Carly Corinthos
Laura Wright as Carly Jacks
General Hospital
Portrayed by Laura Wright (others)
Created by Claire Labine[1]
Robert Guza, Jr.
Karen Harris
Patrick Mulcahey
Duration 1996—
First appearance April 8, 1996
Gender Female
Alias Carly Roberts
Caroline Leigh Benson
(birth name)
Date of birth November 5, 1973 (1973-11-05) (age 43)[2]
Occupation Co-owner of Metro Court Hotel
30% Shareholder of ELQ Industries
Co-Owner of Bella Mason Hotel[3]
Residence 657 Harbor View Road
Port Charles, New York
Alternate performer(s)
Tamara Braun as Carly Corinthos
Jennifer Bransford as Carly Corinthos

Caroline Leigh "Carly" Corinthos Jacks (née Benson; previously Quartermaine and Alcazar) is a fictional character on the ABC daytime soap opera, General Hospital. Though introduced in 1996, since November 2005, the character has been portrayed by daytime veteran, Laura Wright.



The role was originated on April 8, 1996 by Sarah Brown,[4] who "quickly became an overnight sensation" and received three Daytime Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Carly.[5] She won for Outstanding Younger Actress in 1997[6] and 1998,[7] was nominated in 1999,[8] and won again for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2000.[9] Brown appeared on the cover of Soap Opera Digest 19 times during her run in the role,[5][10] and won two Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1998 (Younger Lead Actress)[11] and 2000 (Favorite Actress).[12]

In January 2000, it was reported that Brown would be exiting General Hospital when her contract was over in March of that year.[13] Brown's character was put in an important storyline and the show had already lost several of its actors, including Jonathan Jackson (Lucky) and Steve Burton (Jason). Brown agreed to stay for one year and General Hospital began to create an exit in December 2000 if Brown decided not to renew her contract.[14] Gina Tognoni was rumored to replace Brown.[15] Brown decided to stay with the series for a month. "My contract expired today, but I will stay with the show 4 more weeks to wrap it all up for them," she said. "I am not leaving because of money issues or contract issues. I am leaving because my heart is telling me I'm done."[16] She departed the series on April 23, 2001.[4]

"I have no problem playing the green-eyed monster. I love it! Because I believe women do feel that way and act that way. They all do. Turn on Jerry Springer. I think women are capable of absolutely anything given the situation. And, by the way, these aren't real people. They are soap-opera characters which means we have even more latitude and an even wider spectrum to play. Some actors say, "I don't want to do such-and-such because it will hurt my character." Well, give me the stuff others won't play! I want to go to work, enjoy my day and have a good time. I don't worry that there's damage being done to my character. Carly doesn't need protecting. She's way out there and that's what makes her fun."

Laura Wright on Carly's sleeve-wearing emotions and how daring of a character she is.[17]

Fans protested Brown's departure, and sent emails to Jill Farren Phelps in an effort to get the actress rehired.[18] However, Tamara Braun replaced her on May 2, 2001. In a November 11, 2001 interview with Soap Opera Digest, Braun commented on being a high profile recast: "I really didn't know about the uproar, which was good. But I was informed about it before I started working. I thought to myself, 'Holy guacamole ... I'm going into something here. But all I can do is the best that I can.' I think on some level, a lot of people were waiting for me to fail."[19] During her tenure, Braun was the first actress to play Carly to take the character into the lead actress category, garnering herself a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Lead Actress. Braun didn't win, however, she did bring the character of Carly into a different strata in terms of the character's place on the soap. For the first time Carly would be considered in the same league as General Hospital's other lead females such as Laura Spencer, Felicia Jones, and Bobbie Spencer.

Braun departed the role on April 15, 2005, and on April 18, 2005, Jennifer Bransford assumed the role.[4] Phelps released a statement on the recast: "[The audience] will eventually accept a new Carly, especially if Maurice is determined to make it work." During Bransford's tenure, Shayne Lamas also portrayed the role as a teenager in several flashbacks. On October 5, 2005, Bransford was released from her contract.[4] A representative of General Hospital said, "Jennifer's casting in the role of Carly did not work out. She is a consummate actress and she's good at what she does. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors."[17]

After Bransford's dismissal, rumors began circulating that Laura Wright, known for portraying Cassie Layne Winslow on Guiding Light, was being considered for the role. On November 4, 2005, Wright debuted as Carly.[4] ABC Daytime president Brian Frons stated: "Carly is a complex character, and we are excited to bring Laura's talent, beauty and intelligence to this role."[20] In November 2009, Wright signed another 4 year contract, obligating her to stay with the series until 2013. Wright won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in the role in 2011, becoming the second leading actress from the soap to do so.


