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ABC (3), ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (2)

On August 2, 1977, a fresh-faced newcomer took on the role of Lee Baldwin’s adopted son — and Port Charles was never the same!

When General Hospital cast Kin Shriner as Scotty Baldwin, neither the ABC soap nor the up-and-coming young actor knew that they had entered into a relationship that would last more than four decades. “I got two [episodes],” he told Soap Opera Digest in 2019. He was supposed to tape them, “and then they were gonna decide what they were gonna do or not do” with Scotty.

Needless to say, what they decided to do was move him straight to the frontburner, where his pairing with Genie Francis’ Laura Webber proved to be so popular that it helped get the show off Death Row. When the couple was broken up by the phenomenon that was Luke and Laura, Shriner was afforded the opportunity to play a whole new Scotty, one who’d been transformed into an embittered conniver by his bride’s stunning betrayal.

More: Tribute to General Hospital’s Genie Francis [PHOTOS]

Miraculously, the audience not only bought it, they loved it. “I haven’t gotten any flak for being a bad guy,” Shriner told The Vancouver Sun in 1982. “People feel Scotty’s behavior is justified because of his past. How would a guy feel when his woman is raped and then becomes involved with the rapist?

“No man,” he added, “is going to be the same after that.”

In the years that have followed, Scotty has repaired his moral compass now and again but retained the mischievous edge that plays so well to the twinkle in Shriner’s eye. Viewers always know when he turns up on screen — not nearly often enough, we might add! — they’re in for a good time.

Heck, that’s guaranteed even if you do nothing more than peek inside the below photo gallery, an anniversary picture-palooza that revisits highlights of Shriner’s legendary run as Scotty. All you have to do is… Oh. OK. You’re already clicking on the gallery and diving in. Enjoy, then!