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Jen Lilley Interview: Her Final Days As Maxie Jones & Heartfelt Goodbye to GH & The Fans!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

It is true that the old adage “All good things must come to an end” can apply to many of us in our daily lives.  For Jen Lilley, she found out last week that her time as Maxie Jones on General Hospital has come to an end.   The loveable and talented actress stepped into an almost untenable position, replacing fan favorite and the actress who first put her stamp on the part of Maxie, Kirsten Storms.  Now with Storms finally due back to the set after many months battling an illness, Jen must step down from the role.

During Saturday’s GH Fan Club Weekend Main Event, Jen received a standing ovation from the crowd in attendance during the Q&A session.  Earlier that morning, Jen and On-Air On-Soaps sat down, shared some hugs and tears, as Jen shared her thoughts on her final tape day, her takeaway from her GH experience, and what she would like to say to the fans.  In addition to our interview as many know, Jen released her own video heartfelt “thank you” to the fans on a You Tube video, which you can also see at the conclusion of this post.   Here’s our farewell conversation with Jen!

So Jen, you just taped your last episode as Maxie Jones.   It must have been very emotional for you.  What went down on the set?

JEN:  I filmed my last episode on Friday.  It was definitely emotional, but my last two days and two episodes on GH were comedic and very “Maxie”.   And it’s the first time we have seen Maxie with all her “Maxiness” in awhile, with her spunk back.   I was really happy to leave on that note.  We would say as Lilleys in the Lilley family, “The best way to cope with stress with laughing.” (Laughs)   So I thought, “I am just going to laugh my way through this.”   But it was nice.   It was so funny how everything panned out because the crew did not know till Friday.  I don’t know even know if Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) knew till Friday, either.  I did not get to talk to him at all, till here at the GH Fan Club event.  I told Bradford, “I am going to miss working with you!”  But, I can’t complain, and it’s been bittersweet.  I had such a wonderful time and they had a cake for me on set the other day, which was nice, because everyone loves cake!

Did you make a speech in front of the cast and crew?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

JEN:  Well, first Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) made a speech and then he asked if I wanted to say anything.   He said they loved having me there.  Everyone on the crew always says, “When you come to work there is a different energy, because you are always early, but you are always ready to have fun. And you always have fun, even if you are crying, you are happy to be here.”   So they said don’t be a stranger and they would miss me and all of that.  Then Frank asked if I wanted to say anything, and I am trying to hold it together.   I am totally crying at this point, but I just said, “I want to thank everybody for never making me feel awkward, but so welcomed in such an awkward circumstance.”

When exactly did you find out that your time on GH had truly now officially come to an end, after so many stops and starts?  

JEN:  They told me last Monday that they were giving me a heads up of what was going on , and then I found out last Friday July 20th was my last day, but I did not say anything, I respect Frank Valentini so much.  He is the executive producer and he is a good captain, and I don’t think he is going to sink the ship.  So I thought if you say something, then I will say something.

So I hear there may be a small gap where Maxie will not be on-air following your departure, and Kirsten Storms return?

JEN:  That is my understanding.  She is not in the next couple weeks of storyline taping wise. However, I will be on the air through August 10th.  But honestly Michael, I am just so grateful.  This was only going to be two weeks and it’s been eleven months which has been amazing!  And, I got to go to the Daytime Emmys!  And honestly, I am from Roanoke, Virginia and in my wildest dreams I never thought that was going to happen.

I think it was great that you got to work under Frank Valentini and he was there with you.  He will never forget you, and the two of you have that New York connection you spoke of previously.  Something is going to come out of all of this.  You’ll see!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

JEN:  Look, its great timing.  Here is why:  I have had the Robin storyline and all the other parts of storylines that I have gotten to do.  I am stoked that Kirsten Storms is feeling better, that is wonderful.  I think regardless of how people feel about the situation, we should be happy about that.  It’s good, thank God.  You never want anyone to not be feeling well. But Monday, the 23rd of July is the start of episodic season, meaning Modern Family, Dexter, and The Middle are back in productions and these are the shows I would love to be on. All the primetime shows that we also love come back, and they need their guest stars.  HBO, Showtime, and AMC, the channels we would all give our left nut to be on, that is pilot season for them; July August, September and so it’s good timing.

