It’s been months since GENERAL HOSPITAL viewers learned that Holly was actually alive and being held hostage in some undisclosed location… but there has been no sight of portrayer Emma Samms since that brief appearance on a security monitor. While the storyline was seemingly dropped, the actress recently revealed during an appearance on the That’s Awesome With Steve & Bradford podcast that her GH return was initially meant to be much bigger than that one scene.
“I was supposed to come back,” Samms told hosts Steve Burton (Jason) and Bradford Anderson (Spinelli), implying that her return was due to take place last spring. “It was all scheduled and arranged, then shut down because of the pandemic. And then me getting sick. It stopped it all.”
The actress fell ill with COVID early on and has been struggling ever since with the long-term effects of the virus, a condition which is now known as Long COVID. “I caught COVID in March of last year,” she confessed, “and then bizarrely, never got better.”
Due to her ongoing recovery, Samms was too unwell to travel from her home in England to the GH set in Los Angeles once the soap resumed production after the initial shutdown. That, in turn, impacted the soap’s plans for Holly, the role which she’s played on and off since 1982. (Her last appearance was in 2015 during the exit storyline of Anthony Geary’s Luke.) Since Samms wasn’t able to go to GH, GH was brought to Samms! “I did do that one little scene from home, from my guest room,” she said with a laugh. “Which was me being held hostage in some mysterious location. Just me on my own in a room. It was bizarre to do a scene from here that was going to be on there.”
Samms added that she was grateful to GH executive producer Frank Valentini for making her brief appearance work. “It was so great that they arranged that and made it happen,” she said. “It meant that that story is on hold. And now it’s a matter of when travel is safe and when I’m well enough.”
In the meantime, Samms has been hard at work organizing an unofficial virtual reunion with her DYNASTY castmates — she played Fallon on the popular primetime soap — to raise funds for research into Long COVID. For more information on the Dynasty Reunion, click here.