If you mess with Carly, be prepared to pay the consequences. Having once held her own as the wife of a mob boss, she now lives by her own rules. And while she makes life miserable for those who've betrayed her, those closest to her have her undying loyalty.[21]

Sarah Brown as Original Carly (1996-2001).

In 1999, writer Patrick Mulcahey noted that the character of Carly had been somewhat of a work in progress at first. "Worse yet, we the writers didn't really know what Carly was supposed to be," he said. "That may sound like a horrifying confession, but in daytime, a successful character is always a collaboration between the writers and the actor."[22] Mulcahey said the writers discussed who they felt Carly, as a character, is and that "the actor finds certain other decisions have to be made and makes them, sparks fly between the actor and another actor, we see what's happening on-screen and start playing around with it in the writing- that's how a character takes shape".[22] He further stated:

Carly was different. We were afraid of her. I started [on the show] right around the time Sarah did, but it's my understanding that there was quite a hullabaloo about Carly before she was ever cast. I was told a writer (the one I think I replaced) had even quit over it. The issue was this: Carly was coming to Port Charles for the purpose of haunting Bobbie and making her life miserable, out of supposed anger at having been 'abandoned' by her. But of course, she wasn't abandoned, she was given up for adoption, and the network and producers were rightly concerned that we might be 'sending the message' (that phrase that soap writers dread) either that adopted children were hateful and full of rage, or that their adoptive parents were neglectful or otherwise inadequate enough to instill this smoldering resentment of being adopted in their kids... I need not go on. The pitfalls are obvious, and I imagine Bob [Guza, the headwriter] promised Wendy [Riche, the executive producer] and ABC that we had no intention of falling into them.[22]


Carly is born off-screen on November 5, 1973[2] in Jacksonville, Florida to a 16 year old Bobbie Spencer; Bobbie, a teen prostitute, is forced to give up her baby. Carly is adopted by Frank and Virginia Benson as Caroline Leigh Benson, in Pensacola, Florida. Frank abandons Caroline and Virginia shortly after. As a teen, is best friends with Charlotte "Carly" Roberts. Carly's father forces, Dan manipulates Caroline into sleeping with him and Carly's parents end up divorcing. Caroline is devastated when Carly is killed in a car crash. After discovering her true heritage, Caroline comes to town in order to get revenge on her biological mother, for giving her away.



Caroline arrives in Port Charles in April 1996 under the name Carly Roberts, in honor of her best friend. Carly sets her sites on Bobbie's husband, Dr. Tony Jones. While she falls for Tony, Carly begins a friendship with Jason Morgan, and the two also sleep together. After a fight with Tony in April 1997, she has a one-night-stand with Jason's alcoholic brother, A. J. Quartermaine. She learns she is pregnant and convinces Jason to claim the baby as his; she gives birth in December 1997 and the baby is named Michael Morgan after Jason's best friend, mob boss, Michael "Sonny" Corinthos. In February 1998, Virginia comes to Port Charles during Michael's christening and Carly's true identity is revealed. Tony kidnaps Michael to protect him from Jason and Sonny's mob lifestyle. When Tony manages to beat the kidnapping charges, Carly snaps and shoots him in court; she is then sent to a mental hospital. Jason helps her get released. Fed up with Carly being so dependent on Jason, his girlfriend, Robin Scorpio tells A. J. that he is Michael's father. Carly plans to a future with Jason while she and A. J. marry on May 26, 1999.[23] In November 1999, after Carly witnesses a close moment between Jason and Elizabeth Webber, she and Sonny sleep together and she ends up pregnant.


Sonny forces A. J. into signing over his rights to Michael and granting Carly a divorce. Carly and Sonny bond during her pregnancy and decide to get along for the sake of the child. In May 2000, Carly miscarries after she falls down a flight of stairs. Carly and Sonny marry in September 2000 so she can't testify against him in court.[24] After the two actually fall in love, they renew their vows in February 2001. In April 2001, Sonny and Carly celebrate his birthday where he opens up about his childhood abuse at the hands of his step-father, Deac. Sonny divorces Carly after she tries to force him out of the mob and he has a one-night-stand with his attorney, Alexis Davis in April 2002. Carly witnesses the affair is presumed dead in a car accident. When she returns, Carly and Sonny reconcile and remarry in June 2002. In 2003, Sonny's vengeful half-brother, Ric Lansing drugs Carly and leads her to believe that they slept together and she soon learns she is pregnant; Sonny is proven to be the father. In October 2003, Ric kidnaps Carly and plans to steal her baby but she escapes and is taken hostage by Sonny's nemesis, Lorenzo Alcazar. As Alcazar helps Carly give birth to her son, Morgan, Sonny shoots Alcazar and the bullet hits Carly putting her in a coma.

