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GH's EP Frank Valentini Chats On: Status of OLTL Crossovers With Prospect Park, Nurses' Ball, and Laura's Return!

Photo Credit: ABC

Photo Credit: ABC

With so many things happening fast and furious over the first two weeks of the New Year in soapland, TV Guide’s William Keck caught up with General Hospital’s executive producer Frank Valentini to get some more inside scoop on some very “hot” topics for soap fans as GH preps for its 50th Anniversary this April!

From the Nurses’ Ball resurrection, what is planned for the return of Genie Francis, and most importantly what is the status of Michael Easton, Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth with the series, who came aboard as crossovers from One Life to Live, a lot of ground is covered. With Prospect Park readying the One Life reboot online, the legality of continuing the characters of John McBain, Todd Manning, and Starr Manning could be in question.  Here now are some excerpts from the interview, and Valentini’s responses and updates on the various situations.

Photo Credit: ABC/Getty Images

Valentini on if fans should be worried that GH may lose John, Todd and Starr now that they have been integrated into the GH canvas:  “Right now we’re trying to work it out. I can’t really say because the lawyers are doing their thing. Our hope is that we’ll be able to continue what we’re be doing.”

Valentini on what is the extent of Genie Francis’ upcoming return, what kind of story will it be, and if any of the Spencer boys will follow suit and make appearances too: It’s open-ended (with Genie) and will be something really exciting that will affect the whole Spencer family.  We will explore where she’s been, what she’s been doing, why she’s been away and she’ll come back with a big secret. We’re working on bringing back some of the Spencer boys as well.  Nashville is part of the ABC family so it’s just a scheduling situation for Jonathan, who is just a lovely guy. And maybe Ethan. And I’ve met with Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) who is a strong possibility. I can’t say definite because we have to make deals.”

Valentini on what viewers can expect when the Nurses Ball happens:  “There will be some big story reveals over a few days. We’re now doing the sketches for the set and costume designs, which are going to be really exciting.  We’ll have the characters sing and dance. We’ll of course have Kelly Monaco ( Sam) dance.  We might even bring (her DWTS partner) Val Chermkovskiy back. The time has also come to reveal Sabrina’s beauty.  Maybe around the Nurses Ball.”

Find out what other returns Valentini is trying to lock in for the shows rocking 50th Anniversary and the Nurses’ Ball including Jack Wagner, Jackie Zeman and Rachel Ames, when you read the full interview.

So soapers, what do you think of the chances that GH will be able to keep McBain and Todd and Starr Manning on the canvas?   Laura’s return to Port Charles?  And the Nurses’ Ball?  Let us know!

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Sandy
Guest
Sandy

It’s a hard situation. We love Starr, John and Todd on GH. If they return to OLTL, it will be a huge loss for GH. Are they obligated to go back to OLTL?

Patricia
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Patricia

from what i hear the characters are obligated to go back if PP wants them back but not the actors.

tim
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tim

If I remember correctly,both Howarth and Alderson turned down PP’s original offer to join the on line OLTL. Easton was going to be a part of it,but when it fell through he joined GH.

aria
Guest
aria

The characters belong to OLTL, but the actors playing them are not abligated to play the roles on the reboot shows. This explaing why there weren’t more oltl characters brought on full time, i’m sure FV and RC would of added Natalie, Blair on full time too, but i’m sure this PP deal was still looming in the background. I hope the characters get to stick around, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Angela
Guest
Angela

I would think that when PP made the announcement last year that they weren’t bringing the show online and then abc/GH signed the 3 actors they covered their asses. I think that abc’s legal dept. thought of the possibilty of PP coming back so they provided for that in the contracts.

Patricia
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Patricia

Even though i have been watching ALL abc soaps for years i Loved OLTL the most. I WAS GLAD when these characters went to GH but soon became dismayed because i do not like how they are being written. Todd is not acting like Todd, Starr and michael are a BORE and Mcbain and sam are moving soooo slow its painful and boring already. I DONT LIKE that Kassie DePaiva as Blair is only on once in a while and todds other son jack is missing in action. After the snooze fest of TARLY these past few weeks i am… Read more »

aria
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aria

You might get your wish, but i doubt if you’ll get the same actors playing the role.

vik
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vik

I agree Patricia, when we lost One Life I was glad to see some of them come to GH, made me watch more. But Stars part the last few months till Tods reveal came out the other day, has been NOTHING but a support character for Michael. STUPID. McBain has been gone since they went to Switzerland. So Tod has been the only one with a main story..to me. I’d really like to see ALL my characters back on OLTL and let GH go back to fending for itself. Sorry, its gotten better [i used to nap through it] but… Read more »

Tali Smith
Guest
Tali Smith

I’m only watching GH some times for John & Star. My favorite soap couple is John & Natalie. Wherever John & Natalie go, I will watch-however, if PP takes the characters and recast, it won’t be the same and if John and Natalie aren’t together, it won’t be the same. So right now it’s a lose, lose situation.The way GH has destroyed the characters hasn’t been good, so i’ve lost interest. I do think tho’ RC/FV know how to write for John McBain/Natalie Buchanan the best. It’s a wait and see game!

