed through Port Charles as Eddie Phillips for a fraught family reunion with estranged son Bryan (Todd Davis) and daughter-in-law Claudia (Bianca Ferguson).
Legendary funnyman Milton Berle briefly played Mickey Miller, the talent agent responsible for the career of B-movie starlet Tiffany Hill (Sharon Wyatt).
Mickey was also the mover and shaker that turned Luke’s bride into a supermodel who vanished in the fog on Port Charles’ docks. That is, Mickey made Laura Miss Star Eyes; as far as we know, he had nothing to do with the weather that fateful night.
After Laura’s disappearance, Luke teamed up with reporter Jackie Templeton (then Demi Moore) in hopes of finding not only his wife but her sister.
Jackie’s younger sibling, Laura (Janine Turner), did turn up. But Luke’s Laura? No such luck.
Viewers didn’t buy Laura 2.0 as a new love interest for Luke. And they soon discovered that they preferred Jackie with Luke’s BFF Robert than with Luke.
In the 1980s, it was tough for Robert to go anywhere without running into someone with whom he’d been involved. Tiffany? Check. Jackie? Check. Yeah, his little black book really wasn’t little at all.
“Widower” Luke’s romance with impish con artist Holly Sutton (Emma Samms) was just heating up when he was “fatally” snowed in by an avalanche. (On General Hospital, matters of life and death have pretty much always belonged in air quotes.)
To save Holly from deportation in 1983, Robert (Tristan Rogers) stepped up and made his “late” buddy’s pregnant girlfriend his wife. As you can see, she wasn’t the least bit nervous.
Really, it was convenient for the Scorpios to be hitched once they realized that they’d fallen for one another. Naturally, that was when Luke thawed out enough to return to Port Charles alive and well… ticked.
Losing Holly to Robert turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Luke, who’d have had a lot of explaining to do once Laura emerged from the fog with a wild story about having been held prisoner for years by Stavros Cassadine.
Monica’s ex, Jeff (future MacGyver star Richard Dean Anderson), tried in vain to get virginal Nurse Anne Logan (Susan Pratt) to play doctor with him.
Noah Drake (Rick Springfield) also attempted to get Anne to sample his bedside manner. And Noah scored with, like, everybody! But Audrey’s niece managed to leave Port Charles with her virginity intact.
We don’t have to tell you that while Springfield was making the rounds as Noah, his music career was taking off, do we? Yeah, he wouldn’t be a “working-class dog” for long.
Edward’s illegitimate son, Jimmy Lee Holt (Steve Bond), and Celia Quartermaine (Sherilyn Wolter) became kissing cousins… once removed, at least.
Among Jimmy Lee’s Port Charles pals were Lou Swenson (Danielle Von Zerneck) and her boyfriend, Blackie Parrish (the John Stamos), a baby-faced hooligan-turned-baby-faced pop star taken in by Rick and Lesley.
Even stylish Tiffany had to admit that Blackie cleaned up pretty nicely. If he was a street kid, that street must’ve been Fifth Avenue.
By 1983, Blackie and his band, the Riff Raff, were on the fast track to fame and fortune, thanks to manager Steffi Brand (Elissa Leeds). But the drummer cracked under the pressure to produce a hit.
Blackie wound up stealing a song from bellhop Josh Clayton (Jimmy “Brother of Kristy” McNichol), a crime that indirectly led to Lou’s death and a new gig… headlining at the state penitentiary!
Sorry, Lou. We did not want you to have to find out this way.
Once Frisco Jones (Jack Wagner) saw through the boy drag donned by Felicia Cummings (Wagner’s future wife, Kristina Malandro), he only had eyes for the lady of his heart.
If something exciting went down in Port Charles in the 1980s, Felicia and Frisco were guaranteed to turn up.
By the time the couple tied the knot, Frisco had already given up on becoming the next Michael Damian to begin a career in law enforcement.
After a while, it was hardly even awkward anymore that Frisco’s doctor brother, Tony (Brad Maule), married his sibling’s ex-girlfriend, Tania Roskov (Hillary Edson). As long as Frisco didn’t hum “All I Need,” anyway.
After Tania’s untimely demise, Tony wound up slipping a ring on the finger of his confidante, Bobbie.
Tony was definitely the one of Bobbie’s four husbands with whom she made the best match. And their marriage outlasted all the rest, including her union with lawyer Jake Meyer (Sam Behrens).
Having lost his moral compass when he had Laura, Scotty hooked up with scheme queen Heather Webber (Robin Mattson), with whom we’d find out decades later he had a son: Franco.
Scotty found a kindred spirit in fellow conniver Lucy, who arrived on the scene in the least convincing disguise since Felicia passed herself off as a guy. Lucy Coe a mousy librarian? Don’t make us LOL.
