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Don Harvey Joins General Hospital As Tom Baker … Elizabeth's Rapist!

Photo: IMDB

Photo: IMDB

General Hospital is utilizing a horrific event of the past most likely to cause conflict for Liz and Franco (or ultimately solidied them), and for Franco to do some serious self-evaluation, since Franco once upon a time made Sam (Kelly Monaco) believe he raped her and was her baby’s bio-daddy!  That is because actor Don Harvey debuts on Tuesday as Liz’s rapist, Tom Baker.

In story, Baker is now apparently being paroled from prison, and had raped a young Liz when she was a teenager. The character was last seen in 1998.

As for Harvey’s other TV credits, they include turns on the dramas: Blue Bloods, The Blacklist, Superman, Luck and Medium.

The casting news was first reported by Soap Opera Digest.

So, what do you think of GH bringing back Tom Baker, Elizabeth’s rapist in story? Comment below!

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Heather
Heather

I’m intrigued to where they are going to go with this story. I have trust what Shelly and Jean have done so far with the Friz story so I trust they will do right by this.

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

He wasn’t punished for raping Liz so that might be the order of business for this character. I think what might happen is that he will wind up dead and fingers will be pointing at a few people before the mess is over. Maybe a possibility of another character who is on the canvas now (or two?) being violated. I don’t think they dug out this character from the past to just be a day player or an under five.

Darcey F
Darcey F

I’m so excited for this story to play out! LOVE Franco and Liz together and love that they are using Liz’s history for story now. It makes so much sense to be used now in light of Franco’s dark past. I love the investment that this writing team has in Liz and Franco, both together and separately. And what a fantastic actor for them to cast as Tom! Great job GH! Can’t wait to watch all of this play out!

Mel
Mel

I’m intrigued! They brought on a solid actor to revisit one of the best told stories in GH history. I hope Jean and Shelly do it justice – pulling for them. #TeamFriz

Steve
Steve

Another example of trying to get the audience to come around on Franco. Let’s count some of the ways:
1. Making him Jason’s twin, thus a Quartermaine.
2. Initially introducing Kiki as his daughter.
3. Changing Kiki’s dad to Silas. Attempting to create sympathy for Franco.
4. No he’s not a Q, he’s the son of 2 beloved vets – Scotty & Heather.
5. Brain tumor made him do it.
6. Carly falls for him.
7. He goes above/beyond for mental patient Nina.
8. He’s the only one who bonds with Jake when he returns.
9. Elizabeth

I probably forgot something, but making him an anti-hero isn’t going to fly. Don’t get my wrong, Roger is an outstanding actor. A resolution on the PP lawsuit appears to be on the horizon. If so, let’s hope they send Franco away on a Monday and have Todd Manning mysteriously appear at the end of that Friday’s episode.

PennySoap
PennySoap

That would be FANTASTIC!

Mel
Mel

Because Todd the actual rapist would be so much better? I prefer Franco, and enjoy his current ties to the canvas. Scotty, Heather, Kiki, Liz, etc.

Steve
Steve

Unlike Franco, Todd was not a serial killer. He did some time for his crime. I’m not saying he’s a saint — and not recommending he be paired with Elizabeth.

While I would miss Franco’s connection with Scotty, Todd has some history with Carly and Sam.

Mel
Mel

In that case, GH is full of killers who haven’t paid for their crimes. I get the feeling some of y’all just hate on Franco without thinking it through…

Steve
Steve

I’m a longtime viewer (going back to the Gloria Monty years) who has thought this through. Placing Elizabeth with Franco would be on the same level as if Anna would suddenly fall for Faison. Franco worked with Nina because they are two troubled souls.

Not every character needs to be redeemed. Ava works, despite killing Connie, because we see her as strong multi-faceted woman. Like her son, Heather has done multiple murders, but I wouldn’t expect to see her as a receptionist in the hospital. And, love him or hate him, there’s a reason why Sonny has been around over 20 years.

