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GH's Tony Geary & Jackie Zeman Reflect On Elizabeth Taylor's Appearance On Anniversary of Luke & Laura's Historic 1981 Wedding!

Courtesy/ABC Photo Archive

Courtesy/ABC Photo Archive

“My curse on you Laura and Luke … my curse on both of you!”  And with that, fans of General Hospital are still to this day seeing the evil Helena Cassadine continuing her revenge vendetta against the Spencer clan, and almost every one else in Port Charles!

Of course, that classic line was uttered by the late Oscar winning motion picture star Elizabeth Taylor, the original Helena Cassadine, now played by Constance Towers.

Today, November 16th marks the anniversary of the beginning of the two-part episode from 1981 where a record breaking 30 million people stopped what they were doing in the afternoon to watch the nuptials of Luke (Tony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis)!

Now, TV Guide Magazine’s Michael Logan has a chat with none other than Geary, and his on-screen sis, Jackie Zeman (Bobbie) to get a few remembrances of what it was like having a star of the magnitude of Elizabeth Taylor come to the ABC soap opera, and how it impacted the genre.  Here are a few excerpts below!

Tony Geary:  “I’m sure nobody from the network went to Elizabeth about this unsolicited, because the possibility that she’d do GH was just too crazy to even imagine. Someone from her team must have floated the idea first. This was back when she was married to Sen. John Warner and wasn’t very happy sitting on the farm in Virginia. She told me that GH — especially the Ice Princess story — took her out of her lethargy every afternoon. Luke and Laura’s love story made Elizabeth feel very nostalgic. She said it reminded her of her youth and the great romance films of the old studio system.”

Courtesy/ABC Photo Archives

Jackie Zeman:  “You  have to remember these were very different times. Show business was compartmentalized. Soap actors didn’t do primetime.  Primetime actors didn’t do movies. So (Taylor]) was a big shot in the arm for GH and all of daytime TV. Her guest stint broke the rules.”

Tony Geary:  “After her appearance, we suddenly had a glut of big names wanting to be on GH  but (then-executive producer) Gloria Monty wasn’t biting. Her attitude was, ‘I don’t need stars. I make ’em!’  It’s a testament to Elizabeth’s star power that her character (now played by Constance Towers) is still with us all these decades later. Helena has died and come back more often than I’ve had a glass of wine. There’s a reason for that longevity — the character was born of magnificence.”

Watch the “I do’s” from Luke and Laura’s wedding, and then the classic moment when Helena (Elizabeth Taylor) puts the “Cassadine curse” on the young marrieds!  Then let us know, where were you watching Luke and Laura’s 1981 wedding?  What did you think of Elizabeth Taylor coming to General Hospital for her guest star turn as Helena? Was it the biggest shot in the arm for the soaps?  Comment below!

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ShayAvatar610Michael (not Fairman)su0000Iakovos Recent comment authors
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nina griffin
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nina griffin

I was a junior at Kalamazoo College in Michigan when this aired. About 30 of us, mostly girls but some guys as well, cut class both days to watch. We smuggled champagne into the lounge, even though we were under age and had cake too. It was a blast!

su0000
Guest
su0000

It was before my time..
I did notice back then GH had a great budget, the sky was the limit in comparison to today when they pinch pennies..
It was fun to put faces to some of the names that still echoing in Port Charles..

It reminded of Mayberry and I thought I’d see Aunt Bee and Opie .. lol

(how young everyone was wow!)

JLH
Guest
JLH

I was a freshman in college but made sure I made it home in time for the fun. Man, it sure would have been so much easier watching GH and going to school if I’d had a video recorder but alas that was still several years in the future…

jeremy
Guest
jeremy

OMG, i still remember this i was only 5 years old. I was home at my Grandmas house with the whole 25 members of my family watching “GH” my aunts, uncle, grandma, cousin brothers,cousin sisters, my sisters, my mom and grandpa. Wow, we had our turkey that day. Man, so many memories of that day. 🙂 Still a loyal fan to this day.

JENSEN
Guest
JENSEN

Freshman in college. Teacher canceled class on the 17th.

Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

Was also a college freshman, at University of Dayton. had a bio lab and the graduate student in charge knew we were all about Luke and Laura. She let us go in time to watch. It was so cool, in memory, that we collectively gathered everywhere for this pop culture phenomenon. I have seen the episodes since and I cringe a little, but even with the outrageousness, GH showed its roots in family and humanity. I miss that on GH and other soaps. Seems it is about moving ever faster and being more shocking. That Luke and Laura played out… Read more »

Harry
Guest
Harry

What a fun piece to read, Michael Fairman. I remember Elizabeth Taylor cursing Luke and Laura as if it were yesterday.
Sadly, her curse was powerful and lasting.

Karen Kelly McEachern
Guest
Karen Kelly McEachern

On the day Elizabeth Taylor made her debut on GH ( 11/10/81 ) I gave birth to my son Michael. I left my teaching job and drove to the Dr.’s office and was promptly sent to the hospital. I drove down a Main St. in Boston having contractions. When I pulled into the parking lot of the hospital the attendant said there wasn’t any room to park. I gave him the keys and said I was in labor. Thirty minutes later my son was born. I begged the Dr. not to send me to recovery as Ms. Taylor was making… Read more »

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

Great story! Now for a BIZARRE question- Is your son, Michael, a musician in Nashville? I ask because I recognized the last name (unique) and I lived in Nashville & worked in the music industry up until I got married a few years ago. My hubby’s job keeps him in Arkansas for now..but nevermind that.. I still talk w/my Nashville friends & somewhere, somehow I’ve come across this name & his music. I just thought that was so strange and it’s such a small world if so!! I was 11 when Luke & Laura got married. I remember it and… Read more »

Karen Kelly McEachern
Guest
Karen Kelly McEachern

Hi Laurie, No, my son lives in Boston . The best part of Luke & Laura’s wedding was when Scotty grabbed the bouquet as Laura tossed it. We were totally surprised since there weren’t any hints, social media , etc. at the time. Something funny, I won a guitar at the 50th GHFCW in ’13 signed by Rick Springfield. My grandson is using it now to take lessons. I’m still a die-hard fan. Yes, You Tube is great.

Alan
Guest
Alan

I was a sophomore in high school and skipped class both days to watch at my friend Tipsy’s house. I think Luke and Laura ultimately did more harm than good to the soaps. Other shows attributed The couple’s popularity to their “on the run” adventures instead of their love story spawning a trend that led most soaps astray of their roots. Suddenly Search For Tomorrow’s Travis and Liza Sentell were running all over Hong Kong looking for a jade necklace, Bo Buchanan was driving a car powered by the mysterious alternative power source Solarimide, and Days Of Our Lives’ Bo… Read more »

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

I don’t know if I agree completely, but yes, most do claim the action was what drove their popularity. I always thought they were popular DESPITE the “on the run” chaos, not BECAUSE of it. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. I did fall in love with the characters and the show though! Fun times.

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

I agree in general. Often when something has succeeded on the soaps, TPTB on other soaps have misunderstood WHY it has succeeded and tried to duplicate the wrong elements; Luke-and-Laura-on-the-run isn’t the only example of this. (Not that trying to copy somebody else works very often anyway.)

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Guest
Scott (ATWT Fan)

I wasn’t alive during Liz’s time on GH, nor was I a GH watcher until 2007-08, but I must say, she brought such a regal presentation to Helena, and would’ve loved to see her carry that character more than the appearances she did provide with her. I think the character could’ve been so much more than she has been.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I remember those episodes very well. Those were the days!!!!!!!!

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

Oh TG get your memory going she was a big fan and called to say when our Luke &Laura going to get married the rest is history!

Tommy Prunty
Guest
Tommy Prunty

i I em ember the day well, I had an hour on my first office job at a PR firm on 34th street across from Macy’s in NYC, I took my lunch at 3pm to see the wedding and when I got there I had to turn the channel to 7 and another two fans cam up and we decided to change all of the sets on and to channel 7 by mid show a crowd had gathered and we all watched the wedding together, some of us even met for the next day to see part two.

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

I remember this storyline so well. Great time in soap history. Thanks for the memories!

