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Michael Sutton Reprising His Role Of Stone Cates On General Hospital!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

A major exciting return is on tap in August at General Hospital.Michael Sutton, who is fondly remembered for his heart-wrenching performance as Stone Cates, the character which succumbed to AIDS in 1995, is reprising his role.

According to TV Line, while Sutton’s encore is top secret, it is apparently triggered  by Sonny (Maurice Benard)when the mobster is going through a time of great crisis.

This isn’t the first time Sutton has revived the deceased Stone – his acclaimed role.  He previously made a brief appearance in 2010, when his love, Robin (Kimberly McCullough) was conjuring up his image and needed to talk to him.

So, what will happen to Sonny that he needs to see Stone? Excited for a brief Sutton return? Comment below!

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Jovin
Jovin

Although no one can ever write for Stone the way Claire Labine did, it is always a treat to be reminded of one of the greatest Daytime love stories ever told! I wish soaps would tell epic love stories like that again, but alas, the age of the supercouple is long gone!

Wanda
Wanda

So true what’s wrong with the soap show today they should take a look at that Novelas and learn from them we love love story and great couples

su0000
su0000

This Stone guy died 1995 .. 22 years ago!

So–
Now we will know the secret, never told, Do Ghosts Age ..

Has Michael Sutton/Stone aged in 22 years??
How will an aged ghost look like?

This is crazy! moreso Stupid!!!

Celia
Celia

We do not age in death, su. So, this Stone person, if he is an angel, will look as he did when he died. Double LOL.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hey Su0000

They already had an “aged” Stone appear to Robin a few years ago. If he’s returning in Sonny’s head…and he’s actually playing the part and it’s not a flashback…then, yeah, he’ll be aged. Just another “it’s a soap..go with it…moment!” For those of us who remember Stone and that absolutely beautiful, gut-wrenching story…ugh…tears…it’s worth the “overlooking the aging thing..” Unless, maybe…Sonny is going to imagine that Stone never died and in his mind will be seeing him having lived his life, enjoyed his life…at the age he would have been now had he lived. That works!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

A memorable story, su. I always wondered why the actor who played Stone didn’t act more.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Hi Nancy…

Michael has been in projects throughout the years but he’s very involved, from what I understand, in his own very high-profile entertainment publicity firm (I think it was founded by his father). He’s quite successful; seems like he wasn’t looking to get into acting full time.

Steve
Steve

If you check out Sutton’s twitter feed, you’ll see he’s heavy into real estate and selling legalized pot.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Ha Steve! I do remember he has his own real estate company (very high-end); I think he still does promoting as well. (didn’t know about the legalized pot.) Either way, he’s really an impressive guy! Quite the entrepreneur as well as being a talented actor!

Shay
Shay

@Steve…In that case, perhaps Stone will appear in a vision to offer Sonny a new business opportunity…investing in medicinal weed! (Hey, “Dimples” says he’s now going “legit!” Could be just the thing to pad his transition to his new life!…Plus, he does have a history in providing such a service….remember when he sent a sheepish Spinelli over to ChezAlexis for that laughably ludicrous scenario where she ended up spaced out with the screaming munchies??? Ah, yes, just another example in the long list of indignities for which this character has become famous…)

Max Daddee
Max Daddee

Reading thru the posts, I see some excellent thoughts here for a future legit business for Sonny. Since he’s working on a career change, he could be a medicinal pot broker. Or how about a pot farm down at his island? Sonny could give summer jobs there to kids like Joslyn. Summer camp’s been a bit rough for her with Spencer’s kidnapping there. A summer job at the pot farm might be just what she needs!

Michael Sutton did a great job in the role of Stone Cates. But it’s become GH’s style to pull in former cast members for brief periods of time or ones from other soaps. There’s alot of hype and marketing done for these brief stints that only last a day or two. I can only guess the motive is to get ratings up. They’ve done so much of this on GH that I just find it tiring and predictable.

I was super-disappointed in that they brought in very talented actress Hilary B. Smith in only for a few days as Nora Buchanan. First their was speculation she’d be the new D.A., then she ended up being Valentin’s lawyer for a few days. Big bummer.

JMER
JMER

Love Stone but if it’s for a scene with Sonny, I won’t turn on the show just for that.