Tali Smith
Guest
Tali Smith

Also that needs to be mentioned is the fact that so many of the actors/actresses have moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. The new OLTL is going to be filmed in Connecticut. I believe that is why Blair is on part-time because she would not relocate.

Mia
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Mia

I agree RC knew how to write John & Natalie. I can’t wait for them to reunite.

Bobby
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Bobby

I would love to see Todd keep his business in Port Charles and let someone run it for him. Then have Vickie come get Todd and tell him that he never kill his brother Victor… Then he could go home and let him built his relationship with Jack. Natalie finds out that her father has been keeping John away. She comes to Port Charles to get him back.

Mia
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Mia

McBain can go back! Starr & Todd I will MISS! I hope OLTL will be available in my country.

Gayle
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Gayle

Love all the plans, but don’t want to lose Todd and John! Please give Laura a huge story line so she will stay, and give Liz one too! I’m tired of just seeing her chatting up the nurses!

TMJ
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TMJ

There are realities to be considered. I’m guessing that the pay levels for an online series would be less than that for a broadcast series. As much as we might like to see Todd, Starr and John back on OLTL, is it fair to ask Roger, Kristen, and Michael to take severe pay cuts to make it happen?

su0000
Guest
su0000

..
I believe the 3 will be crossing-over, going back and forth between the 2 soaps..

but again; they have binding contracts with ABC/GH and may well remain with GH until their contracts end….

susan M.
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susan M.

Good point…I don’t know what to expect with this PP deal..Will they be the same characters we soap lovers are grown to love and watched all these years. Will they
re-cast some characters with different actors? I really like seeing the three crossovers from OLTL on GH. Because I missed OLTL so much. I was happy when
they joined GH. I would hate to lose them but on the other hand to replace their
characters with different actors on the OLTL reboot Hmmmmm! I am not sure about
this whole situation..We will just have to wait and see what happens.

Christine
Guest
Christine

No, TMJ, its not fair to the actors. I have felt that all along that they have the right to be gainfully employed on TELEVISION.

Nothing against the online series, but it seems like small potatoes compared to a web series. As long as GH continues, and “continue” being the operative word, then the actors have more exposure and rightfully so.

su0000
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su0000

I doubt the 3 will be going back to OLTL..
they are under contract with ABC to do GH ..
ABC/D still has their thumb in PP ..
OLTL and PP will have make do without the 3 at least until their contracts end with GH..

MK
Guest
MK

KA is entering year 2 of a 3 yr contract. RH has a long term (unspecified) contract. ME did have a contract with PP but it has expired. ME has been more recurring on GH then contract player (because ME was still under contract with PP) . John McB was not a core character of the original OLTL. He may go to finish the story with Nat. His character is better and likeable on GH. So I think he would stay long term.

Michael
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Michael

I already think that Sabrina is gorgeous!

CTwildheart
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CTwildheart

Me too Michael!

Caroline
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Caroline

I don’t see why the PP version of OLTL couldn’t have Todd, Starr, and John played by other actors (or, even better, have those 3 stay in PC and work it into their storylines with, perhaps, visits to Llanview). It would be very unfair to the actors now on GH to force them to go online or be out of a job. OLTL was my favorite soap, by far, but I hope the two shows can amicably co-exist.

Jen
Guest
Jen

Hi Michael 🙂 This is a lot to take in. I am thrilled about the new home for AMC and OLTL! I will be there on day one! That being said, I like how the characters of Starr, Todd and John have fit into some existing story lines. They are the best of the best, and they have brought new life to GH. It is wonderful to have Todd’s brand of dysfunctional, Starr’s compassion and John’s not so perfect brooding cop! Dante needed a partner, and John is a great fit! I would hate to seem them have to leave… Read more »

Debbie Hamilton
Guest
Debbie Hamilton

I also want to see Todd, Starr, John McBain back at OLTL But if it was me and there would be a paycut; I think I’d stay where the money was. But you need to look at it like this; how secure is the future of General Hospital??? Also how secure is the rejuvination of OLTL and AMC plus, they have a contract with GH. Alot of things to consider. I have truly mixed feelings, on GH these actors are only a shadow of their former selves. Todd was more of action packed fella always in trouble one way or… Read more »

