Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Luke and Laura's Wedding on General Hospital! Learn more here--->>
On November 16th and 17th, 1981, General Hospital’s Luke and Laura, portrayed by Anthony Geary and Genie Francis, married in a lavish ceremony that, to this day, holds the record for the highest-rated episode in American soap opera history. 30 million US viewers tuned in to see the super couple exchange vows, nearly doubling the 17 million US viewers who had tuned in earlier that year to see Prince Charles and Princess Diana wed.
Princess Diana was rumored to have tuned in herself to watch the duo wed and Geary told USA Today in 2006 that they had received a gift of champagne sent to them at the studio from Princess Diana herself to congratulate them!
The wedding was an extravagant affair and all the residents of Port Charles turned up to see Luke and Laura wed. The town’s mayor officiated the wedding, saying, “The two young people before us, through their love for one another, remind us of what it is that makes life precious to all of us-love, loyalty and courage. Together in the face of extreme danger to themselves, they overcame powerful forces that sought to destroy Port Charles and its people, even the entire world.”
The duo may have only fictitiously saved the world but in real life they are credited with saving General Hospital from cancelation and helping boost the American soap opera genre as a whole with the attention they brought to the show, being featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine and in other areas of the mainstream press.
General Hospital superfan, Elizabeth Taylor loved the pairing so much that she agreed to guest star as Helena Cassadine, vengeful widow of Luke’s enemy Mikkos, showing up to curse the happy couple on their wedding day. As she watched them feed each other bites of their wedding cake she fumed, “My curse on you Luke and Laura. My curse on both of you.”
Even Laura’s bitter ex-husband, Scotty Baldwin, portrayed by Kin Shriner, was on hand to catch the bouquet and tussle with the groom! The festivities ended on a high note as the happy groom lifted his beaming bride into their waiting car with words of love and they drove off together into soap opera history!
(Article written by Angela Ryan-Duncan)