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GH Bound Elizabeth Hendrickson Shares Excitement To Reunite With Former Soap Pals: Billy Miller, William deVry, Finola Hughes, and More!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What exciting news following the Daytime Emmys out of General Hospital! As fans know, Elizabeth Hendrickson on the heels of her Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work on Y&R is coming to the ABC daytime drama series in a brand new role.

This brings her back to the network where she got her soap start on All My Children, and it also brings her back to a full-circle moment, because GH now has in its illustrious cast many former players from both AMC and Y&R.

In her Instagram post after the news broke of her return to ABC, Liz shared the following sentiment: “From the hospital to the salon! At my other daytime gig today but SO happy to announce I found a new home, on the network where it all began. Feeling extremely welcomed already thanks to so many of my old soap pals: Tamara Braun, Finola Hughes, Michelle Stafford, Emme Rylan, William deVry, and Billy Miller.

Now fans are speculating that Liz could be the new love interest for Miller’s Drew, given their on-screen history as Chloe and Billy on Y&R.  As you recall, Miller and Hendrickson delivered powerhouse performances on Y&R when their on-screen daughter, Delia was killed.

Do you think that could be in the offering on GH?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Jimh
Jimh

Kim is already Drew’s former love interest with whom they shared a child…does he need another???…if not Finn’s thought dead wife who i still think was turned into that lizard-lol…maybe she cold be C’s idea she is Anna’s daughter instead of Peter being the son…or make her a Q-Jimmy Lee’s daughter…….AND BRING BACK GENIE!!!!!!!

Celia
Celia

She could be all of those things, all at once, Jimmy……Anna’s daughter, who is also an attorney. She will represent Drew in his divorce proceedings. They will start dating…..Let’s leave Kim with Julian. I like!! I, also, like Finn with Alexis—-so much sexual chemistry. Zero with Anna—really dormant.
Now, if you ask moi, and being someone who has never witnessed the Anna’s and Robert Scorpio’s ‘ensemble’….well, I see the vibe—-the man, albeit so much older, has it going. Big jump from Colin with Jill.
Anna and Robert are soooo good together….they held me captive.

davlestev1
davlestev1

Maybe she’s the daughter of the left handed boy and she’s coming back with news from Laura. Or MAYBE Faison came up with a Stepford wife type program and she’s the robotic version of Finn’s ex wife. It is a soap.

mary
mary

Yes please bring back Genie Francis.

Carrie Nauseda
Carrie Nauseda

No disrespect to the actress but Gh is overloaded with cast! Gh has fabulous vets that barely get air time as it is. Frank and his regime seem to not care what fans want. No matter how many actors are hired if the stories dont make sense its a fail. Too many stories are being dropped. Fans are ready for behind the scenes overall. Gh used to be an exciting show its become predictable and drawn out way too long. getting rid of Tyler, Genie yet hire all these new pple?? Many of us are 40 plus yr fans who want our vets!! Wake up GH!

Cindy west
Cindy west

So tired people bashing general hospital I guess u wanted it to be canceled that’s that’s why u put negative commtives on here and everywhere else I love general. General no matter what the storylines are

Lisa
Lisa

I like the idea of her being Finn’s thought dead wife.
I also like the idea of her being another member of the Q family.
Or perhaps she has something to do with Peter August. We’ll see.

Soaphound
Soaphound

But, Lisa, wouldn’t there be quite an age difference? Liz is, what, 13 years younger than Michael Easton and actually looks younger than that. I guess in soaps it doesn’t matter much but I just can’t see them as a couple yet. But, who knows, I may be pleasantly surprised. If Kim decides on Julian over Drew, then I vote for a Liz/Billy reunion. They are dynamite together!

Patrick
Patrick

oh gosh darned it

i’m so w/ Timmmmm – just do not waste her… on Sonny / Carly / Jason / Finn / Michael / Peter August etc

I hope she’s old enough for @Chase… even Griffin

i’m kinda OVER Griffin… showing his stripes again… his moral virtuoso… kinda reminder of Alexis. Ava was so right.. in her voice. nothing has changed.. what has… I get my daughter 50 / 50. Mike is OK.

NOTHING wrong with that. oh god… the recriminations go unheeded. So .. it’s Frank Valentini show. suck an egg , Frank.

at the very least I can come here… and be glad posts are being done. THIS IS ; once again ; better than the show itself.

NOW : Laura Wright ‘ Carly is on prescription . dare tell me this is going to spiral us all in to an opioid addiction … at least we get to see if Laura Wright can act after all ? this is still where we get the last laugh. Sonny undying LOVE after all. sucker punch start now

Sonny doesn’t trust her ? this has become so laugh out loud. OK – ONE token of chutzpah . Maurice Benard – ONLY – good scenes with this father son story. is his scenes with Stella. BUST BUST BUST.

yet.. Frank Valentini Shelley Chris Jean don’t get it

sounds like EH NEWBIE is contract. with the sole focus of this show gone to hell in a handbasket…

woah – fans certainly mind the store. this is Frank Valentini cray cray. DOA

Patrick
Patrick

loving – the idea of :

Kim and Julian
Liz and Drew

IF GH would give Franco a life… not unlike TODD !!!! ???? him and Liz would move heaven and earth

Liz and Franco

Elizabeth Hendrickson NEWBIE w/DREW

BAM… all the passionista involved here

SZima
SZima

Finn’a dead wife was Asian!

