Exclusive: Michael Corbett Reveals Whether the General Hospital Rumors Are True
We knew that the soap vet thought the talk was fun. But was the chatter just idle?
After a July Celebrating the Soaps story started rumors swirling that Michael Corbett was joining General Hospital, possibly as his “late” Ryan’s Hope character, Michael Pavel, the daytime vet shared his amusement on social media. What he didn’t say, however, was whether there was any truth to the story. And… is there?
Phooey. There isn’t. Although it’s pretty damned enticing, the notion of the fan favorite reprising his infamous Ryan’s Hope role, whether to help General Hospital mobsters Sonny and Jason take down the Novak clan that killed his father, or working with the baddies to seize control of Port Charles’ criminal underworld. “What intrigued me [about the article] the most was that it was very well thought out,” the actor tells Soaps.com. “For example, I had no idea that there was a connection between Ryan’s Hope and General Hospital. I wasn’t tracking that.”
In other words, Corbett didn’t know that not only is there a connection between the shows, but it’s been growing. Back in 2013, Ryan’s Hope leading lady Ilene Kristen began recurring now and again on General Hospital as her old alter ego, scheme queen Delia Coleridge… who just happens to be the mother of Port Charles femme fatale Ava Jerome. Since then, General Hospital characters have visited Johnny and Maeve’s Irish pub in New York, and we’ve met mafioso Joey Novak, who is obviously related in some way to Ryan’s Hope mobster Joe Novak, so memorably played by the late Roscoe Born.
Were General Hospital to decide to weave Corbett into its Ryan’s Hope “crossovers,” he’d be only too happy to play. The Extra correspondent, who’s also executive-producing a new series for Netflix, says that “daytime has been so good to me. I was on for so many years,” first as Michael, then as troublemaking Warren Carter on Search for Tomorrow and, finally, the nefarious David Kimble on The Young the Restless. “And the thought of actually reprising a character would be so much fun. I loved Michael Pavel. He kind of knew no boundaries, and he was smart — he was this kid from the streets just trying to make his world better.”
If Michael is really, most sincerely dead — Ryan’s Hope fans will recall that he was shot by married lover Kimberly after she learned that he was also sleeping with her mother — Corbett would also be game to play a surprise cousin or something. “Of course,” he says. “Anyone that’s connected with that whole world. I just think it’s super fun.”
What do you think, General Hospital fans? Would you like to see Corbett turn loose his talent and charisma, and make waves in Port Charles? On your way to the comments, stop off at the below photo gallery, a collection of images from Ryan’s Hope’s celebrated run, or read our idea to merge both soaps into a new spinoff.
<p>In 1974, ABC wanted another soap like <em>General Hospital</em>, so Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer created the network <em>City Hospital</em>… which went on to be called, as you well know, <em>Ryan’s Hope</em>. But ABC still got its hospital; conveniently located across the street from the Irish pub run by the Ryans — Maeve (Helen Gallagher) and Johnny (Bernard Barrow) — was Riverside Hospital.</p>
<p>… was quickly abandoned as another possible title for the new soap. Nonetheless, the love story of Johnny and Maeve’s strong-minded daughter Mary (Kate Mulgrew) and hotheaded reporter Jack Fenelli (Michael Levin) soon became all the rage.</p>
<p>The wedding of Mary and Jack made it official: They were sparring partners for life. *</p> <p>* Not as long as it sounds!</p>
<p>When after two years, fan favorite Mulgrew left to pursue other opportunities (which turned out to be everything from <em>Star Trek: Voyager</em> to <em>Orange Is the New Black</em>), Labine and Mayer wanted to kill off her character rather than let it be played by anyone other than their muse; ABC wouldn’t hear of it.</p>
<p><em>Ryan’s Hope</em> tried to recast Mary over and over again — here with Kathleen Tolan (right). But she was never the same. Luckily, other Ryans stepped up to fill the void, among them Mary’s siblings, feisty Siobhan (the splendid Sarah Felder) doctor Patrick (John Blazo) and would-be politician Frank (Daniel Hugh-Kelly).</p>
<p>Finally, in 1979, ABC threw in the towel and allowed Labine and Mayer to dispatch Mary (by then Robert Goulet’s daughter, Nicolette). When the character later appeared in ghostly form, you can guess who was once again playing her!</p>