What would you like to see the fans who have stood by you through one of the most difficult situations an actress, certainly in my years covering daytime, has been through?

JEN:  All I can say to the fans is “thank you”.   There are no words to express how deeply gracious they have been.   Michael, I don’t think I could not have survived if it wasn’t for them.  I am a strong person and an optimist to a fault, but I don’t think I could have weathered the storm, if it wasn’t’ for them saying, “We know you are a reed swinging in the wind. We got you.”   So thank you for being my fan, and stay being my fan, and keep tweeting with me.  And try not to be sad.  It’s not the end; it’s just a springboard into a new beginning.

So soapers, what do you think of Jen’s exit? What would you like to say to Jen for keeping Maxie Jones alive during Kirsten Storms absence? Let us know!

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Christine
Guest
Christine

I saw this on another site. So touching.

Why they didn’t recast her as a NEWnuKristina is beyond me. She could definitely pull it off.

Oh well. Good luck to her. She won’t be jobless for long that’s for sure.

Chaz
Guest
Chaz

First, I believe that Robyn Richards was the originator of Maxie Jones as a teen/young woman before she left in 2003. Kirsten Storms came on in 2005. I watched GH only sporadically since THE MOB became the show’s focus and have to say that Ms. Storms was okay in the role in the amount of time I saw her. Once OLTL went off the air I tuned in regularly to GH…in part to see the OLTL characters….and became familiar with Jen Lilley as Maxie. Honestly, I prefer her in the role. I certainly am glad that KS is feeling well… Read more »

Mackenzie
Guest
Mackenzie

Chaz, you’re partly right. Maxie actually had 3 sets of twins portray the character and then Robyn assumed the role in 1993-2002, then Danica Stewart took over for a short period of time in 2002, then Robyn returned some time after Danica left the role, and Robyn continued in the role until July 16, 2004. Kirsten took over the role in 2005. In September 2011, that’s when Jen stepped in to fill the role.

I took watch the show off and on for years and I too wish Jen Lilley great success in her career.

Elaine Bradley
Guest
Elaine Bradley

Jen, I’m really going to miss you as Maxie. You have brought so very much to the character. As you said, I’m glad KS is feeling better, but I will miss your pretty face and acting ability. Good luck — you won’t have any trouble getting another bigger and better acting gig. God bless!!

kay/kay
Guest
kay/kay

Ms. Lilley you did a fine job and you sure took some unfair punches at first which you took with class. Good Luck to you!

Leiha
Guest
Leiha

I’m not going to lie, I’m very happy Kirsten Storms is coming back but I hate what Jen Lilly has had to go through with some fans. I hope that she is off to bigger and brighter things.

FYI, KS did not originate the role of Maxie. I don’t know if Robyn Richards originated the role but she was the actress who portrayed her for many years.

Lia
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Lia

I liked Jen as Maxie so much more than Kristen. She brought growth, maturity and warmth to the role like KS never could.

SZima
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SZima

If Kirsten had been playing these stories, I’m sure she would have shown the same growth and maturity that Jen did. It’s all in the WRITING.

shan
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shan

I would love for gh to bring Nick or Ethan back with Jen as a wife or something

pink
Guest
pink

While i am happy that KS is better,i prefer JL as Maxi because she is a better actress and makes Maxie more interesting and mature.It is GH’s loss and ours.But i have no dout JL will make it big outside of GH and probably win a Oscar one day.

sheryl
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sheryl

We are really going to miss you , you are a very talented actress and we know someone will cast you very soon. Lot’s of luck in whatever you do.

Sara
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Sara

Jen did a fantastic job as Maxie – a complex character who went thru the ringer during her time playing her. I wish her nothing but the best.

