Carly has been through the wringer more than once on GENERAL HOSPITAL, and every time she gets herself into a dangerous situation, fans fear the worst. But it will take a whole lot to get rid of Carly for good! Don’t believe us? She’s survived much worse than that in her colorful past! The character was first introduced back in 1996, portrayed by actress Sarah Joy Brown. The actress remained with the soap until 2001, at which point the role was recast with Tamara Braun. In 2005, Jennifer Bransford briefly took over the part until it was recast again, this time with Laura Wright, who is still playing Carly on GH to this day.
When she first arrived in Port Charles, Carly enrolled in the nursing program at GH to get closer to her biological mother, Bobbie Spencer. But after being rejected by her mom, Carly retaliated by seducing her husband, Tony Jones! Now bitter rivals with Bobbie, Carly fought with Tony and slept with A.J. Quartermaine on the rebound and got pregnant. She convinced Jason Morgan to claim the child as his own, and they named him Michael. Unfortunately, Carly struggled with postpartum depression, and it wasn’t until she and Bobbie finally buried the hatchet during a terrible blizzard that she came out of it. When Carly confessed her true identity, Bobbie didn’t believe it until her adoptive mother, Virginia Benson, confirmed the story.
Tony kidnapped Michael to protect him from Jason and Sonny’s dangerous lifestyle, and a vengeful Carly shot him. She faked insanity to avoid prison and ended up being committed. Jason got her out, at which point Robin Scorpio exposed Michael’s true paternity. Jason signed away all rights to Michael but remained part of his life. When Jason comforted Elizabeth Webber as she grieved the presumed death of Lucky Spencer, Carly misunderstood and slept with Sonny. Jason was furious at their betrayal and left town for a while.
Carly got pregnant again from her night with Sonny but suffered a miscarriage during a fight with A.J.. She and Sonny bonded in their grief and married in September of 2000. But when Carly tried to force him out of the mob, he divorced her. She hoped they could still get back together, at least until she caught him in bed with his attorney, Alexis Davis! Also complicating things was Carly being presumed dead after a car accident. However, when she did return, Carly and Sonny were remarried.
Sonny’s vengeful brother, Ric Lansing, kidnapped a pregnant Carly, but she escaped and was instead taken hostage by Lorenzo Alcazar! Worse still, after the guy helped Carly deliver her son, Morgan Corinthos, Sonny arrived and shot at Alcazar accidentally hitting Carly! After she came out of her coma, Carly met her biological father, John Durant, who was trying to send both Sonny and Rick to prison. Sonny split up with Carly again because she kept Alexis’ secret that Kristina was really his daughter.
Carly next started dating Alcazar, but then Michael was kidnapped and presumed dead. She also discovered that Sonny’s new girlfriend, Reese Marshall, was actually her formerly dead best friend, Carly Roberts, whose name she’d taken! The stress led Carly to suffer a nervous breakdown and marry Alcazar before landing in a mental hospital. After recovering, Carly divorced Alcazar and went into business with Jasper Jacks running the Metro Court Hotel. The pair fell in love, but their plans to marry were spoiled when Carly had to temporarily remarry Sonny to avoid testifying against him.
Eventually, Carly and Jax tied the knot and she gave birth to their daughter, Josslyn. Claudia Zacchara took Carly hostage intending to steal Josslyn, but Michael killed her. Carly, Sonny, and Jason tried to cover up the crime, but Michael was sent to prison. Carly was fine with Sonny planting drugs on Jax so she could win custody of Joss, but sabotaging his plane so it would crash was too much! (Luckily, Jax survived.) An upset Carly sent Morgan to military school to protect him from Sonny.
Carly had a short-lived relationship with Johnny Zacchara, then began dating Todd Manning. But that fell apart when she found out he was part of the scheme to replace Jason’s son with his stillborn child. Eventually, she got mixed up with Franco and even defended him after it was revealed he was Jason’s long-lost twin. Carly wasn’t crazy when Morgan eloped with Kiki, but it was even worse when he started sleeping with her mother, Ava Jerome! Carly and Franco discovered a tape revealing that Sonny had killed A.J. and Ava had killed Connie Falconeri. Keeping the secret drew Carly and Sonny closer and they began an affair despite her engagement to Franco. Having learned the truth, Franco waited until their wedding day to shock Carly by exposing not only their affair but also Sonny’s guilt in A.J.’s murder!
Carly stood by Sonny throughout his trial and stint in prison, and after his release, helped him fight for custody of Avery, his daughter with Ava. They were about to marry but Sonny was shot and temporarily paralyzed hours before the ceremony and Ava took the little girl. Carly married Sonny in the hospital in the hopes of bolstering their custody case. She and the rest of Port Charles were shocked when John Doe was revealed to be Jason back from the dead with a new face, but it was even crazier when the real Jason showed up (with his original face) and they learned the wild truth about the switch!
After Morgan was killed by a car bomb, Carly was absolutely devastated. She and Sonny confronted Ava about switching Morgan’s bipolar meds and vowed to make her pay. Although Carly and Sonny considered splitting up and he even attempted to leave the mob again, they came to realize that they are stronger together than apart.
