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George Gaynes, General Hospital's Original Mob Boss Frank Smith, Dies At 98

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

When General Hospital’s Luke (Anthony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis) went on the run in the 80′s from the mob boss who caused so much trouble for the duo throughout their lives, actor George Gaynes was playing the despicable villain.

It was one of the most pivotal story arcs in the history of the iconic soap opera.  On Monday, Gaynes passed away at 98 in North Bend, Washington. When Gaynes left the show in 1980, Smith had been sent to prison, but as viewers know the character returned a few times over the next decades played by different actors.

It was Smith who originally hired Luke to run the Campus Disco as a money-laundering operation. Luke was always under the thumb of the notorious crime lord until he managed a way to break free. However, Smith even resurfaced in 2015 and one more time tried to destroy Luke and his family.

Gaynes, who was not only a character actor but a baritone singer, made hundreds of appearances both on TV comedies and dramas, as well as 35 films (counting both features and made-for-TV movies) and many plays, musical comedies and even operas in the U.S. and Europe.

After leaving General Hospital in 1990, Gaynes went on to appear in one of the most notable roles in his career in Tootsie, as the actor with a crush on Dustin Hoffman’s, female alter ego, Dorothy Michaels.

Gaynes, also played the absentminded Commandant Eric Lassard in all seven Police Academy films, and became well- known for his performance as Henry Warnimont on the NBC series Punky Brewster.  The actor also appeared on the soap, Search for Tomorrow.

In addition to his wife, Gaynes is survived by a daughter; one granddaughter; and two great-granddaughters. His son, Matthew, died in a 1989 car crash.

Share your thoughts on the passing of Gaynes in the comment section below, and if you watched him as the original Frank Smith on GH during the heyday of Luke and Laura’s story?

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Softjohn
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Softjohn

That’s harsh, even for him. I would have been cool if he reprised his role for Anthony Geary’s farewell episodes.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Back in January Meg Mundy who played Mona Aldrich Croft from the 70s to the 80s on The Doctors passed away at the age of 101…in Nov. 2015 Fred J. Scolly who was an original cast member on The Doctors in the 60s and later appeared as Charlie Hobson-the fourth husband of Rachels mother Ada on Another World from 1977 to 1980 passed away at 92…now sadly, here is George Gaynes who played Frank Smith on GH when i was soooooooooooo young has passed away…so many good actors we have lost .

blake
Guest
blake

I know what you mean, yesterday I saw a commercial with Florence Henderson and even though she looks great her voice was definitely off. I was like nooooooooooooooo!

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

The perfect mob boss–suave, underplayed, Frank Smith was much more effective than an over-the-top protrayal. George Gaynes was a GREAT villain–soft-spoken but sinister at the same time. LOVED his acting. Unforgettable performance–played to perfection. RIP.

BTW, I did find it so ironic that the talk shows made NO MENTION OF HIS PLAYING on a soap opera. What is that about? Playing mobster Frank Smith on Genral Hospital was one of his most iconic roles.

Rose
Guest
Rose

Nancy…not just soap backgrounds. Talk shows never seem to acknowledge actor’s roles in the sci-fi genre where they also built up a big following if they have gone “legit.” And the actors never mention it. Two come to mind…Nathan Fillian (Mal on Firefly/Serenity as well as Joey on OLTL) or Jessica Alba (Max on Dark Angel). And I bet we could make a list of other actors this has happened to. It seems soaps and sci-fi are orphan genres as far as respect or career builders.

vintage GH
Guest
vintage GH

So true Nancy. He was just as instrumental in the whole “Luke and Laura” machine as Kin Shriner. Luke and Scottie represented Laura’s conflict. Scottie and Frank represented Luke’s conflicts.

