General Hospital’s Luke and Laura tied the knot 39 years ago yesterday and today (it. was so big, it took two episodes!), watched by a record-breaking 30 million Americans!
General Hospital: An Inside Look
When this writer spoke to then-head writer Thom Racina for the book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama’s Greatest Moments, he gave the inside scoop on how the highest-rated daytime episodes of all time came together.
“We would never have married them had it not been for Elizabeth Taylor,” Racina confessed, “who called up one day when word leaked that we wanted to push off the wedding for another six months, screaming in her high voice that she had shut down many movie sets to watch Luke and Laura, and I’ll be goddamned if you’re not going to give me a wedding!
“I said we’ll give a wedding if you come, and she giggled and the rest is history.”
General Hospital Bloopers
“My most fun recollection was of Elizabeth being unable to say her character’s name. She pronounced Cassadine as Casa-deen, rather than Casa-dine. It’s great to watch it on the blooper reels now, but I remember her turning to me and saying, ‘Can’t we just change my goddamn name?’
“Um, no, my dear; perhaps in a movie but not on a TV show where the name has been played for a good year already.
“She was loving, gracious, devilish, and hard-working on her first television series appearance. She said later that the experience taught her much about dedication, for she’d been used to movie sets where time didn’t matter and her every whim was catered to. Took 12 hours the first day (for only about five lines), but by the end of the two weeks, she was a daytime pro.”
“Tony [Geary; Luke] and Genie [Francis; Laura] had that chemistry that you just can’t create no matter how hard you try. And my favorite moment is one that I pulled out my writer’s hat at the last minute – Scotty [Kin Shriner] catching the bouquet. It’s a twist and, God knows, in daytime twists are the foundation of keeping the audience tuning in tomorrow.” General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.