General Hospital's Laura Webber has a tendency to disappear in the summer, and this year is no different. The character has left Port Charles to handle a family emergency.
Viewers saw Laura receive a worrying phone call about her mother, Lesley (Denise Alexander), at the end of Friday's episode, prompting the character to hop on a plane to Italy. However, there's no need to fear that Laura will be gone forever; as longtime viewers suspected (and as Soap Opera Digest confirms in its latest issue), her exit is a brief one to accommodate a summer break for portrayer Genie Francis.
This isn't the first time that the actress has decided to take a mid-year break. Last year, for example, the show's writers had Laura and Martin (Michael E. Knight) briefly go into the Witness Protection Program to accommodate Francis' summer vacation.
Francis took over the role of GH's Laura Webber in 1977 and immediately rose to iconic status as part of the ABC soap's pairing of Laura with Anthony Geary's Luke Spencer. The actress has come and gone many times over the years, but she has remained a Port Charles staple, with Laura being chosen as the focus of GH's recent 15,000th episode.
How do you feel about GH's Laura being ushered off-screen to facilitate Genie Francis' summer vacation? What are your thoughts on the storyline that took Laura out of Port Charles this time around? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.