It may seem like evil Helena Cassadine has finally been defeated by her enemies on General Hospital, but her portrayer, Constance Towers, has plenty to celebrate.
That’s because the elegant Towers was born on May 20, 1933, in Whitefish, Montana, which means she’s turning 86 years young today. She got an early start in the entertainment industry when she appeared on radio as a child singer.
Her family moved to New York where she eventually attended the Julliard School of Music and the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts. While she originally had operatic dreams, a chance casting in a summer production of Carousel turned her towards musical theater.
She made her Broadway debut in the title role of Anya in 1965, in which she played the Russian princess Anastasia. She went onto roles in Carousel (again) as well as The Sound of Music before being paired with Yul Brenner in the Broadway revival of The King and I, appearing in almost 800 performances.
Towers also appeared in films opposite the legendary John Wayne in The Horse Soldiers, Sergeant Rutledge opposite Jeffrey Hunter, and many more. But, as she got older she took on mature roles — and really found her calling in daytime dramas. The first of which was as Marian Hiller on Love Is a Many Splendored Thing in the early 1970s.
She made appearances all over primetime on shows like Hawaii Five-O, The Rockford Files, and Fantasy Island but in 1982 she was cast as the matriarch Clarissa McCandless on Capitol, where she stayed until the show went off the air in 1987.
A multitude of primetime guest spots continued until 10 years later when she played Julianna Deschanel on Sunset Beach.
Later that year, she won the role that would endear her to even more soap viewers when she recreated the role of Helena Cassadine over 15 years after the character was originated by film legend Elizabeth Taylor. She played Helena on and off for 20 years until Helena was supposedly killed off in 2017.
On the personal side, Towers was married to actor and ambassador John Gavin until his death last year.
Soap Hub wishes Constance Towers the happiest of birthdays.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.