On the 42nd Wedding Anniversary of a Supercouple That Went From Hot to… Well, Not, We Revisit 10 Sizzling Daytime Duos That Ended Up Fizzling
If ever we had any doubt that all good things must come to an end…!
On July 10, 1979, General Hospital married off Kin Shriner’s Scotty Baldwin and Genie Francis’ Laura Webber, the supercouple that, before Anthony Geary’s Luke Spencer ever set foot in Port Charles, helped stave off cancellation and turn the struggling ABC soap into a hit. Not that the actors realized what they had helped accomplish at the time.
“Genie and I were down in Fort Lauderdale somewhere in the late ’70s, [and] we went to dinner and people came up to the table and said, ‘Can we get an autograph?’ Shriner recalled to Soap Opera Digest in 2019. “And we said, ‘Sure.’ And then we looked, and there was a line of people all the way out the restaurant, down the block, and it was like, ’Whoa, we must be doing something right!’”
That they were — extremely right, as a matter of fact! But once Luke and Laura caught fire, Scotty and Laura flamed out — in a big way. And they aren’t the only dynamic duo who went over time from hot to…well, not. Soap history is stuffed to overflowing with twosomes who burned brightly, only to ultimately burn out and move on to new flames.
Doubt it? You won’t for long. Soaps.com has compiled a list of 10 supremely successful pairings that…eh, didn’t stand the test of time. To flash back through their highs — and ultimately their downfalls — just click on the photo gallery below.
<p>After Stone’s death, his grieving girlfriend was sure that she’d never love again — and, frankly, viewers thought she might be right. But then a miracle occurred: A tender romance blossomed between her and, of all people, her polar opposite: brain-damaged Mob muscle Jason. They were warm and cool, open and closed, the ultimate yin and yang. And they might have made it for the long haul, too, had he not put Carly’s needs first, inadvertently pushing Robin to acknowledge that, however platonic it had become, the besties’ love was the one that was going to stand the test of time.</p>
<p>The CBS soap caught lightning in a bottle when it paired Jon Hensley with Martha Byrne in the 1980s. “I just had that massive crush on him,” she admitted to <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/icymi-martha-byrne-interview/"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a> in 2020. She was “like, ‘Oh my God, he’s so cute!’” After replacing her with Heather Rattray, <em>ATWT</em> recaptured the magic by rehiring Byrne. But when the role was recast again, this time with Noelle Beck (formerly Trisha, <em>Loving</em>), Holden and Lily were as much a thing of the past as Byrne’s tenure on the show.</p>
<p>In the early 1980s, Wayne Northrop’s rough-around-the-edges cop and Deidre Hall’s glamorous Doc were the kinda hot that could give viewers third-degree burns just by watching. But after Northrop split in ’84 to return to <em>Dynasty</em>, their moment passed (and, for a while, we all thought that Drake Hogestyn’s John was Roman!). <em>Days of our Lives</em> re-teamed Northrop and Hall in ’91, but to no avail. He was given the chop three years later, telling the <a href="https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1994-07-14-9407140014-story.html"><em>Chicago Tribune</em></a>, “Leaving this time is not my choice.”</p>
<p>There was an irresistible sweetness to the romance that blossomed between Jonathan Jackson and Rebecca Herbst’s characters as teenagers. When they promised to be one another’s forever, we didn’t doubt it for a second. But after Jackson left the show in 1999, no matter how good the subsequent Luckys were — and Jacob Young (ex-Rick, <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em>) and Greg Vaughan (Eric, <em>Days of our Lives</em>) were <em>really</em> good — the relationship, understandably, never felt the same. Even when Jackson returned a decade later, we had the sense that times had changed… and so had Lucky and Liz.</p>
<p>For so many decades, the playboy had ping-ponged between Brooke and Taylor, Taylor and Brooke, that we kinda assumed that he always would. But, after Thorsten Kaye assumed the role from Ronn Moss in 2013, the game ended. Ridge remained drawn to Brooke — and also found himself drawn to Caroline, Katie, Shauna… a whole <em>bunch</em> of women. However, his interest in Taylor seemed to have shrunk into near nonexistence.</p>
<p>Don’t you <em>dare</em> say that these two were only a pretty-good, not a super, couple; they were super enough to make Nikki feel so threatened that she pretended to be dying to keep them apart. But, unlike the most frequently-wed Newmans, Victor and Ashley’s rooting value diminished when she was recast over and over again. Eric Braeden and Eileen Davidson have still got “it.” But we’d be Adam-dressed-as-Sabrina-level shocked if they ever went for it again.</p>
<p>We can understand why the NBC soap would’ve wanted to keep this supercouple going after Mary Page Keller left her role in 1985. But what we <em>can’t</em> understand is why the powers that be thought they’d be able to. Keller, you see, didn’t just have chemistry with leading man Thomas Ian Griffith on screen, she had it off, too. So any sparks that flew between him and her successor, Taylor Miller (previously Nina on <em>All My Children</em>), were going to seem by comparison like a flicker, not a blaze. The show figured that out a year later and not only nixed the pairing but killed Sally!</p>
<p>We thought these crazy kids just might make a real go of it. But when push came to shove, the mother of three decided that her <em>actual</em> kids shouldn’t have to grow up in the line of fire that seemed to follow wherever Sonny’s right-hand man went. So the two of them broke each other’s hearts — and ours along with them — and parted ways. Now, he’s raising a family with Sam, and she’s married to former homicidal maniac Franco. Hey, it makes sense to them.</p>
<p>We’re still scratching our heads over this one. The CBS sudser came up with a recipe for success when it paired the working-class chef with Genoa City’s poor little rich (play)boy. But instead of go back for seconds, the show let the dish get cold and sent it back to the kitchen, breaking up the couple that had fought so hard to be together with little more than a shrug and an “Eh, we gave it a shot. Better luck next time.”</p>
<p>At a time when the soap was struggling and desperately needed a shot in the arm, Kin Shriner and Genie Francis’ young lovers provided it. “All of a sudden,” he recalled for <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/icymi-kin-shriner-interview/"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a> in 2020, “people were running home from school to watch it.” So super a couple did Scotty and Laura become that they even had their own spoiler in scheming Bobbie. But after she unleashed big brother Luke on the sweethearts, and he became infatuated with Laura, the audience grew more enamored of the new pairing than it had been of the old one.</p>
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