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GH’s Roger Howarth Talks Franco’s Childhood Abuse, If Friz Can Be Happy, And Bad Guys On The Soaps

Courtesy/ABC

He’s an original, respected by his peers, beloved by the fans of the soap opera genre, a Daytime Emmy winner, and can make any scene he is in intriguing and draw you into wanting to know what will happen next.  We are talking about General Hospital’s Roger Howarth (Franco)

This soap veteran who played One Life to Live’s Todd Manning and As the World Turns, Paul Ryan, has a history of portraying complex bad boys who have done some dastardly things, while yet, at times, displaying a heart of gold.

In Port Charles, Franco has had a violent and dark past (yes, the character had a brain tumor which explained most of his heinous acts), but with that comes an underlying danger that often rears its head for the character, as well as others. Earlier this year, GH viewers witnessed Roger’s heartbreaking performances as Franco came to grips with, and recalled the sexual abuse he suffered as a child by his abuser, Jim Harvey (Greg Evigan). This added yet another layer to Franco’s tragic past, while as fans know, the show has tried to find ways to redeem the character and make him someone to root for; which Howarth does a mighty fine job at doing any way, no matter what material is sent his way.

Coming up this fall, “Friz” fans are anxiously waiting for the nuptials of Franco to his lady love, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst). Can Franco get out of his own way and find some peace and love as Liz’s new hubby? Only time will tell! Michael Fairman TV caught up with Roger to talk about: his recent tough and impactful storyline, his love and commitment to his craft, and the importance of bad guys on your favorite daytime dramas, and more. Here’s Roger!

You delivered Emmy-worthy performances during Franco’s storyline where he remembers his childhood sexual abuse.  How did you feel going through that as an actor?  Were you hoping that it was going to help explain more about the emotional make-up of Franco?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

ROGER:  I’m very proud of the work that we did, and I think everybody pitched in.  I liked being a part of a story that encompassed several different characters and everybody’s different points of view, and I think everybody was pretty well-represented.  In terms of an explanation … I just think it was my job as an actor to put myself in that situation and have the character live through it.  Whether it explains something to the audience, or not, isn’t something that I can control, so I didn’t really engage in that.  I do believe that their intention might have been to offer an explanation to Franco’s behavior, and his impulsiveness, and his deep-seated anger and his desire to control.  Historically, I think real people do kind of repeat behavior, until they remember.

Courtesy/ABC

I always felt GH has tried through various storylines to humanize Franco in some way, because of the horrible things that the character has done in the past.  They obviously want Franco to also be this leading man on the show.  With that, does it get muddied up, or problematic for you when trying to play the character? 

ROGER:  It doesn’t get muddied up for me, because I’m pretty much a worker-bee in that I get a script,  I learn the script, I perform the script, and the other actors and I are responsible for just our acting.  I do think that it might have presented a problem for the writers, and that they were trying to address what you’re talking about. But, I don’t think that fish know that they’re swimming in water, and Franco doesn’t know that the audience thinks he’s a bad guy. (Laughs). You, know what I mean?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

There was this recent scene where Franco is kind of pulled in to the situation at Ferncliff by Jason (Steve Burton) in an effort to help free Carly (Laura Wright).  It’s clear Franco doesn’t want to be there, and he is going back in forth with his conscious on this, and the right thing to do, and whether he should help Jason out.  Franco doesn’t know how far to go with it.  What do you think those of those kinds of moments?

ROGER:  Well, I wasn’t there when Franco and Jason were interacting, because it was a different Franco (played by James Franco).  I know that when Steve came back, the writers knew they had to address the fact that while Elizabeth and Jake (Hudson West), and the other Jason (now Drew, played by Billy Miller), had a perception of Franco, that they couldn’t necessarily ask the original Jason to see Franco, differently.  From Jason’s perspective, Franco was, in fact, the old Franco. So, from what little I know about the old Franco and the old Jason relationship, I think Franco has a real need for Jason’s approval.  In those scenes, I thought that here was a guy who was doing something and he wasn’t sure what was motivating him to do these things.  I thought that it was kind of cool and beautiful in that the pleaser and the killer are kind of different parts of the same person.  I think on a very basic level, he really wanted this other man (Jason) to like him.   I thought that was very human, so I liked that part.   It’s like, everybody else thinks he’s a changed man, so why does this one person just not see him for who he really is?”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What do you think about the relationship Franco has with Drew, who was the brother he grew up with as a little boy, before Drew was taken from the family?