Lucy and Scotty were so popular that they — along with Kevin Collins, the third leg of a long-running love triangle — were spun off into their own soap, Port Charles. They eventually took a back seat to angels and vampires and so on, but that’s another story for another day.
If you wanted to know who was doing what to or with whom in Port Charles, Laura’s sister, Nurse Amy Vining (Shell Kepler), was your go-to. She couldn’t have kept herself from spilling the tea if it had come in a sippy cup.
… pretend you’re not paying any attention whatsoever to what Jessie and Bobbie are saying. There’s no high quite like eavesdropping in plain sight.
Simone Ravelle (Laura Carrington — yes, the blind sculptress in Lionel Richie’s “Hello” music video) was torn between Harrison Davis (Kevin Best) and… wait for it…
By the time Stephanie Williams started playing Simone, she was married to Steve’s son, fellow doctor Tom Hardy (David Wallace).
Later, Tom (by then Matthew Ashford, better known as Jack on Days of Our Lives) had a short-lived relationship with Felicia and a thing for colorful African jewelry.
That might as well have been the motto of Monica’s illegitimate daughter, Dawn Winthrop (Jennifer Guthrie). After being torn for a couple of years between Mom’s onetime boy toy — nephew Ned Ashton — and Decker Moss (Michael Watson), she met her maker decades before their scheduled appointment.
More than the ivories got tinkled when Robert made it his mission to protect from harm pianist Katherine Delafield (Edie Lehmann).
It turned out that it was Katherine’s cousin/fiancé from whom she needed protecting; he’d arranged for “accidents” to befall her entire family, and she was next on his hit list.
The reunion of once-married secret agents Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) and Robert shed light on a lot of unfinished business between them — and revealed that she’d given birth to his daughter, Robin. Surprises all around, then!
Following Holly’s “death,” Robert and Anna gravitated toward one another anew. And, according to this picture, they did so by candlelight.
Robert and Anna not only dealt with that pesky business about her once having been a double agent, they burned this hat. Or so we can hope!
In the early 1990s, Robert was also reunited with estranged sibling Mac Scorpio (John J. York). As you know, they ultimately made peace. But at first, things were so tense between them that Robert accused Mac of trying to have him rubbed out!
Though Robert and Anna remarried, her heart was earmarked for another man, one she’d yet to meet…
So many sparks flew between Anna and Scottish mobster Duke Lavery (Ian Buchanan) that they were regarded around town as a fire hazard.
Duke didn’t so much sweep Anna off her feet as he pointed her toes in the direction of the dance floor.
So handsome a fellow was Duke, who cheated both death and, at one point, on Anna, we barely noticed the elaborate painting behind him. That’s handsome.
Brainwashing victim Dusty Walker (grownup teen idol Shaun Cassidy) was no better at forging a lasting relationship with Terry Brock (Robyn Bernard) than he was at sightseeing. Again, Mount Rushmore is behind you, kids. Behind you.
Though Edward was “killed” in a 1989 plane crash and Lila spoke with his ghost, by 1991, the Quartermaines’ patriarch (now played by David Lewis) was available again to appear in family portraits. “That’s just the way it goes in Port Charles,” said Monica’s unfazed expression.
Whenever her in-laws became too much, Monica reminded them who owned the roof over their heads and threatened to put out the unwelcome mat.
In 1991, Geary returned to General Hospital — but not as Luke, as his lookalike cousin, Bill Eckert.
For some reason, it was a big deal that Bill’s sister, Jenny (Cheryl Richardson), wasn’t a virgin when she married man-ho Ned. Double standard, anyone?
Jenny eventually blackmailed Tracy Quartermaine into freeing husband Paul (Paul Satterfield) to be with her. This was, of course, decades before Dillon’s dad became a serial killer. That probably would’ve been a deal-breaker for Cheryl.
Like his cousin, Bill found it hard — make that impossible — to resist Holly’s charms.
Bill also romanced Brenda’s older sister, Julia (Crystal Carson). Obviously, neither of these relationships was quite as successful as, say, Luke and Laura’s.
In 1993, General Hospital killed off Bill and returned Geary to his original role and his original leading lady.
The actors’ comebacks were a resounding success. Geary added seven (!) more Daytime Emmys to his trophy case, and in 2007, Francis finally won her long-overdue first.
While away from Port Charles, the Spencers had been running a diner with son Lucky (Jonathan Jackson). What? Everybody needs a break from high-stakes adventures once in a while.
If the Spencers thought that their return to Port Charles was going to be smooth sailing, they were in for a rude awakening. But first… about that nap…
An insta-hit with the soap’s viewers, Jackson went on to score five Emmys and, recasts notwithstanding, basically own the role of Luke and Laura’s firstborn.
It was while helping Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst) recover from a sexual assault that Lucky realized that he was in love with Audrey’s granddaughter.
Lucky was understandably horrified to learn that back in the day, Dad had forced himself on Mom — and still, they’d forged a life together.