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ABC (3)

On November 4, 2005, the soap vet laid claim to what just may be the role of her career.

When Laura Wright was cast by General Hospital as Carly Corinthos, she knew very well the size of the shoes that she was filling. Not only was the character a permanent resident of the frontburner, but she’d been played to great success by three-time Emmy winner Sarah Joy Brown (who’d later return to the show as Claudia Zacchara) and Tamara Braun (who’d later return as Kim Nero). Carly No. 3, One Life to Live vet Jennifer Bransford (Georgie), hadn’t quite fit the bill. So the pressure was on Wright, who aired for the last time as Guiding Light stripper-turned-princess Cassie Winslow only a day before making her first appearance on General Hospital. Nonetheless, she told Soap Opera Digest that her feeling on her first day was, “Look out! Here I come!’

“I had so much… not arrogance,” she added, “but excitement and confidence. I felt like I couldn’t wait to play Carly.” (Watch her introduction below.)

Though Wright had already slayed as Ally Rescott on Loving and The City, not to mention rocked her Guiding Light role, she wasn’t cocky. “I showed up every day ready to kick ass, but as far as feeling like, ‘Haha, it’s mine! I’ve made it!’ I’ve never felt that,” she said during a Michael Fairman TV interview. Instead, she watched as much as she could of her predecessors’ work, because “I did want to honor all the fans and what they loved about Carly,” she mentioned to Digest.

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From there, Wright fell in love with Sonny’s on-again/off-again moll just as viewers became enamored of her take on the pivotal character. Immediately, she recalled to Digest, “I absolutely loved the dynamic between Carly, Sonny and Jason. It was so unhealthy and destructive and a perfect soap dynamic, because it creates problems for every other relationship that they have.

“They even know that it’s messed up!” she continued with a laugh. But the trio are nonetheless, basically, “Hey, it is what it is.”

And we wouldn’t have it any other way. By now, Wright, an Emmy winner in her own right, hasn’t just made Carly hers, she’s added so many layers to Bobbie Spencer’s daughter that she probably knows her as well or better than the show’s writers. There’s literally nothing that she can’t do in this part. During a 2021 edition of Maurice Benard’s State of Mind vlog — watch it above — he admitted that when she was cast, “I was done with Carly” as far as Sonny was concerned. “And despite that, Laura came in and said, ‘I don’t care, I’m gonna do this to the best of my ability,’ and she’s made Carly the biggest thing around.”

That, she has. And on this momentous occasion, we’re celebrating her achievements with the below photo gallery that highlights significant moments in her as well as her predecessors’ stints as Carly. Take a look, why don’t you? If this isn’t, ahem, an offer you can’t refuse, we don’t know what is.

Video: YouTube/onexandxonly007, State of Mind