ROGER:  I think that is an important relationship for Franco to have.  Drew was a key to his past.  I think moving forward these two will have a bond, despite themselves.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think that if Franco found happiness and actually married Elizabeth, and it actually worked out, that he could deal with it?

ROGER:  I don’t know if that’s a Franco issue, or a human issue.  I think that people say they want intimacy, and they’ll do everything they can, and when they’re actually confronted with the possibility of it, they do sabotage, and they do run away, and they do find a way to screw it up.  I think that’s part of the hook.  Her perspective is something that I would hope would be written into the story, also.  Elizabeth has her past, and these two people are complicated.  I do think there’s something really sweet about the way that these characters feel about each other.  What I hope is that we’ve set up a dynamic that the audience is hoping that they can manage to be together.  I hope we are appealing to the part of the audience that doesn’t want to screw up their own lives.  (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Franco is great with Jake, and Liz’s other children, as well.  Why do you think that is? 

ROGER:  I think there’s an honesty and spontaneity to him, and I think Franco’s developed those survival skills, because of his own history.  He relates to kids on a really honest level that I think some children appreciate.

What was it like working with Greg Evigan in Franco’s childhood abuse storyline?

ROGER:  Greg was fantastic.  He did a great job, particularly when Franco actually got to confront him.  I think he was very successful in having his character’s point of view be heard.  For as dark and twisted and perverse as Jim Harvey’s thinking was, that character didn’t know that.  What they wrote was a man who said that he really loved these children, and that’s really difficult to write, play, and be a part of.  I think Greg owned it and did a really good job, and I think he was committed.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Would you have liked to have had a scene with Franco and his father, Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner), where Franco went to his dad, and told him about the abuse he suffered as a child?

ROGER:  I do think that different roles provide different flavors, and there were some scenes in the park for instance, where Franco did tell Scott what had happened to him, and Scott’s reaction was very generous and supportive.  Franco told him what happened to him off-camera, because I’m guessing that the network thought there were some sensitive issues, and they never actually said the specifics of what happened to Franco, which is tasteful.

Courtesy/ABC

With what is going on in the world today with the news cycle, stories of sexual abuse are sadly more commonplace.  Do you think they wouldn’t get into more specifics about the abuse, because of this being a daytime soap opera and its audience?

ROGER:  I can’t tell whether they can’t say it, or they know who their audience is, and they can just point to it.  I think with the Bensch/Kiki storyline for example, they left things to the imagination.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I thought that it was so sad what Franco went through.  That a molestation of a little boy happened over and over again.   It must have affected you when playing out this story.

ROGER:  I did get upset and sad.  I just can’t imagine that one person would do that to another person.  As an actor, I’ve played characters that have done horrible things, and it’s surprising to me that people are so resilient.  It’s just so sad what we do to each other.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you want to see your character progress in his life, or continue to be tortured by his past?

ROGER:  I think that the dramatic tension of it all is: “Will these people figure out their stuff?” I think that is intensely human and beautiful.  Every relationship is problematic for one reason or another, so I really hope that there’s a rooting value.  I don’t think that there can be a rooting value without an obstacle.

Have you ever gone to the powers-that-be to tell them what you’d like to do, or see happen next with your character?

