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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)
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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
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Llanviewer717

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

k/kay
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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 Michael Easton and Finola Hughes Deliver the ‘Power Performances of the Week’

It was an emotional week of episodes on General Hospital as the double-wedding of Finn (Michael Easton) and Anna (Finola Hughes), and Peter (Wes Ramsey) and Maxie (Kirsten Storms) took a double nose-dive.

Each installment left us wondering if either couple would actually get hitched, but when Finn and Anna were the first to combust and not Peter and Maxie, it set the stage for two beloved soap veterans to once again, remind us all, why they are always at the top of the game when required to play high drama that tugs at the heartstrings.

In story, Finn is gut-punched, (and no one can play that better than Michael Easton), when Anna reveals that she knew that Peter was not her biological son and had done all the horrific deeds he has been hiding, in an effort to stop Maxie from marrying Peter.  When Finn realizes Anna confided in Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), and they were working together to bring Peter down it was too much for him to take.

Finn walks out on their wedding.  Alone and with tears welling up in his eyes, Finn feels his chance at love is dashed again.  Add to the fact, he has DNA results to prove if he is Chase’s (Josh Swickard) father and not his brother, or not, and the guy has been through the wringer of late.

As for Anna, she has literally imploded her own life, while trying to save others, after realizing the error of her ways; constantly putting her faith in Peter.  When she comes to visit Finn, she knows no matter what she says to Finn it looks bad.  She sees how she has hurt him, and hopes they can still repair their now fractured relationship, but she has to stop Peter and help her God-daughter, Maxie from making the biggest mistake of her life, so she leaves him to go back to the scene of the double-wedding.

Later in the week, Anna shares a heartfelt scene with her ex Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers), whom she knows she can have an honest conversation knowing her life of espionage and their shared history.  Meanwhile, Jackie (Kim Delaney) and Finn’s pull is there as well, as it appears Jackie’s attraction to Finn still remains all these years later when he visits her shortly after being blindsided by Anna at the nuptials.

Throughout the week, Easton and Hughes played all the nuances of their character’s emotional life, as the audience witnessed which just might be the end of the line for Finn and Anna.

For all of these reasons and more, Michael Fairman TV names Michael and Finola’s work, The Power Performances of the Week.

So, let us know, what did you think of what happened to Finn and Anna? The double-wedding fiasco? Did you enjoy Michael and Finola’s scenes? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Wes Ramsey Makes Statement on Criticism, Social Media, and Professionalism

General Hospital’s Wes Ramsey, who portrays polarizing character, Peter August on the ABC daytime drama series, responded to a recent take on his role from cast mate, Tristan Rogers (Scorpio) when a video made its way through social media.

The video was from a Cameo appearance, where Rogers offered an assessment of the Peter August storyline and expressed that while he knows Ramsey is a strong actor, he felt he was “wrong for the character” being that Peter was the son of the evil Faison played by Anders Hove.

Rogers also came to the defense of Ramsey and shared: “Don’t be too hard on Wes Ramsey. He’s got himself into a horrible storyline, and the storyline is the fault of the show. What they’ve literally done is they’ve painted themselves into a corner, and they don’t know how to get out of it.”

Currently, Peter’s story is front and center on GH with his wedding to Maxie (Kirsten Storms), and the fallout from all of the character’s dirty deeds.

Now Ramsey took to his Instagram account to address what transpired and his thoughts on the perils of social media, professionalism and acting, expressing: “Actors are storytellers, shapeshifters, chameleons. We’re also in the business of cultivating trust bc that’s how the best work is brought to life. We have to trust our imaginations, our instincts. We have to trust our fellow actors, because without them, there’s no scene to play. In the collaborative efforts of bringing any show to life, we also have to trust our directors each day to steer the arch of our story (like a conductor with a symphony) & trust our writers who are tasked with composing the symphonies we play out. I came up in a world of classical theater, where trusting the play, text, story is essential to the tightrope balancing act of making magic.  You will never hear me critique (on any public platform) the people responsible for the creative opportunities I enjoy each day. Without the trust of my writers, directors, producers & fellow actors, it would be impossible to live out my dreams. My job (& my only job) is to bring fearlessness, playfulness & passionate conviction to what has been created for me. My aim is to stretch myself (beyond the limits of where I think my boundaries may lye) each time I’m entrusted with material that allows those boundaries to be tested.

 

Every actor must believe they are the right person for their part or they will never achieve their potential, let alone surpass it. I was raised a gentleman & have two wonderful parents to thank for that, however, my polite personality (while rendering me easy to get along with on set) should have little bearing on my caliber of performance nor my castability as a professional.  I am leery of the pitfalls of social media & believe there are advantages to maintaining some mystery (even as a public figure) but I will always defend & protect what I hold dear (my job & my career) when they are publicly challenged, especially by those closest to me, whom I love & respect. Please know I bear no ill will. As a society, we are all still learning the full ramifications of living in an internet dominated culture. To all my many fans out there who offer encouragement & support, I hear you & am grateful for you. I’m having a blast… 🙂. Onward we go.”

Share your thoughts on Wes’ statement on playing the role of Peter August and more via the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Wes Ramsey (@wes_ramsey)

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General Hospital

WATCH: Maurice Benard & Friends In ‘The Birthday Bash’ – The Movie

Now here’s a way to celebrate your birthday! Having lots of fun with your friends filming a project and making your directorial debut! That’s just what two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos, General Hospital) has done.

On his “State of Mind” You Tube Channel, Benard dropped the birthday video which includes many of his friends and family members.

Benard shared: “You’ve probably heard me say that this year I wanted to do something for the fans on my birthday. Well now the time has come to reveal my special project. It was fun to see a lot of my friends acting outside of the box and I want to thank each of them for being so willing to join me in this adventure no questions asked.”

Look for: Maurice Benard, Carlos Avila, Victoria Gotti, Ian Buchanan, Réal Andrews, Steve Burton, Majid Raees, Dominic Zamprogna, Kin Shriner, Joshua Benard, Paula Benard, Jeff Kober, Bryan Craig, Brooklyn Rae Silzer, Jim Warren and Buddy the Goat to all make appearances.

Watch Maurice Benard & Friends in “The Birthday Bash” below.  Then let us know what you thought of it via the comment section.

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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Michael Easton and Finola Hughes as Finn & Anna

General Hospital

Airdates: 3-4/5-2021

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