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General Hospital (1970–1979)

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General Hospital
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Major characters

Storylines

1970–1973

Nurses Jane Harland and Sharon McGillis infused the seventh floor with a youthful exuberance as they cheerfully carried out their duties. Both blonde, spirited and beautiful, their respective men were less than stellar specimens of manhood. Jane was engaged and later married to an irresponsible louse by the name of Howie Dawson. Pert and always upbeat, Nurse Sharon McGillis married an unlikely mate, quiet Dr. Henry Pinkham.

The new crop of nurses lived in fear of brusque, no-nonsense senior nurse, Lucille March. Lucille was tough, but anyone who really knew her understood that beneath her armor beat a heart of gold. One man who knew, but rarely saw, Lucille's softer side was widower Al Weeks, who had joined the hospital staff as custodian. Though she would never, ever admit it, Lucille adored good ol' Al! Eventually, they would decide to spend their golden years together as man and wife.

In February of 1971, Lucille was surprised when out of the blue, her sister Audrey returned to town -- and claimed her baby was born dead. Little "Stevie," was very much alive -- and living with a nanny, Peggy Nelson, in a seedy part of town. Audrey spun an elaborate web of lies to keep her loser-husband Tom Baldwin from contesting their divorce action. She was certain that Tom would never give her up if he knew about their son! According to her plan, Audrey would tell Steve that Mrs. Nelson's baby was a foster child -- the son of her cousin. Eventually, Audrey and Steve would arrange to adopt the child. It was a brilliant scheme that may have succeeded had it not been for Mrs. Nelson's greed. When the elderly nanny learned of Audrey's plight, she blackmailed her and was eventually murdered.

On the night of September 24, 1971, Audrey returned to her apartment in an agitated state. In one arm, she carried a suitcase. In the other, she held her baby. Rushing into the bathroom, she took out a pistol and, in a moment of panic, hid it in the water tank of her toilet. Across town, Mrs. Nelson lay dead -- the victim of a fatal gunshot wound! Did Audrey do it? Her secret revealed, all the evidence pointed to Audrey, who steadfastly maintained her innocence. Charged with the murder, Audrey nearly went to prison for life, until some late-breaking detective work unearthed the real culprit -- Peggy Nelson's ex-husband, Arnold.

Audrey was set free, and discovered that the only way to keep possession of her baby was to move back in with her hateful husband, Tom. When their marriage failed, Tom kidnapped young Tommy. Eventually, Audrey received word that Tom had died of a heart attack in Mexico. Young Tommy's return came just in the nick of time, because the youngster was in desperate need of open-heart surgery. Steve Hardy called upon the brilliant heart surgeon, Dr. Jim Hobart, to perform Tommy's vital, lifesaving surgery. In rapid time, Audrey married Jim, much to the alarm of Steve Hardy and Lucille, who feared that she had tied the knot with Jim out of gratitude, not love. Jim injured his hand and became a hopeless alcoholic. Once again, Steve Hardy watched helplessly as his true love, Audrey, suffered through another tragic marriage.

Meg was released from the mental institution. Supposedly recovered from the mental breakdown, Meg now suffered from a severe case of hypertension. At General Hospital, a strikingly beautiful female doctor was assigned to Meg's case. Dr. Lesley Williams assumed Tom Baldwin's practice and immediately distinguished herself with her winning bedside manner. However, an insanely jealous Meg began to suspect -- wrongly-- that Lesley was trying to work her way into her husband Lee's bed! In the middle of the argument with Lee, Meg collapsed and died in 1972-- the victim of a deadly stroke. Fighting back tears, Lee knew he had to be strong -- for Scotty.

Phil Brewer ducked back into the country. Still believing he was a wanted man, Phil grew a scraggly beard and adopted an assumed name, "Harold Williamson." Taking a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant not far from General Hospital, Phil befriended a beautiful young waitress, Diana Maynard, who fell hopelessly in love with "Harold." They became lovers. When Diana accidentally stumbled upon "Harold's" real identity, she was torn by the realization that she could lose the man she loved. After all, like everyone in town, Diana knew that Dr. Phil Brewer had been cleared of the murder charges in the death of Polly Prentice.