ROGER:  No, I don’t get involved in any of that.  I’m not the best judge of what we do.  I’ve learned over the years that we have to commit to everything, because sometimes the things that you think are problematic wind up being the fan favorite.  So, I’m more of the: “Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it, and I’ll try not to screw it up.” (Laughs) They shouldn’t let the inmates run the asylum. (Laughs) Because then you get into a weird situation where you’re saying, “My character wouldn’t do that,” and that’s really limiting.  That’s the whole point of what we do.  It’s supposed to be challenging and out there and large-scale.  We are supposed to be really brave and accept the challenge.  We aren’t supposed to control where these people go.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Will you tweak the lines of dialogue in small ways to fit your character, if necessary?

ROGER:  Very rarely, and honestly, not as much as people think. I work really hard to make it appear spontaneous.  By the time it comes on air, I’ve said it forty-five times.  You just have to see that character think that thing for the first time on the TV, because Franco didn’t get a rehearsal.  He doesn’t know what’s going to come out of his mouth, and the stimulus are supposed to happen to these characters, and you’re supposed to watch them react in real time.  Franco is a spontaneous human being, and I do think there is a responsibility for some characters like Nina (Michelle Stafford), and Franco and Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) to have a different set of synapses. I’ll give you an example: Elizabeth is going to the stand for the Kiki (Hayley Erin) trial, and they wrote a line where she says, “I’m going up there,” or something like that, and Franco says, “Good luck,” and then he turns downstage and says, “Me too.”  They didn’t know that the guy at the “Me Too” trial can’t say, “Me too,” so I told them that I would like to say, “Me also.”   So, there was a conversation about it, and they just wrote a different line.   I didn’t just tell them I wasn’t going to say that.  So, there are some conversations.  There are fewer conversations now than there were in New York at One Life to Live, because our head writer at the time, Ron Carlivati, was physically in the building.  At GH, there is a three-hour time difference between L.A. and N.Y. where most of our writers live, while we are taping on the west coast.  So, who do you talk to?  For the most part, it doesn’t happen.  There’s a luxury for me to even change “Me too” to “Me also.”   I do think that we are supposed to come up to the floor with a set of ideas and a way to get it out of our mouths.  I do think that they give me a bit of a longer leash, primarily because they understand that I kind of can’t do it another way.

Courtesy/ABC

What do you think of Franco’s relationship with Obrecht? What does he really think of her?

ROGER:  I think he really appreciates her support.  I don’t think her at times, insanity, bothers him.  I think he appreciates it.  I think he doesn’t want Obrecht to do harm to people, but expects her to be peculiar.

How would you feel if they wrote that Franco did harm people again?

ROGER:  Great.  Then we will do that.  It could be.  It is a little strange, and it seems to me, that they’ve grown reluctant to have some of the primary characters on the canvas behave poorly.  I think we do ourselves a disservice when we bring in a fantastic actor to play the bad guy.  I don’t know why the child abuse of Franco wasn’t from his actual father, Scott Baldwin.  How cool would that have been?  I do think that soaps need bad guys.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What do you think about the journey you’ve had as an actor?  Do you feel that you’re a better actor now at this stage in your career?  You started out, I believe, when you were found by an ABC casting search and development program.

ROGER:  There was something that brought in to ABC: Michael Weatherly, Laura Wright, Rebecca Gayheart, and Roger Howarth.  We all came onto Loving at the same time, and I was terrible, and they fired me immediately.  I really thought that it should be played the same way that you play Shakespeare. (Laughs)  I was abysmal. I look at it that I am half-way through.  I made it to halfway in my career.  I’ve got another twenty-five years in me.  I don’t know what that will ultimately look like, but I just like acting.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You’ve never lost the passion for acting?  Some in your profession often sound jaded about it after doing it for a long time.  Do you still get the same thrill when you hit the set?

ROGER:  Every time I walk on a set, I think it’s amazing.  It’s cool what I do.  I love it.  I love what I do 100%.

So, are you looking forward to Franco and Liz’s upcoming nuptials? What did you think of Roger’s performances earlier this year when Franco recalled his sexual abuse at the hands of Jim Harvey? What did you think of Howarth’s comments about how key bad boys are on the soaps?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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Deanna
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Deanna

I have admired Roger for many years. He is a very gifted actor. The pairing of Franco and Liz. Roger and Becky are fabulous together. Looking forward to their wedding!