Annie
Guest
Annie

Valentini needs to preserve the soaps, and have characters stay true to their character, with obvious growth and reaction to adversity. Cross over is fun and will help all soaps if it is not permanent. New actors can play these characters, and it will be an adjustment, but we viewers will quickly come to love them. It was a shame too many important players were left behind, as they could have helped Starr and McBain find storylines that are intriguing, particularly Blair and Jack, and Natalie would bring huge conflict to McBain. Right now, on GH, too many characters with… Read more »

Lisa K
Guest
Lisa K

Ok, why cant the trio do cross over bits between the shows? They used to do it all the time.. Look at Sky Chandler… shes been on all three soaps as the same character. It would be great to lock the three together… keeping viewers glued to their seats for all three soaps…. continuing drama….all three with high ratings… Just my opinion…..

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

It wouldn’t be easy to do with GH, since they film on the West Coast, while the other two will be filming on the East Coast. But I think it’s a great idea!

TRW
Guest
TRW

Yeah, if only someone would invent a machine that could carry people across the counrty in a matter of mere hours…

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

It’s called scheduling TRW, logistics. Exactly why Steve Burton went to Y&R instead of sticking with GH – even though they have airplanes.

heidi
Guest
heidi

I am more excited about hearing about Genie coming back with a great story and the hope that Jonathan, Tyler, and Nathan might be coming back too! Oh… and Jack Wagner, Rachel Ames, and Jackie Zeman too…woo hoo! Whatever happens with Todd, John and Starr will hopefully be best for OLTL and GH.

bc
Guest
bc

As w/ majority of primetime and daytime soap operas: racial diversity is never a pressing issue for the showrunners when they are interviewed. No one can read their minds but racial diversity was not mentioned from this interview and thus it doesn’t appear to be a priority for soaps. ABC daytime soaps and primetime soaps are horrid when it comes to racial diversity. It’s great that a black actress like Kerry is the lead on Scandal but of course she has to be paired w/ a white actor. Same w/ Sandra Oh’s char on grey’s anatomy as she’s paired w/… Read more »

pink
Guest
pink

I could care less about Todd,John & Starr because they don’t add to GH,they takew away from it.GH should be focused on GH ONLY characters so i hope they go.

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

That is a very small view.

Christina
Guest
Christina

I’m really excited with the show right now LOVE the Spencers hope they bring back all the boys. Also I really LOVE STARR & MICHAEL so I hope they stay at GH. GH ROCKS & I really love DANTE & LULU love story I hope its will always last with problems (since its a soap) BUT always love eachother.

mike
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mike

Prospect Park is destined to fail. How can you structure a show based on the availability of certain actors instead of developing a story bible and casting out from that? I loved OLTL but I am afraid to see what it will become.

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

Ummm…why do you think they are structuring these shows around who can return? I’ve heard no such thing.

MK
Guest
MK

ITA, Mike. The characters are important then the actors. You can’t have AMC with Erica, Tad, and Adam or OLTL with Viki, Dorian and Bo. First you get the story and characters and then you see if the actors are available and if not recast or created new similar characters to take the place of the characters not on the canvas. Or then can skip a generation and have show about Miranda and Erica. With Bianca making visits. We want to go back to the simple small town of Pine Valley.

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

I will be happy no matter where they end up. My only concern is that if they go back to PP with the online version then we will have to pay to see them on the internet. That ?? still has yet to be answered. If I have to pay for cable, and get GH, they would I want to pay an additional fee for internet to see the same characters when they are already on a soap I get with TV. Starr is my favorite and I love her with Michael but I would also love to see the… Read more »

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

I want them to go back to OLTL I can’t stand them on GH I suffer through GH just to see them and this forced Sam stuff with John not fun to watch it has changes his character so much. I was so naive when they came to GH I was excited to keep something from OLTL but not at the expense of the Happy ending to OLTL and the changing of their characters. If there is soap gods out there please let them go home where they belong. OLTL won’t be the same without them

Mia
Guest
Mia

ITA Sam & McBain were too forced. I’m glad he is going back.

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

Jackie Zeman and Rachel Ames? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! They wait for an anniversary to bring them back?

Fair enough.

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

As a fan of the entire genre…I will wait and see what happens with the OLTL actors/characters. I will watch them on either show and be happy about it.
Looking forward to the Nurse’s Ball!
Really loving General Hospital these days. 🙂

Christine
Guest
Christine

WOW! What a refreshing perspective you have, CTwildheart. Finally someone that is not complaining. What a novel concept. 🙂

I agree with you 100%.