Richard Acker
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Richard Acker

As far as I am concerned, Jen will be missed as she brought a substance to the character of Maxie Jones. Something in this fan’s opinion Ms. Storms was unable to do.

TS
Guest
TS

I would like to see Jennifer come to Days and Belle. She is welcomed there… I was not very impressed with Kristen when she was on the reality show…. She seemed very spoiled and immature..

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

@TS. I agree, about how KS was acting on that reality show… course, “reality” shows are just as staged…. because, i knew, both KS, and Farah Fath,Gigi, OLTL… she was also on DAYS…. their characters belle and Mims’ were best friends on the show… and off. I could see, how two young starlets.. could be envious… of each other… that being said…. I still didn’t like how KS… was “acting”. course, it was later revealed that KS was ill…. could this be the reason she was acting this way towards Farah Fath? KS and FF both found fame… and success… Read more »

Linda
Guest
Linda

That selfish little reality bitch IS the real Storms. The Fath/Storms friendship fell apart years ago. Equal blame on both sides. I’m glad she is well enough to work again, but I wish it were elsewhere. I have never cared for her Maxie and FF thru all her scenes. Jen made the character her own and deserved to keep the role.

Debbie Harris
Guest
Debbie Harris

Jen Lilley did an admirable job in the role of Maxie Jones following Kirsten Storm’s illness. Some fans treated her very rudely, as if it were her fault KS was sick. Jen Lilley responded to these fans with class and poise. And she was well liked by her peers at GH. Kudos to JenLilley and I would like to see her in another role on GH sometime soon! To me, Kirsten Storms IS Maxie and I am Ecstatic to have her feeling well again and coming back to GH as Maxie Jones! Now, if only she and Spinelli will get… Read more »

Greta
Guest
Greta

Wish Jen luck in the future! Sure she’ll do great!

But I am so excited Kirsten Storms is coming back. I’ve missed her so much, and she’ll always be the definitive Maxie to me.

susan M.
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susan M.

Why can’t they put her in a whole different role,new character for GH…

barbara t. Loves one life to live
Guest
barbara t. Loves one life to live

I agree, Let her take over the role of the new Kristina, Now that would be nice.

Linda
Guest
Linda

Yeah, any Kristina but the current one. God, what WERE the casting people and producers, etc. drinking/smoking to cast this new one?

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Hello Ms. Lilley –

Thank you, for aptly stepping in to, rising to the occasion… the formidable task of a recast. what was supposed to be a two-week gig… turned in to 11 months.

You had such huge story to feature. and it’s still resonating….on screen. Take care.

for what it’s worth… you were Maxie.

Jules
Guest
Jules

I really enjoyed her portrayal of Maxie. Jen is a sweet, classy and good-natured person and I think now, a huge forever supporter of GH and daytime….which is a great bonus. She had a HUGE task of replacing KS, but within days, I thought she fit right in. She worked her tushy off to infuse Maxie with her moxie we have all grown to love her with, and you could tell she appreciated all things about her including how her past it affects her present. I thank her for all her hard work and hope she realizes what an impact… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I agree with you on that peticular day…. for that “familial” feel. two things that i give JS kudos for…. her courtroom/jail time scenes… were above board, and par. especially, when, she was released, and came back with Matt MARRIED…. that floored me. and, JS.. scenes with Spinelli breaking lup…. he was done doorMATTing. JS… showed her vulnerable, WOMANHOOD, on the horizon… heck… for lack of better words… I grew to really liking JS’ take on Maxie… cause she was heavily involved with my all time reason for watching GH… and that’s Patrick and Robin. not since, Liz… RH… drama… Read more »

lisa
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lisa

I only watched a little bit of Kirsten Storms in the role of Maxie….but love(d) Jen Lilley in role.
I think she is a fantastic performer and will find a new role worthy of her chops.

Teresa
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Teresa

Jen has done a tremendous job as Maxie. I have really enjoyed what she brought to the character. All the best to her and I’m sure we’ll see her again very soon.

