As ‘General Hospital’ Turns 60, Cast Icons Discuss ‘Dangerously Crazy’ Peak Years, COVID Vaccines and How #MeToo Changed Everything
General Hospital,” the longest running scripted show currently in production, turns 60 on April 1, and to commemorate that momentous occasion, Variety gathered five of its iconic stars together. Here, Genie Francis, Maurice Benard, Kin Shriner, Kristina Wagner and Tristan Rogers discuss the ABC’s soap opera’s loyal fandom, and reminisce about its heyday, when supercouple Luke (Anthony Geary) and Laura (Francis) — creations of then-executive producer Gloria Monty — lifted the show into the pop culture stratosphere. “General Hospital,” one of only four remaining daytime dramas, keeps breaking its own Emmys records — having won Outstanding Daytime Drama 15 times. Frank Valentini, its executive producer and showrunner since 2012, says incorporating the show’s legacy characters with new cast members is key to its longevity. “We’re not focusing on the history,” he says. “We’re moving forward with the history.” It helps that viewers see the cast as family: “For a large part of the audience, it is an incredibly nostalgic, familiar show that they love to check in on,” Valentini says.