ABC soap fans were thrilled when General Hospital cast Michael E. Knight as attorney Martin Grey. The character’s first name was a nod to the actor’s role as Tad Martin on All My Children. And, as viewers later discovered, the surname “Grey” was a nod to Gordon Grey, Laura’s biological pop.
Michael E. Knight Talks Martin’s Accent
Knight has three Daytime Emmys on his mantel and he’s known for making great character choices in his roles, which flesh out his on-screen personas, creating a lot of must-see TV in the process.
He chose to add something to the character of Martin after reading some scripts that led him to believe that Martin had spent some time in the south. At a Fantasy Events Live event earlier this year that Knight did with former TV sister Kim Delaney (ex-Jenny, AMC; now, Jackie Templeton on GH), he was asked if spending time in Charleston led to Martin’s southern accent.
“That’s a good question,” Knight responded, noting that some of his fellow coworkers at GH rib him about Martin’s drawl. “The first few days I was on the show I didn’t have the accent,” the actor confirms. Knight read the scripts in which he was representing Franco (played by Roger Howarth, now Austin Holt) in court and he got the impression one of the show’s writers came from the south.
“As I was running the lines, I kept coming up with this Virginian accent,” Knight shares. “I said [to the producers] can I give this a shot?” He got the green light and credits former AMC wife Cady McClain, whose character Dixie hailed from Pigeon Hollow, West Virginia for helping him nail the accent. “I’d listen to her for so many years,” Knight says. “I got to do my own and it stuck. [The show] did come back to me after a week of [my doing it] and asked if I could tone it down.”
Memories of Genie Francis on AMC
Speaking of AMC, Knight recalls having worked with Genie Francis (Laura) when she played Ceara on the New York-based serial. “She’s cool!” Knight enthuses. “It was so cool to get back [to daytime] and work with Genie.” The character of Ceara, alas, only lasted about a year. Francis left AMC and later returned to playing GH’s Laura in 1993.For more info on GH Fantasy Events where you can meet your favorite daytime stars, click here!