Genie Francis (Laura Collins, General Hospital) celebrates a milestone. Learn more here-->>
Soap veteran, Genie Francis is celebrating a milestone today. 44 years, Francis made her debut as Laura Vining on General Hospital.
Here's a brief rundown:
On February 8, 1977, Laura was back on the scenes, as Lesley tracked down a bitter Laura who was at the time living in a commune in Canada. Laura is not pleased and mistakenly blames Lesley for abandoning her. Lesley, however, convinces Laura of Cameron's schemes and convinces her to come home with her.
It didn't work as the commune leader threatened them forcing Lesley's friend love interest Dr. Rick Webber to rescue them. Laura later falls for law student, Scott Baldwin and is so distraught when he rejects her that she starts an affair with Rick's friend, David Hamilton. Laura accidentally causes David's death when he rejects her for Lesley. Laura does not remember the incident and Lesley confesses to the murder. When Lesley is convicted, Laura confesses and is sentenced to probation. As her life spirals out of control, Scott and Laura reunite and become engaged on her 17th birthday. After they wed, Laura must get a job to help Scott pay for law school. She ends up working for Luke at the campus disco where he rapes her. Though Laura forgives him, the rape ignites a lifelong feud between Luke and Scotty.
Luke is managing the campus disco for mobster Frank Smith who orders Luke to kill a local senator. Luke declines to do so and while trying to comfort a distressed Luke the rape occurs. Though Laura tries to avoid Luke, they end up together when they start working at ELQ. In 1979 they end up on the run and solve the mystery if the left-handed boy. The duo later teams up to stop Mikkos Cassadine from freezing the world. Realizing how much they love each other, Laura divorces Scott in 1981 and marries Luke shortly after while Mikkos's widow, Helena puts a curse on the couple for the husband's death. Laura's friend, Tiffany Hill gets Laura a modeling job as "Ms. Star Eyes," only for her to suddenly disappear after being kidnapped by David Grey and presumed dead. In 1983, it is revealed that Laura is being held by Mikkos and Helena's son Stavros (John Martinuzzi) who has convinced Laura that Luke is dead. Sick of her son's obsession, Helena reveals that Luke is alive and allows her to escape. A confrontation with Luke ends with Stavros's death.
Laura and Luke were the supercouple to watch. They brought so much passion and so much love in the afternoon. Genie Francis was also known as the saving grace for GH, as in her early years on the soap, Gloria Monty (executive producer at the time) put her front and center to attract younger viewers when the show was facing cancellation.
44 years later, Genie is still beloved by fans and remains a household name. She is still bringing her A-game, delivering outstanding performances one after the other on GH. She is also the Emmy award winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2007. Happy 44th anniversary Genie! Here's to many, many more to come. Watch her in the beginning below!