Celia
Celia

AhHaHa, JMER. Too funny!!

Brenda Garces
Brenda Garces

How Rude yall have no respect for GH

Tina Gray
Tina Gray

Oh how wonderful!!! The BJ story and the Robin and Stone story are two of the best stories I’ve ever seen on daytime…………

Nettie
Nettie

Agree! Those 2, and when Lucky supposedly died in the fire. Gut wrenching. On OLTL – the entire week Megan died from lupus.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

“Classic” soap! (Sigh!)

SZima
SZima

Wasn’t watching back then, so I could care less!
However, I”d like to know why the current writers have to resuscitate DEAD characters to tell a current story. They are really reaching if they have to go back to that time…IMHO.
I’m not a fan of “ghostly” returns…for ANY character. Even more so if Sonny is involved!!

Brenda Garces
Brenda Garces

How Rude

su0000
su0000

hi SZima.
It could be cool IF they played the creepy spooky music and had him looking like a ghost all white and creepy and floating around …. LOL looking like a scary dude.

I know nothing of the Lee man so no heartstrings for me, either..

Nonetheless.. I’m looking forward to seeing the scene… And his fans are excited to see him, and that is their moment of nostalgia, so happy for them..

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

I like your last sentence, su0000…nice sentiment.

Sue M.
Sue M.

Stone died of AIDS! How can they bring that character back? He died a long time ago.

su0000
su0000

Hi Sue,
Well, he is going to be a ghost that aged 22 years ahahaaa!
yes in deedy! a ghost that grows old, we know will know the secret of death/aging when a ghost ahaaa!

And it broke my bubble of believing ghosts never age 🙁

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Guess Sonny is going to have a psychic “break.” You think? But just for one day–LOL!

Joel
Joel

He will obviously appear in spiri formt to Sonny, not as a real person… exactly the same way he appeared to Robin in 2010 when she fell in a well while escaping from Lisa Niles.

Joel
Joel

spirit form

Ethel
Ethel

Sonny gets Stoned…

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

LOL!

Brenda Garces
Brenda Garces

No Sam shoots him

su0000
su0000

oww oww!
now I hope Sonny will shoot and kill Sam!
that’s the way business is done. bullet for bullet.
please please let me write Sam’s death!!

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

LOL, Ethel! Then maybe he’d FINALLY get busted for something!

Shay
Shay

Even though you know he’d rather get “Stoned Cold!” Sonny just cannot get over that past bromance!

gh'er
gh'er

Sure, why not.
Welcome back, again.

Liz
Liz

I bet Sam shoots or stabs Sonny and Stone comes to him while he’s unconscious and near death’s door.

Celia
Celia

I said as much a couple of weeks, or so, ago….that Sam was going to do Sonny “in”. But, I figured by stabbing him. Now “Sammi’s got a gun”. I cannot fathom how she can go in and out of reality in a snap.
Incomprehensible. I would think an episode would last longer than a blink. Ahh, well….go with the flow….
I did not anticipate this Stone person….must have been important to Sonny for him to appear as a vision, as Joel said. But how? He has aged….spirits do not.
I will reserve a comment after the fact.

Steve
Steve

Since MB is obviously not leaving, the best we can hope for is a month-long coma. Let Maurice – and the viewers – have a nice vacation.

Shay
Shay

Up that to six months, and we’ve got a deal, Steve!

Steve
Steve

It will be nice to see Michael Sutton again, but of course, it has to revolve around Sonny.

Are they going to imply people keep aging in heaven. It’s been 22 years!

Celia
Celia

It will be weird, Steve. As I said to su, angels do not age. How will ‘they’ manage this scene?

Shay
Shay

Probably will be a hallucination…Sonny has had those before, CeeCeeGirl!

Celia
Celia

@Shay.
It must be, Shay….unless Stone did not die? I do not know enough about this character or his story. Just marginally. I looked him up, not because of Sonny (lol), but because of Robin.
However, as Sue M said; he died of AIDS.
Well, Shaybelle; I will not wrack my brain over it….not really interested; however rude I may be. LOL.

rebecca1
rebecca1

My suggestion, Steve, was that Sonny has some kind of revery, hallucination (caught Sam’s hallucination snydrome? lol) where he imagines Stone never died…and thus he’d be the age he is today…perhaps living his life married to Robin.