SZima
SZima

Finn’s dead wife

elm51
elm51

i watched her on amc and y&r – i just can not get with her acting style………………….

SZima
SZima

Somebody must like her style…she’s been nominated for 5 Emmys!

Celia
Celia

Yes!! She’s a natural, SZima.

elm51
elm51

yes she has been nominated 5 times but has not won any……………..

Leslee
Leslee

I love the idea of Liz being Drew’s love interest. She and Billy DO have so much chemistry together! (I’m still holding out for Kim and Julian…their relationship is so natural and real! Plus, as much as I’ve been a Julexis fan, I still don’t know if I can get away from what he did to her with the dagger…)

carol kanter
carol kanter

I would rather see Kim with Drew. I don’t want to feel as though I’m watching an old Y&R episode. If anything, Rebecca Budig should have been brought back for Finn. I think EH would make a good person for Finn’s half brother Chase. I agree with those that say the cast is already too large. However, with that said, I’m tired of seeing so much of Carson and Nelle. Can’t they give other vets a chance more often.

Shady
Shady

Wow if FV NV can hire all these people what the purpose of firing RBu.. Yea MF your agenda showing, Drew new love all clear for your FANDOM Jason and Sam.. I would die laughing they make he ass Oscar mama, as Kim is a liar, and they kill Oscar off trying to recapture YR Delia’s death

Aria
Aria

She doesn’t make sense as someone from Drew’s past because Tamara Braun was cast in that capacity, nor as Finn wife he’s busy these days with Anna and Alexis, so that would be premature casting plus maybe I’m wrong or I heard wrong but for some reason I thought or someone said Finns wife is Asian ? I could be wrong. Beyond that I’m don’t know who she could be playing but Liz sister Sarah or Anna daughter are better options. Nothing is written in stone so if further down the line she connects with drew then okay.

Harry
Harry

I like the actress a lot but GH needs another new character like I need another hole in my head.

Jimh
Jimh

Hey…thats my old joke here-lol…anywy how many do you have-lol

Michael
Michael

I couldn’t agree more.

Leah
Leah

I love Liz and I loved her with Billy Miller’s Billy Abbott on Y&R. Chloe and Billy were one of those daytime pairs of actors with so much chemistry, you almost thought the show was blind when they didn’t follow through and give the characters more of a love story instead of just a kid. So, I am hoping so hard that their plans are to pair her into Drew’s past.
It’s also not impossible for her to end up being from a legacy family even if she starts out as a new character. I mean, Sam McCall wasn’t connected to a major family for a few years until they decided to make her Alexis’s long lost daughter which made Sam a Cassadine.
So, even though, Liz’s GH character doesn’t have an obvious connection to GH history, that doesn’t mean that can’t change down the line.
I am so excited to have Liz on GH, she was always one of my favorites from AMC and Y&R. I also think I’m particularly excited to see her with Billy Miller’s Drew because on Y&R they never realized the full potential of all that chemistry the actors have so it would be a real treat this time to see them actually fall in love and tell a real love story on GH.
Congratulations to Liz, I’m so excited for her and excited to see what’s to come.

Donnie Synder
Donnie Synder

Liz and Drew had no chemistry, why the hell would they go there when BM is not a fan of BH or EH!KM will not be doing JaSam,like SB wants, SB is a pig and someone need to drop a dime on his ass,for being him!

Patrick
Patrick

the hierarchy – twist – the knife

I joke it’s Laura Wright and Maurice Benard who are calling the shots

Frank Valentini is so pussy whipped… ADD on the machismo of Steve Burton

what the effin is going on ?

they are truly working this genre. IT’S A PAY DAY FOLKS

I swear.. in this life time… I hope they realize what this show could have been

Bea
Bea

Since I think Drew was probably adopted, I’m hoping she is Drew’s sister from his adoptive family & then she can be a new love interest for his twin brother Jason since Sam will be going back to Drew If she would be Drew’s sister that would cause conflict again between Drew & Jason since Drew wouldn’t want his sister with a hitman. She could be involved with Peter. Maybe she is involved with Jason’s missing 5 years that he doesn’t remember. Who knows maybe Jason was involved with her during those missing 5 yrs & he doesn’t remember. Drew already has a former love interest with Kim & a son. He doesn’t need another one. That would be kind of redundant

SZima
SZima

I find ALL these speculations hilarious! We’ll just need to wait and see who Elizabeth will play!
I do think it would be nice to have EH end up being Anna’s daughter…and Peter NOT Anna’s son!