As for characters how have been redeemed, other longtime viewers can recall how Alan went from attempted murderer to one of the most beloved characters on GH. Monica went from adulterous home wrecker to esteemed mother & chief of staff. I could go on, but the point here is that character redemption has to be somewhat organic. And it doesn’t work with Franco.

Finally, you can’t separate the James Franco version vs. the Roger Howarth version. Which version stabbed, then buried his mother alive, then made Jordan (and others) believe they were trapped in room with a bomb? We don’t call Sean Kanan the good AJ vs Billy Warlock the bad AJ. Carly’s history can’t be ignored because Sarah Brown played her when she slept with Tony as opposed to Laura Wright.

So yes, many longtime viewers have given thus plenty of thought.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

I don’t even compare this version of Franco to James Franco’s Franco. Two different characters in my mind so it doesn’t bother me. All I see with this version is a guy with a bad reputation who’s supposedly been redeemed as the acts he committed in the past were out of his control. If he suddenly reverts, that would be ridiculous…you don’t go from madman to normal back to crazy. So I’m enjoying the story of an insecure man trying to prove himself to a mostly hostile town…and his struggle within ie insecurity, self-doubt…

I like Liz and Franco together but I still have a feeling the end game is Liz anfpd Griffin.

Rose
Rose

Rebecca…It’s not so much that I don’t like the current Franco. In fact I really like Roger, but too bad he’s never got away from the rapist tag since OLTL. When he was allowed to redeem himself as Todd I just liked him and Blair better than Franco and Liz, which doesn’t do it for me.

But I guess in my mind he’s inherited the twisted version and vision James Franco brought to it (for me his ego gets in the way, but I did like him in the original Spider-Man). Will never forget what he did to Sam and Jason, it was awful and creepy…and I guess Sam won’t either.

Really liked the new Dr. Strange movie . He’s my favorite Marvel character. There was a time I collected the Dr.’s comic books. Have 80 dating back to 1962.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Ugh Rose…don’t get me started. Too long to get into here but about 500 comics that I’d saved for about twenty years were sold to a comic book store a few months ago by someone who was storing them for me. (Lol…this is where private messages would be helpful.)

Haven’t seen Dr. Strange. I want to see the film with Eddie Redmayne…love him…L O V E!

Are you watching “Westworld?” I think it’s really well done. Still need to catch up on the latest “Poldark” episode.

Franco??? Sigh. Let me put it this way…I like Roger a lot and wouldn’t want to lose him on the show. Do I think making him Franco in the first place was a good decision? No. I would rather him have been a new character or a Quartermaine…matter of fact when someone’s will was read…can”t remember whose…didn’t Heather find out there was another Quartermaine out there that no one knew about? They dropped that…could’ve been Roger…

As Franco stands now..like I said I just don’t relate him to the other Franco. If it had been a legacy character…or someone who was an integral part of the landscape for many years, I might not have been able to get passed it. But to me that was a fun turn with James Franco..I enjoyed the ride. To me..though he goes by the same name, there’s no other connection. I think they started this version as an idiot…lol..really. He was just juvenile and imbecilic. They’ve evolved him though he still has a way to go. I’d like to see him become a very cool character.

Mel
Mel

Sorry, not the same. Franco is just as much of a victim of his tumor as everyone else. I don’t need to explain to you why, I’m sure you can look the clips up on youtube (when Dr. Drake diagnosed him). This is the same soap that gave us latex masks, Luke/Fluke, and the whole mind control thing Jakeson underwent. At least Franco’s condition is somewhat based in reality.

And keep in mind, the same allowance you make for your faves, others do for theirs. I see just as much good in present day Franco as any other character on the canvas. I don’t want or need Todd to return so he can be in Carly and Sam’s orbit – that would be a MASSIVE downgrade.

