The mystery man watching Curtis and Portia on GENERAL HOSPITAL was — as fans predicted — revealed to be his father, but fans still have plenty of questions. Starting with “Who plays Marshall on GH?” Robert Gossett made his debut in the role in the Oct. 18 episode of the soap and although initially credited as “Stalker,” the character was later identified as Marshall Thomas Ashford once he revealed himself. In early 2022, the role was temporarily recast with Damien Leake for a handful of episodes before Gossett returned.
Viewers might recognize Gossett from one of his numerous primetime appearances over the decades. Beginning his career in the late ‘80s, he has guested on shows like THE COSBY SHOW, AMEN, QUANTUM LEAP, CHEERS, DIAGNOSIS MURDER, 7TH HEAVEN, JUDGING AMY, DRAGNET, NYPD BLUE, BONES, and ER. He has also had recurring roles on series like SILK STALKINGS, BEVERLY HILLS, 90210, DARK ANGEL, THE CLOSER, MAJOR CRIMES, and THE OATH.
GH isn’t Gossett’s daytime debut, either. Back in 1990, he played a cop on NBC sudser SANTA BARBARA, and from 2001-04 played shady attorney Woody Stumper on PASSIONS. In 2007 he played an officer on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS and in 2020 appeared in another episode as Newman employee Dan Szymborski, offering Victoria advice as she took over the family business.
After eavesdropping on Curtis Ashford and Portia Robinson for a bit, a mystery man approached the bartender to ask how live music was booked for the club. But when she passed the query on to Curtis, the guy was already gone. He then showed up at the hospital and approached TJ Ashford, calling himself “Marshall” and complaining about abdominal pain. As TJ examined him, the patient asked about his family and became emotional when he mentioned his uncle. Marshall urged TJ to hang on to his family and then took off when left alone for a bit. Curtis arrived to pick up TJ for a movie and the man watched them go.
Marshall was also seen at the docks with Joey Novak shortly before the mobster was badly beaten and put in the hospital. After Portia bumped into the guy and she grew suspicious of his questions, Liz offered to draw a sketch based on her description. When TJ saw the drawing, he quickly identified his missing patient, but Curtis didn’t recognize the guy. The mystery man then arranged with Linc to save the day when musicians canceled on The Savoy at the last minute.
When Curtis confronted him, the man introduced himself as Marshall Thomas Ashford, his father. Curtis insisted his father was dead but Marshall knew too much for it to be a lie. After being blasted for leaving him and his brother, Marshall offered to take things one step at a time as they got to know each other again. However, he remained cagy about exactly what led to him faking his death and disappearing for decades. During a conversation with Stella Henry it was clear she was in on his secret, but he assured her he’d never tell Curtis she always knew he was alive.
Marshall began flirting with Epiphany Johnson, but while out on a date with her, experienced chest pains and was rushed to the hospital. He hadn’t had a heart attack, but there was a problem with his blood pressure and he had to switch medication. Shaken, Curtis agreed to stop digging into his father’s past and try to forge a future with him instead. However, Stella’s reaction to Marshall’s claim he’d gotten mixed up with some dangerous people led Curtis to rope Drew Cain into the situation as the two men hatched a plan to get to the bottom of things.
Drew offered Marshall a job at Aurora Media’s music division but warned it came with a background check. Marshall turned it down but later told Curtis that he wanted the job but feared Drew’s investigation would reveal his criminal history. He admitted that 40 years ago he was locked up for a non-violent offense and though the records were sealed, it could still resurface. Curtis appreciated his honesty but still wondered about what he wasn’t telling them.
Eventually, Marshall decided it was best to leave town but Curtis confronted him on the way out to reveal that he’d gotten ahold of his criminal records and learned that he had been arrested during a protest and sent to a mental health facility. Upset at the invasion of his privacy, Marshall left Port Charles and was next seen in Brooklyn when TJ and Molly tracked him down there and persuaded him to return home with his family.
Marshall eventually confessed that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had avoided his family for fear of hurting them. They all embraced Marshall and he even joined Curtis in helping prove Trina Robinson’s innocence when she was framed for a crime she didn’t commit. Marshall also reconnected with Epiphany Johnson and urged her to follow her dream to become a doctor. Marshall was happy to attend Curtis and Portia’s wedding but reluctant to perform for fear of ruining the big day by having another episode. But when the moment came, he did end up playing at the reception.
So stay tuned to GH as the storyline unfolds to find out what happens next!
Love GH? Be sure to join our We Love General Hospital Facebook group to chat about all the latest storylines and juicy gossip!