I also have my “wishes” about who will end up as couples, but I won’t lose any sleep over it…

Couples I would like:
Finn & Anna (Alexis has NO sexual chemistry with Finn)
Kim & Julian (never, ever put Julian with Alexis again!)
Maxie & Peter (who turns out to be a good guy)
‘Elizabeth Hendrickson’ & Drew (yes, their chemistry was undeniable on Y&R)
Liz & Griffin (get her away from Franco!)
Sam & Jason (for once and for all, and it will cut down on the number of scenes I have to FF through.)
Franco & Ava (they are better for each other and I can FF them too)

Patrick
Patrick

I will post to the bitter end

HOW DULL are Finn and Anna. there is nothing palpable here. sticking him.. because Frank Valentini wants him on the show… is better with Alexis.. because SHE has no SEXUAL chemistry with Julian . if these are need be necessary characters then so be it… why ruin other character possibilities. Finn and Alexis are so stale… PARTAY attend meetings… and flesh out all you want. no one cares one iota that’s a good laugh and inside joke. waste

MAXIE and the military man stud . I was so taken with that one scene he shared with her @Nathan grave. that ONE SCENE was more than all she’s had with Peter August. he’s just not manning. I saw the tenderness with Maxie and Chris Van Etton. HOTTED OUT. smoldering endearing sensitive caring AND you better believe if the writers had it in them… a playful sensual pairing .

Liz needs to be utilized to her FULLEST potential… and that’s simmering sexuality and out and about town… strutting her stuff… and yeah bedside manner @GH hospital. seeing her stuck with Franco. @GH YOU HAVE THE LEGALESE BEHIND YOU … CHANGE HIS DEAD ASS. GIVE IS TODD SEMBLENCE.. so that roger howarth is someone to care about.

@GH continues to waste in finding a good man for Ava. they stuck the pretty boy toy with no personality but the whet behind the ears clothed one. after Ava got what she wanted… SHARED CUSTODY.. I would have give Griffin his walking papers… all the proof we need she truly cares for and loves both her daughters Kiki and Avery.

SpixieFan
SpixieFan

I’m so excited! Love her!! I started watching Y&R after stumbling across it during the Delia dies story.. she and Billy and Michael Muhney (sp) really had me glued to me TV. I love her chemistry with Billy. After Billy and Michael left I kept watching just for her, until she left too. I hope she is Drew’s wife or someone from his past that he was deeply in love with and all his memories come flooding back to him.

Shelley Dinner
Shelley Dinner

Finn referred to his deceased wife using an Asian name.

KMB
KMB

The only thing that has been confirmed by the press is that Elizabeth Hendrickson will not be a recast for Hayden. I feel like she is coming on to be in Drew’s storyline. Who she will play we just don’t know.

eddie
eddie

I learned something from anthony geary,two years ago.He stated that if a writer is fired such as ron ,that writer gets residuals for every character they invented.Carvalatti gets paid everytime ava, brad, nina or felix appears.All the other people ron invented were either killed off, like sabrina or written off or only appear ten times a year like brad and felix.The new writers have invented all these new characters so they can still get paid if they are fired.The characters peter,kim,drew,chase,(vernee watson),(elizabeth hendrickson) and finn.Geary made me realize why over the past 40 years so many characters died or left town.Every time a show changes writers, new characters are thrown to the wolves because of residuals.

Tristan
Tristan

Oh gosh! Did Anna have twins?

aria
aria

it runs in her family, i’ll take that if one of the offsprings is griffin, or a female character, peter alone is not working for me, Anna deserves a cool kickass olffspring not this faison wanna be son.

Celia
Celia

Agree, agree, vehemently agree, Aria.
I have been saying for Grffin to be Anna’s son, well…since forever. I had said that Faison violated her ( I guess not…was she a willing partner?). I missed a few essential eps….so, I did not quite catch how she became impregnated by Faison….very iffy. Very confused here….in limbo about this entire explanation of how Anna and Faison came to be?
Perhaps there are two kids floating around …..Anna is only aware of Peter…. or whomever else he or she may turn out to be.
Did she miscarry a Duke baby? Maybe not? Maybe someone played havoc with her mind and body, and took the baby?…..it is a soap, afterall. Such things are inherently customary to soaps.

Shay
Shay

Oh yes, how very exciting….NOT for the viewers who tune in to see the genuine “GH!”