Steve
Steve

I like that idea Rebecca. KMc is probably on maternity leave, so I doubt we’ll see her for a few months at least.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes!

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

LOL, Steve. Maybe they superimposed Robin’s face on to Lulu’s body and voila! A pregant Robin having Stone’s baby (in Sonny’s mind). See? I have a contingency plan for everything! 😉

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

I still remember how I cried my eyes out the day Stone died. I will be glad to see the character on the screen no matter what’s going on because I never stopped missing him.

rose
rose

Ho Hum. Not excited about the upcoming Stone and Sonny story. Wasn’t a big Stone/Robin fan before. And Sonny, Sonny, Sonny….enough front and center already. And the writers will probably have to bring up Morgan again. Then we also have to have Carly being the the “perfect” person and mother in both Michael and Josslyn’s lives.

Wanda
Wanda

I thank the real Cary should come back and pay for all the bad and wrong thing she did she is no angel evil should always have to pay the price

Brenda Garces
Brenda Garces

Then maybe you should not watch GH Then

rose
rose

Ahhhh…but here’s what I do like that keeps me watching GH. Lately Ned/Olivia wedding; Anna /Andre dancing segment; possibilities with Joss/Issac; Valentin getting his “get out of jail card”/Nina; really liking Lucy/Scott scenes (I’m also a Lucy fan and like it when they can stretch Lynn as an actor): Spencer’s “revenge;” even Amy/Nathan advise column story.

Daisy Day
Daisy Day

I loved the Sonny and Stone storyline. One of the very best of GH.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I think, as I mentioned under one of Su0000’s comments, that Sonny might have some type of dream in which Stone never died. This way, if he’s imagining, he could picture Stone as the 40-something year old man he’d be today had he not passed. He could be imagining all the things he’d wished for Stone…maybe Robin will be in the scene and Sonny will be so confused he’ll imagine what their life would have been like together had he not died…

Joe
Joe

Aren’t there enough under appreciated current actors on GH that they have to keep bringing back the dead from decades ago? Stone Cates. Why? Robin and Sonny have moved on. His brother Jagger and sister Gina have moved on. Please don’t tell me that Oscar kid is Stone’s son.

Dan
Dan

The Stone AIDS story was one of the best storylines in daytime history, written by the best head writer GH has ever had in my opinion, the late great Claire Labine. 22 years later it still brings tears to my eyes, going back and reliving some of those scenes. They don’t do stuff like that anymore, not just on GH but on any show. Michael Sutton was robbed of an Emmy that year. The people that weren’t watching back then really missed out. A lot of the pivotal scenes from that storyline are up on YouTube, do yourself a favor and check them out. They are the definition of excellence in storytelling.

I’m not sure how Stone appearing as a ghost will play into current stories, but any opportunity to see Michael Sutton on screen again I’m down for. People complaining that Sonny is involved, get over it. Stone and Sonny were best friends, Sonny was a father figure to Stone. So it’s very appropriate that he would come to Sonny as a ghost, or whatever the exact story is gonna be.

Celia
Celia

Very informative post, Dan….as yours are, unfailingly, wont to be….great writer, you are.
But, ‘they’ should just let the dead rest in peace.
This sounds more and more that the “apparition” ( if it is that) will be to accomodate a new story centered around who else? Sonny. And then Carly…
If this will be the case, TPTB are really going out of their way to convince us how good, but, misunderstood Sonny is. Well, no matter how diligent the effort, nothing will make me feel, not a scintilla of, sympathy for him.

Shay
Shay

@CeeCee….The words “Sonny” and “sympathy” don’t even belong in the same sentence! Total oxymoron…..

Timmm
Timmm

I agree C, let the dead rest in peace! These writers will muck up a brilliant character that was in a legendary story. Write something NEW!

Celia
Celia

@Timmm.
It is amazing to me that many steadfast, loyaf GH fans, also, see what I see and think.
I thought only su and I could care less about characters who died as they exited the show…..that’s understandable because we did not know Stone; thus, not invested in him, dead or alive.
So, thanks for agreeing, T.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

You got that right, Dan! “The definition of excellence in storytelling.”
They don’t write them like they used to. Claire Labine wrote heartfelt, heartwarming stories.
You’re right also about the fact that viewers today don’t know what they missed.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

True Nancy and Dan…And Michael Sutton’s acting…I get tears in my eyes thinking about him lying in bed, reaching for Robin…ugggg…tissues…I need tissues!!!