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

I need McBain and do not want him going anywhere along with the other OLTL characters. I will be watching OLTL (fav), AMC online. GH has become the best show I have ever seen and I know it is because of Ron and Frank, my 2 favorite people. I love the stories and everything else about GH right now. Please save these people on GH.

Angie
Guest
Angie

GH needs to keep Michael Easton & Roger H I love their characters even more on GH than I did on OLTL. Just need to give Michael E more screen time which I’m sure is coming with McBam. Hope they bring Nathan P back as Ethan.

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

I miss Ethan too! He is on Bunheads, which is owned by ABCFamily (I think) so they should be able to work in at least one visit…

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

Everyday I feel like my life gets a little bit brighter with every story I read about GH! I am so loving it!!!!!

Christine
Guest
Christine

It’s hard to believe it has been a year already since Valentini took the reigns. I think that part about how they have turned the show around really needs to be emphasized. I don’t agree with everything they are doing – killing Trey on one hand seems pointless and unfair to the poor guy, but on the other hand, it gives some story to Connie to show that she is human after all and giving Connie a reason to stick around if she can find a way to love Sonny. Speaking of Sonny, they are doing an awesome job of… Read more »

Mercedes
Guest
Mercedes

I will admit I was originally thrilled by the idea of some OLTL characters coming to PC. But I have been left absolutely devastated, especially by the absolute destruction of everything that has defined the character of Todd Manning. He and Starr need to get back to Llanview ASAP so they can become recognizable again.

su0000
Guest
su0000

I love the newer Todd and John!!
They are GH now and I hope they stay that way 🙂

Tali Smith
Guest
Tali Smith

I identify with you!

S. Bowers
Guest
S. Bowers

I hope both GH & OLTL will be successful. My very favorite is OLTL but I watched GH longer since I was 4 and OLTL from 17 until it was taken away. I want hem both to be on for a very long time. GH is so much better with the new writers etc. much better than it used to be, almost like the good old days.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

As for oltl, why cant they use the other Tod (Victor) who is also great. As for John McBain we need him on Gh now. Starr can go back and forth because her storyline is boring.

Asia
Guest
Asia

Even though I didn’t watch OLTL when it was on, hearing about the crossovers back in February is what got me watching GH again. It’s been a breath of fresh air to have characters on the show that are not only new but they already have their own background and history. I hope that Starr, Todd, and John can stay. The actors all have contracts with ABC/GH and RH and KA never signed with Prospect Park the first go around. I would hate to see any of these actors forced out of a job. And if none of them are… Read more »

melanie
Guest
melanie

Many of the actors from OLTL had already siad they would not do the online show. So how many original characters does that leave us with? Not many… Some of the ones who are willing to go onlne are not the most interesting of the group. I have also been watching ABC soaps for about 30 years and over the years AMC/GH were lacking and OLTL stayed my favorite. Todd being one of my favorite people. Although I was disheartened to see him leave years ago…Vitor was a decent replacement. I also agree iwth other posters…the real Todd is not… Read more »

christy
Guest
christy

as much as i’ve wanted OLTL to come back, I don’t want to lose Roger/Todd and Kristen/Star on GH. I’m able to watch GH and it’s been so good since last Jan/Feb and the OLTL people have been added in. I don’t want it to go back to the drool it was before – the sonny mobster show. There’s much more to the story now. It’s going to cost me to watch the online soap and not sure if it will be a pay for watching show, on top of having to get hi speed internet! arg! I can get… Read more »

dani
Guest
dani

GH doesn’t need out characters. You have so many of your own. OL PP is going to need all the help it can get and John and Todd our are 2 main characters. You get to keep our EP ,writers and time slot we should really get our characters back. You can keep Star though…..

Kelly Ryan
Guest
Kelly Ryan

There really isn’t anything we can do except wait and see how it plays out &it hope for the best for the actors’ sakes and the sakes of the SOAPS.
WE ALL WANT WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR BELOVED ACTORS, CHARACTERS, & OUR SOAPS; THE ONE WE STILL HAVE (GH) & THE ONES WE ARE GETTING BACK (AMC &I OLTL).

kelly irons
Guest
kelly irons

You know there used to be a lot of crossing over of characters on OLTL and AMC, perhaps to build momentum they should think about combining the two for a better show. This way since I do not expect near the return of the old cast that people might wish for; we can maybe get that as a compromise. This is just a thought and I am sure it might even have been tossed around. It’s been almost two years now, I don’t think that the fans care as long as there is some sort of return for the faith… Read more »