Timmm
Timmm

First, I like Genie Francis BUT really, bring her back, what can she possibly do now? Her and Kevin live happily ever after. THAT is not drama, THAT is a feel good moment. It captures your attention BUT doesn’t necessarily bring you back. You wouldn’t tune in tomorrow to see if Kevin and Laura shop at Costco or Whole Foods? Like I said, without Lucky and Lulu, Laura doesnt really have a use right now. Look at Bobbi, she comes on from time to time because her daughter Carly is ALWAYS up to her neck in crap! It gives Bobbi a reason to be on the show and put out fires in Carly’s life. You have to have people on the show with history and fan favorites BUT they need something to do. You just cannot have them at Kellys eating pancakes and and taking up space! FV is disassembling GH as we all knew and loved it but what can you do? Stop watching? Not me. I adapt and move on. It sometimes works to my benefit. When BOREDON [Jordan] is on, FF, I get through GH that much quicker!

So, I like Elizabeth Hendrickson, I am excited to have her back in daytime. Yes, I would rather see Jonathan Jackson, Genie Francis, Tony Geary and Julie Berman BUT it aint going to happen so I embrace this and get excited to see what Liz adds to the show. She and Billy Miller will hook up. Why? Well, yes they had mad chemistry on Y&R but I think FV’s train of thought is you put them two together and you might sway some Y&R fans over to GH.

Shay
Shay

Well,Timmmbo, for starters? It certainly looked as though Kevin was about to go off the rails when he was gleefully clutching that jar full of supposed Faison brain matter! Given the history of twins Ryan and Dr. Collins, all the longtime GH-ers did a double take and wondered what was going on there…DID, switched brothers, yet another back-from-the-dead storyline? Any of these possibilities would have fueled a horrifying, blockbuster tale for Laura to be up-close and-personal to her clearly deranged hubby’s descent into insanity! How much more soapy could one get than that? She also would have presumbaly been mayor by now, too, so in addition to playing mom and grandma, she would have had her hands full. And….it would have been so cool to see her reunited with Robert during his latest caper with Anna. Truth be told, if there had been a will, then there would have been a way for both Genie and Laura to inhabit the Port Charles canvas…and therein lies the rub….she simply was not wanted by the showrunners because she doesn’t belong to “Frank’s Clique Club.” It really is as simple as that! As for Bobbie, I could do without her…Lucy, too. Just because a character is a vet doesn’t mean I automatically love them!

Timmm
Timmm

I respect your point and it is valid. I to do not care for Lucy.

Harry
Harry

What Shay said.
Honestly I can’t comment anymore on GH. How many ways can I express my feeling that GH is just not cutting it anymore before I start singing Paul Simon’s “Fifty Ways to Leave your Lover”? I mean, make a new plan, Stan!
No one needs to hear me bitch and moan anymore but I will tell you that I fast forward through about 3/4 of GH lately. I like, albeit don’t love, this actress. I am glad she found gainful employment but it’s hard to see the need for a new character at this point in time. EH reminds me of a young Frances McDormand.

Jimh
Jimh

I Dont Love Lucy….but that story of Kevin(or is he) going all crackers and Laura trapped in his madness would had me watching every day…i rarely watch now!!!

dmr
dmr

I would much rather have Julie Marie Berman back as the fiery Lulu Spencer, than the lackluster dud that we have now, writing blogs on cafeteria school lunches.

Timmm
Timmm

They ruined that character, for sure!

rebecca1
rebecca1

“Lulu” no matter who played her, would still be writing those blogs if the writers writing HER had her writing them! 😉

Jimh
Jimh

Port Charles has a Costco and Whole Foods???-lol

Timmm
Timmm

I know, how do these people eat?

Shay
Shay

@Jimh….Whilst I certainly wouldn’t want to see Laura suffer at the hands of Kevin, it would still be preferable to her being stranded in Paris with a by now well-healed Spencer! High drama, indeed! As for the Collins’ household shopping habits??? I would bet that they would favor Trader Joe’s…lotsa great snacks and other assorted munchies to be had there! Quite addictive…and perfect to keep on hand for hungry drop-in guests and grandkids…Lol!

Ghlover
Ghlover

Again i have what is going to be an unpopular idea… Maybe she can be paired with Chase? I am dying to see the real end of Sonny and Carly because i have one true wish and that is to see Carly with Jason once and for all. I dont care about Sam or Sonny.

Harry
Harry

I’d like to see Kiki paired with Chase–she’s in his age range. EH is almost forty.

Shay
Shay

@Harry….I can certainly understand your lack of interest in GH these days….Between errands, I found myself with a bit of spare time on my hands this morning and was bored, so I thought I’d just catch up on yesterday’s episode on my smartphone…Bad choice….not only did this viewing not alleviate my boredom, but it actually elevated it…That sadly pretty much says it all about the state of this soap these days…Save for Robert and Anna, I probably wouldn’t be watching at all…

rebecca1
rebecca1

Oh, no. I wouldn’t wish Carly on anyone let alone Jason.

Wouldn’t mind if they “Heatherized” her and kept her in Shadybrook for about a year; or more.

Timmm
Timmm

I like CHIKKI!

Patrick
Patrick

@ – what Harry said.

what writing ?