For months, Diana agonized over keeping the news from "Harold," until the day the secret blew up in her face. Searching through old newspapers in the local library, Phil discovered the shocking news all by himself. The joy of knowing he was a free man was tempered by the anger he felt toward Diana for keeping the news secret for so long. Phil rushed to Jessie, but after seeing her with Peter, he raced off -- and wrecked his car. Critically wounded with severe head injuries, "Harold Williamson" was rushed to the emergency room at General Hospital, where Jessie was stunned to discover that he was Phil.

Jessie absorbed the fact that her husband was alive and her marriage to Dr. Peter Taylor was invalid. Jessie and Phil reconciled yet again. Left out in the cold, Peter Taylor and a pregnant Diana Maynard commiserated in their shared grief. When Diana confided the news of her pregnancy to Peter, he nobly asked her to become his wife.

This time, Phil and Jessie's reconciliation was shorter than ever! Phil had been rendered impotent as a result of his near-fatal auto accident. The final blow to the Brewer marriage came when Phil discovered that Diana Maynard was pregnant with his child. Leaving Jessie, Phil hoped to become a family with Diana and his soon-to-born baby, but he was too late - she loved Peter now. Diana gave birth to a boy, Tracy, who died of pneumonia. Regaining his manly prowess, Phil forced himself upon Diana, raping her. Fearing repercussions, Diana kept the encounter secret from Peter. Diana gave birth to a baby daughter, Martha. She breathed a sigh of relief when Phil, never suspecting that the child was his, left to take on new doctoral duties in Nairobi, Kenya. Diana tried to pass off Martha as Peter's baby. When Peter learned the truth, he walked out. Diana filed for divorce.

In 1972, Jessie Brewer suddenly became guardian for her brother's teenage children, Kent and Caroline Murray. At the same time, she began treating a patient, Teddy Holmes, on General Hospital's seventh floor. Teddy, a prizewinning journalist, charmed Jessie just as Phil had. When Teddy ran off with young Caroline, Jessie was devastated. Once again, Jessie Brewer had been deceived and destroyed by a handsome man!

1974–1975

At General Hospital, Nurse Jane Dawson was able to forgive her cheating husband Howie for his romances with other women. But when she found out he secretly had a vasectomy to spare himself the responsibility of fathering a child, she was sorely tempted to divorce him!

When a penitent Howie underwent a successful procedure to reverse his vasectomy, the Dawsons became the parents of a darling daughter, Joanne. The responsibilities of parenthood still did not curb Howie's childish, self-destructive ways. Jane eventually divorced him, and in the fall of 1974, she began to enjoy the company of Dr. Henry Pinkham, whose wife Sharon had written him a "Dear John" letter. As for Howie, he returned only once to attend the funeral of his infant daughter, Joanne, whose sudden death devastated poor Jane. Henry and Jane transferred to nearby Mercy Hospital.

Dr. Peter Taylor's injured pride continued to keep him from reconciling with his wife Diana, who was now a staff nurse. Eventually, they managed to put aside their mutual hurt and reconcile. In a moving scene, Peter pledged his love to Diana, and admitted he loved her daughter, Martha, as if she was his own child.

Learning that Peter and Diana were reconciling, a desperate and hysterical nurse Augusta McLeod wrote Phil in Kenya, urging him to return to town. She had good reason to seek Phil's assistance -- for Augusta was pregnant with Peter's child! When Phil threatened to reveal the secret to Diana, Phil knocked him down just in front of the seventh floor nurses' station. On the night of December 6th, 1974, Phil Brewer's long reign of terror and deceit came to an end when he was hit over the head with a paperweight. Diana was charged with the crime, and her fate appeared to be sealed until Jim Hobart finally remembered that he had seen Augusta McLeod in Phil's company on the night of December 6th! Peter confronted the pregnant Augusta, coercing a startling confession of guilt. Augusta McLeod went to prison, where she had her baby. Not wanting to keep another secret, Peter painfully revealed the details of his affair with Augusta to Diana, who forgave him.

To Scotty's delight, Lee Baldwin married adoption agent Caroline Chandler. After a short honeymoon, the newlyweds returned to town to face the disastrous news that Caroline's son, Bobby, an energetic med student, was suffering from an incurable case of Melenkoff's disease. Miraculously, Bobby's certain fate was reversed when Steve discovered that Bobby's fatal diagnosis was wrong! Rejoicing from the welcome news, Lee and Caroline joined Bobby in New York where he received treatment .

One of Dr. Lesley Williams' first patients at General Hospital was Mrs. Florence Grey, who suffered from stomach ulcers brought on, she supposed, by the misery of a troubled marriage. In the course of the treatment, Florence revealed her marital history to psychiatrist Peter Taylor. Years earlier, Florence explained, her husband, Professor Gordon Grey, had an affair with a student. Together they had a daughter who died soon after she was born.