Scoma60
Scoma60

I am very intrigued by the return of Tom but any Sam involvement needs to be little to none. This story needs to be primarily about Liz and secondarily about Friz.
I’m glad Jelly are using GH history. Liz’s rape story was iconic (one of best in Daytime history).
Love that Jelly have slowly built Friz and how every beat has been played & how their issues are organic and not the typical tropes of third parties for example.
Liz dealt with Tom as a traumatized 15 y/o. I look forward to seeing Liz handle his return this time 18 years later as a strong woman who’s made a life for herself from the ashes of that horrific act.

Irene
Irene

This show is so ridiculous. I will not say any more.

Audrey
Audrey

I’m very intrigued. I love when they use actual history of characters. Hope that this brings Liz and Franco closer than ever. I also want this to put to rest all of the whining of people who say Franco doesnt pay, the tumor isnt a good excuse, he isnt remorseful. When your faves are murderers and mob bosses and cons, you dont get to be outraged over a different fictional character. Stones and glass houses…

Soaphound
Soaphound

Great (yawn). Now if anything bad happens to this creep, Jordan can arrest both Jason AND Franco since they both have history with Elizabeth. That’s her favorite past time anyway.

Jimmy
Jimmy

I think this is a great use of GH’s history and an important story to bring to the forefront. Elizabeth hasn’t had front-burner story in a little while, and GH needs to solidify her relationship with Franco, as he will likely help her deal with what happened in her past. It also provides some serious self-reflection for Franco and deals with one of the worst things he did before his tumor was removed. It was a good decision to revisit this story. I just wish Emily and Lucky were still around because of how integral of a role they played in the original story.

Sigrid :)
Sigrid :)

I think that this could be a very good catalyst to solidify the relationship between Liz and Franco. I’m really enjoying them as a couple and look forward to their scenes. I know this has nothing to do with the topic, but I really hope that James Patrick Stuart will be around for a long while as Valentin. He’s wonderful!

Celia
Celia

Agreed , Sigrid. James P Stuart is captivating. I hope TPTB allow Valentin to make a complete turnabout into a good, ‘misunderstood’ guy.

Timmm
Timmm

Valentin was suppose to be the worst Cassadine! The actor is good BUT the character is a wimp!

Celia
Celia

It’s the wimpy ones we “gotta look out from”. LOL….But, my Timmmy….he’s sooo smoooth….

john
john

Since the writers only brought back Tom to use him to redeem Franco and make him
more viable romantic hero, I’m not interested.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Exactly. The only use that Elizabeth seems to have in this story is propping Franco. It’s about his redemption (for the umpty umpth time). Even with Bobby and Laura on the canvas these days – given that they were significant in the original story, this one will be all about Franco. Just…. sad.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

I can’t stand the coined phrase..lol…to ” prop” Franco. I don’t think they’re “propping” anyone. It’s a storyline. Franco and Liz. Her past now in the present. How will this effect her, Franco, others. Could be good…maybe not. Camera, action…

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Unfortunately Franco is the star in this storyline…. thus, the use of the word “prop.” When even the head writer is interviewed and talks about this story as a means of redeeming the despised character, you can say what you want. To me there is no better definition of the word.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Hi Elizabeth.. I didn’t read that interview; is it on this site? Nevertheless, I still don’t see it as “about” Franco and personally I think he redeemed himself over and over from his being almost killed to save Carly, to his self-sacrifice for Nina when she was loopy (er), his love for Kiki, his kindness to little Jake, etc. If this story also has Franco experience a revelation about himself…or we get to see yet another side of him, that sounds interesting to me as I’malready rooting for him; he’s not a despised character to me.

Celia
Celia

Too bad he is Elizabeth’s rapist. I like this actor.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Yes, Celia, I agree. Don Harvey is a reliable, accomplished character actor who’s been working since the 80s, as I remember. He was one of the soldiers gone wrong in CASUALTIES OF WAR in 1989 with Sean Penn & Michael J. Fox (a very underrated movie) and countless others. I’m glad he has the work, I’m just feeling cynical right now about any new stories and actors brought in, even if this is not technically a “new” story. But I’ll give it a chance since many of the posts are hopeful regarding this new twist. Just keep Jordan and her endless vendettas against Franco and Jason out if it!

