Genie Francis Returning to ‘General Hospital’

Genie Francis (Photo: CBS)

Luke and Laura will be reunited, or at least in the same city, when “General Hospital” celebrates its 50th anniversary this April.

Genie Francis has just signed a deal to return to the show, Entertainment Weekly reports. Francis most recently played the iconic role of Laura in 2008. She starred on “The Young & the Restless” as Genevieve from 2011 to 2012.

There is a backstory worthy of a soap to Francis’s return. At the time of her departure, she gave interviews stating that she would only return to the role if she were confident that Laura, who had mental problems in her final storylines, would not be written as a victim. It was no secret that she did not get along with GH’s then-executive producer Jill Farren Phelps. Last fall, Phelps became the executive producer of Y&R, and firing Francis was one of her first moves.

Yesterday, recently departed GH star Steve Burton, a good friend of Phelps who claimed he left GH to move to Tennessee, appeared on “The Talkto announce that he was joining the cast of Y&R. It’s the soap opera equivalent of a sports trade.

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Francis will first appear on the February 11 episode of GH. The length of her stay on the show is unknown, but GH has brought on several other former stars for short stints that soon turned into long-term contract roles. Francis told EW, “I don’t know what the story is. I have no idea, but [executive producer] Frank Valentini is very persuasive, energetic, infectious and has a sense of fun, a positive-ness that makes you want to work for the guy. He assured me there was going to be nice stuff to play. I am choosing to believe him!”

Since Laura’s departure, the love of her life, Luke (Tony Geary), has been paired with several other women, most recently Anna (Finola Hughes). It seems likely that her storyline will lead to a Luke and Laura reunion. Laura also will be surprised to discover that since she left Port Charles her daughter Lulu (Julie Berman) has gotten married and is currently attempting to have a baby via a surrogate. Said Francis, “My biggest [storyline] concern was that there had to be a good reason for me to stay away from my family.”

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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