She was an orphaned waif who found herself adopted by the Quartermaines, who – aside from being opulently wealthy – is one of the most dysfunctional families in soap opera history. Despite becoming the clan’s de facto conscience, Emily subsequently met a tragic end. However, her memory lives on thanks to her niece and namesake, Emily Scout Cain.
Who Is Emily Quartermaine?
While battling breast cancer, Monica Quartermaine joined a support group and made the acquaintance of single mother Paige Bowen. The relationship between the women deepened and when Paige’s cancer stopped responding to treatment she asked if Monica — and her husband Alan — would take in her daughter.
The couple agreed and upon Paige’s death, they moved Emily into the family mansion. Resentful and being foisted onto practical strangers, Emily absconded (with the help of new pal Lucky Spencer) and set off to find her mother’s estranged sister. Although aunt and niece were not close at least the woman was family.
Emily eventually returned home and in time she came to accept and love Monica and Alan as her parents and the two legally adopted the young woman. For a time, the three seemed to be a happy family unit but Monica’s affair with Pierce Dorman — a fellow doctor at GH — shattered the illusion of familial bliss.
Emily turned to drugs for solace and overdosed after she paired the capsules with liquor. With help, she conquered her addiction and she was there to help Alan admit that he too had a substance abuse problem.
The Four Musketeers Investigate
After getting away from Port Charles and luxuriating in the warm Italian sun, Emily returned to town and took up modeling. However, an insidious blackmail-minded fiend got a hold of her headshots and used photoshop to make it appear that Emily had been posing nude.
Emily banded together with Nikolas Cassadine, Lucky and Elizabeth Webber to discover the culprit and expose his operation. Much to Elizabeth’s shock, the person in question turned out to be Tom Baker. The very same man who had brutally beat and raped her some months previous.
Just a short time later, the motley crew of investigators had to once again extricate Emily from a very sticky situation. After an argument with Juan Santiago — her puppy love crush — Emily found herself drugged by a no-good nicknamed Ted and then woke up in a bed beside his dead body.
At first, the gang hide the corpse in freezer at Wyndemere then tried to frame drug dealer Zander Smith whom they believed to be the murderous party. However, Zander was innocent and he forced Emily at gunpoint to flee arriving police officers. Together the duo proved that mob boss Joseph Sorel was responsible for the killing.
Emily soon found herself enamored with Zander and they tried to overcome the strenuous objections her family raised over the relationship. After a number of misadventures, the couple decided to leave town and forge ahead without interference. But, when the train they were on derailed, Emily emerged paralyzed and had to enter a rehabilitation center.
Although she regained the use of her legs, Emily was dealt another serious medical blow when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She initially refused standard medical intervention and instead opted for organic and holistic remedies.
After returning to Port Charles, Emily hid her condition and asked Nikolas to fake romantic interest in her so that she could shield Zander from learning the truth. Eventually, the diagnosis was revealed to everyone and Emily was convinced to undergo chemotherapy. However, it compromised her immune system and she subsequently developed meningitis.
Fearing that she would die, Emily accepted Zander’s marriage proposal despite knowing that she had actually fallen in love with Nikolas for real during their shame relationship.
General Hospital: Emily’s Hardships
Upon recovery, Emily got a divorce and tried to make a real relationship work between herself and Nikolas but they were constantly besotted by forces beyond their control. They had to contend with Nikolas’ disapproving (and homicidal) grandmother and a deeply disturbed Zander who finally met his maker after taking Emily hostage.
In 2004, Emily feared that she had lost Nikolas for good when he was presumed dead in a car accident but he had actually developed amnesia and been taken in by a woman whose MIA husband he resembled.
Nikolas’ amnesia eventually cleared and he briefly reunited with Emily only to be torn away again by police officers. He was brought up on charges of murdering Helena Cassadine but Emily was sure the villainess was still alive.
To bring the woman out of hiding Emily turned to Connor Bishop — the man who could have been Nikolas’ twin — for help. They planned to lure Helena into revealing herself but Connor’s affection for Emily turned obsessive and he raped her. When he tried to attack her for a second time, she shot and killed him.
The violation scared Emily and even after Nikolas was freed she couldn’t bring herself to make their relationship work. It was just too painful to see her rapist’s face every single day.
She sought therapy and even dallied with Sonny Corinthos but the pull between her and her ex was too much to resist. She and Nikolas rekindled their love affair and managed to survive the machinations of uber criminal Jerry Jacks.
Bitter End and Ghostly Visitations
During a grand ball to celebrate their renewed relationship Emily and Nikolas became separated and she fell victim to the psychotic Text Message Killer who strangled her to death.
Subsequently, Emily would appear to Nikolas in a series of brain tumor-induced visions and she later paid him a ghostly visit when he was wrestling with his feelings for both Elizabeth and Britt Westbourne. Years after Emily’s death a heretofore unknown identical twin sister (Rebecca) would come to Port Charles and upend the lives of her kin’s family and friends. General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.