Celia
Celia

Hey, hey, Soaphound,
I am so sick of Jordan, hands on ( no) hips, circling her ‘suspects’ like a skinny hen….her skimpy, colorless plumage all a’ruffled.
I am familiar with Don Harvey’s acting. Here goes another waste of talent!!

Timmm
Timmm

Speaking of GH, CELIA, how can you not be attracted to Jax! Did you you see his crystal blue eyes bouncing off his blue blazer in those scenes with Alexis in the dive bar? He looked great!

Celia
Celia

Awwwww!!!! My adorable, Timmmy. Are you a romantic, deep within? Love you for it!!
But, gee…I don’t know. I am not mesmerized by Jax. I will not be a hypocrite and deny the beauty of his eyes….limpid ‘blues’…..as azure as a summer sky on a shiny, cloudless, sunny day.
Nonetheless, I am not feeling the vibes….there is no “Crystal Blue Persuasion”. Ask Tommy James.
There must be something wrong with me!!!! I am very picky. LOL.
Luv-ya, Timmmy.

Celia
Celia

PS.
Timmmy, Carly is still married to Sonny. What the heck her cuddling up with ex, all about? Any man worth his salt would hit the roof. I know my husband would ( well, I don’t have an ex. That’s bedide the point. LOL).
I am so mad at myself. I was beside myself feeling sorry for Carly…pitying her; wanting to hug her. Now, I want to smack her a few rounds.
And, Jax should know better. I don’t care if he was trying to comfort her in her time of need.
I would not put it past the writers to write them right into bed…or that sofa.

Fanny
Fanny

@Celia…CeeCee sweets… This is not Carly’s first go round….
Whenever she’s been involved/committed with either one of
these men in the past, she habitually cheats on one w/ the other.
This is her M O when it comes to Sonny and Jax… Sonny and Jax
have a long bitter history that of course involved Sonny’s first love
Brenda who then loved Jax….Jax first entered the scene as a
Corporate Raider he brought Sam onto the show…. Just a tease
of yesteryear. Later sweetie.

Shay
Shay

What an astute observation, Fanny! Yes, Carly is definitely one of those “Have your cake and eat it, too” sort of gals….whenever she”s married to Sonny, there’s always another who tickles her fancy, and yet, when she’s otherwise involved with anyone else (Franco, Jax or take your pick….) she can’t scamper over fast enough to “Chez Corinthos” for a quickie with the “man of the house!” Hence nothing new here to see….

Celia
Celia

@Fanny.
Yes, my dear Fanny. I have definitely noted that about Carly; and, I have verbalized ( in writing) my feelings about her libido. LOL.
As my Shay says, “…she can’t scamper fast enough….).
A bientot, my lovely lady.

su0000
su0000

That was 18 yrs ago,,
the story won;t have much to do with that guy it will be about Franco.
I don’t see much interest in 18 yes back because its too long dead to get emotional over it now.
I assume he is short stay charater.

I can only hope Franco goes dark again for some excitement.

Timmm
Timmm

He looks like Tony Jones!

jaybird369
jaybird369

UH, EWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!

Rodd
Rodd

Short term, I hope; VERY short term.

Rose
Rose

I really was tired of the Sonny/Julian kind of mobster In Port Charles all of the time, but I think if they have to have the dark side they were preferable to serial killers, and rapists (reformed or not).

JasonLovesGH
JasonLovesGH

Yawn!
I’m also growing weary of Franco. His behavior is consistently appalling and outrageous. This guy is a total whackjob and it’s unsettling to see Elizabeth get deeper into a relationship with him. She deserves better. Ditto for Roger Howarth. Please drop this character.

cj
cj

Unless they plan on bringing back Lucky with JJ I don’t want to aee this. Lucky played a HUGE role in the rape story with Elizabeth and only a mention of him is incredibly disrespectful to the character and actor. If they use this to change Franco to make him worthy of Liz that’s sick. Told wrong, and wothout even one day of Lucky onscreen could most definitely sink this show.

