The cast and crew of GENERAL HOSPITAL gathered together to celebrate the late, great Emmy Award-winning makeup artist Donna Messina as executive producer Frank Valentini unveiled a new bench with a plaque dedicated to her memory. Sitting just outside of the set, it’s located in the exact place where Messina would enjoy her breaks — and fresh air and sunshine. Now her GH family will forever be able to touch the warmth that the beloved Messina radiated.
Take a look through the gallery below for photos from that special day and memories of their late friend.
For those interested in assisting in providing for the college education of Messina’s sons, Nick, Vito and Antonio, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) and Jane Elliot (ex-Tracy) have joined others in creating a GoFundMe page. “The GH family would like to honor our beloved Donna through this GoFundMe page,” the campaign states. “Her love for us was immeasurable, as ours is for her.”
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Gh Maurice Benard Nick Armogida
The entire GH family was thrilled to see Messina’s husband, Nick Armogida, on hand for the unveiling of the bench. Along with Maurice Benard (Sonny), he was one of the first to settle in.
Gh Steve Burton
Steve Burton (Jason) took a break from being in the studio to relax for a few minutes before going back to work on the GH set. He loves the placement of Messina's bench, just a few steps from his own dressing room. "This," he said, "is the exact spot that Donna could be found — especially if it was a hot day."
Gh Frank Valentini
“Donna got it right,”Valentini said. “She lived her life surrounded by people she loved and those who loved her. She smiled, she laughed all the time, and I honestly can’t picture her without a smile on her face. Her good nature and positive attitude was contagious. Donna loved without the obstruction of skepticism and has taught us that nothing, especially in this business, is that serious or upsetting that a warm, generous hug, a beautiful friendly smile can’t fix.”
Gh Maurice Benard Hair Makeup Dept
Benard huddled with Donna's hair and makeup department on the cold and windy afternoon. While a few of Donna's friends at GH spoke a few words, Benard passed on the opportunity. "There is not a person here," he said, "who doesn't know how I felt about Donna and how she felt about me."
Gh Jon Lindstrom
When Valentini invited Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan) back to the show a few years back, he wandered down to the hair and makeup room as he thought it over. Upon being spotted by Donna, “she ran out and gave me this big hug and asked, ‘Are you coming back?’” he remembered. “And I said, ‘I am now.’”
Gh Maurice Benard Kin Shriner
Two of Messina's longtime favorites, Benard and Kin Shriner (Scotty), were on hand to witness the presentation.
Gh Jacklyn Zeman
“Donna was talented and creative and wonderful and loving and open-hearted and all of the things that people have said about her,” Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie) fondly recalled.