Genie's 'General Hospital' Homecoming

(October 24, 2006) — Thirty million General Hospital fans celebrated along with Tony Geary and Genie Francis on November 16, 1981, the day their characters Luke and Laura tied the knot and made television history. You don?t have to be a soap fan to know this daytime couple didn?t end up living happily ever after. But now, after many years apart, the lovers have reunited ad Shaun Robinson was on the set the day Laura returned to the love of her life.

?What was it like coming out and being on the set for the first time in so long?? Shaun asked Genie.

?It was just like coming home, honestly,? she gushed. ?I mean I grew up here, spent 25 years of my life here!?

On the show, Laura awakens after four years in a catatonic state, and Luke is the one who discovers the good news, which is exactly how Genie wanted it.

?I’m always eager to come back and work with Tony,? she told Shaun with a smile.

To understand what Luke and Laura meant to soap fans and non-soap fans alike, all you need to do is look at a 25 year old copy of Newsweek, on which Luke and Laura fill up the entire cover. Genie says all the attention was fun, to a point and told Shaun, ?I didn’t get how big a deal it was until much later.?

Back in 2001, Genie admitted to a substance abuse problem, which she says could have been the result of facing too much focus too early and then having it all taken away.

?When it was all over and there was no camera and there was no show being made, there was nothing,? she remembers. ?Most kids that age have other kids that they’re hanging out with and dating and whatever. And for me, there was nothing. So, that was what was wrong, the piece that was missing was that I was very lonely, you know. And trying very hard to sort of be one of the grown-ups in this mix here which was a very grown-up place.?

These days, Genie is enjoying a quiet life in Maine, managing her home furnishings store with her husband, actor Jonathan Frakes and their two children. And while her family life is fine, she?s constantly hearing about Laura?s offspring.

?People come into my store and they say, ?Lulu had an abortion! Did you know that? You’ve got to go back. Lucky’s on drugs! You’ve got to go back!”

And as far as redoing the daytime TV wedding of the century, Genie says that would be impossible?mostly because Laura?s wedding dress was eventually stolen from the set!

?They wanted to put that in the Smithsonian. It would have had to have been [stolen by] somebody who worked in the building.?

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