For many General Hospital fans, Scotty Baldwin has become synonyms with the word spoiled. He spoiled Laura and Lukes budding romance when they returned from their summer on the run.
He spoiled their 1981 wedding when he caught the bridal bouquet. And he spoiled Lulu’s idolization of her parents’ marriage when he brought to light Luke’s long-ago violent assault of Laura.
Throughout the 1980’s Scotty, once the doe-eyed champion of the underdog evolved into a sleazy, acid-tongued, ambulance chaser, jaded by life and terribly bitter. Most viewers openly embraced the change and for many, the evolution probably seemed inevitable especially considering the characters earlier, formative years.
Recent devotes of GH will probably be surprised to learn that the character of Scotty is almost as old as the serial itself. Although actor Kin Shriner has played the character since August 2, 1977, the character debuted in 1965 (just two years after the premiere episode) along with his mother Meg Bentley and his step-sister Brooke.
At 17, Brooke was a wild hellraiser who resented her step-mother so extremely that she seduced and fled the state with Dr. Noel Clinton a man that Meg had agreed to marry!
In time, Meg would meet the love of her life: legal eagle and addiction counselor Lee Baldwin. The two married and Lee legally adopted Scotty and raised him as any father would.
Despite a great deal of love and affection, the Baldwin marriage was a rocky one. Iris Fairchild, an old acquaintance of Meg’s from nursing school, arrived in town and immediately caused discord.
Iris had a severe drinking problem and Lee, a recovering alcoholic, not only offered to sponsor her in recovery but he hired her as his personal secretary. Jumping to conclusions, Meg was certain they were having an affair.
Lee was able to prove his fidelity and just as he and Meg reunited they were dealt a one-two punch. Scotty was deathly ill and in need of a kidney (which Lee supplied) and Meg was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a radical mastectomy, Meg suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be institutionalized.
Supposedly cured, Meg was released but now suffered from a severe case of hypertension an illness exacerbated by Megs delusional belief that Lee was being pursued by her new physician Dr. Leslie Williams (who in an ironic twist would soon be revealed as Laura’s birth mother).
Nearing a hysterical state, Meg confronted Leslie and during the argument dropped dead from a stroke! Grieving spouse Lee refused to succumb to his desire to drink and instead doubled his efforts to continue to raise Scotty in the way that his mother would have approved.
So, by the time Scotty began to court young Laura he had lost his biological father and mother, step-sister Brooke (who was murdered in 1973 by lover Burt Douglas) and even his step-mother Caroline (Lees second wife who died in Florida).
With a backstory so full of pain and loss, is it any wonder Scotty has become the character he is today?
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.