Soap Opera Update/Digest

Soap Opera Update
(Thanks, Nancy!)

Genie Francis may be one of the only actresses who has had the pleasure of having been twice associated with creatures from uncharted solar systems. Back in the early '90s, Francis saw General Hospital give top billing to an alien named Casey. And just recently, the actress had the chance to mix and mingle with superior beings on NBC's hit series, 3rd Rock From The Sun.

It's been a while since the Emmy-nominated actress has taken a step back from her role as the hugely popular Laura Spencer, but Francis was back and in fine form. Something her agent knew would be the case after reading the breakdown from 3rd Rock. Francis quickly recapped the episode, which aired January 25th, for Update readers who might have missed her appearance: She played one-half of the Gwen and Larry (who was actually played by Francis' real-life hubby Jonathan Frakes) coupling. "Dick (John Lithgow) and Mary (Jane Curtin) decided that they should be socializing with people other than his family, that they should branch out a bit," explains the ebullient actress. "So Dick and Mary make plans to go out with Gwen and Larry."

The experience of having the opportunity to work with "such nice people" left an impression on the formidable star. "Both Jane(Curtin) and John (Lithgow) are so amazingly talented," praises Francis. "I've always known how talented they are, but of all the places I worked in 23 years, I can tell you beyond the shadow of a doubt that this is the nicest group of people (to have collaborated with)."

Being in front of a live audience also proved to be an enviable experience for Francis, since all of GH is filmed rather than pre-recorded. And the two-take limit was another plus to be appreciated. "It was nice to have an audience to respond, because then you get a sense of how you're doing," muses Francis. "So, I enjoyed that very much. I miss doing live theater, and it was kind of nice to have a sense of doing a 'show' instead of just filming."

The actress, who also dabbled in comedy throughout her career, agrees in retrospect that evoking laughs can sometimes be more difficult than tears. "I think they are different," muses Francis about the two genres. "I think to a degree that comedy is harder than drama, but it's also so much fun."

by Laura Debrizzi

Soap Opera Digest: ABC Gossip

Funny Lady: If there's one thing Genie Francis (Laura) learned from her recent guest spot on 3rd Rock From The Sun it's that she'd love to do more comedy. "The only thing I'm interested in pursuing outside of GH would be comedy," she shares, "because I feel like I've got the best of the drama world right there in my hands. [Comedy] is something I can't do where I am, and it's so much more fun [laughs]!"