Carly was stunned to learn that Nelle Benson, who had pretended to seduce Sonny as part of a plot to destroy her, was the daughter of her adopted father, Frank Benson, out for revenge. Nelle had seemed to turn over a new leaf and rekindled her romance with Michael, but after she got pregnant, things took a turn. Nelle began gaslighting Carly by haunting her with memories of Morgan. And after she fell down the stairs at her baby shower, Nelle accused Carly of pushing her. To avoid prison, Carly once again pleaded insanity at Diane’s urging and was sent off to Ferncliff.
While waiting for the truth to be revealed, Carly found herself being contacted by a mysterious patient in the next room of the hospital who turned out to be Ryan Chamberlain, setting up his inevitable escape after switching places with his twin, Kevin Collins. So even after getting out of Ferncliff and celebrating Nelle being sent to prison, Carly has still found herself mixed up with Ryan as the serial killer rampages through Port Charles while pretending to be Kevin. But getting too close to the truth put Carly at the top of his hit list!
Meanwhile, Carly was stunned to learn she was pregnant, and Sonny worried about her health as they were informed the pregnancy was very high-risk. Unfortunately, she couldn’t stay out of trouble and found herself kidnapped by Ryan and taken to Niagara Falls where she was left for dead in the snow! Thankfully, both she and the baby survived the ordeal, but things became further complicated when Sonny and Carly learned their baby would be born with spina bifida. Then, not only did Carly break her foot in a fall (to write in Wright’s real-life injury), but she went into premature labor! Sonny and Carly welcomed their daughter into the family and named her Donna.
Carly and Sonny’s marriage was impacted by Jax’s return to Port Charles and her discovery that he was working with Nikolas Cassadine, who was very much alive. Hiding this secret from Sonny caused friction between them, and she ultimately came clean and told her husband the truth. Then Carly had more to worry about as Sonny’s relative, Gladys Corbin, insinuated herself into the family just as their organization began to find itself under attack! During a violent shootout, Carly’s life was saved by Brando Corbin, who turned out to be Gladys’ presumed dead son. As Sonny welcomed him into the family, Carly remained wary of the newcomers and the villainous Cyrus Renault, who got out of prison and insinuated himself into Port Charles society.
After a confrontation with Nelle led to her falling off a cliff to her death, Carly kept mum about what had really happened to her. And when Avery found Nelle’s half-heart pendant in the woods, Carly realized that the dead woman was Nina Reeves‘ long-lost daughter but kept quiet about that, too! Ultimately, the truth came out, and Nina was furious with Carly, who was also dealing with Sonny’s disappearance. After having her husband declared dead, Carly got a call from Nina, who wanted to tell her he was alive, but Carly wouldn’t let her get a word in edgewise as she warned Nina to stay away from Wiley!
As Cyrus attempted to take over the Corinthos family business, Carly stepped up to run it in Sonny’s place, arranging for Cyrus’ mother, Florence Grey, to be abducted and taken to a secure location. Eventually, Cyrus was brought to justice, but the Novak Family, headed by Vincent Novak, was eager to take over, so Carly and Jason decided to present a united front by getting married! And although it started as a business arrangement to solidify the Corinthos clan, Carly eventually confessed that she had real feelings for Jason and he returned them so their wedding was an emotional ceremony.
Following their wedding reception, Carly returned home with Jason but before they could spend the night together, the newlyweds were stunned when Sonny walked in on them, very much alive! After explanations were exchanged, Carly was relieved Sonny agreed they’d done the right thing for the safety of the family, but when she later found out that Nina had known for months that Sonny was alive, she vowed to destroy her rival!
When Sonny asked her to let it go so they could all move on, Carly did so, but reluctantly. She continued to clash with Nina, who she always seemed to be running into around town. Then, Carly was heartbroken when Jason was presumed dead again. She was looking forward to Nina going to jail for keeping Sonny from his family, but the hearing took a turn when Sonny and Nina’s relationship was revealed during the testimony. Crushed, Carly lashed out at Sonny for not telling her the truth himself and accused him of still having feelings for Nina.
When Sonny planned a romantic surprise for Carly on The Haunted Star, she arrived so late that he thought she wasn’t coming and Carly was shocked to find him in bed with Nina! Sonny begged for another chance but Carly declared their marriage over and met with a lawyer about a divorce. When Carly caught Harmony Miller burning evidence, she drugged her and stashed her in her car, but Alexis arrived in time to rescue Carly. After being hit by a car, Harmony made a deathbed confession to Carly that Nina was Willow Tait’s biological mother! After confirming this with a DNA test, Carly opted to keep the secret given the animosity between Willow and Nina.
Wanting to help Drew and Michael, Carly ignored their warnings and sold her half of the Metro Court to buy stock before the Aurora/ELQ merger. But when Valentin squashed the merger, Carly was left with no way to buy back her hotel. She turned down everyone’s help, especially when Nina bought her half with the intention of giving it back to her to make amends.
Stay tuned to see how Carly’s story continues!
Love GH? Be sure to join our We Love General Hospital Facebook group to chat about all the latest storylines and juicy gossip!