‘General Hospital’: Kimberly McCullough on What It Was Like Filming in the ‘80s: Drinking, Drugs, and ‘Busting Doors’

Kimberly McCullough started on General Hospital when she was just 7 years old. She played the role of Robin on and off between 1985 and 2001 (and revised the role briefly in 2004). McCullough said in a recent interview that the General Hospital set was a lot different back in the ’80s. There was a lot more drama going on behind the scenes.

Kimberly McCullough during "Inn Trouble" Filming on Location at Lake Zaca in Los Olivos, CA, United States.
Kimberly McCullough | Eric Isaacs/FilmMagic

‘General Hospital’ in the 1980s, according to Kimberly McCullough

McCullough was interviewed by her former co-star, Maurice Benard, on his vlog State of Mind on Aug. 29. In the interview, the actors discussed what General Hospital was like back when McCullough first started.

Though starring in a soap opera isn’t an average activity for a seven-year-old, McCullough took to the fast-paced environment.

“I liked being around other creative people,” she told Benard. “I liked being around adults. I seemed to have this talent that other people rewarded me for. There was a lot of discipline involved and a lot of sacrifice, but I really enjoyed it.”

The actors discussed the behind-the-scenes drama going on during the show’s heyday. For one, there was some drug use going on.

“I do know things, but because it wasn’t my experience, I’d rather not say anything,” said McCullough. “But I do remember there was lots of holes in the walls from people like busting doors open. And there was a lot of ‘So-and-so won’t come out of their dressing room,’ ‘Can you go to so-and-so’s house because they’re not answering the phone?’”

“I remember having to wait around for people to just show up,” she continued, “And sometimes they didn’t.”

‘General Hospital’ cast members would ‘get trashed’ during the work day

There was also quite a bit of drinking back then. McCullough recalled: “Everyone would get trashed [at a nearby Mexican restaurant], and then they’d come back to work.”

It also wasn’t unusual for people to spend the night at the studio. Back then, everyone was working incredibly long hours.

“We were there sometimes until 1, 2 in the morning,” she said. “Why would I go home for four hours?”

But McCullough noted that things are very different now. Back then, poor treatment from directors was applauded — “If they’re torturing you, they’re an amazing director, you know? They really care!”

Kimberly McCullough doesn’t miss being an actor


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After McCullough’s long stint as Robin, she hung up her acting shoes. Now, she’s a director. And she doesn’t exactly miss being on the actor side of things.

“But I miss the relationships,” she said. “I miss seeing you every day… You don’t really realize that until you’re sort of gone. I mean, I’ve been directing now for almost 10 years.”