I swear – I don’t get it

@The metro . Carly is w/Sonny and Michael . GOD how can you NOT SEE how Michael is the same in ALL his scenes… just no life in him. always “pleading” with Sonny and Carly to back off… etc he’s soooo dull. any way

Carly says she’s going to her office for a n ibuprofen… A SIDE AFFECT OF HER MEDS.

Josslyn blasts Carly for not being on time for going shopping for Nelle baby shower… Carly blah blah blah ” something like… ok ok i’m not on all cylinders… as josslyn tells her… “it’s like when you were @the park. ” LOL roaring…. BLAST the old tired ITCH

Nina calls off the investigation AGAIN on Peter August as she calls Curtis. WHAT the hell ? that complete dossier didn’t finger a thing ?

i’m so tired of Anna search… knowing it’s going to be stink on s*hit Peter/Heinrik.

@GH could change the story… it’s predatory Dr. Bensch w/ Kiki. sigh… James DePaiva – quality – . wasted. unless this is when Kiki is introduced to Chase. WOW

Jason – sam – drew ???? where did they go ? bottomed out. I WILL SAY . I have been enjoying Jason scenes w/Anna. because he’s not STUCK with Carly and Sonny and Sam… and even Drew. get him a new woman WHO FIRES. PRONTO. he’s doing more than his eyes … at last. now that the hoopla is OVER . he’s not a ratings bonanza. the writing sucked the life out of

Fin and Alaexis… don’t care…. just do not stick either of them with Anna or Julian. no sex drive … if @GH does…. shows a lot of what the writers must be … stale.

show more Ava and Avery scenes now that she’s not caught up in HIS clutches… GOD … how dull.

LOVE LOVE LOVE

any thing w/Kim and Julian, Oscar, Scotty, Kevin, Brad, Lucas, Valentin, Ned, Olivia, Bobbi, . which is practically every cast member outside of the dullard

Sonny / Carly / Michael / Nelle / Franco / Finn / Peter / Sam . i’m taking Jason out this. he’s their

SICK of Franco not having a life. he needs to have his chutzpah BACKBONE wit fire and swag… and no more of this handholding during sex. WHERE is the TODD we may as well bring

Frank Valentini STINKS

I will not let up on Frank Valentini @GH.

DAYS of OUR Lives is where its @

Nakkia
Nakkia

I’m super excited to see Liz & Billy back together again. Hopefully, they’ll keep her around for while. Does she know something about Nina’s long lost daughter? Some sort of seven degrees of separation with Peter? She should look into Shawn’s prison sentence & get him out of jail.

Lawrence
Lawrence

She is the daughter of nina ….. comon , no one sees that???

Lisa S.
Lisa S.

I like Elizabeth as an actress. Loved her on Y&R but hate her character with Drew! I think Drew should be single until he gets his memories back.They need Drew & Jason to be on a huge adventure to work on any kind of relationship between them!!! He should be the one who figures out Ryan instead of Lulu, actually they should have a sexually tense relationship until they find a replacement Dante! But no Margauex and Drew!!!!

Beverly Dalton
Beverly Dalton

I do Not like this chick!!!! She came to take down Sonny, she better lay low before she comes up missing. I don’t want her with Drew. I still want Drew with Sam because he honestly loves her, I want to see Drew in this bad boy navy seal kick butt attitude running things for the good people that he loves, I am soooo tired of this Jason to the rescue!!! They would make a good team kicking butt together. Put this DA chick off on Jason, she can try to seduce him to take Sonny down like she trying to do Drew and her can get rid of her behind.Sam has history with Jason but she loves Drew, I can see it every time they are together. Ooohhh a cat fight between Kim and Sam over Drew!!! We never get to see the ladies fight each other.And bring back dangerous Franco, I’m tired of seeing him all googoo gaga over Liz. Jason doesn’t need a love interest because he can’t be totally committed to them, he will always go help Sonny and Carly, which I don’t mind but I would like to see Sonny and Drew friends again. I hate the way everyone treated him when the found out he wasn’t Jason. #teamDream

Kimberly McQueen
Kimberly McQueen

I’m about to start watching GH.

Helen
Helen

No chemistry between them to at all drew sam belongs together

Glnda57
Glnda57

She my favorite character to hate. I disliked all her characters except one and that was Maggie on All My Children. She usually plays the character I.live to hate.

Breaking News

Brandon Barash Replaces Tyler Christopher At DAYS

According to reports from Soap Opera Digest and Daytime Confidential, former General Hospital favorite Brandon Barash has temporarily replaced Tyler Christopher, in the role of Stefan DiMera at Days of our Lives.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Brandon played mobster Johnny Zacchara on GH from 2007-2016.

Because DAYS tapes well in advance; look for Barash to hit the air sometime in early 2019.

What are your thoughts on Brandon as temp replacement for Tyler as Stefan O? Comment below.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

GH’s Maurice Benard Takes On Role Of John Gotti In Upcoming Lifetime Movie

Who better to use their mobster experience playing the iconic role of Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, and put it to good use, when taking on the role of a real-life mobster than Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard?