When Peter filled Lesley in on this seemingly inconsequential element of their patient's history, a cold chill ran through her body. She was the very student engaged in the affair with Professor Grey! Now, nearly a dozen years later, Gordon Grey had reentered her life, this time proclaiming his love. Gordon revealed to a tormented Lesley that he wanted to leave his wife to be with her. Tormented by her indecision, Lesley begged Dr. Hardy to take her off the case. In an emotional confrontation, Lesley convinced Gordon to stay with his wife during her recovery. Soon, the Greys left town. But for Lesley, the memories of giving birth to, then losing, a precious daughter, lingered on.

Soon after Lesley married millionaire Cameron Faulkner, she discovered to her shock that the baby girl she believed had died at birth was alive. Through a search, she found the girl, Laura Vining, living with her parents, Barbara and Jason Vining, and younger sister Amy, in a modest home near the University not more than five miles from Lesley's home!

A teacher, Jason Vining struggled to make ends meet. Like any typical twelve year old girl, Laura had the usual difference of opinions with her parents. Their chief source of conflict was money -- Laura wanted new clothes, a ten-speed and most of all, she had her heart set on getting a new typewriter for Christmas, 1975. Already over-budget, Barbara had no choice but to say no to her little girl.

Lesley Williams was not satisfied simply knowing that her long-lost daughter was alive and well. She wanted to see her! Cameron, dismayed to learn that his wife was absolutely determined to make contact, ordered Lesley to stay away from the child. Nevertheless, Lesley defiantly set out to make contact or catch a glimpse of the child she so desperately longed for. Entering a local candy store, Lesley stopped dead in her tracks. She saw a pretty golden-haired girl sitting at the soda fountain with her friend Gary. Overcome with emotion, she followed Laura into the park. When they spoke, Laura was captivated!

"She's so glamorous!" an excited Laura told her ten-year old sister, Amy! "She said she's going to buy me a bike, and a new typewriter." Amy was jealous of Laura's fabulous new friend, while the Vinings were cautiously guarded upon hearing of Laura's mysterious benefactor. What did Dr. Lesley Faulkner possibly want with their eldest daughter? In time, the Vinings had their answer. Upon hearing the shocking news that Laura was really Lesley's daughter, Barbara and Jason vowed not to let her go.

After breaking the news to a thrilled Laura, Lesley launched a custody suit. The Judge, realizing that both mothers had been wronged twelve years earlier, postponed making a decision to allow Laura time to get to know her biological mother. In a startling decision, Lesley was granted custody of her daughter for thirty days, after which Laura herself would have a voice in deciding her future. After months of turmoil, Lesley was the happiest woman on earth!

1976

Laura Vining enjoyed staying with her new family, but the youngster wasn't sure that she wanted to make her stay a permanent one. She missed her friends, her parents, and most of all, her younger sister, Amy. At Laura's request the judge extended the temporary situation for another thirty days at which point a decision as to Laura's future would have to be made. When Laura fell ill, Lesley turned to Dr. Peter Taylor for counsel and affirmation that the agony the child was going through could be emotionally based. He concurred that it could, but Peter couldn't tell Lesley what to do. It was a decision she had to make for herself. Lesley made the painful decision to cancel the custody suit and return Laura to Jason and Barbara Vining. Her husband Cameron, secretly triumphant that Laura was out of his life for good, dedicated himself to healing Lesley's hurt. Despite his efforts to help her overcome her grief, Lesley Faulkner remained obsessed with her daughter. Behind Lesley's back, Cameron began spending more time at the mountain retreat he bought for Lesley -- and ever more time in New York with his sexy secretary, Peggy.

To keep Laura out of his life for good, Cameron concocted a scheme in which an elderly nurse claimed that Laura was not Lesley's daughter after all. The scheme failed when Lesley accused the woman of lying, then sent her away. Cameron's scheme had been thwarted! Unbeknownst to Lesley, Cameron then paid the Vinings to take Laura far away.

In the grueling weeks after Laura's disappearance, Cameron urged Lesley to get on with her life. But Lesley was determined to never give up Laura. Later, Lesley discovered the depth of her husband's malevolence. When he kidnaped her, Lesley lunged for the wheel of the car, which careened off the road! Cameron was dead! In the days after the tragedy, Lesley learned another shocking secret about her husband -- he died broke, his empire having crumbled beneath him in the weeks before his death. Her fellow staff member, Dr. Rick Webber helped her through the troubled times.

