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Mentions of Karen on GENERAL HOSPITAL have some newer fans wondering who this character was and what her connections to Port Charles were. Well, we’re happy to help fill you in! The character first appeared back in March 1992 and was played by Cari Shayne until her exit in 1994. Karen returned in June 1997 as part of the cast of the GH spinoff series PORT CHARLES, but the role was recast with Jennifer Hammon. After she left in June 1999, Marie Wilson took over until Karen’s death in July 2003.

Karen Wexler was originally involved with Jason Quatermaine in high school, but was really in love with John “Jagger” Cates. Unfortunately, Brenda Barrett also had her eye on Jagger and schemed to keep Karen away from the hunk. Eventually, Karen and Jagger got together, but then her life was turned upside down when she was hit with repressed memories of being molested by her alcoholic mother’s abusive boyfriend, Ray Conway. This sent Karen on a downward spiral and she began hanging out in seedy bars and clubs. There, she met Stone Cates, who she didn’t know at the time was Jagger’s little brother, and the teen introduced her to Sonny Corinthos, who hired her to strip in his club, The Paradise Lounge.

While studying to be a doctor during the day, Karen was stripping at night and getting hooked on drugs (while also having a brief affair with Sonny). After Alan Quartermaine caught her stealing drugs, Karen was finally able to get herself back on track. She reunited with Jagger and after they got married, she went with him to Chicago where he’d been accepted to the police academy. They visited briefly when Stone was dying, and then moved to San Francisco. Her mother, Rhonda, told Karen that Scott Baldwin was her father.

Karen got her happily ever after with Jagger, but it didn’t last long.Sekander

In 1997, Karen returned to Port Charles solo to work as an intern at GH and her marriage to Jagger couldn’t survive the distance. She found herself falling for Joe Scanlon but their relationship had too many ups and downs and they ultimately parted as friends, Karen became chief resident and the pressure caused her to fall off the wagon, but she went to rehab and recovered. She then began dating Joe’s brother, Frank Scanlon, and after getting involved in a little time travel that nearly erased Karen from existence, found themselves fighting the vampires infesting Port Charles!

Karen was infected with vampiric blood but cured by an angel named Rafe, who also reunited her with Frank. But magic candles caused Frank to get violent and abusive and sent Karen into the arms of Ricky Garza. Tragically, after Karen and Frank were finally reunited, she was hit by a car and later died of her injuries.

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