Mention of Carly’s mother, Virginia Benson, on GENERAL HOSPITAL had some newer viewers curious about who this woman was, and perhaps even longtime fans needing a bit of a refresher. Well, we’re happy to help! The character first appeared on GH back in 1996 and was played by Lois Nettleton until the character died in 1998. During some flashback scenes in a 2020 episode, Virginia was portrayed by Cynthia Watros (Nina).
Virginia Benson first appeared when Luke Spencer paid her a visit in Florida looking for her adopted daughter, Caroline, in the hopes that as a blood relative, she could donate bone marrow to save his daughter, Lulu. (Caroline was his niece, who had been given up for adoption by his sister, Bobbie Spencer.) Unfortunately, Virginia had no idea where Caroline had gone. Luke reported back to Bobbie, who asked for Virginia’s address so she could talk to her herself. But when Carly Roberts later called Virginia and Luke found out, he traced the call back to Port Charles. Heading back to Florida again, Luke confronted Virginia, who showed him an old yearbook photo of her daughter and Luke realized that Carly was Caroline!
In 1998, Virginia came to Port Charles where she was delighted to see her daughter and happily introduced her to Bobbie. Of course, she was then upset to learn what Carly had been up to, trying to destroy Bobbie’s life and sleeping with her husband. Carly tried to reassure her mother that her life now was great and promised there would be no more lies. Virginia was unsure if she could forgive Carly, and worried she wouldn’t take responsibility for her actions.
Tony Jones informed Virginia about Carly’s son, Michael, who she abandoned in the ICU for nearly a month to be with Jason Morgan, who most consider a criminal. Carly admitted that Tony was Bobbie’s husband who she’d stolen from her, but insisted that they had also treated her terribly. She hoped Virginia would understand, given that her husband, Frank Benson, had walked out on her, causing her to blame Carly for everything bad in her life.
Angry at her mother for taking Tony and Bobbie’s side, Carly yelled at her to just go away and Virginia suddenly collapsed! She was rushed to the hospital and by the time Carly arrived to check on her, she was informed that Virginia had suffered a stroke in Floria and wasn’t keeping up with her medication. Tragically, this second stroke was fatal.
In 2020, Virginia was seen again in flashbacks when Carly informed her adoptive mother that she didn’t intend to stay in Florida her entire life because she wanted something better for herself. And despite Virginia’s warnings, Carly visited Frank and took off for greener pastures. Then, in 2022, while stuck in Jacksonville after her plane had been rerouted, Carly visited Virginia’s grave and was upset to learn that the cemetery was being relocated to build a parkway.
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