In 1976, several new characters were introduced to General Hospital. Among them was Terri Arnett, whose husband David, a doctor, had been killed in Vietnam. Terri was the daughter of Steve Hardy's closest friend, the late Dr. Lars Webber. Once an aspiring singer in New York, Terri returned home when Lars Webber and his wife Helen were killed in an accident to play surrogate mother to her two younger brothers, Rick and Jeff. Rick, a promising resident at General Hospital, volunteered for a six-month medical stint in Africa. Two months after his arrival, he was reportedly killed when the small plane in which he was being piloted to a remote village crashed and burned. Rick's dashingly handsome younger brother, Jeff, graduated from med school in the spring of 1976 along with his wife, Monica, who had once been Rick's fiancee. Dr. Steve Hardy tapped the young married doctors for a bold new experimental program at General Hospital -- Mr. and Mrs. Intern!

For Steve Hardy, the Mr. and Mrs. Intern experiment was a noble gamble. He believed that Jeff and Monica were a perfect choice. Six months into their marriage, he assumed they were ideally happy. He was wrong! Their new marriage was a wreck! Jeff had a hang up -- he feared that everyone at General Hospital was comparing him to his "late" brother Rick. Fearing he would always be "second best," Jeff's every thought was plagued by memories of his dead brother. Jeff missed Rick dearly -- and so did Monica. More than anyone -- even Jeff -- knew.

Rick Webber was very much alive and being held, against his will, having been captured ten months earlier by revolutionaries in an African civil war. Upon his long-awaited return to General Hospital, Rick was reunited with Steve Hardy who sensed that Rick was haunted by something. Was it, as Steve suspected, the months of imprisonment that troubled Rick? Or was he, as Terri believed, deeply troubled by the fact that Monica had married Jeff?

As for Jeff, he was wary every time he saw Monica and Rick together. His jealousy exploded into anger when he stumbled upon the secret that his wife and brother had met in New York just before Rick returned to town. For the good of the staff, Steve Hardy abandoned the "Mr. and Mrs. Intern" program. Soon, Rick and Monica found themselves locked in a passionate kiss! "I love you too, Monica," confessed Rick. He cautioned Monica that they must put a lid on their own feelings, "for Jeff's sake." Monica reluctantly agreed. Rick did his best to stay away from Monica, but that was hardly possible in the halls -- and elevators -- of General Hospital. The thought that Rick would be dating other women sickened Monica, who privately vowed to do everything in her power to stay close to Rick Webber. Like Rick, Mark Dante was involved in a romantic triangle. Soon after arriving in town, he became attracted to Rick and Jeff's widowed sister, Terri. However, Dr. Dante could not act on his feelings, since he already had a wife back in Boston. Mary-Ellen Dante had been committed to a sanitarium two years earlier suffering from severe depression that rendered her unable to communicate with the outside world. She eventually recovered enough to be released, and discovered the relationship between Mark and Terri.

As for Rick Webber, he needed to keep away from Monica, and that meant moving out of the Webber family home, where he lived with Terri, Jeff -- and Monica. He turned for comfort to Dr. Lesley Faulkner who needed comfort of her own -- she was pregnant with her late husband Cameron's baby. Sadly, she lost the child.

During the summer of '76, Diana Taylor hired the scheming Heather Grant to be the nanny for her daughter, Martha. The product of a lower-class background, Heather beat out the competition the way she knew best -- by cheating. Desperately wanting the job, Heather devilishly gave Diana a forged letter of reference. Heather set her sights on Jeff Webber, whose marriage to Monica was faltering once and for all.

Jeff's suspicions of Rick and Monica grew more fierce, and his thoughts were clouded by the abundance of pills he took to numb his pain. When Rick and Monica were away on a hospital trip, a drunken Jeff became convinced they were having an affair. He raced to their motel and burst in Monica's room -- only to find her all alone. After a bitter fight with Jeff, Monica found solace in Rick's arms. Together, they gave in to their long-held feelings and made love. Soon after, Jeff fell in to Heather's eager arms. She wangled her way back into his bed -- and became pregnant with his baby.

Monica, crazed with jealousy over Rick's concern for Lesley, confronted her rival in Lesley's penthouse, and ordered her fellow doctor to keep her hands off Rick. We're having an affair!" she declared.

