Soaps are filled with “talk to” characters who act as sounding boards and help move storylines along. However, smart serials — like General Hospital — make those players fully dimensional and give actors who play those characters moments to shine. That’s what happened on GH when Joyce Guy’s Phyllis Caulfield learned her beloved husband Lenny had died. For her performance as a grieving wife, Soap Hub bestows Performer of the Week for GH honors on Guy.
Joyce Guy — Performer of the Week
Lenny Caufield’s (the terrific Rif Hutton) death was both surprising and unexpected. His recent diagnosis of advanced pancreatic cancer (along with his heart issues) didn’t give us much hope that he’d see November sweeps but his loved ones — Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros), “Mike” (Maurice Benard), and especially, his loving wife Phyllis — did their best to remain optimistic. Phyllis suggested to Lenny that they go home but Lenny wanted to stay at The Tan-O and enjoy the sunset.
Lenny chose to spend his final moments watching a sunset as he sat on a chair outside his bar. (Kudos to the ace GH lighting team for creating such a beautiful sunset effect.) Meanwhile, inside, Mike and Nina told Phyllis that they had an idea, which was for the four of them to take a trip and go fishing. Nina assured Phyllis that they could enjoy some spa time while the men fished. Alas, the trip will never happen. Sonny went outside to check on Lenny and he was gone. Mike re-entered the bar to break the news to Phyllis.
It turns out that Mike didn’t have to say anything. Phyllis turned to look at him and saw it all on Mike’s face as tears filled her eyes. She dropped the glass she was holding and it shattered on the floor — as did the hopes Phyllis had for any additional time with her beloved husband.
In shock, Phyllis went into nurse-mode once she got to Lenny’s side. She diagnosed what had likely happened. “It was quick,” Phyllis surmised as Guy brought a blend of emotion and medical knowledge to her character. “Painless by the expression on his face…likely his heart or lungs. Lenny was just…carried off.”
As the enormity of her husband’s death sunk in, Phyllis said, “You said you would never leave The Tan-O again. I knew you were stubborn but this one takes the cake.” Mike (who is really Sonny Corinthos, of course) and Nina wanted to help but Phyllis asked for a final moment alone with her husband.
After they went back inside, Phyllis broke down crying – devastated that her husband was gone, a devastating feeling tempered perhaps by the knowledge that Lenny was no longer in pain. Brava to Guy for her performance as a grieving wife, which should be remembered when actors are filling out next year’s Daytime Emmy ballots.
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.
View this post on Instagram