As revealed over the past weekend, Maurice Benard is hard at work filming a Lifetime Movie based on the life of Victoria Gotti called “The Victoria Gotti Story”.

Sharing the news via his social media, Benard expressed: “Thank you lifetime and everyone involved 4 a Beautiful opportunity.”

Recently, John Travolta played the notorious New York mobster in the movie Gotti released earlier this year.

The infamous Gotti, had a wife and a daughter both named Victoria.  So as to which point of view the film is focusing on is yet to be released.

So what do you think of the casting of Maurice as John Gotti? Intrigued to see the Lifetime Movie when it debuts? Comment below

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Max Gail Opens Up On Portraying Mike’s Battle With Alzheimer’s & Making A Difference In People’s Lives

“What happens the day I wake up, and you guys are the strangers,” says Mike to his son, Sonny and his wife Carly (Laura Wright). “I left you before to my everlasting regret, but it’s going to happen. I’d do anything if I didn’t have to do it again, but it’s going to happen – one way or the other.  At least this way I could leave some good feelings, instead of disappearing before your eyes.”  Those words were said during a gut-wrenching scene on Friday’s episode of General Hospital, as Mike tries to come to terms with his deteriorating mental state in his battle with Alzheimer’s, and the hard realization that he may be better off in a care facility, instead of at his son’s home.  These scenes, as all the scenes in this storyline, have been exquisitely played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).

When Max Gail arrived on the GH canvas as the recast Mike Corbin in a role made soap-famous by Ron Hale, viewers did not know what to initially expect.  What they did know was that Max is an accomplished actor with a body of work from primetime dramas and comedies, film, and the stage, and that if he is coming to GH, he must be coming on board for something major.  Before GH, suffice to say, Gail is most remembered for his role as “Wojo” on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller that aired from 1975-1982.

In story on GH, Mike, who abandoned Sonny as a child, once again re-enters his son’s life, but soon we learn that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that the soap is tackling a story that is an important medical, social, and familial issue of our time.

Gail has been a revelation in this role.  A clear frontrunner for an Emmy, playing the facets, the levels, the characteristics, and the heartbreak of a person who is slowly losing everything they know near and dear to them, as in the end they are ultimately stripped of their dignity from this most horrific of diseases.

On a personal note, and as part of this conversation with Max, it was important for him and for me to share, that I lost my mother at the end of April of this year to Alzheimer’s.  So his work hits close to home, this story hits close to home, as it has also resonated for many viewers who have shared their stories on social media and when Max makes personal appearances.

Here now is this very special interview for Michael Fairman TV with an actor whom we can all agree is touching all of our lives.

You’re portraying a person suffering from Alzheimer’s and play the progression of the disease.  Do you feel pressure as an actor to get it right for those who have loved ones, or person’s afflicted with it?

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  It’s more like an urge, or a calling to find some kind of truth in it that I can connect with.  One of the things I’m inclined towards showing is someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia often just drifts off somewhere else.  “Where am I going?”  This has happened to me many times in life.  For instance, when I was a youngster, I can remember getting in my car, and I’d driven a long way from some party or something like that, and I’d been drinking, and I didn’t remember it.  I knew I’d gotten home somehow.  So, it’s not out of my realm.  I’ve learned that there are no set behaviors really… other than that it usually ends up being really difficult for caretakers, and seemingly really painful for many, if not most people suffering with Alzheimer’s, and losing connection and losing the ability to just function.  We are kind of on the cusp of that in story at GH.  I think it was originally proposed that I would play the part for just a few months, and to give me an out if it wasn’t working.  Maybe, there was a placeholder idea to ship Mike off to a home or something, but the storyline has touched so many people that it has been continuing.

The story has been so effective.  You’ve done such an amazing job, and the fans love Mike and what you’re doing with the character, and they’re on board on this journey.  It’ll be interesting to see how far they will take this with Mike.  Will we actually see him not being able to communicate anymore?  How far will the writers go to show the horrific aspects of Alzheimer’s? 

MAX:  I’m not sure.  You know, I’ve had times where I’ve got the scene, I get the writers, and I get the heart of it.  Other times, I find where that transition is from where Mike is lucid and clear, and other times what that state of mind is and that switch is, and what that is in behaviors and energy level.  I think there’s an ongoing downturn for Mike, and for me as an actor finding something in the moment and finding how it works with things that he does remember.  They’re trying to find a place for Mike within all of the interwoven drama of General Hospital.  I, frankly, had no idea how complex the range of storylines was.  Mike doesn’t really have control over his story.  I don’t want that as an actor.  Mike has some intentions that are really important to him.  I’m trying to find that balance where there are times when he has a pathetic, very sad remorse about what he has missed.  I think that underlies his feelings for his son, who he never could quite reach, because of his own failings as a father.  Sonny’s formative experiences growing up were then with his abusive stepdad.  Finding all of that is really important to do in a way that doesn’t make Mike just this sweet older man with Alzheimer’s.   It’s a wonderful challenge to be presented with.

