ABC has now confirmed that Genie Francis (Laura Spencer) is leaving the show. The confirmation comes two weeks after soapcentral.com first reported that the actress would be exiting the show - but some three months after rumblings first appeared on the Internet.
"We are saddened by Genie's decision to leave General Hospital," said former ABC Daytime President Angela Shapiro in a statement. "Her portrayal of Laura Spencer over the last 25 years is a testament to her incredible talent and passion for her craft."
This is not the first time that Francis will be departing Port Charles. The Daytime Emmy-nominated actress joined General Hospital in 1976 and stayed through 1981. The actress returned in 1983 before leaving the following year. Francis then remained away from General Hospital for nearly a decade, returning in October 1993 and remaining with the show through the present.
Genie Francis taped her final General Hospital scenes on August 13. She last air on-screen on September 6.