It was on this day in 1976 that Genie Francis first stepped into Laura’s shoes on the General Hospital set and then literally grew up before our eyes.
In the process, she created one of the most heartwarming and fierce soap opera characters with the longest history in daytime — with several breaks in between of course.
But every time she left, Francis always returned and is now enjoying one of the best love stories Laura’s had in ages with Kevin (Jon Lindstrom).
She experienced her first onscreen kiss with Kin Shriner (Scott), which also happened to be the actress’s first real-life kiss.
Of course, it was another love story that most people know Genie Francis for — and that was her legendary relationship with Tony Geary’s Luke Spencer.
Their 1981 wedding remains the most watched soap opera episode of all time and was attended by Hollywood royalty herself — Elizabeth Taylor, as the original Helena Cassadine.
Through the years, Laura has famously “died” and come back, even spawning the hit song “Think of Laura” by Christopher Cross when it was played over and over again while a supposedly-dead Laura lurked in the shadows, afraid to reveal herself.
When Luke finally did see her, it was one of the most memorable soap scenes of all time — his shrieking her name as he saw her on the lawn of the mayor’s mansion (yes, Luke used to be the mayor of Port Charles!).
It was their love-on-the-run stories, like The Left-Handed Boy and the Ice Princess that really catapulted them into superstar status.