<p>For pretty much the entire run of the show, Patrick and fellow doctor Faith Coleridge (Karen Morris-Gowdy) tried to get — <em>and</em> stay — together. And it should’ve been easy, given how madly in love they were. Yet it was anything but, largely thanks to…</p>
<p>Desperate Delia Reid (Ilene Kristen) was so eager to be a part of the Ryan family — though probably any family would’ve sufficed — that she suckered first Frank and then Pat into marriages that had shorter shelf lives than avocados. </p>
<p>The man with whom Dee (Randall Edwards here) really belonged was a fellow schemer, Roger Coleridge (Ron Hale), the doctor brother of Faith and… keep scrolling…</p>
<p>In court, legal eagle Jillian Coleridge (Nancy Addison Altman) was a force to be reckoned with. But in her personal life… yikes. There weren’t enough scissors in the world to cut her free of the tangled messes she made with true love Frank.</p>
<p>Jill bared more than her soul to Johnny’s surprise son, Dakota Smith (Christopher Durham). But viewers were too appalled to think that the Ryan patriarch could’ve cheated on his wife to invest in the new couple’s affair.</p>
<p>Early on, there were several — not only Pat but domineering Seneca Beaulac (John Gabriel) and baby-faced Bucky Carter (Justin Deas, who went on to win six Daytime Emmys for <em>As the World Turns</em>, <em>Santa Barbara</em> and <em>Guiding Light</em>).</p>
<p>Long before Labine introduced dimpled don Sonny Corinthos to <em>General Hospital</em>, she was mining the criminal underworld for story on <em>Ryan’s Hope</em> via Joe Novak (Richard Muenz), the reluctant mafioso whose wife Siobhan chose, of all professions, law enforcement.</p>
<p>Joe and Siobhan were recast <em>a lot</em>. But probably their most perfect pairing was the one that was forged by Roscoe Born (whom you’ll recognize from <em>One Life to Live</em>, <em>Santa Barbar</em>a, etc.) and future primetime mainstay Marg Helgenberger.</p>
<p>Prior to being cast by <em>All My Children</em> as Jackson Montgomery, Walt Willey took a turn playing Joe with Carrell Myers as Siobhan.</p>
<p>Finally, in 1988, Barbara Blackburn became the fifth and final Siobhan. By then — as you can see — Born had returned to <em>Ryan’s Hope</em> to play Joe again.</p>
<p>Yep, in one of his earliest roles, Corbin Bernsen appeared briefly as Ken Graham on <em>Ryan’s Hope</em> on his way to landing his iconic role of sleazy Arnie Becker on <em>L.A. Law. </em>Fun fact: Mom Jeanne Cooper was at the time starring as Katherine Chancellor on rival soap<em> The Young and the Restless.</em></p>
<p>After Labine and Mayer sold <em>Ryan’s Hope</em> to ABC, it struck pay dirt with a love triangle involving wannabe starlet Kimberly Harris (Kelli Maroney), her extramarital lover and her mother. As you can see, Kim didn’t take it terribly well when she learned that her boy on the side was two-timing her.</p>
<p>… you realize that you’ve been shot mid-tussle. Michael Pavel (Michael Corbett) was frantically trying to appease his sugar mama — and Kim’s actual mama — Rae Woodard (Louise Shaffer) when he was filled with as much lead as nerve.</p>
<p>Before getting his big break playing Adam Carrington on <em>Dynasty</em>, Gordon Thomson passed through Ryan’s Hope as Aristotle Benedict-White, an Egyptologist who was convinced that Faith was the reincarnation of an ancient queen. Erm, maybe it was the headdress.</p>
<p>Speaking of <em>Dynasty</em>, ABC tried to glam up <em>Ryan’s Hope</em> like the primetime hit in the early ’80s by focusing on the dysfunctional family formed by Rae, Kim and Hollis Kirkland III (Peter Haskell), the wealthy Daddy Dearest that she’d never known. Fans were unsure about the move, though, and Labine and Mayer sure hated it.</p>
<p>The show got back to its working-class roots by introducing Jill’s biomom, Bess Shelby (Gloria DeHaven), her other kids, Maggie (Cali Timmins) and Ben (James Wlcek), and one seriously ugly couch.</p>
<p>The soap’s last great pair of young lovers were future cop Rick Hyde (Grant Show, years from <em>Melrose Place</em>) and Jack and Mary’s daughter, Ryan Fenelli (Yasmine Bleeth, years from <em>Baywatch</em>). Of note: They weren’t <em>always</em> this serious.</p>
<p>Alas, Ryan and Rick’s marriage lasted only about as long as it took pigeons to scoop up the rice that was thrown in their direction. But at least her dad finally found a post-Mary love interest with some staying power in wealthy Leigh Kirkland.</p>
Previous in NewsGeneral Hospital's Chase and Brook Lynn May Just Be Brought Together by the Very Thing That Tears Other Couples Apart — Here's How!
Next in NewsOn Maurice Benard's 28th General Hospital Anniversary, a Look Back at His Unforgettable Introduction: Hey, 'Stripping Is Dancing' — Plus, a Photo Album Full of Sonny's Greatest 'Hits'