Image: ABC

Highlights for “GH” in the 1970s

At the start of the decade, Nurse Audrey March Baldwin (Rachel Ames) returned to General Hospital with a big secret. While she told everyone her baby had died, she was hiding his existence so Dr. Tom Baldwin (Don Chastain) would not contest their divorce.  She rekindled things with Dr. Steve Hardy (John Beradino) but things ended when Tom found out his son was really alive and living with Nanny Peggy Nelson (Ann Morrison). Peggy had realized the truth about the baby and tried to blackmail Audrey but she was soon found dead. Audrey was almost convicted of the crime before Peggy’s ex-husband Arnold confessed. Tom kidnapped the baby and left town just as the baby was about to have necessary heart surgery. The baby was eventually returned and Tom was thought killed in Mexico. Meanwhile, Tom’s lawyer brother Lee Baldwin (Peter Hansen) had married Meg Bentley (Elizabeth MacRae). She beat cancer after having a radical mastectomy, but she had a mental breakdown and was committed. After her release she developed high blood pressure, suffered a stroke and died, leaving Lee with her young son Scotty Baldwin (Tony Camp, Don Clarke, Johnny Jensen) to raise, as well as a stepdaughter, Brooke Clinton (Indus Arthur). Also in the early 1970s, Jessie (Emily McLaughlin) and Phil Brewer (Martin West) tried to make a go of their relationship – again – but that ended badly – again – after Phil found out his ex-girlfriend Diana Maynard (Valerie Starrett) was pregnant with his baby but had married Dr. Peter Taylor (Craig Huebing) instead. Phil raped Diana and got her pregnant again, making a second baby whose paternity she had to hide.  Peter eventually found out the baby, named Martha, was not his and he just could not be with Diana, even when Phil left town, so she sued for divorce. Meanwhile, Jessie began dating journalist and hepatitis patient Teddy Holmes (John Gabriel), but he was only using her for money. After Jessie’s brother died she was left his two children to care for, Carol and Kent Murray (Mark Hamill). Conniving Teddy convinced Carol he was in love with her and ran away with her to get her inheritance – after he had fleeced Jessie for $25,000. And when Audrey’s next romantic interest, Dr. James “Jim” Hobart (Jim Sikking), began drinking too much after he thought he might not be able to operate again, she married him out of pity and their marriage was doomed from the start. Also unlucky in love was Dr. Henry Pinkham (Peter Kilman) whose wife Sharon Pinkham (Sharon DeBord) had left him for another man. He turned to Jane Dawson (Shelby Hiatt) and they fell in love. Elsewhere in the hospital, Diana and Peter let their hurt pride keep them apart and each began dating new people on staff, he with super sexy nurse Augusta McLeod (Judith McConnell) and Diana with Dr. Joel Stratton (Rod McCary). Soon Joel asked Diana to spend extra time caring for his terminally ill brother Owen Stratton (Joel Marston), and of course Owen fell in love with her. In order to make his last days alive special Diana again tried to divorce Peter to be with Owen. But when Owen died they were soon back in each other’s arms. Eventually Phil returned to get Diana back but his plan was foiled when he was murdered. Jane found Jessie hugging Phil’s dead body and she was charged with murder, but there were many suspects. Simultaneously, Jessie was diagnosed with San Joaquin Valley Fever, so she fought for her life on many fronts. Before Jessie’s trial, Diana confessed to the murder, which made Peter believe she was trying to protect him because she thought he did it, but he didn’t commit the crime either. Jim finally remembered seeing Augusta with Phil the night of the murder and she admitted she killed him in self-defense. She went to jail, gave birth to Peter’s baby, put him in foster care, and eventually left town. Meanwhile, cardiologist Lesley Williams (Denise Alexander) was glad when her old lover Gordon Gray – and father of the baby she thought had died years ago – stopped pressuring her for a reunion and left town with his wife Florence. Lesley soon began dating Joel, though he wouldn’t marry her despite his declarations of love. Turned out, he had the same heart problem his brother Owen died from and refused to marry anyone. She moved on with rich patient Cameron Faulkner (Don Matheson), and they married. Heartbroken, Joel left town. But there was soon trouble in paradise for Lesley and Cameron when she learned the baby she had with Gordon years ago was not dead like she had thought, but living nearby with the Vining family. Lesley filed a custody suit against Laura’s (Stacey Baldwin, Genie Francis) parents Barbara (Judy Lewis) and Jason Vining (Richard Rust, Jonathan Carter), who also had another younger daughter, Amy (Cari Ann Warder, Shell Kepler). The judge wanted Laura to get to know her real family before making a judgment and Laura moved in with Lesley and Cameron for a trial period. Laura loved the lifestyle but longed for Barbara. Meanwhile, Jim and Audrey’s marriage was a mess. Jim lost his job at the hospital and turned to psychiatrist Peter for help. Jim quit drinking and started over as a professor, but soon slept with one of his students, Sally Grimes (Jenny Sherman). He left Audrey, and left town. Audrey tried to kill herself but Steve saved her. Meanwhile, when Jane’s adopted daughter Joanne died she and love Henry left town together. About this time there were some new arrivals in Port Charles, including Carolyn Chandler (Augusta Dabney) and her son, Bobby (Ted Eccles). She married Lee, and Bobby married Samantha Livingston (Kimberly Beck, Marla Pennington). Bobby was diagnosed with a fatal illness but Steve determined it was something treatable and he went to New York with his pregnant wife to receive it. Eventually, Carolyn and Bobby were lost at sea after their boat capsized in the Bermuda Triangle and were assumed to have died. Also, Terri Arnett (Bobbi Jordan) soon arrived in town, along with her brothers, surgeon Rick Webber (Michael Gregory, Chris Robinson) and intern Jeff Webber (Richard Dean Anderson). They were the children of deceased Dr. Lars Webber and his