General Hospital actress Susan Brown has passed at the age of 86 according to her former TV stepson Kin Shriner, who tweeted the news of her passing on Friday afternoon. She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
A fan favorite from GH’s golden age, Brown joined the ABC soap back in 1977 and appeared on it throughout the early 2000s as Dr. Gail Adamson Baldwin. She brought Gail over to sister soap Port Charles and played the part there, too.
The actress was nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in the award’s first year.
Brown made a rare public appearance a few years ago at a GH past cast event along with Hansen and Rachel Ames (Audrey).
Viewers recall Gail, a psychiatrist, offering a sympathetic ear to her pal Monica (Leslie Charleson).
Brown appeared on other soaps, too. She played Adelaide Fitzgibbon on As the World Turns. Her good friend, Douglas Marland, the head writer of ATWT at the time, didn’t stand in her way when Brown vacated the role of Adelaide to take on the part of former First Lady Pat Nixon in the TV movie The Final Days.
Brown played another First Lady when she portrayed Nancy Reagan in Without Warning: the James Brady Story in 1991.
The actress’ other credits include Fraiser, Valerie, Hotel, and Barney Miller. In the latter, she played Dr. Fitzgerald, who suggestively flirted with a very married Barney, played by series star Hal Linden.
Brown’s last appearance on GH was in 2004 when Gail and Lee attended the memorial service for Lila Quartermaine (Anna Lee).
Gail was kept alive with occasional references in recent years One time, Monica walked back into the Quartermaine mansion saying she had just seen Audrey, Lesley (Denise Alexander), and Gail.
Kathleen Noone (ex-Ellen, All My Children), a dear friend of Brown’s who was with her last night, tells Soap Hub: “She was like a sister friend. Started out as a friend and ended up a sister. Her loss is deeply felt.
“When I would visit her, I would cry because this was such a vital alive woman. I am glad she has passed but I miss her dearly. There is a big space without her presence that no one else can fill.
“I was talking with [our friend] Jonathan Reiner and we were talking about how after she left General Hospital, she was doing interior decorating. We know she’s in heaven now, redecorating it.”
Soap Hub sends sincere condolences to Brown’s family, friends and fans.
— Kin (@kinshriner) August 31, 2018