As one of the most iconic characters on GENERAL HOSPITAL, Leslie Charleson’s Monica Quartermaine has been a mainstay of Port Charles since her debut in 1977. Although some fans may be surprised to know that Charleson was actually a recast, taking over for actress Patsy Rahn, who played Monica from 1976-77! And in 2018, the role was temporarily recast with Patty McCormack due to Charleson suffering an injury. Then, in March 2022, Holly Kaplan stepped into Monica’s shoes for one episode. Unfortunately, in recent years, Charleson has not appeared much on GH, meaning some newer fans may be unfamiliar with Monica’s extensive history on the soap. So for those viewers, we thought we’d help fill in the blanks… and for longtime fans, enjoy this trip down Memory Lane!
Monica arrived in Port Charles recently wed to Jeff Webber, but still in love with his brother, Rick, who had been presumed dead. So naturally, when Rick turned up alive and well, Monica cheated on Jeff with his brother, and Jeff cheated on Monica with Heather! Later, Monica was devastated that Rick had fallen in love with Lesley, and schemed to prevent their marriage, accidentally causing Lesley to miscarry Rick’s child. Monica claimed to be moving on with Alan Quartermaine but was still very much infatuated with Rick.
The revelation that Monica had slept with her foster mother Gail’s husband, Greg, shattered the family, although Gail reconciled with her daughter after Monica explained Greg had forced himself on her. Turning to Alan for support, Monica agreed to marry him, and he bought her a mansion as a wedding present. The Quartermaines welcomed Monica into the family, except for Tracy Quartermaine, who felt Monica was beneath them.
Following a one-night stand with Rick, Monica became pregnant, and Tracy was immediately suspicious. When Monica gave birth to A.J. Quartermaine during a winter storm, the delirious woman confessed that Rick was the father. Enraged, Alan plotted to kill Rick and Monica, but the war came to an end when it was revealed that Alan was, in fact, A.J.’s father. Alan contested their divorce, and the pair were forced to live together in the Quartermaine mansion though they couldn’t stand each other. Alan had an affair with Susan Moore, and she gave birth to his son, Jason. After Susan was murdered, Monica and Alan took Jason in and raised him as their own.
In the mid-‘80s, Monica had an affair with Sean Donely and kicked the Quartermaines out of the mansion. Eventually, Sean left her for Tiffany, and Monica reconciled with Alan, inviting the family back home. While recuperating at a spa, Monica slept with one of the employees who turned out to be Ned Ashton, Tracy’s son! When Ned began dating Monica’s secret daughter, Dawn Winthrop, it was the end of Monica and Alan’s marriage. They split up and Alan tied the knot with Lucy Coe!
After Dawn’s murder and the failure of Alan’s marriage to Lucy, he and Monica were brought back together and they ultimately remarried. When Monica was diagnosed with breast cancer, she tried to push Alan away, but he supported her throughout her ordeal. During this time, Monica befriended fellow cancer patient Paige Bowen, and following her death, adopted her daughter, Emily.
A tragic car accident that stripped Jason of his memory of the family caused heartache in the Quartermaine family and led to Alan and Monica splitting up again. To cheer herself up, Monica had an affair with fellow doctor Pierce Dorman, who turned around and sued her for sexual harassment! When she lost in court and was fired as a result, a furious Monica kidnapped Dorman and threatened to lobotomize him! Thankfully, she was later vindicated when Pierce was murdered and revealed to have been a drug dealer.
Alan and Monica reconciled yet again, and survived his addiction to painkillers and the arrival of Skye, who claimed to be his daughter. (Tracy proved otherwise!) Their marriage continued to have its ups and downs but came to a final end in 2007 when Alan passed away. This was tragically followed by Emily’s death later in the year. Monica turned to the bottle, and Tracy sued her for malpractice after she performed surgery on Luke. After going through rehab, Monica was reinstated as chief of staff at General Hospital.
It was later revealed that Monica had helped A.J. fake his death and sneak out of the country, which led to her once again losing her job at the hospital. She clashed with the new chief of staff, Liesl Obrecht, but managed to regain the position with Tracy’s help. And having grown closer to Jason over the years, Monica was touched when he and Sam named their newborn daughter Emily, after her late adopted daughter. (Even if that Jason turned out to really be his twin brother, Drew Cain!)
While Monica doesn’t see as much action in her life now as she did when she was younger, she’s always in the middle of enough drama to keep her busy, and as a cancer survivor, found herself drawn to help Drew’s son, Oscar Nero, with his own battle with the deadly disease. She was also pleasantly surprised to learn that Michael’s son hadn’t died, and was happy to welcome Wiley into the family. She also agreed to let Harrison Chase stay in the Quartermaine mansion while recovering from being poisoned in case he had a setback.
When Monica was appointed to the hospital board after Cyrus Renault was finally brought to justice, she wound up appointing Britt Westbourne and Terry Randolph as co-chiefs of staff. She also convinced Austin Gatlin-Holt to drop his lawsuit against the Quartermaines. Although she was heartbroken that Jason was presumed dead in a cave-in on Quartermaine Island, Monica was happy to be reunited with the actually-still-alive Drew.
In 2023, Monica was taking a lot of business trips, so when Epiphany Johnson passed away, Monica called Elizabeth Webber to let her know she had been promoted to head nurse in her place. Then, in August, Monica phoned to check in on Olivia Falconeri Quartermaine to see how she was coping with Tracy’s return and Ned believing he was Eddie Maine.
Stay tuned to see how Monica’s story continues.
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