Monica's stunning declaration left Lesley reeling, not sure whether to believe her or not! But Lesley was certain of one thing -- she deeply loved Rick Webber. But Rick was still seeing Monica, though their secret affair was growing increasingly less passionate and more volatile.

Late in the year, Jeff disappeared! Where could he be? Rick was worried, Monica frightened and Heather, most of all, needed Jeff because she was pregnant with his baby! Meantime, Jeff showed up at a bar downtown - Barney's Place - drunk, despondent, and high on amphetamines. Barney, fearful that he'd wander out and get Barney into trouble, put Jeff up in the back room overnight. Unknown to him, Jeff stole a gun from behind the bar. Dr. Mark Dante showed up the next day to bring Jeff home, but upon his arrival, the sound of a gunshot shattered the early morning calm. Mark raced into the back room, where he found Jeff unconscious -- with a bullet in his brain. Rick blamed himself. Terri, fearful that Jeff would die, went to Dr. Steve Hardy to say that her mother, Helene, on her deathbed, had told Terri of the existence of a letter. Hidden away in a safety deposit box, the letter revealed that Dr. Steve Hardy was Jeff's father.

Audrey's marriage to Jim Hobart fell apart and Jim walked out, leaving Audrey all alone. In despair, she took an overdose of sleeping pills. As she sank into unconsciousness, she was stabbed back into momentary focus by the thought of her young son. Steve arrived at the apartment, found Audrey, and rushed her to General Hospital, where after a life-and-death struggle, she pulled through. Steve had never fallen out of love with Audrey. And Audrey still loved Steve. Marching into Steve's office, she declared her love for him! Delighted by their reconciliation, Steve rushed out of his 7th floor office, rushing to keep an appointment. Taking the stairs, he tripped, and hurled down an entire flight, ending at the bottom, unconscious! Audrey found him lying at the bottom of a stairwell, unable to move his legs. Steve was paralyzed! With Audrey as his personal physiotherapist, Steve began the long road back. Steve and Audrey walked down the aisle, oblivious to the fact that Tom Baldwin was alive - about to reclaim his son

1977

After Jeff's near-tragic bullet to the brain, Rick realized he must break off with Monica. Still, Monica refused to accept that they would never be together. Jeff recovered and reconciled with Monica, but was shocked to discover that Heather was carrying his child.

The news of Jeff and Monica's reconciliation crushed Heather, who faked a suicide attempt to try and win Jeff's affections. Heather's efforts were all for naught. Once she detected that Jeff still wouldn't leave Monica, she ordered him to leave her alone. Heather had plans for her baby -- plans that would net her a fortune! Heather revealed her scheme to her mother: she wouldn't abort her unborn child, as Jeff wanted, but she would have the baby and sell it to Diana and Peter, and take the money to make a new life for herself. The Taylors wanted another child. They tried to adopt -- but their plans to bring foster son, Mike into their family was thwarted when Diana's past involvement with the late Phil Brewer came to light. Diana desperately wanted a brother or sister for her daughter, Martha, and found herself tempted when Heather offered her baby in exchange for 10,000 dollars in cash.

Meanwhile, Rick became even closer to Lesley as he helped her find Laura. Laura (now played by teenager Genie Francis) was not the naive girl she'd been before. She had recently been dragged away from a commune by Barbara Vining. The last thing she wanted to do was live with Lesley again. Lesley, hoping for a joyous reunion with her daughter, was crushed by Laura's attitude.

At home with her real mother, Laura tried to come to grips with the confused emotions that had led her to distrust all "adults." At the bottom, Laura came to realize that her communal experience was spawned by a feeling that Lesley no longer cared about her. It was Rick who once again got through to Laura, making her see that she was truly loved, both by Lesley and her adopted mother, Barbara Vining. Lesley was deeply touched with Rick's effort, but staggered when he declared his love with a proposal of marriage! Caught off guard, Lesley admitted she loved him too -- but wondered if perhaps he was not confusing love for her with his desire to do "something constructive" with his life after Jeff's near-tragedy.

"If you think I'm asking you to be my wife just to regain my self-respect -- I'm not!" Lesley's attitude infuriated Rick, who stormed out. In a short time, Rick and Lesley mended fences, and Lesley agreed to become "Mrs. Rick Webber."

