He came from one of the most dysfunctional families in soap opera history so it’s no surprise that Dr. Alan Quartermaine occasionally divested himself of the hypocritic oath and attempted to commit a homicide or two on General Hospital. Ironically the most frequent victim of his murderous ire – fellow physician Monica Webber – was also his most frequent spouse.
Even at his most crazed, Alan was still a beloved character whom the audience could never condemn, no matter his actions. Perhaps the image of actor Stuart Damon as Cinderella’s Prince Charming remained so ingrained in their memories that they couldn’t see him as anything but the perfect leading man.
The Great Q Migration
Alan James was the firstborn son of Edward and Lila Quartermaine, one of the wealthiest and most influential families living in Southampton, New York. Alan arrived in Port Charles at the bequest of Steve Hardy who needed the wealthy doctor’s assistance in raising the funds for General Hospital’s new cardiac wing.
Within days of starting work at GH, Alan made quite the impression on Dr. Monica Webber who deemed her new colleague, “pig-headed.” In time the relationship between the two deepened and Alan decided to stay on at GH after the wing’s completion just so he could be near Monica.
Realizing that their son was putting down roots in Port Charles, Edward and Lilia also moved to the upstate hamlet, where the Quartermaine patriarch relocated the ELQ main office. Not one to be left behind, younger sister Tracy soon joined her family.
Alan and Monica wed (and not for the only time) on March 7, 1978, but the union was in jeopardy before the ink was even dry on the marriage license. Lusty Monica had never gotten over her first love – Rick Webber – and the two resumed their hot and heavy affair. When Monica became pregnant, she wasn’t sure who the father was and an enraged Alan plotted to murder his cheating wife and her paramour.
His first plan was to crush the pair underneath a rigged-to-collapse ceiling but that ploy merely resulted in all three of them sustaining minor cuts and bruises. Next, Alan planned to ambush them in their love nest and pump the adulterers full of lead, but even that scheme was a spectacular failure and it was the mastermind who suffered serious injury.
With his murderous urges curbed (for the moment at least), Alan decided that what was good for the goose was good for the gander and he took up with sultry Susan Moore who bore him a child that she named Jason. In 1983, Susan was murdered by Lila’s legal husband Crane Toliver, and Monica, reluctantly, agreed to raise Jason alongside Alan Junior, whom blood tests proved was Alan’s biological child.
Proving he had learned nothing from previous experience, Alan was lured into the bed of con-woman Lucy Coe and he divorced Monica to marry her when a pregnancy test came back positive – it’s just too bad that Lucy’s baby was actually fathered by Scott Baldwin!
Physician Heal Thyself
By 1998, Alan found his life in absolute chaos. He had remarried Monica and nursed her through treatments for breast cancer but she had cheated on him with Pierce Dorman and was being sued for sexual harassment.
His eldest son AJ was in the midst of battling mobster Sonny Corinthos and Carly Roberts for access to his infant son Michael and, due to severe head trauma, Jason no longer remembered his life as a Quartermaine.
Compounding Alan’s issues, Emily Bowen, the young woman whom he and Monica had adopted, was experimenting with drugs and an old hand injury (sustained during his attempt to off his bride and her lover) was giving him such grief that he had to undergo surgery or risk his career as an operating room doctor.
The procedure was a success but Alan became addicted to the prescription drug Hydrocodone and his dependency nearly cost him his family, his job, and his life.
By 2007, life in the Quartermaine household had calmed and Alan and Monica were leading a contented life. Alan even developed a close relationship with Skye, his daughter whom Edward had sold to Adam Chandler. But Alan was not long for this world.
On February 26, 2007, he died from heart failure after suffering a number of stress-related heart attacks while being held hostage at the mercy of Jerry Jacks. Despite passing on, Alan remained a constant in the lives of his friends and family.
Monica still carries on imagined conversations with her husband and any time Tracy would feel a pang of conscience she would envision her brother standing before her ready to castigate her for her misdeeds and rally her round to making the right decisions. General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.