Francesca zimmerman
Francesca zimmerman

So agree Jonathan Jackson should return as lucky to help Liz deal with this. He’s the only one that could shake her off this

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Franco IS worthy, with or without this storyline. Since his recent incarnation, he’s done nothing but good for the people he loves. He risked his life for Carly, has loved and protected Kiki, went to extreme measures to help and stand by Nina, is adorable with little Jake and adores Elizabeth. Odd man out? Yes. But as much or more loyalty to those he cares about as any of the other “citizens” of Port Charles.

Rose
Rose

GH you’re losing me. Fluke, serial killer, Morgan/Sabrina mourning, Finn’s bad bug, Alexis/Julian, Sonny’s made for daytime award acting. It’s gotten to the point that this was the first time I turned it off. Dark, dark, dark. Too bad the writers don’t know how to write good stories without all of the gruesomeness. I don’t like Liz with Franco at all. Liz has trouble picking winners, and Franco has never fit since James Franco’ ego made up this troubled, perverted character in his name. Poor Roger trying to make something of him. He deserved better on GH. Every so once in a while we get a glimmer of someone being happy or a smile, then they turn the lights out for this other crap. Makes you wonder what the writers personal lives are like.

Karim
Karim

This would have been better if Lucky, Nikolas and Emily were there instead of Franco!

Francesca zimmerman
Francesca zimmerman

This will be interesting 18 years later Liz has moved on from that traumatic night . Never thought of Tom Baker until now hearing that her rapist is out on parole makes her relive that night. It’s like him doing it all over again. Now she’s like 33 years old she’s going to relive it once she comes in contact with him I hope we see flashbacks.

Angel
Angel

I find this storyline sick and vile. There is no need to relive a 15 year old girls brutal rape. Why don’t the writers and you Michael speak out against the vile people who are saying that Liz raped Jason when she slept with him? You need to handle that mess and stop it -instead of buying into them who wanted to see her face her rapist –a true rape ( not something in their heads). Or are the fans supposed to think you are just catering to a certain group of people and don’t care what the loyal viewers really want ..not just the nasty ones?

Jessica
Jessica

I’ve wanted to see tom come back for years. I want to see Liz cope with this, no longer a scared teenager but a strong woman. Let Liz save herself this time. Maybe force her to start examining how this life changing thing has made it hard to trust, to think she isn’t worth someone fighting for her. I want to see a strong Liz become stronger. But instead I get a story where it’s all about Franco. Franco’s pain. Franco’s guilt. How sorry Franco is. How hard this is for Franco. Even the interview the writers gave in SOD was all about Franco. It honestly pisses me off and frustrates me.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

First of all, the story just began. We have no idea how it’s going to play out. Second, rapists are released in real life, unfortunately, and I doubt all women are screaming…” Yeah mutthafukka, bring it on…” Liz’s reaction seems about right…nervous, unsettled, troubled. Franco’s seems right too. Most men would be proactive, protective…particularly men in the GH world such as Sonny, Jason and yes Julian, Curtis…probably Dante and Nathan would even “pay a little visit” to the creep. So, I see nothing wrong with the immediate handling of the story. I’m not sure I’ll like it going forward but in terms of what was brought up…it’s on the right track in my opinion.

Jane
Jane

I’m not liking this story at all. He’s got this creepy look today as if adding salt into her injuries seeing her again like he did nothing to her. I really think this is a mistake.

JK
JK

ABSOLUTELY AGREE….NOT A GOOD STORY LINE AT ALL…..SET THE RECORDER AND FAST-FORWARD BUTTON FOR THIS…

Jane
Jane

Another thing put Liz together with Griffin. Franco’s got issues she needs none of.