Monica, shaken by the news that Rick had asked Lesley to marry him, finally did what she had long feared to do. She asked Jeff for a divorce! On the rebound, Jeff asked Heather to marry him, but recanted his proposal when Heather's ex-husband Larry Joe told Jeff of her many deceptions. Rick was able to convince Lesley that they belonged together, and in a quietly glorious ceremony held in a ski lodge, Lesley and Rick became man and wife!

The path to happiness was more difficult to cross for star-crossed lovers Terri Arnett and Dr. Mark Dante. Mary-Ellen Dante, newly released from Lakecliff Sanitarium, resolved to destroy their union -- and that meant destroying Terri! And she had a plan: Mary-Ellen arranged with her chauffeur, Lenny, to fix the brakes on Terri's car so she would crash. At General Hospital, Mark Dante performed heroic surgery to save Terri's life. Awaking from her coma, at first Terri could remember nothing about her confrontation with Mary-Ellen. Eventually, the memories came flooding back. Desperate, Mary-Ellen slashed her wrists. Eventually, Mary-Ellen's mental illness resurfaced in total, and she sank back into catatonia. But it was too late for Mark and Terri to have a future together. Seeking a new start, Terri moved to Los Angeles to resume her singing career.

After the birth of her baby, Steven Lars, Heather took $500 of Jeff's money and fled to New York City -- the Big Apple -- where she hoped to fulfill her grand dreams of a fabulous modeling career! Her landlady, Mrs. Hadley, arranged for the Taylors to adopt her baby - without knowing that Heather was the mother. After Mrs. Hadley and the lawyer took their cut, Heather was left with only $1800 of the $10,000 -- not even enough for her to establish herself in Hollywood. Heather couldn't bring herself to reveal the real story of Steven Lars. Instead, she told the inexcusable lie that the child had died. Touched by her story, Jeff proposed to Heather. Once back home, the newly engaged Heather began to spend considerable time with the Taylor's and "Peter, Jr."

In 1977, Audrey Hardy was engaged in a custody fight with the back-from-the-dead Tom Baldwin. Tom begged Audrey not to divorce him. "I'm still in love with you," he pleaded with a conflicted Audrey who ultimately refused Tom's demands to resurrect their marriage. After Tommy ran away, Tom agreed to give Audrey her divorce. The autumn of 1977 brought a new marriage and new joy to Steve and Audrey -- their family crisis was finally over. Still, there were more surprises to come!

Lee Baldwin returned to town in 1977 after his wife died in an accident. Lee found comfort in long, warm and platonic evenings with Gail. Lee and Gail were good company for each other. Sensing his devastation, Gail secretly contacted Scotty Baldwin, Lee's stepson, urging the young law student to get in touch with the only father he'd ever known. Scotty had left Port Charles several years earlier and was now living in New York's Greenwich Village. Gail's mission worked when Scotty showed up in town. She smiled with satisfaction as father and son reunited. Scotty, agreeing to join the "establishment," accepted a clerking job at General Hospital, where he met and became instantly captivated by young Laura Webber.

Another crisis was about to devastate the city of Port Charles. During the first week of September 1977, Port Charles was hit by a catastrophic hurricane, wreaking havoc and causing a series of dramatic events to unfold. Laura and Scotty, en route to a rock concert, were caught in the storm and forced to seek refuge in a storage shed. Little Martha Taylor died in a car accident. The loss shattered Diana.

The paralyzed David Hamilton (a former college roommate of Rick's, now a down on his luck artist) was admitted to General Hospital. David wallowed in his pity when informed that the bodies of his wife and children had been discovered in the wreckage of their house. David's paralysis puzzled the General Hospital doctors, who could find no physiological basis for his inability to walk. After several weeks, David was released from the hospital and he gratefully accepted his pal, Rick's offer to move into the Webber house to recuperate. In time, Lesley couldn't help but notice that there was something strange about David Hamilton.

Laura didn't feel the same way -- she adored David! The maturing girl and the older man struck up an instant friendship, one that troubled Lesley Webber. Laura was experiencing severe "growing pains" which had caused her relationship with Lesley to become cold and distant -- not at all like the cozy rapport she'd established with Monica and David. From the moment Laura returned to Port Charles, she rebelled against her mother's rules and edicts.

Lesley became especially upset when she correctly suspected that Laura and Scotty's relationship had become a romantic one. And David began to take an unusual interest in Laura, too. Like Lesley, Scotty Baldwin took notice of Laura's fascination with David Hamilton. In fact, Scotty caught Laura in several lies -- all having to do with her handsome houseguest.