Carolyn
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Carolyn

I love his facial expressions.

Sher
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Sher

Great interview. Roger is my favorite soap actor .

Jenn
Guest
Jenn

Excellent read! That’s for posting this interview Michael. It’s always great to get perspective for someone as talented and intelligent as Roger Howarth.

Carolyn
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Carolyn

I never saw Roger do an interview like this

Jenn
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Jenn

He rarely does any interviews. When he does though, it’s always a great read.

mike
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mike

The best actor on daytime.

Lucy D
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Lucy D

What a smart dedicated actor Roger is. I am in awe of his talent and his dedication to his craft

Denise A Daniel
Guest
Denise A Daniel

I’m so happy you did this interview because Roger rarely does them. Franco & Elizabeth are hands down my favorite characters on GH. I’ve loved Becky since she first appeared 21 years ago. It never dawned on me that they could pair Becky & Roger but they are like lightning in a bottle together. They can seamlessly handle the angst, the banter, the romance, the comedy. The journey of Friz falling in love was truly rare for today’s soaps. They had the classic slow build which is unheard of now. Six months before a kiss & 18 months before they… Read more »

Soaphound
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Soaphound

Franco seems to be a polarizing character, but I like him and think Roger Howarth is a dedicated, creative actor. I hope they continue Franco’s evolving friendship with Drew; Roger and Billy are dynamite together. But heck, when is this wedding going to happen? Their engagement is lasting longer than many marriages.

Joanna Dotson
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Joanna Dotson

Roger brings up some issues. He is a marvelous actor whom I have admired for a long time.

Jimh
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Jimh

Still prefer Todd…

Pat Sasso
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Pat Sasso

I love Franco. Bad guy or good guy you just like him. He is such a wonderful actor that he draws you into his character and you react. Remember Him from As The World Turns and I felt the same way. Like His new Haircut

Joanne
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Joanne

Thank you for this article it’s so great to hear Roger’s perspective on his character and career. It’s easy to see why he is so well liked and respected in the industry, he really understands his craft. I would love to see a joint interview with Becky for the wedding!

Shan
Guest
Shan

Such an insightful interview! Roger’s answers go beyond the usual talking points and bring a unique perspective from the actor’s lens. I am hopeful that his fabulous work this year is recognized at the Daytimf Emmys.

Thx for sharing and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for an interview with his acting partner, Rebecca Herbst, soon!

Rodd
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Rodd

Fabulous interview, fabulous actor! Never tire of watching what he does.

Kat lee
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Kat lee

Roger is one of my all time favorites. I loved him as Todd Manning, which was my introduction to this actor. I won’t say That the cleansing of Franco has been easy on the fans of JaSam, which I’m unabashedly one. I often think that we all suffer from PTSD from the original storyline. I was never happy with the “brain tumor” story and the get a free pass from accountability, that was given to the character. Nor was I thrilled when they paired him with Elizabeth for two reasons, one, she is a rape survivor and two it grates… Read more »

su000
Guest
su000

Franco is too mushy wussy..
Roger can play a great edgy bad boy with a heart of gold.
This powder-puff Franco is a stale bore, he needs to get his darker bad boy side back and still hold onto his good side.

Putting Franco with Liz (the mother nun) was a bad move.
He was 100% more interesting/colorful/vivid/intruging with Carly and Nina; Franco and Liz are like toe-nail clippings BLAHHHH.

Franco should never ever be a mushy wussy stale bore, never.

BabyMarie
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BabyMarie

I agree I have always loved RO HO wen he plays bad guy.. he doesn’t play a good goodie two shoe.. I 2ould love to see him to go back to being Dark again.. I don’t feel he should be paired with Liz who is a Rape Survivor.. I liked Franco with Nina and Ava him and honestly O Brecht would be great together.. my fav with him was Blair on OLTL.. please bring the Dark side back out of Franco..