General Hospital

GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

READ MORE
GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco To Cameron, "Tell Your Mom I Love Her ... And Tell Her I'll Be Back"

ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Walks In On Shiloh and Dr. Cabot's Plans for Cameron

ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Looks In The Mirror … And Believing He Is Drew Kisses Kim

This week on General Hospital, viewers have seen that when Franco (Roger Howarth) awoke from his mind-mapping implantation  (thanks to Shiloh and Dr Cabot) he woke up saying that he is “Drew Cain”.  Thus, as far we know, Franco now carries the life and memories of Drew from 2012 and back, and as of now, has no trace of Franco’s memories.

When Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Drew (Billy Miller) try to make Franco understand in his confusion what transpired,  Liz brings a mirror to Franco to see his face, which makes this all the more terrifying for him.  Liz insists to him that she is wife, but he tells her that he is sorry but he does not recognize her.  Franco insists he is going to leave town and Drew asks him to please stay put, as Liz promises that they can reverse what happened to him.  But can Liz really promise that?

Later, Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) fills Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Jason (Steve Burton) in on what happened and how Franco now was implanted with Drew’s memories, which leaves them stunned.  That means Franco, who is one of the people Jason loathes most in the world – now believes he is Jason’t twin brother.

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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Looks In The Mirror ... And Believing He Is Drew Kisses Kim

Meanwhile, as Kim (Tamara Braun) and Julian (William deVry) prepare to leave Port Charles for Manhattan and start live anew, (so Kim can not be haunted by her life in Port Charles from the recent death of her son, Oscar) things are about to make a shocking turn … for her.

Back at GH, Liz is upset when Franco decides he must get out of his hospital room.  Liz is scared he will just skip town knowing he feels he has no ties there.  Drew reassures her that because he is a version of him, the pull will be way too strong for him to exit Port Charles.

Courtesy/ABC

Kim is now at the hospital getting ready to turn in her resignation letter and runs into Franco.  He recognizes her and calls her “Kim!” You can tell he is quite smitten with her.  Kim is not sure why Franco is acting that way.  She announces she is leaving Port Charles to which he says he is going to come with her. She sees he has a hospital ID bracelet on, so she thinks something has happened.  Just then, Franco tells her about the first time Drew Cain and her met up! This shocks Kim  … and the next thing you know … he moves in for a major kiss and lip-lock as Drew and Liz look on.

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So, what do you think of the story turn thus far that has Franco now with Drew’s memories and with no trace of Franco? Share your thoughts on the twist via the comment section below!

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Breaking News

Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine … But Just How Does She Appear?

Now, any General Hospital fan knows that if there is skullduggery and evil going down, Helena Cassadine (whether dead or alive) is usually somehow involved when it comes to the lives of certain people in Port Charles.

And … some major storyline news from TV Line reveals that on next Monday’s August 19th episode of the ABC soap opera, Constance Towers reprises her role as the evil one herself … Helena!

Apparently, look for Helena to appear in a flashback with none other than Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and about Drew Cain’s time in Afghanistan.  That scene might hold a key to just what Shiloh wants now that he has implanted Drew’s memories into Franco (Roget Howath), thanks to Dr. Cabot’s work.  But could what is revealed also relate to the story that will see Billy Miller (Drew) exit the canvas later this month? Stay tuned.

Viewers last saw Helena alive in story until November of 2016, but then she was part of Jake’s hallucinations that were a part of the chimera storyline that climaxed at the Nurses’ Ball back in May of 2017.

So what do you think Helena’s presence in a flashback will reveal? And, who is ultimately having that flashback? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine ... But Just How Does She Appear?
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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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Recent Comments

  • Not too crazy about the storyline but I’ll keep wa: “Not too crazy about the storyline I think it’s kind of silly. I liked Franco’s character and that he and…
  • Lynda: “Waiting anxiously for storyline unfolding. Have loved Roger's acting since becoming familiar with him on General Hospital.…
  • Tam Taylor: “JI completely agree. Roger is Franco and Drew is Billy Miller. I also truly wish that Billy Miller weren't leaving…
  • Eileen: “I hope the Drew and Franco bit is just temporary although it is fun for a change. I myself I'm…
  • Becky: “I hate it because I’m afraid there will be as many Drew’s as there are Sonny and Carly weddings. And…
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