holly looks at cobwebbed lamp general hospital

Image: Sean Smith/JPI

Revisiting a General Hospital character who was a con, hero and villain.

Recently General Hospital viewers were stunned when Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) revealed that his ex-wife Holly Sutton (Emma Samms) had died. In our recent recap of the ABC soap opera, Anna Devane was suspect of Holly’s death and the WSB’s reporting of an incident that led to it. With so many questions about what happened to this iconic character, Soaps.com decided to look back at Holly’s history and revisit some fun facts about her and storylines she was involved in.


The character appeared on July 1, 1982 and has been played by Samms since her debut. Holly met Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) during a camping trip when he became smitten with her after catching her skinny dipping.


Holly Sutton has a look-a-like half-sister Paloma, a heroic revolutionary.


Holly was initially a con artist and was part of an oil scam that bilked the citizens of Port Charles out of millions of dollars. When her partners kidnapped her and tried to abscond with the money, Luke and Robert teamed up to rescue her.


Holly Sutton learned she was pregnant with Luke’s baby at a time when Luke was believed to have died in an avalanche. Robert married her and offered to raise the child as his own, but she eventually miscarried the baby. Luke’s return ignited a love triangle between the three, but Holly eventually chose Robert.

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Robert Scorpio and Holly became General Hospital’s main supercouple after Luke and Laura (Genie Francis) departed the show. Their relationship was tested when Robert’s ex-wife and spy Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) arrived with their daughter Robin (Kimberly McCullough).


Holly Sutton left Port Charles for Australia in 1985, and Robert joined her, but he returned in 1987 with the news that Holly had been killed in a plane crash. Seven year’s after the character exited, Holly was brought back from the dead in 1992. It was written that she had been in a car accident, fell into a coma, and her family lied to Robert. When she finally woke up she found Robert had moved on with Anna and made the decision to stay out of his life for years before finally re-appearing.


When Robert was presumed dead in the nineties, and Anna was missing, Holly helped Robert’s brother Mac Scorpio (John York) raise Robin. She also dated Luke’s look-alike cousin Bill Eckert.


In 2006 Holly returned, very much a different person, with a cure for a mutant strain of encephalitis that had infected many in Port Charles, including Luke and Robin. She demanded a million dollars in exchange for a cure. She even went so far to threaten to poison the water of Port Charles with the virus. She claimed she did so out of hurt and anger upon learning Robert was, in fact, alive and never told her.


Holly Sutton was put in prison in the Maarkam Islands for her crimes, including jewel theft. When she claimed people in the prison were out to kill her, she escaped and went on the run with the help of Robert and Luke, rekindling their romantic love triangle for a brief period. Holly would later disappear again after attempting to abscond with the stolen jewels.


Holly appeared on and off through the  2000s. Ethan Lovett (Nathan Parsons) arrived in town in 2009 trying to find Luke Spencer, who Holly had sent the boy in search of. Ethan was an orphan, so he thought and met Holly in his teens. She skilled him in the ways of being a con after his adopted parents died in a car accident. When it was suspected that Holly was, in fact, Ethan’s mother and Luke may be his father, Holly returned and claimed he was Robert’s son. Eventually, Ethan was revealed to be Luke’s son. Holly gave the boy up for adoption because, at the time she learned she was pregnant, Luke was back with Laura.

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To protect Ethan from Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), who was out to murder Luke’s offspring to avenge the murder of her son Stavros (Robert Kelker-Kelly) by Luke, Holly claimed Ethan was Robert’s son and she lied because she wanted to reunite with Luke. However, it was an elaborate plot orchestrated in part by Luke to protect Ethan from Helena.


Holly and Robert reunited off-screen, and in 2013 Holly returned briefly to help Luke locate Jerry Jacks (Sebastian Roche) who had the cure to Polonium-210, which Luke was dying from. She also aided him in finding Cesar Faison (Anders Hove) and his henchwoman Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati), who had poisoned Robert landing him in a coma.


Holly Sutton’s most recent return was in 2015 to mark Geary’s exit as Luke Spencer. Both Ethan, and Luke and Laura’s son Lucky Spencer (Jonathan Jackson) had been kidnapped by Luke’s former nemesis Frank Smith (Joe Cortese).

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