This month marks the 32nd anniversary that John J. York debuted as Mac Scorpio on General Hospital. He joined the show during the second regime of producer Gloria Monty, the executive who revolutionized daytime drama in the late 1970s and took GH to No. 1. Recently, York sat down with Soap Hub to reflect on his big debut, which occurred on February 14, 1991.
From John J. York With Love
York’s Malcolm “Mac” Scorpio was introduced to help flesh out the family of Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers). Mac came to Port Charles on board the S.S. Tracy, a ship owned by the Quartermaine family. The shores of sunny southern California doubled for the east coast-based town of Port Charles. This was back when soaps went on location more often. The show pulled out all the stops to help introduce Mac.
General Hospital Wardrobe Malfunction
Mac and Robert had a contentious relationship at the beginning, but that didn’t last for long. “I remember like it was yesterday,” York tells Soap Hub. “[We were] on location in San Pedro Harbor and getting ready to do the scene where I come out of the water, and Robert recognizes me and throws me right back in! It was awesome and fun enough — but I was wearing so many layers of clothes [including] this very heavy outdoor rugged coat.”
York says that the coat was so heavy that once it got wet — after Mac was knocked back into the Pacific [which doubled for the Atlantic] — he found it difficult to maneuver the waters. “I almost felt like I was going to drown because the water-soaked clothes were dragging me down, and I was exhausted and couldn’t swim,” York says.
John J. York: Far From All Wet
The then-soap newcomer said he was seconds away from calling for aid. Fortunately, he made it back to the ladder at the pier and was able to get to safety. Viewers are very happy each and every time Mac manages to stay alive! “Scary,” he says, “but here we are 32 years later!”