Carly awakens from her coma wanting to be with Alcazar but she and Sonny eventually reconcile. In 2004, Carly contacts her biological father, Prosecutor John Durant who is looking to send Sonny and Alcazar to prison. In November 2004, after Alexis's daughter Kristina gets sick, Carly reveals to Sonny that he is the girl's father. Despite their divorce, Carly stands up as Kristina's godmother in December 2004. A. J. along with Faith Roscoe kidnap Michael, Kristina and Morgan; after Michael is presumed dead, Carly suffers a nervous breakdown and Sonny has her committed. Meanwhile, Reese Marshall is revealed to be Carly's presumed dead friend, Charlotte Roberts. To hurt Sonny, Carly marries Alcazar in June 2005; however the union is short lived after Carly recovers from her breakdown and the marriage ends in December 2005.


Carly soon begins rebuilding her life and begins working at the Metro Court Hotel. Carly's best friend, and Sonny's sister, Courtney Matthews dies giving birth to her son, John. Carly offers to raise the child with Courtney's ex-husband, Jasper Jacks. However, Robin Scorpio reveals that John's biological father is Courtney's fiancee Nikolas Cassadine. In May 2006, John Durant is killed during a shootout when he tries to protect Carly. Meanwhile, Jax and Carly fall in love and become engaged. Their wedding is put on hold when Carly must marries Sonny in January 2007 to avoid testifying against him. Jax's estranged brother, Jerry Jacks holds guest at the Metro Court hostage and then blows up the lobby. After surviving the ordeal, Carly and Sonny sleep together. However, Carly proceeds with the divorce and marries Jax in April 2007. In September 2007, Carly discovers her longtime nanny, Leticia Juarez murdered and Carly begins a dangerous game of "cat and mouse" with the Text Message Killer. She tries to lure the killer out during the Black and White ball and is nearly strangled to death. The killer is eventually revealed to be Carly's former step-son, Diego Alcazar who wants revenge for Lorenzo's death.

Though she initially has trouble, Carly is able to get pregnant with Jax's child but she miscarries in March 2008 after she and Michael get caught in an explosion. Michael is shot and rendered comatose after a botched hit on Sonny. Carly and Sonny have Michael admitted to permanent care facility and she seduces him into signing over his parental rights to Michael. After Jax discovers their one-night-stand he leaves Carly and has an affair with Kate Howard. The two reconcile and Carly learns she is pregnant but the pregnancy is very high risk. Dr. Patrick Drake performs surgery on Michael and Michael wakes up from his year long coma. Michael is suffering from anger issues due to his head trauma and Michael is sent to live with the Quartermaines to keep Carly from getting stressed out. In October 2009, at Sonny's wife, Claudia's birthday party, it is revealed that Claudia was behind Michael's shooting, and she takes Carly hostage as she goes into labor. A crazed Claudia helps Carly deliver her baby and attempts to steal her.



  1. ^ Soap's Hope: The Claire Labine Interview, Part Four. We Loves Soaps (2009-11-06). Retrieved on 2012-04-25.
  2. ^ a b General Hospital significant dates: Births: Off-screen. Retrieved on 2012-02-22.
  3. ^ Jax and Carly bought the hotel in Canada in 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e General Hospital Cast: Carly Corinthos Jacks. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Lenhart, Jennifer. As the World Turns Interview: Who Is Sarah Brown?. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  6. ^ Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1997. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  7. ^ Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1998. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  8. ^ Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1999. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  9. ^ Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 2000. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  10. ^
  11. ^ The Soap Opera Digest Awards: 1998. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  12. ^ The Soap Opera Digest Awards: 2000. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b Michael Logan (2010-10-05). General Hospital's Laura Wright Previews the Carly-Brenda Smack Down. TV Guide. Retrieved on 2012-04-25.
  18. ^ Brown is out, GH recasts Carly Corinthos. (5 April 2001). Retrieved on 10 August 2009.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Carly Corinthos Jacks profile -
  22. ^ a b c "Dear Sarah", ABC Soaps In Depth, 1999-10-05. 
  23. ^ Wednesday, May 26, 1999. Soap Central. Retrieved on 2012-04-25.
  24. ^ Monday, September 18, 2000. Soap Central. Retrieved on 2012-04-25.

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