Genie Francis (Laura Spencer) will reprise her Emmy-winning role of Laura Spencer next month. Laura was last seen slipping in and out of a catatonic state in 2006. According to a show source, Laura miraculously emerges from that state because of her love for her daughter.
"This is a short visit," Francis said in a statement. "It's a mother-daughter story. Years ago when I started playing the character as a 14-year-old girl, it was a mother-daughter story, only I was the daughter. So it's kinda cool this is full circle. It's nice to come back for visits. General Hospital is my home."
Indeed, Francis is like family to many daytime viewers. The actress has been a member of the General Hospital canvas since her debut in 1976. Luke and Laura's wedding remains the most-watched daytime event in the history of television. Some 30 million viewers tuned in to see the couple tie the knot.
Fans will no doubt wonder why Francis only seems to return in short bursts. The actress returned for a one-month engagement in 2006 to help commemorate the 25th anniversary of Luke and Laura's wedding. That short-term gig landed Francis her very first Daytime Emmy win last year. According to Francis, it isn't that she doesn't want to return to the show full-time -- it's a matter of the show not having a place for her in its roster.
"I would stay on, but [the show] honestly doesn't seem to want that relationship with this character at the moment," said Francis. "They want little short doses during sweeps periods. It's not entirely up to me. I'm thrilled and delighted my audience stands behind me. If they didn't, you can be sure I wouldn't get to come back for these visits."
Francis says that she has been assured that Laura will not be killed off during her guest appearance.
In addition to her work on television, Francis also owns and operates a home-furnishing shop in Maine.
Francis' return begins August 26th. An ABC spokesperson hints that Francis will be seen on-screen through October.