Steve Hardy contacted Dr. Alan Quartermaine of the Hardwick Foundation to handle the funding of the new cardiac wing. Monica's head turned when she set her eyes on the tall and handsome financier/doctor. The son of wealthy and influential Lila and Edward Quartermaine, Alan was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Alan found Monica appealing and she was certainly attracted to him, but she found his evaluations on the project not at all to her liking. "You're pigheaded!" she told him after just a few weeks of close contact. The war had begun!

1978

Dr. Monica Webber's combative relationship with Dr. Alan Quartermaine began to mellow and blossom into romance early in 1978. However, Alan's stay at General Hospital was scheduled to be a short one. When his evaluation of the cardiac wing concluded, Alan made preparations to wind up his affairs in Port Charles and return to his family home in Southampton. While packing to leave, Dr. Quartermaine discovered, to his amazement, that he couldn't exactly "wind up" his relationship with Monica.

Just before departing Port Charles, Alan admitted his strong feelings for Monica, who confessed that she, too, cared for him. Monica's confession persuaded Alan to make Port Charles his home base. And soon, his eccentric family followed him to town. The upper-crust Quartermaines were one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in the state of New York. The crusty family patriarch, Edward, had amassed a great fortune through his world-renowned conglomerate, ELQ. "Making money keeps my arteries open," he often announced to no one in particular.

Edward's kindhearted wife, Lila, was as shrewd as she was wise. Their haughty daughter, Tracy grew up to be a spoiled "bitch," who felt, by birthright alone, that she deserved her rightful share of the family fortune. Unlike her brother Alan, Tracy had a natural affinity for big business -- but "daddy" Edward refused to recognize her prowess. As a result, spiteful Tracy was always at odds with the rest of the family. The Quartermaines were a rich -- and quirky -- bunch!

Almost immediately Alan's insecurities began to play a major role in his rocky relationship with Monica -- and Rick was the cause of his anxiety. While Alan genuinely seemed to like Rick and respect his abilities as a doctor, he neurotically distrusted Monica, incessantly questioning her "close" working relationship with Rick. But Monica assured Alan she was over Rick. Privately, Monica had her doubts, even as she planned a June wedding to Alan! And Alan struggled to keep his jealousy a closely guarded secret, which proved difficult -- especially from his sister, Tracy. Tracy Quartermaine knew her brother like a book!

Lesley decided to make peace with her daughter. Laura, too, made every effort to achieve a better relationship with Lesley. David Hamilton's presence in the house continued to unsettle the Webber clan. David's self-serving, darker side began to surface as did his obsession with Lesley. An artist, he began to spend hours sketching her portrait.

After several weeks, David moved into his own apartment, but his obsession grew more pronounced. Alone with Lesley, he smoothly attempted an all-out pass! Lesley would have none of it. She rebuffed his advances. Lesley told her brother-in-law Jeff about the episode, swearing him to secrecy. Rejected by Lesley, David moved in on her teenage daughter, Laura. Laura didn't fight her attraction when the handsome artist took her in his arms and kissed her on the lips. Over a period of weeks, David and Laura continued to meet secretly and their relationship became romantic -- at least in Laura's eyes. David had an ulterior motive in charming Laura. He kept her notes and poems, feeling he could use them against Rick and Lesley at the proper time.

More and more Laura fell under David's spell. She pledged her love to him and pleaded with him to take her away from Port Charles. What Laura did not know was that David was up to his ears in an illegal land scam, and was planning to beat a hasty retreat out of town!

When David finally told Laura the truth that he didn't really love her, she lashed out at him, pushing him with every ounce of her strength, before fleeing the apartment in tears. He hit his head, sustaining a critical injury. Lesley dashed to David's apartment and found a hysterical Laura bolting from the scene. Telling Laura to remain in the hall, Lesley went inside and found David -- dead! Returning to the hallway, an astonished Lesley discovered that Laura was gone! Coolly demonstrating the extent to which a mother will go to protect her child, Lesley took the blame for the death. A Grand Jury assembled and indicted Lesley Webber for murder.

