Veteran General Hospital fans recall the show exploding onto the pop culture scene in the late 1970s/early 1980s. While producer Gloria Monty revolutionized GH — and the industry — with innovative production values, there’s a showbiz adage that goes ‘if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage!’
During a recent GH Fantasy Events with Kin Shriner (Scotty) and Will deVry (ex-Julian), the former was asked about legendary scribe Douglas Marland, who was tasked with saving the show from cancellation when the then-low-rated serial was dropping in the ratings.
Marland infused GH with must-see stories and new characters including the Quartermaines, Bobbie Spencer, and many others while making sure that OG characters Steve (John Beradino) and Jessie (Emily McLaughlin) continued to play roles integral to the show’s stories.
“I have wonderful memories of Douglas Marland,” Shriner said during the GH fantasy event. “He was very fond of the Scotty character. Doug had a beautiful home in Connecticut. Every time I went to New York, he’d invite [me] out to his estate. He always wanted to talk about the show, the characters. He wrote every character from the ground up.”
Marland’s stay in Port Charles was brief — about two years. But the characters he created remain a part of the show today. “He created Bobbie Spencer [Jacklyn Zeman and the triangle] with Scotty and Laura…” Kin Shriner recollects. Towards the end of Marland’s first year on the show, he introduced the character of Bobbie’s brother Luke (Anthony Geary).
Alas, Marland and Monty clashed over story direction and so Marland left the ABC serial not long after Laura (Genie Francis) and Scotty (Kin Shriner) were wed in the summer of 1979. “Then, he went to Guiding Light and [later,] As the World Turns. Doug and Gloria fought a lot over what he wanted to do and what she wanted to do. There were issues but while Doug was [at GH] he really formed that show.
“Doug was the best,” Kin Shriner concludes, adding that Marland was an actor before going into writing. “I was on [the GH] set [in 1993] when we were told he had passed away.” For more info on how to attend upcoming GH Fantasy Events, click here.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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