Rose
Guest
Rose

MF…thanks for reminding us of George Gaynes whose Frank Smith character gave us some great Luke and Laura storylines. Coincidentally I watched Tootsie over Valentine weekend on a movie channel. Always thought George/Dr. Van Horn looked familiar. Now I know why. And I loved it when he serenaded Dorothy/ Dustin in his baritone voice. One of my favorite movies along with Soapdish. Wonder how true they are to the real inside world of soaps.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Rose, it didnt even click the “Frank Smith” was on “Punky Brewster!”

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

I was in high school and would watch GH with my older sisters during the original Frank Smith saga. Great memories of a great period in American TV history.

R.I.P. Mr. Gaynes. Thank you for the fond memories. Condolences to his loved ones.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Rest Mr. Gaynes! Sorry to see you go and sorry you had to witness the revival of your character in 2015! That was as bad as Evil “lil” Jake returning from the dead! I just watched one of the “Police Academy’s” recently. He was great in all them and will be missed!

Mo
Guest
Mo

I liked him in Tootsie and Police Academy. RIP

blake
Guest
blake

Tootsie, another great one he was in.

Bill
Guest
Bill

Only one of the FS recasts was worth his salt … Mitchell Ryan. But Gaynes was the MAN! So smooth! R.I.P.

Dean_Morgan
Guest
Dean_Morgan

One of those actors who cared more about his craft than being a star. He was committed to all of his work and will certainly be missed. May he RIP.

nicholas
Guest
nicholas

I saw him in the 50 th anniversary GH specials online . However Gaynes will always be remembered for the part he played on Punky Brewster by me and many others . Punky was my childhood ! Of course we also remember him on Police Academy but he moved me and he touched me in Punky Brewster .

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I certainly remember and loved him as Frank Smith. I have enjoyed his many other performances too. May he RIP.

blake
Guest
blake

Oh man, I liked him as Henry on Punky Brewster and the Police Academy movies. He was in so many thing. And to live to 98! Wow!

Andy G.
Guest
Andy G.

He was also great in one of my all-time favorite series, “The Days & Nights of Molly Dodd.”

gloria
Guest
gloria

He was 98? Makes me feel old as dirt & I am 55-was a teen when he was on GH (or not far from being a teen, ha) The good old days.

vintage GH
Guest
vintage GH

Awww….may he rest in peace. I was in elementary school during his Frank Smith portrayal when soap history was made. The 1980 Frank Smith story was the first time a soap left the studio and did location shoots. Last year I re-watched the Frank Smith 1980 storyline on youtube. It really holds up. He was a very gifted, understated actor. I loved his Frank Smith portrayal because it didn’t really pander to mafia stereotypes. His Frank Smith was a low-key villain and was incredibly gentlemanly on the surface. His portrayal wasn’t as a womanizer. His portrayal wasn’t as a narcissist.… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

I watched him when he was on GH. He was forcing Luke to marry his daughter, Jennifer, played by Lisa Marie. He’s the one who hired Hutch to kill Luke and Laura when they went on the run after that great fight scene on the boat between Scotty and Luke. Happened right after Scotty found the letter Laura wrote to Luke, admitting he raped her. Those were truly the best days of GH. George Gaines was always Frank Smith to me. RIP, Mr Gaines!

General Hospital

Bryan Craig Teases His Role in Upcoming ‘Joker’ Sequel

Former General Hospital star and two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan Corinthos) has been quite busy these days with his continuing role on Freeform’s Good Trouble and now the biggest tease of all!

Craig took to his Instagram account and posted an intriguing pic, which from all indications mean he has landed a part in the upcoming motion picture Joker sequel Folie à Deux! (“Madness for Two”).

Because details on the upcoming film have been top secret, Craig erased his character’s name on his cast parking sign when he posted the image.

What we do know is that the upcoming Joker sequel will see the return of Joaquin Phoenix in his Oscar-winning role as Arthur Fleck. The cast includes Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn, plus Brendan Gleeson, Zazie Beets, and Catherine Keener.

The film is due out in 2024.

Looking forward to seeing Bryan in Folie à Deux? Comment below.