Barb Harnedy
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Barb Harnedy

It just broke my heart that all this came out during the Fan Club Weekend for GH. I only wish I had known at the time I was actually seeing Jen so I could have given her a big hug!! She’s adorable and will be missed!!

Troy Turner
Guest
Troy Turner

I’ve been on this story since Saturday night when the news broke, and I am still heartbroken over this. Yes, this was a temporary gig, and GH is doing the right thing by Kirsten, but there is an unfairness here. Not that Jen has been treated unfairly, because she knew the deal when she signed on, but thanks to all the CRAP she had to put with from other soap fans-she couldn’t REALLY enjoy the gig. Words cannot express how I feel about Jen, and the way she has handled herself all through this situation. #WeLoveJenLilley

Kendra
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Kendra

Thank god KS is back!!!! I missed her so much.

Alex
Guest
Alex

JL has done a wonderful job, and I wish her all the best. I’m so glad KS is returning.

Susan
Guest
Susan

Jen Lilley’s portrayal of Maxie was the first time I actually saw the vulnerability that all of Maxie’s fans claim is buried under her hard outer shell. It was through her nuanced portrayal that I could envision a future version of Maxie wherein she would be more grounded, more able to love and certainly more mature. That vision won’t now be realized but I know that Jen’s own future will be extremely successful. Still, I’m so glad she was the one who temporarily took on the role because I was allowed not to just discover a new Maxie but to… Read more »

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

Jen was lovely subbing for Kirsten Storms. I am looking forward to KS coming back…she IS Maxie for me. But I wish TPTB would decide that they made a mistake…Kate had a daughter instead of a son. Goodby Trey and Joe, JR….and bring Jen back as Kate’s daughter. Their resemblance has always been remarkable. in fact at the beginning I struggled telling them apart!

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

Oh my goodness! What a GREAT idea! FRANK…RON…are you listening? lol

Jen
Guest
Jen

I agree, this would be a fantastic way to keep JL on the show! When she first got on I thought she was a bit weak, but quickly came to love her as Maxie. KS was fantastic as mean selfish the world revolves around me Maxie, and she did a good job on bringing out the better side of Maxie, but JL really brought out her softer side while still maintaining a touch of the selfish Maxie. Soaps do all sorts of weird things, maybe they can bring out later that Kate/Connie actually had TWINS, (obviously not identical) and that… Read more »

Lea
Guest
Lea

I couldn’t be more happy that KS is back. I missed Maxie’s relationships with Sam, Lulu and Spinelli. KS, you have been truly missed. And as for JL, I wish her luck for her future.

Allie
Guest
Allie

JL is a wonderful person. That said, KS is Maxie Jones and I’m ecstatic to see her return.

Lea
Guest
Lea

JL is a wonderful person and I want to wish her luck for her future. That said, I am ecstatic that Kirsten is back. She is Maxie Jones, as far as I’m concerned.

Francene
Guest
Francene

What an amazing person and actress Jen Lilley is. I have been keeping in touch with her on twitter and fb and always answers me back. I am going to have an opportunity to meet her also in September which I will give her a big hug from all her fans. Good things happen to good people and I wish her all the best to her in the future. She is one class act and a SHINING STAR!! Lots of Love Jen from your fan from Woodbridge, NJ….

Amy
Guest
Amy

I was one of those who was hesitant when JL first took on the role. It took a while for me to get used to her, but after a few months, she grew more comfortable in the role. She did a great job. I’m absolutely delighted that KS will resume her role and that she’s feeling better. I adore KS’s version of Maxie.

mrfantasticcash
Guest
mrfantasticcash

Hey Jen ,

Sweet sweet friend,,,, You are an amazing talent and you are so humble and gracious to all your fans! We loved your portrayal as Maxie, you totally hit it out of the park with your daily performances on GH ! I have enjoyed tweeting with you on twitter and am super blessed to be twitter friends with such a sweet and wonderful person ! Lots of love to ya friend…. you make us all smile…. Thomas (Mrfantasticcash)

Shirlee
Guest
Shirlee

I’m very happy that Kirsten Storms is returning to her role as Maxie. Kirsten was always one of my favorite actresses and her chemistry with Bradford Anderson(Spinilli) is awesome. I want to thank Jen Lilley for here hard work and keeping Maxie’s character alive,good luck to you in the future.