Mary Lou Glines
Guest
Mary Lou Glines

Without a doubt Ms Elizabeth Taylor’s appearance on General Hospital changed the ENTIRE way soaps were viewed by the entertainment industry and the general public. No longer was it embarrassing to admit a soap on a resume but became a place where many noted people would now be seen. She was amazing!

Avatar610
Guest
Avatar610

I was in high school when the wedding occured, and I ran home to watch it. I didn’t have a VCR yet (the next year I got one), so I used an audiotape recorder to tape the event for posterity- if only I knew about today’s technology! The big shock was Scotty’s appearance and the resulting fight. I’ve always felt that GH should redo the scene with Helena casting the curse with Constance Towers for continuity’s sake, as Taylor’s scenes were filmed separately as inserts. The big problem caused by the wedding was that EVERY OTHER SOAP played “Follow the… Read more »

su0000
Guest
su0000

I do not agree.. it is not true..
guest stars have always brought in viewers and most importantly they are a fun time for the fans to have them in a story..
Bif events also brought in viewers are were a treat to watch..
anything that is grad is interesting, different, and fun ..
Right!!
GH always has been and always will be the ‘modern’ forerunner of the soaps..
GH is truly unique and stand outside the box..

Avatar610
Guest
Avatar610

You miss the point I was making- OTHER soaps have tried and failed to follow the formula of GH’s success!!! What works for one soap doesn’t usually work for others. If you were around in 1981-82, you probably remember a LOT of actors on other soaps imitating Tony Geary’s classic “Luke” curly hairdo- Rod Arrants on SFT, Christopher Rich on AW, Allen Fawcett on EON, Wayne Northrop on DAYS. The larger-than-life adventures that worked for GH did NOT work for shows like AW, ATWT. Y&R and AMC, for instance, stayed more-or-less true to form during the next few years and… Read more »

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

I’m curious how you would know “it is not true,” su0000? You said above this was before your time.

I remember things just as Avatar610 does. The storylines on other shows that tried to copy GH’s “On the Run” storyline were indeed big failures; daytime executives tried too literally to copy what GH had done without understanding why it worked. The adventure stories didn’t fit the other shows that tried them, and it showed—and the effort failed, and actually damaged some of those shows badly.

Avatar610
Guest
Avatar610

Thank you, Michael! Those of us who were watching soaps back then remember how things did change for the worse for some shows desperate to grab big ratings to match GH’s unique success.

Shay
Guest
Shay

Interesting, but it would have been more appropriate to hear from co-star Genie Francis on this epic soap event. JZ was a poor substitute.

General Hospital

GH’s Charles Shaughnessy On Victor’s Villainy: “He’s Just Making Trouble for All of the Fan Favorites! He’s Just Making Their Lives Miserable”

In pretty short order, Victor Cassadine’s re-emergence in Port Charles, and now played by daytime vet, Charles Shaughnessy, has caused plenty of havoc on ABC’s General Hospital.  Shaughnessy, who was much beloved as Shane Donovan on Days of our Lives, debuted on GH back in September of 2021.

You can look at the body count, or the people Victor has under his thumb, to know the impact he is making on the canvas.

In a new interview in the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest (on newsstand now), Shaughnessy weighs-in on being the treacherous Cassadine.

 

Charles shared: “I mean, he’s just making trouble for all of the fan favorites! He’s just making their lives miserable.  He’s the guy who killed Luke Spencer.  He’s the guy who put Anna in jail and tried to break up her relationship with Valentin.  He’s just miserable to Holly. He’s just dreadful! But it’s such great fun, I mean, the more dreadful the better, really. He’s the villain you love to hate.”

Photo: ABC

So, how and just when Victor will get his comeuppance is on everyone’s mind in the viewing audience as well as for characters such as: Laura (Genie Francis), Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), Lucy (Lynn Herring), Holly (Emma Samms), Anna (Finola Hughes), Ava (Maura West), Selina (Lydia Look), and many more.

Victor’s evil deeds seemed to reach new heights during the Holly Sutton storyline. Now the question is, who will he go after next, given what would seem to be his quest for the necklace containing diamonds from the Ice Princess?  Stay tuned.

