Daytime TV Article

“If She Leaves So Do I!”

Genie Francis’ fans are determined to keep her on General Hospital forever!

“Genie Francis is one in a million.”
“She has it all -- beauty, talent and charm.”
“She makes Laura a real person, someone women at any age can identify with.”
“Genie Francis is Laura.”

These comments expressed just some of the opinion of our readers who responded to the poll in the December issued of Daytime TV. We asked if Genie Francis was irreplaceable and thousands of ballots poured in. An overwhelming 95% of the voters said Genie is the only Laura they’d watch. In fact, some people suggested there could be no General Hospital without Genie.

It all started when Genie called a press conference in September to announce she was leaving the show. No one could imagine GH without Laura but most importantly, the thought of Luke without Laura was just unbelievable. For the past two years, Luke and Laura have been the stars; and unbeatable team whether home in Port Charles, at Whittaker’s farm, or on their island of love. “A couple like Luke and Laura just can’t be split up,” says one viewer. “It would like apple pie without the apples.” Pat Swartswelter from Seattle, Washington, advised Genie to “hang in there one more year so you and Tony can walk hand in hand into the Happily Ever After.”

If Genie did decide to leave the show, our readers’ #1 replacement for the Laura is Julie Montgomery (ex-Samantha, One Life to Live). “She looks the most like Genie,” exclaims one fan. Other actresses who got votes were Vicky Dawson (ex-Eileen, Another World), Catherine Hickland (ex-Courtney, Texas), Meg Bennett (ex-Julia, Y&R), Kelli Maroney (ex-Kimberly Beaulac, Ryan’s Hope), Tatum O’Neal and Brooke Shields. Several viewers suggested that General Hospital hold a Genie Francis look-alike contest to find a new Laura.

Although Genie’s fans want her to stay, they seem to understand her dilemna. Genie felt she missed out on important teenage things, like dates, high school and football games, and her heavy work schedule was preventing her from leading a normal life. Some diehard fans hoped that Genie could remain on GH part-time, so she could have more room for other projects but still be Laura. Patti Marks, from Bothell, Washington, sums it up. “No matter what happens, I know we will enjoy Genie’s talent for years to come, in daytime, nighttime, or any other kind of entertainment. Talent such as hers comes rarely, but is remembered forever.”

by Beth Sherman