wife Helen who had been killed in an accident. Terri, also a widow, had given up her singing career to care for her young brothers after their death. Rick became engaged to intern Monica Bard (Patsy Rahn, Leslie Charleson), but when he was thought killed in Africa after he sent her a breakup letter, she married Jeff instead. Terri opened a nightclub, Terri’s Place, financed by Cameron, while Jeff struggled to get out of Rick’s shadow. Just as he started to gain some confidence, Rick returned to town and Monica began cheating with him. Jeff got hooked on pills and shot himself and Rick dumped Monica, but she was determined to get Jeff back. Meanwhile, Heather Grant (Georganne LaPiere, Mary O’Brien, Robin Mattson) began to work as a maid for Peter and Diana. She seduced Jeff and told him she was pregnant but he refused to leave Monica. Heather tried to sell the baby she named Steven Lars to Peter and Diana, but they refused and she went to New York with the baby to pursue a modeling career. Jeff sued her for custody and Heather tried again to sell her baby to Peter and Diana, this time without them knowing it was her, and it worked. Heather told Jeff the baby had died and an unknowing Peter and Diana began to raise him as PJ. Then, having a change of heart, Jeff divorced Monica and asked Heather to marry him. Meanwhile, Cam died and Lesley realized she was pregnant with his baby. She turned to Rick for support and they soon fell in love. Monica was livid and began to interfere in their romance, inadvertently causing Lesley to lose her baby. Rick and Lesley got married and settled into life together with Laura. Soon an old friend of Rick’s came to town, David Hamilton (Jerry Ayers), and moved in with all of them. Little did Rick know it was all about revenge as David’s recently deceased wife had been in love with Rick. David hit on an unreceptive Lesley, then moved on to Laura. The teen was taken by the older man and they had an affair until Rick realized what was going on and demanded David leave town.  Desperately in love, Laura wanted to go with him until she overheard him tell Lesley he only slept with her to make her mom jealous. Outraged, she threw a statue at him, causing him to duck and hit his head. He collapsed, she left and Lesley found him dead. She confessed to save Laura, who left town while Lesley was incarcerated. Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner) and his best friend Bryan Phillips (Todd Davis) found Laura and rescued her from a prostitution ring. She confessed to the murder and her mom was released from jail. Once home, Lesley was unable to have sex with Rick and focused on Laura while she was on probation instead. Scott was in love with Laura and they grew close, but that didn’t stop him from sleeping with Nurse Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman). Bobbie told Scott she was pregnant to keep him but it was a lie. So she asked her brother Luke (Anthony Geary) to help her keep Scott and after a few schemes it wasn’t long before Luke was longing for Laura himself. Meanwhile, Monica married Dr. Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon), son of Edward (John Ingle) and Lila (Anna Lee), but Alan was always wary of her past with Rick.  Rick wasn’t getting any sex at home from Lesley, and slept with Monica. He would have left Lesley too, but Laura was seriously injured in a car accident and it made the two close again. He ended his affair with Monica, but she soon realized she was pregnant with what she thought was his baby. She told Lesley her suspicions when they were trapped by a blizzard, and Lesley wanted to divorce Rick because of it. He was fine with that because he wanted to marry Monica and raise the baby. But Alan was having none of that and threatened to take Monica’s baby if she embarrassed him by leaving. But Alan’s sister Tracy (Jane Elliot) wanted them to break up so her son Ned would inherit the Quartermaine money, not Monica’s baby, and worked to prove Rick was truly the father. But the baby and Alan shared a birthmark and tests proved he was the true father. Furious, Rick returned to Lesley again. Monica was unable to have sex with her husband Alan though, and he turned to Susan Moore (Gail Ramsey), owner of the club Campus Disco. Eventually Heather wanted her baby back from Peter and Diana, who had named Heather and Jeff the baby’s guardians should anything happen to them. She began making threatening calls to Diana, so Peter hired detective Joe Kelly (Doug Sheehan) to find out who was doing it. Simultaneously, Steve hired Joe to track down his grandson, baby Steven Lars. When Heather accidentally drank a drink mixed with LSD meant for Diana, she went crazy herself and her mother, Alice Grant (Camila Ashland, Lieux Dressler) told everyone that Peter and Diana’s baby PJ was really Steven Lars. Shocked, Peter had a heart attack and died and Heather was sent to an institution. Diana did not want to lose the baby to his real father Jeff, so she decided to try and marry him instead. But he was still married to Heather, and dating Audrey’s niece, nurse Anne Logan (Susan Pratt). When Diana was murdered, the name Anne was scrawled out in blood next to her, and Jeff was sure Heather was to blame and framing Ann. He divorced Heather and left town with the baby. Heather confessed, but couldn’t actually remember doing it. Joe fell in love with Heather and believed her innocent. He discovered Alice had actually killed Diana in order to save her own daughter. And despite Bobbie and Luke’s machinations, Laura and Scott were married. But Laura soon had real regrets. She had feelings for Luke, despite her innocence and his wild ways. The newlywed began to work with Luke at Campus Disco and they became close friends. Luke was soon approached by the mob to take out Tracy’s husband, corrupt district attorney Mitch Williams (Christopher Pennock) who was running for political office. Luke was in a tight spot – he didn’t want to do it, and he didn’t want retaliation for not doing it. Distraught, he confessed his love to Laura and kissed her. She resisted but he didn’t stop and raped her on the floor of Campus Disco. ​

– Hollie Deese