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

To Frank Valentini who I’m sure will never see this comment; Thank you so much for coming to GH & making such a huge positive difference. You haven’t stopped since your feet hit the floor. You’ve made some brilliant business decisions such as combining the established fanbases of OLTL characters with GH’s characters. You’ve boosted morale. Maurice Benard is happy! The show is more balanced & has your trademark humor that I truly appreciate (and need) You’ve brought favorites back, Anna, FAISON, Lucy, Laura, Scotty &I more. You’ve named dropped, you’ve blended storylines from OLTL &GH PORT CHARLES, you’re a… Read more »

Soap Critic
Guest
Soap Critic

Before coming to GH Frank Valentini worked for Prospect Park briefly until they put their online network on hold while they worked out the funding. They let him go to GH in an amicable agreement but he proceeded to badmouth the owners of PP even after PP had agreed to loan certain characters to GH for a short time. Valentini went ahead and changed story lines and killed off characters which was all in bad faith according to the agreement between PP and ABC. PP had the best interest of the actors in mind by negotiating a deal where they… Read more »

Breaking News

DAYS and GH Director Joe Behar Passes Away at 94

Joseph Behar was heavyweight director in daytime drama having worked on both Days of our Lives and General Hospital and now comes word of his passing. Behar passed away on June 26th at the age of 94.

According to his obit, he died at his home in Manhattan Beach, California.

Joe spent the the bulk of his career directing Days of Our Lives and General Hospital.  He actually directed the pilot episode of General Hospital back in 1963, then came back the ABC daytime drama series 30 years later to direct it for more than 10 more years,.

Along the way, he won 5 Daytime Emmys for his work on GH, and had won six overall throughout his career. He continued directing until his retirement back in 2005.

Behar’s career started on the Ernie Kovacs Show and he also directed Let’s Make a Deal. and more.

Photo: JPI

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn and his sons, Jeffrey, Steven and Greg Behar and his grandchildren, Alex, Mallory, Niko and Lydia.

Watch an interview with Joe via the TV Academy on his career including working with Frances Reid (Ex-Alice, DAYS), the pace of directing in daytime and more below.

Share your remembrances and condolences for Joe and his family in the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Releases His New Album ‘Clean Slate’

On Thursday, the highly-anticipated nine song set from General Hospital’s James Patrick Stuart (Valentin Cassadine) dropped  on Apple Music

The album entitled “Clean Slate” features the tracks: “Look Out Below”,  “My Funny Friend”, “Can U Feel Me?”, “World of Good”, “Don’t Tell Me”, “I Burn For You”, “Always Love You”, “Another Time”, and “My One and Only Love”.

Photo: japastuTwitter

Fans of General Hospital, always love when James performs at the Nurses Ball’ but now here, Stuart delivers several original songs with his unique vocal style that make it unmistakable JPS.

Check out a preview of the album below.

Now, let us know if you will be adding “Clean Slate” to your playlists and more via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Austin Reveals His True Identity

Leave it to many GH fans who guessed right as to just who Roger Howarth’s new character of Austin will turn out to be!  On Tuesday’s episode of the ABC daytime drama series, we learned the last name of the character who is related to the Quartermaine’s.

For weeks, Austin has seemed to be fixated on Michael Corinthos (Chad Duell) and the Q’s and now with this cliffhanger of a reveal we know why.

At a key family business meeting at the Q’s, Scott (Kin Shriner) who now seems in cahoots with Austin for a piece of the Quartermaine pie, brings Austin to the gathering.

 

When Austin arrives, Brook Lynn (Amanda Setton) looks none-to-pleased!  She clearly knows the guy.  When Michael struts up to Austin asking who he is and what is he doing here … Austin introduced himself as Austin Gaitlin-Holt.  Michael and everyone else look a bit perplexed as we fade to black.

However, GH history buffs know that Jimmy Lee Holt was the son of Edward Quartermaine and his mistress Beatrice LeSuer.  Jimmy Lee did some pretty reprehensible things while he was in Port Charles.  When he left he married Charity Gaitlin.  Upon the death of Edward Q. back in 2012, Jimmy Lee was left out of his inheritance.  Therein must lie some of the story…. and now Roger Howarth fans eagerly await to see how this new doctor in town and Quartermaine turns out to be.  Will he be a bad boy, or a misunderstood good guy?  We shall see.

So, what did you think of Austin being revealed to be Austin Gaitlin-Holt? Share your thoughts in the comment section, and also cast your vote in our poll on Roger’s new character below.

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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

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