Liz
Guest
Liz

nice

Shirlee
Guest
Shirlee

I’m very happy that Kirsten Storms is returning to her role as Maxie. Kirsten was always one of my favorite actresses and her chemistry with Bradford Anderson(Spinilli) is awesome. I want to thank Jen Lilley for here hard work and keeping Maxie’s character alive,good luck to you in the future.

Traci
Guest
Traci

To me, Jen Lilley IS Maxie! She stepped into a difficult position and created a new and improved Maxie. She has brought so much more to the role that Kirsten Storms never could. She has also been on the show long enough that I no longer consider her a temporary replacement, and I think to continue to call her “temporary” is unfair. While the show did do right by Kirsten Storms, I feel that it’s unfair to Jen Lilley and the fans she has gained since she started playing Maxie. I hope and pray that the show will be able… Read more »

Amy
Guest
Amy

I disagree. She is called a temp because she was always meant to be a temp. KS was always coming back when she was healthy. JL was supposed to be on GH for three months; she got 11 instead. She was lucky. That said, I do hope that JL finds success in her future.

Traci
Guest
Traci

Yes, I agree she was always meant to be a temp. And yes, Jen was supposed to be on for 3 months and was on for 11. What I said was *I* no longer consider her a temp because to me, a temp is a few months, not almost a year, so *I* think that it’s unfair to continue to call her temporary. Clearly, what I consider “temporary” is different than what TPTB call temporary.

B.J.
Guest
B.J.

I was really surprised that they were able to find someone as talented as Jen for this temporary role. “Maxie” is one of the most demanding roles on that show, and Jen was able to portray every aspect of her personality, and personally I thought as well, or possibly better than KS. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like KS, it’s just that I was surprised someone could replace her so easily… at least for me. Good luck Jen! I’m sure some casting directors are going to see your potential in some great video from your GH days. Hope to… Read more »

Ron
Guest
Ron

I didn’t think I’d grow to like JL’s version of Maxie because I loved KS so much. But she grew on me after a while. I’m so happy KS is back, but JL should be proud of what she’s accomplished.

Grace
Guest
Grace

I would like to say THANK YOU to Jen Lilley for doing such a great job as “Maxie”. She absolutely came into a very difficult situation and at the start, many fans were not so nice. I want Jen to know I am now a fan of hers!! I will continue to follow her on Twitter and can’t wait to see what she ends up in next!!! Remember one thing Jen, how many people can say they had a part in BOTH the Best DAytime Emmy Winning Drama AND the movie that won the Academy Award for best film in… Read more »

Karen
Guest
Karen

I met Jen at the GH Fan Club Weekend this past weekend and she’s an amazing young women. It’s incredible how she held herself together in front of the crowds who i think at leeas half had no idea what was going on “behind the scenes” (at least my daughter and I were shocked to read all of this yesterday morning). I wish her well and know she’s going to do great things. It’s always hard for the viewers to get used to someone new playing a favorite character, but once you do, it doesn’t seem like anyone can replace… Read more »

Traci
Guest
Traci

OOH! Serena! I LOVE THIS IDEA! Wish I had thought of it. Thanks, Karen.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

@ Karen.

You, fans, amaze me. Scottie Baldwin and Lucy Coe? had a baby? talk about…. hall of fame…. wishing… these two were back on GH. course, i remember… Lucy being married to Alan as well…. now this would be a riot return…. with this trio.

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

Patrick…Serena is Dominique and Scotty’s biological daughter. Lucy was the surrogate and after Dominique died, Lucy adopted her.
I agree Karen…Jen would make a great Serena!

Lew
Guest
Lew

She will be missed. Great job!!