Courtesy/CBS

You brought up that Mike is seemingly very sweet in his demeanor now.  My mother, who I shared with you died a few months ago from Alzheimer’s was a strong-willed, feisty woman.  As the disease took hold of her, she became very sweet.   She became almost childlike.  The fire had gone out of her eyes.  You knew she didn’t know who you were, and so, all of that, as you know is so tough to witness as her son.  In terms of Mike and his ultimate care, everyone says they love him and want what is best for him, but that he needs to be taken care of because he gets confused, doesn’t know where he is sometimes. etc.  Sonny has been grappling with putting him in a care facility to be looked after, or to keep him with the Corinthos family under their roof.  However, Mike has come to a realization that he may need to be in facility all on his own, and doesn’t want to burden his son by living with him anymore.  That was a poignant moment, and another one of the best scenes has been when Mike couldn’t remember that Sonny was his own son. 

MAX:  Right and he doesn’t know if he’s around friends or around enemies.  This can be true of Alzheimer’s patients.

I had that happen with my mother when she came out to Los Angeles to see me for the last time.  She was out of her element, she was confused, and she broke down and cried in the hotel room.  She asked my father, “Why did you bring me here?” and he told her, “We came to see our son.”  It was heartbreaking.   Later, she had a moment of clarity and realized more of what was going on.  I think it’s those in-and -out moments that you portray so well on-screen.  I feel that they are very realistic to what I, and others, have experienced.

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  I appreciate that and sharing that with me, because you never know as an actor.  That place of “Where am I?  What is this?” makes me think of that “Summer Wind” moment from the Nurses’ Ball when it wasn’t just, “I’m embarrassed.  I don’t remember the words.”  It was, “I don’t know where the f**k I am.  I thought there was a band there, but there’s not.”  So, in a way, I just had to be there on this big soundstage and just feel this big space around me.  I could barely see that there were people out there.  It’s kind of a terrifying thing to a lot of people, but I think Mike has something in him that makes him want to be okay with all of this.  He doesn’t have to freak out and get accusatory.

Courtesy/ABC

What has it been like working with Maurice Benard as your on-screen son?  Do you watch back your scenes together and ever go, “Oh, that was great!?”

MAX:  Yes, there have been a lot of those!  There are some scenes that are so emotionally focused, and we get a lot of delight in each other.  He has been playing this character in this situation for so long, so it’s just kind of in him.  Maurice has presence.  I think when I went in to read for the part of Mike, I had gone through pilot season and had gone in for some interesting pilots.  I didn’t feel like I was really connecting in the readings, because most things are by tape these days, anyway.  When this part came up, a soap hadn’t really been on my radar.  I knew I’d be going in to read with the actor, so I said, “Okay,” and I looked at the material, and then I checked out Maurice on IMDB.  One of the things that got my interest was that he has been diagnosed and takes medication to deal with bipolar disorder, and that’s become a part of his life, and it’s become part of his character.  I thought, “Wow, that’s really interesting.  This is a survivor, and he’s risen to something that takes a certain kind of balance and courage.”  I watched some clips, and when I went in for the reading of this kind of an amalgamation scene of what the story elements were going to be, I felt like we connected before we’d even started the dialogue.

Well, Maurice certainly loves working with you! He has been very supportive and vocal about that.

MAX:  It’s mutual.  We can take really little simple moments, and we can find something deeper in it, and it doesn’t have to be an, ‘I’m going to start crying now’ moment.  Although, I would love for Mike to have a moment of self-observation where he goes, “Gee.  I cry a lot more than I used to.”  I think there are people who are like that, and it’s okay for certain people to cry, and for other people it is not.

Courtesy/ABC

There was a part of my mom that knew something was wrong.  She’d go, “Why am I crying?  I don’t know why I’m crying.”  She got confused as to why she was feeling that.  She couldn’t connect it all, and at times she kept saying, “I don’t understand.  I don’t understand.”  Those were the things she would try to express.

MAX:  I have a feeling that Mike has those moments too, but he finds a way for it to be okay.  There may be a point where someone with Alzheimer’s can’t pull it off anymore, but how we find those and those specifics, I don’t know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Working on a classic sitcom such as Barney Miller is vastly different than working on a daytime soap opera.  While now being at GH, have you found any commonality within the experience?