Timmm
Timmm

Dan, the Sonny bitching and complaining is the same with Victor. People can despise these two characters but they are the captains of their ships and their ship is carrying a lot of history with each others shows. Its the way it is. I love both of them BUT I do admit their moral compasses do tend to spin out of control at times!

Dan
Dan

CeeCee, thanks for your compliment on my writing. I always try and present my views as well written and well thought out as I can, whether people agree with them or not. That’s the journalism major in me, lol. Different strokes for different folks, as they say, when it comes to Sonny. I always enjoy reading your thoughts, even if we happen to disagree on a particular topic, you always provide thought provoking reading material.

Well said, Timmm! I know a lot of people don’t like Sonny, he’s always been one of my favorite characters. And a complex character to me as well, much like Victor as you mentioned. They’re not black and white characters, all good or all bad, they’re a mix of both. Also much like Valentin on GH currently.

Rebecca and Nancy, you’re right about that, they definitely don’t write them like that anymore. Just going back and watching some of the clips on YouTube brought me right back to 1995 and the emotion those scenes made me feel then, and still do to this day. I would love to be able to get emotionally invested in a story like that today. Those are the all-time stories, the ones that stick with you in your heart and mind forever.

Celia
Celia

I reciprocate your thanks and kindness, Dan.

Timmm
Timmm

This is flat out stupid! Stone is DEAD! He was part of a legendary story. Leave it ALONE! Bring back live characters like Robert, Nick and Jax! Whats next B.J.’s evil twin?

su0000
su0000

hi Timmm,,

Shelly excels in Stupid !!
A real bonafide ghost, eeeee can’t wait !!

Steve
Steve

BJ’s evil twin — I love it!

Celia
Celia

Thanks, Steve.
I will certainly do that. It’s two in the morning, LOL….my little girl woke up with a stuffed, little nose……it’s going to be a long night!!!!!

Celia
Celia

BJ….I just looked her up. What a heartbreaking story!!!!
And, Maxie has her heart? She is as strong as Victor Newman—-must take powerful meds. Never in distress.
Now, T…..your humor always hits the spot. Why? You don’t seem to try too hard to be funny…just happens naturally. Yup!!

Timmm
Timmm

Tony Jones was awesome!

Yeah C, I know, go to GH or Y&R if you want a miracle transplant!

Humor is my rock!

Steve
Steve

Celia

If you have the time, watch the YouTube episodes about BJ’s death. You’ll get sucked into one of the best storylines in soap history. As Timmm mentioned, Tony was outstanding. The story brought out the best in all the actors – including current cast members Bobbie, Felicia, Mac and Lucy.

Monica must be an amazing heart surgeon because there’s never been a scar seen when Kirsten Storm wears a low cut top 🙂

dmr
dmr

As much as I enjoy Michael Sutton, and the character of Stone Cates, if he is brought back only for a reprise/resurrection of yet again, another hour of the “Moron Hour”-I’ll be tuning out.

Dzzdee
Dzzdee

The Storyline will do nothing for me. Didn’t care about that story back then and don’t care about it now.
Just do it and move on.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

I, for one, am really looking forward to Michael Sutton’s episode (s). He was a wonderful character and actor…and though he’s obviously going to be a figment of Sonny’s imagination it could be a nice view into how Stone might have been had he lived. The Stone story back in the day was one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever seen on TV or film. Just ripped me to pieces…

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes, Rebecca, me too! Was a great and (obviously) memorable s/l.

Sandy J.
Sandy J.

While I was also enthralled with the Robin/Stone love story more than 2 decades ago, I am now officially tired of ‘stunt casting’. We long-time fans are very good at complaining about not seeing the characters and actors we’re so familiar with on our screens today, but no one who runs the show pays much attention. They’d rather hire a high-profile actor/actress for a couple of days’ work so that ratings go up during those specific periods than do what the show’s long-time fans want. I’m sure I’ll enjoy seeing Michael Sutton again, however he appears, but I’d rather see more of the Quartermaines or, before I forget them entirely!, the Scorpios. These are characters who still presumably LIVE in Port Charles, except we very rarely see them. I’m just fed up … sorry.

