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General Hospital has had several iconic actors over the years. But few, if any, have been quite as iconic as Genie Francis. The actor, who has played Laura Spencer Collins since 1977, recently celebrated her 45th anniversary on the show. And the cast and crew came together to show their appreciation for her talents.

General Hospital star Genie Francis holding a balloon and wearing a black blazer
‘General Hospital’ star Genie Francis | Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images

Genie Francis has been on ‘General Hospital’ since 1977

The daughter of a former Lithuanian model and a well-known Canadian character actor, Genie Francis first got her start on the show Family before finally transitioning to General Hospital. Most people, however, don’t know that her role of Laura Spencer was a recast role. Stacey Baldwin portrayed the character from 1974 until 1976, after which the character was written off the show.

But in 1977, Francis exploded onto the screen, and Laura went from being a minor character to a soap opera icon. She has portrayed the character, off and on, for 45 years. And the wedding of Luke and Laura in 1981 remains the most-watched soap opera episode in history.

Francis has starred in other soap operas, as well. She starred in All My Children as Ceara Hunter, and she also had a story arc on Days of Our Lives as Diana Colville, a reporter who got involved with John Black (whom she originally thought was Roman Brady).

The cast and crew threw her a party

When she’s not working on General Hospital, Francis enjoys time with her husband, actor Jonathan Frakes, and their two children.

Frakes even took to Twitter to share his sentiments about his “favorite wife’s” anniversary on the show.

SoapHub shared several photos from Francis’s 45th-anniversary party. The cast and crew all spent time celebrating her hard work on General Hospital. And many of them took to Twitter after the party to share their loving feelings towards the accomplished actor and all she’d done for the soap genre.

Many of her ‘GH’ castmates also saluted her on Twitter

Nancy Lee Grahn, who plays Alexis on General Hospital, was one of the first to share her sentiments about her friend on Twitter. “Cheers to my sweet friend @GenieFrancis on her magnificent 45th @GeneralHospital anniversary, and for letting me lust after her husband. Love you both! @jonathansfrakes,” she wrote.

Lynn Herring, who plays Lucy Coe on the show, also shared some tender words. “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY GENIE!💗@GenieFrancis I am so fortunate to work with you ❣️ and this amazing @GeneralHospital cast and crew!💗 Thank you for paving the way & 4 all you have done for Daytime Television!!” she wrote.


‘General Hospital’ Welcomes ‘All My Children’ Veteran to the Canvas

And General Hospital showrunner Frank Valenti wrote an impassioned tweet about the veteran actor’s time on the show. “Please join me in wishing the indelible, ⁦@DaytimeEmmys⁩ Award Winner, ⁦@GenieFrancis⁩ a Happy 45th Anniversary. Port Charles would not be the same without her or the legacy of Laura Collins. ⁦@GeneralHospital⁩ #GH #HappyAnniversary,” he wrote.