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Soap Hub Flashback Friday: GH’s Finola Hughes Recalls Jacklyn Zeman

The actress shared a sweet memory of her late co-star, Jacklyn Zeman during her early days on the soap opera.

finola hughes in a flash back friday memory with jacklyn zeman.Finola Hughes recalled some great advice she received.

Daytime Emmy winner Finola Hughes may be the consummate professional now, but the actress recalled her early days on General Hospital when she was intimidated by the veterans on the show. Hughes made her debut on April 10, 1985, as double agent Anna Devane, the ex-wife of WSB agent Robert Scorpio. But it was another soap veteran that made her feel relaxed and at home in Port Charles.

Finola Hughes: Remembering Jacklyn Zeman

Hughes shared her Soap Hub Flashback Friday moment about an early scene she had with the late Jacklyn Zeman and how her presence soothed her when she had a case of pre-scene jitters during a fan event hosted by Coastal Entertainment. “When I first got there, she was somebody to look up to, you know, and, I was a little intimidated because she had so much work and she was so amazing and so beautiful.”

The actress had plenty of experience on stage and in film but was completely new to daytime. Adding to that anxiety, she had landed the pivotal role meant for an American actress and smack in the middle of multiple red-hot storylines, including the love story between Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) and his new wife, Holly Sutton (Emma Samms). Zeman took her under her wing.

“And as Anna, I got to go to the brownstone one day,” Hughes recalled their first meeting. “It was the first time I got to work with her. I was really a bit intimidated. She was there with her beautiful red hair, and there was a whole story. I can’t remember [the exact story].

“I know Jack [Wagner; Frisco Jones] was there and Tony [Geary; Luke Spencer], and they went out of the room,” she continued. Hughes described how her nerves got the best of her. “It was just me and Jackie as Anna and Bobbie talking, and I kind of couldn’t get my way around this one line. It wasn’t working for me, and she just reached over, she put her hand on me, and she just said, ‘Just make it up. Improvise. Just say what you want to say.’”

It immediately resonated with Hughes and put her at ease. “And I was like, ‘all right,’ and I did. I just put it in a way that I wasn’t tripping over myself. She was so kind and so sweet, and it just really relaxed me…. Gloria [Monty] allowed you to sort of improvise. But I was still new, and I hadn’t quite gotten into the whole habit of making stuff up on the fly.”

The fan-favorite actress marveled about her late co-star. “She just sort of took my hand and said, ‘Why don’t you just put it in your own words?’”

The two women shared a rapport both on-screen and off. “She was a really nice lady and liked to talk a lot about kids and would talk to me in the hallway,” Hughes revealed, saying how easy it was to talk to the actress. “You know, like there were a lot of times when I just unloaded on her…said this is happening and that’s happening, and she always had a lot of advice. She was great, a really nice lady.”

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