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General Hospital

1 9 6 3 – Current (USA)

A long-running popular US daytime soap detailing the professional and personal lives of the doctors and nurses working at Port Charles General Hospital in Upper New York.

Created by Doris and Frank Hursley, the show was a 30-minute programme when it first aired in 1963 and was not particularly well received by the public or critics at first.

Under the supervision of Gloria Monty, who took over as the producer in the late 1970s, the show’s popularity steadily grew, until in 1980 it was the top-rated daytime drama.

In 1976 the show was expanded to 45-minutes and was seen five days a week. It was then expanded to a full hour, five times a week, in 1978.

In November 1981, an episode that featured the on-screen wedding of popular characters Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) and Laura Vining (Genie Francis) – with the wicked Helena Cassadine (Elizabeth Taylor) in the background – attracted more viewers than any other single soap opera in television history.

The show’s original cast included former major league baseball player John Bernadino (who died in 1996 and was the last original cast member still on the show) as Dr Steve Hardy; Emily McLaughlin (who died in 1991) as head nurse Jessie Brewer; Lucille Wall as head nurse Lucille March; Rachel Ames as Lucille’s sister, nurse Audrey March; and Ross Elliott (and then Peter Hansen) as lawyer Lee Baldwin.

Later the show moved into stranger areas with plots involving spies and such, and then in the 1990s, it switched to be a show that dealt with serious issues, such as AIDS, Cancer etc, with much of the action centred away from the confines of the hospital.

A spin-off from General Hospital launched in June 1997. The new series was called Port Charles and it focused on the lives of three characters from General Hospital – Scott Baldwin, Lucy Coe and Kevin Collins.

Not to be confused with an English series of the same nameGeneral Hospital is the longest-running daytime show on ABC and on 17 April 2002, the series reached 10,000 episodes.

Dr Lesley Faulkner Webber
Denise Alexander
Dr Jeff Webber 

Richard Dean Anderson
Audrey Hobart Hardy 

Rachel Ames
Dr Steve Hardy 

John Beradino
Head Nurse Jessie Brewer 

Emily McLaughlin
David Hamilton 

Jerry Ayres
Dr Tony Perelli 

Michael Baseleon
P.J. Taylor 

Robert Betzel
Rose Kelly 

Loanne Bishop
Cal Jamison 

Larry Block
Dr Gail Adamson Baldwin 

Susan Brown
Susan Moore 

Gail Rae Carlson
Dr Gary Lansing 

Steve Carlson
Dorrie Fleming 

Angela Cheyne
Ruby Anderson 

Norma Connelly
Dr Alan Quartermaine 

Stuart Damon
Mrs Alice Grant 

Lieux Dressler
Tracy Quartermaine Williams 

Jane Elliot
Dr Mark Dante 

Gerald Gordon
Dr Adam Streeter 

Brett Halsey
Lisa/Lana Holbrook 

Janice Heiden
Lee Baldwin 

Ross Elliott (1)
Peter Hansen (2)
Alan Quartermaine Jr. 

Eric Kroh
Edward Quartermaine 

David Lewis
Helena Cassadine
Elizabeth Taylor
Dr Noah Drake
Rick Springfield
Jackie Templeton
Demi Moore
Holly Sutton Scorpio
Emma Samms
Suzanne Stanwyck
Adrienne Barbeau
John Stamos
Janice Lomax
Shari Belafonte
Eddie Phillips
Sammy Davis Jr
Jennifer Smith
Sally Struthers
Stella Stevens
Helena Cassadine
Elizabeth Taylor
Reginald Durban
George Lazenby
Agent Brighton O’Reilly
Billie Hayes
Mariah Ramirez
June Lockhart
Richard Simmons