Barbara
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Barbara

Roger is a great actor but i would like him better with nina or ava.i am hoping franco and liz break up

BabyMarie
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BabyMarie

I agree

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

I like his attitude very much–and he is articulate about the way he works–and candid and upfront with his opinions. I like that; however, he came on to play a character that he “set” the character before he got that. A bit unfair for him, granted. BUT the violence that the writers have done to the true (evil, black and white) character is a barrier he can’t get over. So he does the best he can with what he is given. Too bad. They should have let the evil Franco lie–and brought him on in a totally new character on… Read more »

Tracy
Guest
Tracy

I am really unhappy with this interview! The majority of Roger’s scenes are with Rebecca Herbst but he didn’t pay her one compliment! He talks about Franco has changed but admits he doesn’t know much about the old Franco. Roger says he thinks the show is reluctant to have the primary characters behave badly – is he on another show? No way can he be talking about GH with their nonstop redemption arcs! Roger thinks the show does itself a disservice when they bring in great actors to play bad guys – the disservice is to the audience who gets… Read more »

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

I agree with you, Tracy. I have mixed feelings about this interview. First, it seems to me that the actors (I don’t know how many but judging from Laura Wright’s and now Roger’s, don’t take the time to learn the history of their character. They seem to play to whatever’s happening in “their” time. On a soap, particularly a soap which is a genre of continuity, a genre where audiences spend YEARS with certain characters, the actors should know who they’re playing and what happened in their character’s past. I’m still reeling from Laura Wright not seeming to know that… Read more »

Lucy D
Guest
Lucy D

First, Roger mentioned Scotty as an example of using characters on the show as villains, not that specifically Scotty should have been one. Second, he was hired to be a completely different version of Franco than James Franco was. They obviously were trying to erase most of the traces of that character, so not sure why Roger should have studied James Franco’s performance. Plus James Franco’s character was a disgusting person, created for buzz, not for story. I think as horrible a person as Jim Harvey was, he did think he was doing something out of a perverted sense of… Read more »

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Actually, if you reread the interview, Roger specifically said “I don’t know why the child abuse wasn’t from his actual father, Scott Baldwin, How cool would that have been?” There is no misinterpretation there. Second: I know who he was hired to play. I know who Franco was in James Franco’s version and I understand how they redeemed the character in order to keep Roger on the show. I am a huge fan of Roger’s and was thrilled that in the midst of a bad decision to cast him as Franco, they found a way to turn it around (although… Read more »

Lucy D
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Lucy D

I did not say nor mean to imply that Harvey was misunderstood or anything but a horrible person. What I said was in his head he thought he was not a creep.

I

JMER
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JMER

I agree with Tracy and with Rebecca1 as well. If not knowing history is the only way for these actors (and Roger is highly likable, no doubt) to navigate these scripts, that’s a red flag for this show.

Pam
Guest
Pam

Thank you for this interview. Personally I believe Roger plays better dark and not the goody, goody. He doesn’t sell good well at all. You see him light up when he is plays the darkness. I hope they let him go back to playing dark. No Friz wedding for me not a Friz fan at all.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“… He’s an original, respected by his peers, beloved by the fans of the soap opera genre, a Daytime Emmy winner, and can make any scene he is in intriguing and draw you into wanting to know what will happen next. We are talking about General Hospital’s Roger Howarth (Franco)” this is all very good and nice. TO A POINT . it’s a lot of “fluff” and “FOLD” I am once again throwing in the towel… on Roger Howarth’ Franco – AND – Michael Easton’ Finn. BOTH of them buoyed marqueed a star END they both once again… WERE stars… Read more »

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

I didnt know much about Roger coming to GH. I liked Todd. I was glad when James Franco and Franco died. THEN to resurrect him, WHY? So, I have always had a bad taste in my mouth for Roger’s Franco. BUT, him and Scotty are magic and him and Greg Evigan were the best! Now, as I read this interview, I see that this guy Roger LOVES what he does, respects his craft and lets the writers write and does his job! I admire that!

elm1951
Guest
elm1951

i have adored roger since his early days as teenage todd on oltl – no matter what character he plays he does not ever disappoint……………..very talented actor!!

