General Hospital’s Finola Hughes Pays Tribute to the ‘Lovely Friend’ Who’s at Least Partly Responsible for Us Getting Anna Devane
Back when the Emmy winner was a young dancer in London, Nigel Lythgoe of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance fame was “instrumental” in charting the course of her career.
July 10 was splendid for Finola Hughes. “Today,” she Instagrammed, “marks the first Hollywood Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for a while.” Not only that, but “my lovely friend and former choreographer Nigel Lythgoe was the recipient of said star.”
Turns out the two go back a ways — a long ways. “I’ve known Nigel since I was a 19-year-old dancer in London,” said the General Hospital star, who originated the role of Victoria the White Cat in Cats. “He has done wonderful things for the world of dance and changed the face of television forever with American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, both incredible shows that changed lives and started many a career.
“He was certainly instrumental,” she added, “in setting me on a professional path.”
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Considering how brilliantly Hughes has done for herself, not only in her iconic role of Anna but in primetime and movies (she starred in the Saturday Night Fever sequel Staying Alive opposite John Travolta), she has nothing but gratitude for her onetime mentor. “Many congratulations, Mr. Lythgoe,” she concluded her post.
As for her gorgeous look for the occasion, she joked, “It takes a village.”
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Before you toddle off to read another article, check out the below photo gallery revisiting highlights of Hughes’ epic run as Anna.
<p>After appearing as Victoria the White Cat in the original London production of <em>Cats</em> and starring opposite John Travolta in the <em>Saturday Night Fever</em> sequel <em>Staying Alive</em>, Finola Hughes took her career in a whole new direction.</p>
<p>In 1985, the London-born actress accepted her first daytime role — and it was a doozy. <em>General Hospital</em> cast her as Anna Devane, the long-lost wife of Robert Scorpio — <em>and</em> a major spoiler in his mega-popular relationship with Holly Sutton.</p>
<p>Once Anna and Robert had unpacked the baggage of their yesterdays, <em>General Hospital</em> capitalized on the sparks that flew between Hughes and Tristan Rogers by pointing their characters toward a new lifetime of tomorrows. In the end, however, everyone seemed to realize that the Scorpios were probably better off as the best of exes and sparring partners.</p>
<p>Not only did Hughes have mad chemistry with Tristan Rogers as Robert, she and Ian Buchanan turned Anna and Duke Lavery into one of the greatest supercouples in <em>General Hospital</em> history.</p>
<p>By 1992, Hughes, Daytime Emmy in hand, was ready to try her luck in primetime. And her luck, it turned out, was fantastic. She headlined the short-lived <em>Jack’s Place</em> with Hal Linden and became Mayim Bialik’s stepmother on <em>Blossom</em>.</p>
<p>After starring on Aaron Spelling’s too-brief <em>Pacific Palisades</em> with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, <em>The Young and the Restless</em>), Hughes began recurring on <em>Charmed</em> as the ill-fated mother of the series’ sibling sorceresses.</p>
<p>In 1999, Hughes relocated to Pine Valley to play Anna’s twin, Alex, on <em>All My Children</em>. Eventually, the character was sent packing — and she wasn’t even a villain yet! — and her portrayer reprised her role of Anna.</p>
<p>Following Hughes’ 2012 return to <em>General Hospital</em>, Anna was paired with a surprising partner, Anthony Geary’s roguish Luke Spencer. Mind you, the biggest shock wasn’t that they were hooked up but that it worked so well.</p>
<p>It seemed as if no sooner was Duke resurrected — and, as you’d hope, reunited with Anna — than he was revealed to be the nefarious Cesar Faison in a <em>crazy</em> elaborate mask. Then, almost as fast as the real Duke turned up, he was gunned down!</p>
<p>Did we mention that, at turns, Anna and daughter Robin both believed that the other had passed away? ’Cause they did. On and off, “grave matters” were kinda their thing.</p>
<p>Recruiting handsome M.D. Hamilton Finn to help her on a case yielded a most unexpected result for Anna: The flirtation that they started off faking soon became real… as did the deep love that they felt for one another.</p>
<p>During a particularly confusing stretch of storyline in which memories were exchanged like glances, Anna was led to believe that she’d gotten it on with Faison as part of a WSB mission and had wound up bearing his child. (Spoiler alert: She hadn’t.)</p>
<p>Once Anna learned not only that the nefarious Peter August wasn’t her son but that he was every bit as evil as dad Faison, she made it her mission to see him brought to justice — which was easier said than done, slippery as he was!</p>
<p>For ages, the relationship between Anna and Valentin Cassadine was adversarial at best. But once they reached a new understanding of their past, it totally changed the tone of their present, resulting in a future that seemed far more romantic than either of them could have imagined.</p>
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