What do you think of Charles’ portrayal of Victor? Who do you hope takes down Victor? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Felicia, Robert & Holly’s Masterplan Revealed Featuring Heart-Tugging Moments from Tristan Rogers & Emma Samms

Wednesday’s General Hospital began where the previous episode left off, with an on-fire, Holly Sutton (Emma Samms), literally! As the action picks up, Robert (Tristan Rogers) covers Holly with blankets to try and douse the flames.  The paramedics announce Holly has suffered second-degree burns over 75% of her body.

When the ambulance takes off, Robert goes with it. Meanwhile, Jordan (Tanisha Harper) and Mac (John J. York) are looking for evidence from the cabin fire … and wonder where the necklace has gone?

Courtesy/ABC

Later, the ambulance pulls over to the side of the road, and one of the drivers is none other than paramedic Felicia Scorpio (Kristina Wagner)! Felicia reveals herself as does Holly, who is perfectly fine, and Robert, who was in on the entire ruse to get Holly safely out of the country and away from Victor Cassadine (Charles Shaughnessy).

Viewers learn in flashbacks how this trio worked together to pull this off: Felicia showed up at the cabin with fire retardant clothes for Holly to wear and revealed how she planned to set the stove to start the fire.  We then learn that Holly and Robert staged Robert’s drugging and mugging, in order for Holly to steal the necklace and leave it inside the cabin for the PCPD to find.  It was Holly’s plan to ensure that Victor would have no further use for her.

Next, Robert gives Holly the keys to a car that can’t be traced; as she is to drive to Canada with a new ID and completely disappear.  Felicia adds that records will show that Holly was taken to a burn facility halfway around the world, freeing her to find out just where Victor is holding her beloved son, Ethan.

Courtesy/ABC

Holly has a surprise in store for Victor on her departure! In a flashback, Holly meets up with Selina Wu (Lydia Look) on the pier and gifts her with one of the jewels from the necklace in exchange for poisoning Victor for her. Holly tells Selina she won’t find her son alive and well if Victor is dead, and assures Selina the poison will not kill Victor, but will be payback.

As the episode comes to a conclusion, and if you are a longtime fan of GH, you probably reached for the hankies in touching and beautifully-played moments between Tristan Rogers and Emma Samms.

Courtesy/ABC

In the story, Holly apologizes to Robert for all the trouble she has caused, but the two share a passionate kiss before they say their final goodbyes. BUT .. you didn’t think Holly would try to get away without one last scheme? She had the necklace in her pocket the whole time, begging the question … was she  going to take it with her? However, Robert knew Holly had the necklace and asks her to hand it over to him, which she does.

For her final moments, Holly walks off into the fog, which could only signify that this guest star turn for Emma Samms has come to its conclusion.

So, what did you think about the twists on today’s episode? Did you think Robert, Felicia and Holly were in cahoots? What did you think of the final scenes between Tristan Rogers and Emma Samms? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Holly Set Ablaze; Show Reveals Stunt Double For Emma Samms From Major Cliffhanger

If you caught the end of Tuesday’s fiery episode of General Hospital, you know that Holly (Emma Samms) who was cornered by the PCPD, ended up on fire when the cabin she was in went up in flames!

In the cliffhanger, Holly was seen on fire coming out of the cabin.  Of course, viewers knew that a stunt double would have to be called in to tape such a moment, and that is exactly what the ABC daytime drama series did.

On Wednesday, GH’s official Instagram released a photo of Samms and stunt performer Colby Lemmo stating: “We’re seeing double! 🔥 Let’s give stunt performer @colby_lemmo a hand for helping bring yesterday’s explosive finale to life. 👏👏👏 ”

Lemmo has performed stunts for major motion pictures and TV shows  including: The Mandalorian, Westworld, Criminal Minds, 9-1-1. and many others.

Now the question becomes, what will happen to Holly? We know that Emma Samms only returned to GH for a limited-run to reprise her signature GH role.

Does this mean that Holly might be recast with a new face, if she is badly burned and disfigured … or is this just an exit strategy where the character gets sent away to heal from her burns … or was that not really Holly who came out of the cabin?  Three possible theories that fans are pondering.

So, what did you think of the fiery conclusion of yesterday’s GH? What do you think will happen to Holly? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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