For those of you who grew up watching the antics of Luke and Laura on General Hospital, you are in for a real treat. Award-winning actress Genie Francis returns as Laura Spencer on the top-rated daytime drama in the role she originated three decades ago, it was announced today by Brian Frons, president, daytime, Disney-ABC Television Group.
"We are very excited about Genie's return as we gear up to commemorate a quarter-century since the biggest milestone in the history of daytime television. The return of Laura Spencer to the show's canvas will solidify the show's already strong and poignant storytelling," said Frons in making the announcement.
General Hospital has been very successful in bringing back a number of beloved fan fave characters this past year. Such icons as Tristen Rogers (Robert Scorpio), Rick Springfield (Dr. Noah Drake), Finola Hughes (Anna Devane) and Emma Samms (Holly Sutton) have caused a surge in ratings for the Emmy Award winning daytime drama. The return of Laura Spencer after a 4-year haitus (Francis last left the show in 2002, placing her character in a catatonic state in a mental instutition for all these years) is certain to be a ratings booster as well.
"I am very happy to be returning to my 'General Hospital' family and look forward to portraying a role that means a lot to me, as well as the fans who have supported the character throughout the years," adds Francis.
Soapdom has learned that Francis' return will be a limited run slated to coincide with ABC Daytime's 25th anniversary celebration of the infamous November 16, 1981 wedding of Luke and Laura. A pop-culture phenomenon, the episode was originally seen by over 30 million viewers, making it the most-watched TV show in daytime television history, a record that still holds today.
During her hiatus from GH, Francis spent her time raising her two children with husband, actor/director Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation), and playing a small role in his 2004 film, Thunderbirds. Having lived in New York, Los Angeles, and London, the family most recently resides in Maine.
Talk of Francis' return has been bandied about on and off since she left in 2002, but this time it's official. She will first appear on air in mid October. Further details on the character's storyline and ABC's commemoration of the 25th anniversary will be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
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