Connect with us

General Hospital

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?

Click to comment
Advertisement

avatar
Softjohn
Guest
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

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sonny Comes Home as Jason and Carly Begin Their Wedding Night

Monday’s episode of General Hospital continued to set the stage for major payoffs in the long and winding road tale of everyone in Port Charles believing Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) is dead.

Only now, with his memory in tact, Sonny is very much alive, no longer living as “Mike” in Nixon Falls. and back in the town which he ruled as the mob kingpin.  Problem is: his wife, Carly (Laura Wright) just got married to his best friend, Jason (Steve Burton) and they are about to have their first night together as newlyweds.  And without all the subplot and subtext, Sonny has no idea that they were first brought together to be a united front to save Sonny’s territory from the ‘Five Families’.  Only now, the two have admitted they truly are in-love with each other.

In story, after the bomb that went off was proven to kill mobsters Buscema and Novak, and not its intended target – the newlyweds – thanks to a double-cross from Ms. Wu – Jason, Carly, and Ms. Wu discuss Cyrus Renault’s (Jeff Kober) involvement and that Wu is happy for Jason and Carly.

 

At the wedding reception, Michael (Chad Duell) gives a touching speech about his mom and Jason and gives the official toast.  Later, Jason and Carly head out after Carly throws the bouquet which Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) catches.

Meanwhile, back in Nixon Falls, Sonny gets out of dodge and away from Nina (Cynthia Watros), thanks to Jax’s (Ingo Rademacher) plane, while Nina gets a visit from Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) and Anna (Finola Hughes), where she admits that Peter (Wes Ramsey) was in Nixon Falls, and caused the fire, and is going to go after Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and the baby.  She does not tell them what she did keeping Sonny away from his family for 9 months.

Anna and Peter split up to find Peter, and Peter’s exit ride hasn’t show up yet to get him out of Nixon Falls, so Anna catches him, gun drawn.

Later at the Corinthos home, Jason and Carly are alone together in the bedroom with wedding night jitters, but Jason says there is no rush as the two kiss, just as Sonny arrives home, smiles, looks around, sees photos of himself with Carly and the family, and heads upstairs!

Will Sonny find the two in each others arms and not tell then he is alive?  Will something call him away? Will Jason and Carly have sex? When will Nina get payback for all that she has done to Carly and Sonny?  Will Peter get away from Anna? Let us know your theories in the comment section below.

Continue Reading

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sonny Tells Nina He Knows Exactly Who He Is; Jason & Carly’s Wedding Comes to an Explosive Conclusion

Is it game over for Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros), or does she have another trick up her sleeve to keep Sonny (Maurice Benard) to herself, now that he remembers who is he?

On Friday’s dramatic episode of General Hospital, “Mike” looks to be gone and Sonny has come back in full force complete with a super hero moment escaping from being trapped underneath the beam that had fallen on top of him inside the burning Tan-O.  Sonny makes his escape after inhaling so many fumes, that he needs medical attention and is rushed to the hospital with Nina going along with him.

Inside the hospital, once given the all clear, Phyllis (Joyce Guy) tells Nina, “Mike” is asking for her, while Jax (Ingo Rademacher) pleads to let the doctors handle this situation.  But, Nina heads inside the room to see Sonny.  Then came the dramatic moment that many GH fans were waiting for.  As Nina calls him “Mike, he rips off his oxygen mask in anger and says that his name is Sonny and he remembers everything!  Nina does a pivot, knowing she is caught, and says the name may have have been a fake one, but they cannot deny the way they feel about each other.  She tells him that she honestly loves him and Sonny defiantly tells her NOT to say that.  Meanwhile Jax confirms to Phyllis that Nina always knew that “Mike” was Sonny and hid it from her and Sonny for months!

Back in Port Charles, Jason (Steve Burton) and Carly’s (Laura Wright) wedding comes to a conclusion! No one interrupts the wedding and the two look lovingly at each other to start their new life together as husband and wife.

Courtesy/ABC

After the ceremony, mobsters Ms. Wu, Vincent, and Charles have a moment where she says “be wary of tomorrow”.  Jason and Carly have a moment alone where Jason looks truly in love with Carly now and all of those feelings he had buried for years have now come back to the surface. How will this all play out when Sonny comes back into everyone’s lives, alive and well?

After the reception had ended, Jason and Carly get in their limo to drive away as newlyweds.  She asks Jason what Ms. Wu whispered in his ear at the reception, he says she confirmed something he already knew.  Meanwhile, Vincent and Charles get in their limo.  Charles shares the world is about to be a better place without Carly and Jason in it.

Next, Carly tells the driver to start the car, and we see a bomb device under a car and the chapel blown up as the show comes to its conclusion.

Our bet is that the Novak/Buscema car was blown to bits, not Jarly’s limo thanks to a Wu double-cross, but we shall see next week! Great performances from Maurice Benard, Cynthia Watros, Laura Wright, and Steve Burton throughout this one.

So, what did you think of the moment Sonny told Nina he remembered who he is? What did you think of Jason and Carly’s nuptials? What do you think will happen next? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

Continue Reading

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sonny Remembers Carly Just as She Is Marrying Jason

After nine months of being “Mike”, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) had a major breakthrough as his memory is all coming back to him now (as the Celine Dion song says), and in the process the Tan-O has burned to the ground, signaling the the probable end to the Nixon Falls arc of the story.

As the story picked-up on Thursday, Nina’s (Cynthia Watros) plot to keep Sonny for herself and away from Carly majorly backfired on her.  Not only does Phyllis (Joyce Guy) now know that Nina lied about “Mike’s” identify the entire time, but Peter August (Wes Ramsey) is running wild and free heading back to Port Charles to claim his baby and Maxie (Kirsten Storms), after setting fire to the building.

Courtesy/ABC

Since “Mike” ran in to save Nina and got hit by a beam in the process, he is alone in the burning Tan-O enveloped by flames, but that triggers the beginning of his memory coming back.

Meanwhile, back in Port Charles, Jason (Steve Burton) and Carly (Laura Wright) are at their wedding, with the five family mob bosses present with a plot of their own and everyone wondering if Jarly will say “I do'”.    The two light a candle together for those loved ones no longer with them … ah, Sonny!

Back the burning Tan-O, Sonny is visited by the vision of the real Mike (Max Gail) who tells him it’s time for him to go home now.  A conflicted Sonny tells Mike he is very happy in Nixon Falls with Nina, but Mike tells him he needs to know his past in order to move forward.  When Sonny has flashes of his violent past it frightens him, and he says whatever family he has is better off without him in their lives.

Jax (Ingo Rademacher) tries to text Maxie while still in Nixon Falls with Nina to watch out for Peter, but she is attending and managing Carly and Sonny’s wedding, so she doesn’t pick up the phone!

Inside the Tan-O, Sonny sees a vision of woman, who when she turns and faces him is Carly. While Sonny is lying on the floor and is engulfed in flames and trapped, Mike tells Sonny he can die as “Mike” or live on as the man he truly is, Sonny.  It is then Sonny calls out “Carly!”

So, what did you think of the episode? Do you think Carly and Jason will get married? Will Sonny tells Nina he remembers? What will Nina’s next move be? Are you glad Sonny seems to have his memory back? The episode featured another strong performance by Maurice Benard.  Share your thoughts below.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

Laura Wright as Carly

General Hospital

Airdates: 9-9/10- 2021

Advertisement

Popular