Over the past year, the twists and turns haven’t all been on-screen on GENERAL HOSPITAL, as unexpected comings and goings dominated the news throughout 2018. From surprising recasts to heartbreaking exits, these are the casting stories that kept viewers glued to their screens waiting to see what would come next.
Which GH casting news story left you stunned? Was it the tragic death of Ryan Paevey’s Nathan, the exit and return of Genie Francis (Laura), the shocking murder of Hayley Erin’s Kiki, or the outrageous way that Chloe Lanier’s Nelle left the canvas? Maybe it was the temporary recast of Monica Quartermaine or Cam, Jordan, or TJ’s new faces?
Take a look through the gallery below to review some of 2018’s biggest casting stories and let us know which one surprised you the most!
For more GH casting news, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!
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More from ABC Soaps In Depth
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Genie Francis Returns on Contract
Fans flew into a tizzy when veteran actress Genie Francis was moved to recurring status with the soap and Laura was written off to go take care of Spencer in Europe. But thankfully, by the fall, she was back on contract with GH and Laura returned to a frontburner storyline as her husband, Kevin, was replaced by his evil twin, Ryan!
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Ryan Paevey's Final Farewell
When Ryan Paevey decided to leave GH after five years as Detective Nathan West, the show gave him a sendoff befitting his heroic character. Shot and killed in the line of duty protecting true love Maxie, Nathan's death created shockwaves throughout Port Charles that are still being felt today. And while we wish Paevey all the best in his future career, it still hurts knowing Nathan isn't around to keep Port Charles safe anymore.
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Max Gail Is the New Mike Corbin
Since Ron Hale has retired from acting, when GH wanted to bring Sonny's father, Mike, back to the canvas, they had to recast, and they couldn't have done much better than BARNEY MILLER star Max Gail. He has done award-worthy work as Mike's Alzheimer's has affected his entire family, and if he doesn't take home a golden statue when the Daytime Emmys roll around, there's no justice in the world!
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Kiki Was Killed Off!
When Hayley Erin said goodbye to daytime, GH fans naturally assumed the soap would once again recast the role of Kiki Jerome. But since they had a serial killer runing loose in Port Charles, the writers opted instead to make her one of his victims! Mary Pat's murder shocked the town, but Kiki's death turned everyhing upside down and made things personal! We're going to miss Kiki, but we can't wait to see what happens when Ava finds out she's been sleeping with the enemy... literally!
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Dominic Zamprogna Said Goodbye
In June, Dominic Zamprogna stunned GH fans when he announced his decision to exit the soap where he's played Dante Falconeri since 2009. He did tease a return that turned out to be for the special alternate universe episode celebrating Maurice Benard's 25th anniversary as Sonny Corinthos, but that wasn't enough for viewers who want him back for good. Thankfully, Dante only left Port Charles on assignment, so he could come back at any time!
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Nelle Went Out With a Bang!
When Chloe Lanier annouced her decision to leave GH, the soap wrote quite the exit for the schemer. She managed to get gaslight Carly straight into a straightjacket at Ferncliff, and even after Michael forced a confession out of her, Nelle had the last laugh when she gave birth to Michael's son in the woods and swapped the infant with the adopted baby that had just died when Brad brought him home. She's promised to be back, and Lanier has made good on that promise with a couple of additional appearances as Nelle was sent off to prison and showed up in Ferncliff. So be careful because you never know where this psycho might show up next!
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Cassandra James' Groundbreaking Role
In a first for daytime, GH cast a transgender actress to play the role of a transgender woman by hiring Cassandra James to portray Liz's childhood friend, Dr. Terry Randolph. And the character has continued to reappear because as a pediatric oncologist, Terry has been instrumental in administering the experimental treatements everyone hopes will save Oscar's life!
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After Leslie Charleson injured herself, GH was forced to temporarily recast the role of Monica Quartermaine for the upcoming scenes that couldn't be rewritten in time. Luckily, they snagged Patty McCormack, who did a fantastic job filling in as GH's chief of staff until Charleson was feeling well enough to reclaim her role. We can't imagine Port Charles without her!
Elizabeth Hendrickson Introduces Margaux
Port Charles' new district attorney made a splash this year as she worked to do the seemingly impossible — put Sonny Corinthos behind bars! The character GH fans loved to hate, Margaux Dawson was given life by soap vet Elizabeth Hendrickson, who has enjoyed celebrated runs on soaps like ALL MY CHILDREN and THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS. Granted, Margaux's quest to lock Sonny up seems to have hit quite a snag, as has her attempts to flirt with Drew, but with Hendrickson in the role, there's no telling what she might do next!
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Jordan Was Recast... and So Was Her Son!
Vinessa Antoine chose to leave GH in order to star in a new primetime series in Canada, so the soap filled her shoes with Briana Nicole Henry, who stepped into the role of Port Charles police commissioner and Curtis' main squeeze. And when the couple's wedding day finally rolled around, her son, TJ, had a new face as well, since Tajh Bellow took over for Tequan Richmond!
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Cameron Grew Up
Liz's oldest son first appeared as a teen around the Fourth of July, but after only a couple episodes, Cade McWatt was quickly replaced with William Lipton as Cameron. Although the kid started off as a bit of a cranky bully, Lipton has found new depths as Cam has fought his feelings for Josslyn and tried to keep his family together. We're looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings for Port Charles' teen scene!