Timmm
Timmm

Great post! I cannot stand Franks pets using GH as a revolving door AND I dont want history screwed with!

General Hospital

GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

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ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Looks In The Mirror … And Believing He Is Drew Kisses Kim

This week on General Hospital, viewers have seen that when Franco (Roger Howarth) awoke from his mind-mapping implantation  (thanks to Shiloh and Dr Cabot) he woke up saying that he is “Drew Cain”.  Thus, as far we know, Franco now carries the life and memories of Drew from 2012 and back, and as of now, has no trace of Franco’s memories.

When Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Drew (Billy Miller) try to make Franco understand in his confusion what transpired,  Liz brings a mirror to Franco to see his face, which makes this all the more terrifying for him.  Liz insists to him that she is wife, but he tells her that he is sorry but he does not recognize her.  Franco insists he is going to leave town and Drew asks him to please stay put, as Liz promises that they can reverse what happened to him.  But can Liz really promise that?

Later, Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) fills Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Jason (Steve Burton) in on what happened and how Franco now was implanted with Drew’s memories, which leaves them stunned.  That means Franco, who is one of the people Jason loathes most in the world – now believes he is Jason’t twin brother.

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Meanwhile, as Kim (Tamara Braun) and Julian (William deVry) prepare to leave Port Charles for Manhattan and start live anew, (so Kim can not be haunted by her life in Port Charles from the recent death of her son, Oscar) things are about to make a shocking turn … for her.

Back at GH, Liz is upset when Franco decides he must get out of his hospital room.  Liz is scared he will just skip town knowing he feels he has no ties there.  Drew reassures her that because he is a version of him, the pull will be way too strong for him to exit Port Charles.

Courtesy/ABC

Kim is now at the hospital getting ready to turn in her resignation letter and runs into Franco.  He recognizes her and calls her “Kim!” You can tell he is quite smitten with her.  Kim is not sure why Franco is acting that way.  She announces she is leaving Port Charles to which he says he is going to come with her. She sees he has a hospital ID bracelet on, so she thinks something has happened.  Just then, Franco tells her about the first time Drew Cain and her met up! This shocks Kim  … and the next thing you know … he moves in for a major kiss and lip-lock as Drew and Liz look on.

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So, what do you think of the story turn thus far that has Franco now with Drew’s memories and with no trace of Franco? Share your thoughts on the twist via the comment section below!

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Breaking News

Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine … But Just How Does She Appear?

Now, any General Hospital fan knows that if there is skullduggery and evil going down, Helena Cassadine (whether dead or alive) is usually somehow involved when it comes to the lives of certain people in Port Charles.

And … some major storyline news from TV Line reveals that on next Monday’s August 19th episode of the ABC soap opera, Constance Towers reprises her role as the evil one herself … Helena!

Apparently, look for Helena to appear in a flashback with none other than Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and about Drew Cain’s time in Afghanistan.  That scene might hold a key to just what Shiloh wants now that he has implanted Drew’s memories into Franco (Roget Howath), thanks to Dr. Cabot’s work.  But could what is revealed also relate to the story that will see Billy Miller (Drew) exit the canvas later this month? Stay tuned.

Viewers last saw Helena alive in story until November of 2016, but then she was part of Jake’s hallucinations that were a part of the chimera storyline that climaxed at the Nurses’ Ball back in May of 2017.

So what do you think Helena’s presence in a flashback will reveal? And, who is ultimately having that flashback? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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Recent Comments

  • Adrienne As tencil: “I agree, of Franco + Elizabeth DON'T get together within 90 days, my patience will dissolve and I likely Will…
  • Rena Atkinson: “Enough is enough, it was good for awhile. Now you can please bring Franco BACK!!!…
  • Janet: “You could see immediately he had the soldier persona. The way he spoke and stood. I really didn't want the…
  • Shirley Martinez: “Totally agree
  • Shirley Martinez: “I want Drew to come back. And Franco to go back to Elizabeth. Not happy with this storyline. Sad Billy…
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