ABC’s “General Hospital” will celebrate its 15,000th show on Monday, June 20 (originally scheduled for June 17) with a special standalone episode centering on Mayor Laura Collins, played by Genie Francis who is currently celebrating 45 years since making her debut on the daytime drama series as the iconic character. In 2007, the actress won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal.
In an episode description released by the network, the town of Port Charles comes together when an unknown political force takes aim at beloved Mayor Laura Collins. Meanwhile, in two separate group photos of the show’s cast and crew that were shared on social media during last month’s taping of the episode, actor Jeff Kober was spotted which immediately had fans wondering if they can expect to see the return of Cyrus Renault, Laura’s brother, back in Port Charles. Kober most recently appeared on the soap in December 2021 as the notorious drug runner who had numerous enemies in town, including Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard).
Speaking with ABC7 (KABC) entertainment reporter George Pennacchio, Francis and Benard, the two longest-tenured contract actors on the soap, along with the show’s executive producer, Frank Valentini, gave an exclusive first look to the journalist when he visited the set of the soap during a break from taping the special episode.
“Well, I don’t think anybody can believe that it’s been on this long. It’s quite an accomplishment, isn’t it? And it’s gone through different generations of people,” stated Francis to Pennacchio when discussing the show’s longevity. She adds, “I’m very happy with how the character has grown and changed. In the beginning, of course, she was very, very vulnerable and now I focus much more on her strength.”
“It’ll be happy, sad, dark, scary, fun, thrilling [and] exciting, but most importantly it has almost every single cast member in it,” teased Valentini of what viewers can expect.
“The truth of the matter is I don’t even touch the cake cause I’m real disciplined,” laughed Benard when asked how many calories he’s eaten of cake after being around for so many of the show’s milestones.
Watch Pennacchio’s visit to the “General Hospital” set below, and make sure to tune in for the special 15,000th episode airing Monday, June 20 on ABC.