Debbie Reider
Guest
Debbie Reider

Great interview! Roger has such an appealing way of speaking. He really draws you in. What a terrific actor and beautiful personality. Can’t wait to meet him in November. Totally stoked!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“…I think that’s part of the hook. Her perspective is something that I would hope would be written into the story ”

GEEZ – at least we may be seeing a glimpse of Roger Howarth “championing” Rebecca Herbst.. HIS only reason for existing on this dire show. ham any one

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

so much ^^^^ wordy went in to his discussion about his relationship or LACK OFF .. with either Jason or Drew. I mean really … with RH schmoozing hamming and “courting” the audience if you will.. is all that he’s doing. WHEN he helped Jason rescue Carly with his car… Jason basically dumped him off at the hospital… where Franco tried to offer his presence… she said nothing and they drove off !!!!! I was so floored and livid that this is what is going to continually happen… WHY would the writers extend any emotionally bonding with Jason ??? or… Read more »

Kt
Guest
Kt

Loved this interview. Roger Howarth is so talented and so much fun to watch. So happy w the way Franco is written & I love his pairing w Elizabeth.

Maria
Guest
Maria

Roger is such a giving and intelligent actor. It’s no wonder why his cast mates speak so highly of him. He’s an actors actor. He’s unpredictable about how he’ll approaches a scene. But totally predictable that he will treat the scene and his acting partners with respect. Not many actors could have taken the character of Franco and not only humanized him but made him root worthy. The love story he and Becky Herbst are playing for us fans is unlike any other couple in daytime. My only complaint is we don’t get enough of him.

mealso
Guest
mealso

This interview is way too focused on storylines and fictional characters (in the big scheme of things, who cares?) than in what he THINKS and FEELS about the job. That would have been way more interesting than whether or not he believes Franco’s tumor could come back and make him behave badly.

Marjorie
Guest
Marjorie

I like the character Franco. He loves Elizabeth and the kids and wants them to be his family. Roger howart portrail of Franco for me is very good. I think it was a very good idea to bring up Franco’s childhood abuse because abuse of young boys is often forgotten in the media. GH has to be very careful about political correctness because if taken too far would destroy the essence of GH altogether. I’m not big on homosexuality and there has been more time given to those characters than usual.Keep as much normality in the show as possible please… Read more »

Wilhite59
Guest
Wilhite59

Roger, Becky, Billy, Jon, and Greg. Were great in these scenes. Especially Roger. The man is brilliant when it come to delivering dialogue. They don’t come any better than him.

General Hospital

Lynn Herring Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Her General Hospital Debut; and ‘We Love Lucy’

Today, April 11th marks the 35th anniversary of the debut of Lynn Herring on General Hospital as Lucy Coe.  And wow, when you look at the road this character has gone on played to the hilt by Herring, it has been one entertaining ride for GH fans along the way.

Lucy started out as a mousy librarian, if you can believe that! And of course, she eventually showed all that she was a bombshell.  She then became quite the schemer and seductress.

Along the way, Lucy was married to Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon), was involved with Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner), Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom) and other men in Port Charles.

 

At one point, Herring took the character of Lucy to the now defunct Port Charles where she stayed from 1997-2003,

But this one time gold-digger eventually became the champion of the GH Nurses’ Ball and helped raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS research. Now, year after year, the one thing you can always look forward to is Herring’s hilarious antics and sincerity in her star turn as the emcee of the annual fundraising event.

On Sunday, the GH tweeted posted: “Lucy Coe knows everything about everyone in Port Charles and we would be lost without her. Please help us congratulate TheLynnHerring on the 35th Anniversary of her #GH debut”. 