MAX:  If I can take a moment and reflect on Barney Miller, because it was a great experience and one that I found was not so easy to find again over the years.  One of the things that really resonates is that when we started shooting the studio audience laughed too easily.  We would end up retaking the scenes.  Sometimes, we didn’t have the end of the show written, because they tended to let certain things start to show up in the earlier parts of the script.  Danny Arnold who was the writer, creator and producer of Barney Miller would always take over the way Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) does in a way … looking to be respectful of the director, but still seeing things on his own.  Frank has a really wonderful eye.  He’s much more connected into the overall storylines, the motivations that went into the writing, and what he sees in the moment.  I always welcome him on the set because the directors, who have a range of talents and sensibilities, are tasked with coming up with a whole lot of shots to cover, a whole lot of tricky angles, and all of that.

Courtesy/ABC

Vernee Watson has been amazing as Stella, who is also Mike’s social worker.  Does Mike have romantic feelings toward Stella?

MAX:  Vernee is wonderful.  I didn’t know Vernee had been on the show when I came on board.  She won an Emmy, and I’m not surprised.   She is so present and so specific, and she’s very bright and gets what all of these elements are, and so, I think they have a connection.  For whatever ways Mike has lived in his like, there isn’t some strange, exotic draw that she is black, and Mike is white.  I like that because both my first and late wife, and my second wife, with whom I’ve had children (and we’ve been separated for awhile, but have a great relationship) are African-American.  So, in my world that is not a big deal.   I think there’s an affinity there between Mike and Stella.  You know, he’s alive.  He’s old, but he’s not dead.  There’s an ease with women he likes.  I think there are a whole lot of reasons for them to not get involved.  One is just professional, and she’s a social worker.  We just shot something where I say something to somebody else about, “back when I still had all my marbles,” you know, he’s in another stage of life, which many people go into gracefully, while many don’t.

 

What do you think about how Mike knows about who was buried at Charlie’s Pub?  He was trying to keep the truth about Charlie Delaney from coming out, which turned into a gas leak that blew up the bar!  This storyline ties in to Sonny’s mobster dealings as well.

MAX:  Well, this is where they put this effort in the storytelling to connect Mike in some way and be intertwined with Sonny.  Of course, it reveals certain things about Mike that he’s never revealed to anybody before.  So, that’s kind of cool.  I think when he knows what and how much sometimes is not clear.  That’s why I started talking about Barney Miller because the other thing was a lot of times when we go together for the table reads, they didn’t have the end of the story.  They had a first draft, maybe. Dan would talk about it, and they’d say, “Next week, the main story is going to be this man in his fifties who is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay,” or whatever those underlying themes may be with the different characters reactions.  So, we knew elements going into it and that sometimes I  didn’t know what the writers are really intending.  In terms of Mike, he’s kind of back and forth in certain moments.  I have to resist the idea that they trap me by just being careless.  I’ve learned that just trying to fix the script often gets you into a place where you “rehearse yourself out of it,” as they say.

Courtesy/GoodDayLA

You appeared on the morning show Good Day LA  a few months back with Laura Wright (Carly), and Maria Shriver, who has founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  What was that like meeting Maria, and helping get the word out about the effects of this disease and the work Maria is doing?

MAX:  It was great to do.  Maria had sent out a tweet that is was wonderful what was going on, on General Hospital.  On Good Day LA, she talked about her work, particularly focusing on the fact that more women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s than men.  So, then Laura and I sat down and did an interview alongside Maria.  We actually had a nice conversation before.  They did a web interview also as a follow-up.  That was very cool, because Maria is very smart, and I’d never met her, but it was great to see what she was doing.  Whatever we are dealing with in the show is sort of my opportunity in the real world to bring awareness and shed light on the subject.  I’d love to see an ongoing conversation online amongst people who can share their stories with each other.  That’s a lot of what they’re doing.  They’re raising money for research, but people need to be able to talk to each other when you’re a caregiver.  Coming out of the early sixties and early seventies when I was playing a cop on TV, I never was a fanatic activist.  I certainly got the behavior of the Chicago police at a certain time in terms of the energy and conflicts of the time.  There was something to think about, but at the same time, I had opportunities to kind of share that all cops aren’t bad, just look at the show, Barney Miller.

Courtesy/ABC

You were my favorite character on Barney Miller as Detective Wojciehowicz!  I think for many who watched the show you were, too!

MAX:  I think “Wojo” ended up being the heart of the show.

Max, you’re helping people through your beautiful performances including me.  Congratulations on that.   I’ll continue have to have a box of Kleenex handy as I watch how it all unfolds for Mike.

Photo: IMDB

MAX:  Well, I really appreciate your questions.  I’m just planting that seed.  That is really what I would like to do after talking to you and so many people.  That’s something I’d like to put out there.   We each have our own domains and responsibilities and all of it overlaps, and you can kind of get in touch with that; if you just go around the circle and share it, and then go around again.  I’m looking to help people out there in the world who are watching and are looking to share in the conversation.

So, what did you think about the heartbreaking scenes on Friday’s episode of GH between Mike and Sonny?  What have you thought of Max Gail’s performance throughout his GH run?  Have you experienced the loss, or are watching someone you love, or care about slip away from Alzheimer’s?  Share your thoughts via the comment below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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