Yogi Berra Made a ‘General Hospital’ Cameo for His Family

Notable athletes have crossed over into acting on soaps like General Hospital and in movies more than just a few times. Wrestlers like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dave Bautista have made a name for themselves on the big screen. Burt Reynolds was drafted by an NFL team. Jason Statham was a professional diver, and no one can leave out Chuck Norris.

Yogi Berra smiling in his Yankee uniform, holding a baseball, in black and white
Yogi Berra | Bettmann/Getty Images

Berra, of course, started as a professional martial artist. As long as there have been both athletes and televisions, sports stars have crossed over. Some made a career of their newfound television or movie fame, while others were content with just a guest-starring role or a cameo. Yogi Berra was one of those who guest starred.

Yogi Berra guest starred on General Hospital in 1963

Yogi Berra was born in 1925 in St. Louis, MO, and died at the age of 90 in September 2015. As one of baseball’s greats, even people who don’t follow baseball at least know his name. He played for the New York Yankees as a catcher.

According to Baseball-Reference, Berra was named MVP three times, and played in the all-star game 18 times. He played in 10 World Series. Yogi Berra was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, and rightfully so, given all of his accomplishments. He went on to manage teams after his retirement in 1965.

His real name was Lawrence Peter Berra, but the nickname Yogi stuck in his teen years. He’s known for more than just baseball, though. Some of his phrases have worked their way into common vernacular, like “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.” The National Baseball Hall of Fame says that Yogi Berra was a colorful character, and always had funny stories to tell.

That might be why he wanted his family to see him act. In 1963, Yogi Berra played the role of a brain surgeon on the soap opera General Hospital, says Redbook. He wrote in his book When You Come to the Fork in the Road, Take It! that “I was once a brain surgeon.” He fulfilled that dream of acting, even if it was just a cameo. 

General Hospital is a long-running soap opera

People who haven’t seen General Hospital still know about it. That’s how embedded it is into collective social consciousness. The soap has been running for 58 years and holds a Guinness World Record for longest-running soap opera. It began running in 1963, and still produces new episodes on ABC. 

General Hospital tells the story of a group of people who live in Port Charles, New York, and revolves around a shady criminal underground and a busy general community hospital. 

General Hospital has hosted some amazing guest stars

With 58 years of episodes, it’s guaranteed that Yogi Berra wasn’t the only notable guest appearance. General Hospital has had its share of famous people grace their sets. 

Katie Couric guest-starred as a reporter. Elizabeth Taylor had a guest role in the 1980s. James Franco had a role that lasted over 50 episodes. Science fiction greats Mark Hamill and George Takei both had guest spots on General Hospital

Demi Moore actually got her start on General Hospital. She landed the part of Jackie Templeton and played that role from 1982 to 1984. In 1985, Moore had her first big role in St. Elmo’s Fire and was one of the most talked-about actors through the late 1980s and 1990s.

Ricky Martin crossed over from music to get a taste of the small screen on General Hospital. Other notable appearances include Rick Springfield, John Stamos, Sammy Davis Jr, and celebrity chef and talk show host Carla Hall. General Hospital is still airing on ABC. Catch up now, and watch for future famous guest stars.

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