Lynn responded sharing: “Thank you! Have loved every @GeneralHospital  moment!”

Share your congratulations to Lynn via the comment section below, and let us know your favorite Lucy moment too!

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a Fighter, and an Idealist, and an Advocate”; Nancy Lee Grahn Gives Masterful Performance In Special Episode

When you combine superb direction, writing, production, and acting in a special episode of a daytime drama, viewers can see and understand the thought and care that went into it.

This was more than on display during Thursday’s highly-anticipated ‘Alexis-Centric’ episode honoring the 25th anniversary of Alexis’ portrayer, two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Nancy Lee Grahn, on General Hospital.

Courtesy/ABC

In the story, symbolism was apparent and used for dramatic impact and it worked beautifully throughout, and best of all, Nancy received a script worthy of her immeasurable talents, and showed us once again why she remains one of the gold standards of our genre.  If you have not seen the episode DO NOT read any further as it contains spoilers.

It begins with an emotional Alexis looking at her mother’s watch which was still frozen from the time of her death.  While playing one of her mother’s records very loudly, she recalls Mikkos Cassadine kissing and dancing with her mom as a young Alexis (Natasha) looked on from the staircase.  When Sam asks her about it, Alexis shares that she sees the watch as sort of a representation for her own life being frozen over the last three years; which has included Alexis’ battle with booze taking over her life and her being disbarred, when being a lawyer was the way she identified herself and what gave her purpose.

Overwhelmed and anxiety-ridden, Alexis hightails it to Kevin’s office for a therapy session knowing she is going to Pentonville in the morning to serve her sentence.  She says she does not know who she is anymore.  Then, Kevin asks her how she spent her day thus far.  She flashes back to lunch with the good men in her life, Finn, Valentin, Jax and Ned.  Valentin tells Alexis she is proud of her for honing up to her mistakes.

Back at the therapy session, Alexis she was an attorney who stood for something and her life has derailed, and that she was a fighter, an idealist, and an advocate.  She knows she has to find a purpose in prison to make it through the three-year term and asks Kevin to help her find one.

Kevin wants to go back to when she was a little girl and her memories that are flooding back to her of Mikkos and her mother.  Just then, the younger version of Alexis is huddled in the corner of Kevin’s office, an image of her from the past.  Alexis tries to come to terms with her father and the choice of dangerous men and relationships that have marred her own happiness  … recalling Julian holding a knife to her throat like Mikkos did to her mother. She says he was one of the toxic men in her life, but Kevin reminds her all of the men in her life were not toxic.

Alexis starts with Ned as one who was good for her saying he was always stable, but she ruined that by recently sleeping with him and putting a wedge in his marriage to her long-time friend, Olivia.

We then flashback to earlier in the day, where Alexis ends up in an almost confrontation with Olivia.  However, Olivia tells her she misses the Alexis Davis she used to be and to get her back.

Now back with Kevin, a guilt-ridden Alexis relays she feels responsible for Neil’s death.  Kevin interjects she is not, nor what happened with Julian.  When Kevin attempts to bring up Mikkos again, Alexis rejects it and is angry that he is making her problem about daddy issues; like so many other women.  She vehemently shouts that the men in her life do not define who she is.

Then, Alexis flashes back to hurtful memories she has buried of a young Natasha witnessing Mikkos calling her mother a “greedy little bitch”.  She recalls it was on Christmas Eve and that Mikkos stopped by to give them gifts. That is when he presented her mother with the watch.  However, things took an ugly turn when he tried to leave, and she threatened to tell Helena all about her and Natasha. Next, Mikkos slapped her and that is when the watch shattered. As all this was going down, a young Natasha watched from the stairs and was horrified that she couldn’t stop her father from beating her mother and remembers how helpless she felt.

However, Alexis reveals to Kevin she thought this would be the last of Mikkos coming by, but he returned on New Year’s Eve and her mother took him back into their lives.  Alexis is beside herself that she could not protect her mother, but Kevin reassures her to remember she was just a child.