 

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General Hospital

GH’s Parry Shen Delivers the ‘Power Performance of the Week’

How many of us have lost, or had to say goodbye to our best friend? Somehow fate or illness intervenes and cuts short someone you share so many memories with.

On last Thursday’s episode of General Hospital, Dr. Britt Westbourne’s (Kelly Thiebaud) family and friends gathered for her memorial at the GH chapel.  However, viewers knew of the special connection between Britt and her bestie, Brad Cooper (Parry Shen).

Photo: ABC

Devastated at losing Britt, upset that she never told him she about her diagnosis with Huntington’s Disease, and mourning her death, Brad comes to her former office, where Britt was the Co-Chief of Staff at the hospital. After exchanging heartfelt moments with Britt’s mother, the grieving Liesl (Kathleen Gati), and Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner), Brad (with a paper bag in hand) spends some time alone in Britt’s former office, which has now been cleaned out.

Next, Brad takes out a carton of ice cream (for those who know the back-story, Britt and Brad would sit together each with ice cream and watch the red carpet at the Nurses’ Ball on TV and hoot and howl at the residents of Port Charles), and thus begins a very emotional and five-hankie moment, where Brad recalls all the key moments in their friendship.

Parry Shen was so touching in this scene, that if you have been a fans of Britt and Brad’s friendship, we are sure you shed some tears.

Later, during the memorial, Brad is pained listening to the others eulogize Britt, and when it is his turn to speak, he does his best to get through it and pay homage to his best friend.

We will miss the Brad and Britt friendship as will many GH viewers for it was one-of-a-kind on the soaps – two originally, not so nice people, doing bad things and finding common ground with each other, and eventually turning their lives around and being there to support each other.

For all of these scenes mentioned above, Michael Fairman TV names Parry Shen’s work, the Power Performance of the Week.  You can check out a clip featuring Shen below.

Now, let us know, what did you think of Parry’s Performance during Britt’s memorial episode? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Marcus Coloma On His GH Exit: “I Don’t Know Why That Decision Was Made, But I Don’t Feel Any ill Will and I Didn’t Feel I Got Fired”

This week, GH fans saw Adam Huss returning to the ABC soap opera as Nikolas Cassadine to finish out the rest of the scenes originally intended to be played by Marcus Coloma who ended his three-year run on the show a tad early.

As has been previously reported, Coloma came down with Covid-19 as his final tape days neared, and a decision was made for him to not return to finish off his last run of episodes.

With all the rumors and stances taken by everyone involved, Coloma was the special guest on this week’s episode of the That’s Awesome Podcast hosted by Steve Burton and Bradford Anderson and discussed his departure from the long-running daytime drama series.

Marcus expressed that when he took the role on GH, he was excited to be in that kind of environment (working on a soap opera), and only signed on for three years.  However, as time went by it became more difficult to reconcile leaving when his contract was up, sharing: “You fall in love with the crew and everybody along with it. So, two and a half years in, this decision that was so clear in the beginning is getting complicated.”

The actor added that while, “I knew the end was coming, it wasn’t like GH was saying, ‘Hey, Marcus, we want you to stay.’  There was no negotiation … and all I can say to that is I don’t know why that decision was made, but I don’t feel any ill will and I didn’t feel like I got fired. It just felt like … there was maybe an understanding that I was going to be there for three years. The big surprise is how much it hurt. Even though I knew I was going to leave.”

In the end, Coloma reflected that this may have concluded as it should, adding, “I really do have some big goals and those goals would have never been realized if I would have stayed. That’s not to take anything away from GH because I admire everything about it.”

Watch the episode of That’s Awesome featuring Coloma below.

Then weigh-in, what do you think of Marcus’ thoughts on his exit as GH’s Nikolas Cassadine? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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DAYS Billy Flynn (Chad), Greg Rikaart (Le0) and Mary Beth Evans (Kayla) talk with Michael Fairman on the series move to Peacock and their latest storylines.. Leave A Comment
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Power Performance

Parry Shen as Brad

General Hospital

Airdate:2-2-2023

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