Robert Coplin
Guest
Robert Coplin

I am happy that Kirsten is healthy enough again to play Maxie but i enjoyed Jen Lilly as playing Maxie.I hope Jen gets a role in the movies if she wants to do movies or if she wants to still do tv she gets a good role on whatever show picks her up.

Tanya
Guest
Tanya

Thanks for the outstanding performances! You did a fantastic job. Hopefully you land a new job quickly.

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Jen was SUPERB playing Maxie from the START….! Jen channeled Kristen’s voice, and as I said once in Jen’s defense, I was typing on my bed with my labtop LISTENING to GH, and I heard Jen’s voice (this was early Feb). I looked up from my labtop saying, ” Kristens back?”, BUT it was Jen. Thats when Jen caught my attention and KEPT it. Jen CHANNELED Kristen’s voice as Maxie, and captured her energy in the way Kristen protrayed the role. A fine young woman, beautiful, interesting to watch, and I wish I could continue to see her in the… Read more »

barbara t. Loves one life to live
Guest
barbara t. Loves one life to live

Or she could take the place of the new kristina, I don’t like her, maybe if she wasn’t a spoiled brat with camera following her around every second I wouldn’t dislike her like I do.

Liz
Guest
Liz

Lke that thought! Agree on Jen grabbing that role out of the gate and running with it. She did a emmy winning performance in Robin storyline. She will end up in an even better role! She has chops! I kove Kristen and missed her, Jen kept the role on front burner so Kristen needs to be ready to keep it there. Both will be fine!

ghfan4evr
Guest
ghfan4evr

Jen, I will miss seeing you on my screen everyday but I know that you are going to do amazing things. You my dear, are a class act and I can’t think of anyone who could have taken as good of care of Maxie as you did, in Kirsten’s absence.

Liz
Guest
Liz

AMEN!

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

” I’m trying to tell you”.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Since she is the only Maxie Ive known Ill miss her, I am familiar with Kirsten Storms from Dirty Soap and all I will say is I hope she is a better actress than reality star.

mae
Guest
mae

SOOO HAPPY KIRSTEN STORMS IS BACK . I’VE MISSED HER SO MUCH! HAVEN’T REALLY WATCHED GH MUCH SINCE SHE LEFT. I GUESS I ONLY KEPT WATCHING BECAUSE OF JASON COOK. I LOVE JC! SO AFTER HE LEFT, I COMPLETELY STOPPED WATCHING. SAD THOUGH THAT KS & JC MISSED OUT ON SO MANY GOOD SCENES TOGETHER. LOVE THEM! HOPEFULLY THEY CAN REUNITE ON SCREEN AGAIN SOMEDAY.

BEST WISHES TO JL & ALL HER FUTURE PROJECTS…

Phil
Guest
Phil

Count me in on the Jen team….I have never seen Storms as Maxie, but saw Storms on DAYS… Jen is a much better actor…..Come on Frank, create a new role for her on GH!

Emily
Guest
Emily

There is no other Kirsten Storms, but at this point either actress could take Maxie into the future. Jen is the real deal and will be an asset wherever she ends up. Can’t say enough on how well Jen has and IS handling all of this. I honestly think Jen deserves an emmy nom for the work she has done as Maxie!!

Liz
Guest
Liz

Agree Emily!

dave
Guest
dave

Yay!!

Marisa
Guest
Marisa

I want to wish you the best of luck. You did a great job filling in for Kirsten.

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

I think Jen did an absolutely fantastic job with her portrayal of Maxie – especially after she was so viciously attacked when she first took over. Sad to see her go (we will see this talented lady again), but happy to know Kirsten is well enough to return.
We all have the challenge of accepting a new actor in a role, whether due to illness, SORAS or general recast. Each actor will bring their own spin and we fans need to respect that. I still prefer Robyn Richards Maxie, but never held it against KS.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

JMaurice Benard as Sonny & Max Gail ad Mike

General Hospital

Airdate: 10-08-2020

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