Courtesy/ABC

It is then we come to the crux of the story.  Alexis looks over in the corner and sees her younger self crying. She goes to her younger self and tells her nothing that happened was her fault, and that their father was damaged and cruel. She tells the young Natasha this shouldn’t have been her burden to carry alone, and that she deserves to be happy. Then in the moment of strength and coming full circle, Alexis introduces herself to the young Natasha, “I’m Alexis Davis, a fighter, an advocate, and an idealist … and I will take care of everything from her on out.”  In that moment, Alexis embraced herself, and forgave herself, so she could move on with her life.

Alexis then flashes back to earlier that night, as the Davis girls gather for a faux graduation ceremony so Alexis could see Molly in her cap and gown and they hug. Back in her session, Kevin remarks that Alexis has repeatedly defined herself as a fighter, an idealist, and an advocate, and reminds her she has three daughters who have those qualities, and that all she needs to be is Alexis Davis.

Then, we get a heart-warming montage of Alexis though the years in honor of Nancy’s 25th anniversary with GH.

Courtesy/ABC

As the episode concludes, it is the next morning, and Alexis enters Pentonville and enters her jail cell. There she meets her fellow inmate, who is studying law books to prep for her upcoming parole hearing. Alexis introduces herself as “Alexis Davis” and as someone who can help her.  We then go back to her mother’s watch which now begins ticking at Alexis’ home.  The show fades to black.

Kudos to Daytime Emmy winner, Phideaux Xavier for his outstanding direction, head writers: Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor and script writer, Scott Sickles for the thoughtful episode, EP Frank Valentini and his production crew for putting it all together, and the one and only Nancy Lee Grahn for a performance that will be remembered as a classic.

Share your thoughts on today’s on Nancy’s ‘Alexis-Centric’ episode via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Kin Shriner Talks on Franco’s Demise, Scott’s Budding Romance with Obrecht, and His Enduring On-Screen Partnership with Genie Francis

One of the most beloved actors in the history of General Hospital, Kin Shriner, currently finds his alter-ego, Scott Baldwin, in a new budding on-screen romance with none other than Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).

This comes on the heels of Scott learning the devastating news that his son, Franco Baldwin was shot and killed, thus writing-off the ABC daytime drama series, for now, popular actor, Roger Howarth.

Photo: JPI

Throughout his now almost 44-year-run on the ABC daytime drama series, Kin Shriner has brought his unique acting chops that helped mold the character of legal eagle Scott Baldwin into the humorous, at times cutthroat, endearing and many times heartbreaking character we have all come to love.’

 

In a brand new exclusive virtual sit-down interview with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel, Shriner opens up about his history with GH and the times he stepped away to take on roles on Texas and As the World Turns, and then back again to the town of Port Charles and GH.

Photo: ABC

As well, Kin reveals his reaction to learning the news that Roger Howarth would be exiting the show as his TV son and how he shot the key emotional scene where Laura (Genie Francis) tells Scott that Franco had died.  Shriner shares that he does not see how when Howarth returns to the show in as a yet-to-be-revealed character, that it would be a stretch if the two were some how related, but that he will miss working with the talented Howarth as a scene-partner.

Photo: JPI

As to the women in Scott’s life, Kin addresses each of them from: Lucy (Lynn Herring), Bobbie (Jackie Zeman), Dominque (Shell Danielson), Laura (Francis), Ava (Maura West) – to which the character could never get that close to – and now Liesl (Gati), and working opposite all the powerhouse actresses who portray them.

Photo: ABC

For fans of General Hospital who have watched the series for decades, Kin also shares memories of working with his late TV parents, Peter Hansen (Lee), Susan Brown (Gail) and his friend and former GH castmate John Reilly (Sean), plus backstage stories with his longtime scene partner, Genie Francis.

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

Now let us know, are you all for the Scott and Liesl romance? Will you miss scenes between Scott and Franco?  Would you ever want to see Scott and Laura reunite romantically? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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Airdates: 4-8-2021

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