From her prison cell, a valiant Lesley stood by as the prosecution painted a vivid picture of her as a vengeful woman who had been rejected by her forbidden lover. She kept mum. Laura blocked out what really happened. Through intensive therapy sessions with Dr. Peter Taylor, she gradually began to recall glimpses of the tragic encounter with David. When Laura's horrifying memories came flooding back, she realized that she killed David. Skipping town, Laura took a bus to New York City. Scotty enlisted the aid of his best friend, Bryan Phillips, and together they found Laura in New York's East Village. After her confession, the charges against Lesley were dropped. Laura was released on six-months probation in the custody of her parents -- making for a very uncomfortable Webber household! The one "good thing" in Laura's young life was Scotty, who helped her endure her probation by courting her all over again!

Heather returned to Port Charles where she spent precious time with her son, Stephen Lars, or "P.J." as he was known by his new family, the Taylors. She began to devote more and more of her time to "P.J." As the nanny, she was able to see her son every day, but Heather's all-consuming interest in the child's welfare alarmed Peter and Diana. Fearing her interest was unhealthy, Peter and Diana dismissed Heather. Still, she discovered ways to see her beloved son. Heather's wish came true when she married Jeff Webber, but early in their marriage the newlyweds saw little of each other because of Jeff's hospital duty and long hours of study for his license. Soon, Heather was pregnant-- but not 100% happy! Conversely, Jeff was overjoyed. "If it's a boy I want to name him Steven Lars!" he gushed to his stricken new wife.

Several newcomers staked their claim to a piece of Port Charles in 1978. Heather's flirtatious cousin, Susan Moore, arrived in town and flirted with Assistant District Attorney Mitch Williams, who found the brunette beauty equally attractive. However, Susan had stiff competition in her quest to bed the studly D.A. Her competition was feisty and rich Tracy Quartermaine -- who stopped at nothing to get what she wanted -- and Tracy wanted Mitch very badly. Perhaps she would not have been so eager had she known that sleazy Mitch secretly maintained close ties to the Port Charles mob!

And then there was "Bobbie" Spencer. The flame-haired student nurse with the bright smile and bubbly personality found herself smitten with law student Scotty Baldwin, who was in the midst of a stormy courtship with Laura. Between his law studies and his support for his stepfather Lee (who had fallen off the wagon and once again battled alcoholism), Scotty had little time to spend with Laura. After one of Laura and Scotty's squabbles, Bobbie was there to pick up Scotty's spirits by taking him home to her rooming house -- which was strictly against house policy. Bobbie paid a heavy price for taking in her "overnight guest" -- eviction. With no place to turn, she accepted Jessie Brewer's generous offer to move into her spare room.

One day at the hospital, a startled Bobbie ran into Cal Jamison, a scoundrel who was attempting to extort money from Jeff Webber. Jamison's presence unnerved Bobbie -- who recalled that he'd met her when she was a hooker! To keep Jamison at bay, a jittery Bobbie began to send him hush money.

Late in the year, Lesley began to suspect that Rick and Monica's relationship was more than just a working one. Were they having another affair?

The Bobbie/Scotty relationship began to fail when Scotty chose to devote more time to Laura. Scott Baldwin was the first man Bobbie Spencer had ever slept with that she truly loved. Believing that Scotty's change of heart was all Laura's fault, a scheming Bobbie set out to destroy her rival! Bobbie placed a call to her older brother, Luke, asking for his help in sending Laura to reform school! Together, Bobbie and Luke schemed to get Laura in trouble with the law. And if these maneuvers didn't work to get Laura out of Scotty's mind, then Bobbie had one more trick up her sleeve -- pregnancy!

1979

To win Scotty away from Laura, scheming Bobbie Spencer faked a pregnancy! It was easy - all she had to do was switch test tubes results with a woman who really was carrying a child! Scotty reluctantly agreed to marry Bobbie, but told her he would never sleep with her ever again! Fortunately, Scotty and Bobbie's wedding never took place because Dr. Lesley Webber's secret sleuthing proved that Bobbie was lying! Scotty, relieved, blasted Bobbie for her trickery, then raced back into Laura's open arms.

Bobbie, not one to take defeat lightly, was more desperate than ever to break up Scotty and Laura and continued to put out SOS calls to the master, Luke, to help her with the dirty work. However, Luke voiced that he was becoming bored with her vengeance plots. Was Luke's once-cold heart beginning to warm toward his former enemy, Laura Webber? As manager of the Campus Disco, Luke's offbeat and engaging personality was given a chance to shine. To the people of Port Charles, Luke and his partner, Roy DiLucca, appeared to be honest and respectable businessmen. However, they were secretly working for the mob, run with an iron hand by the ruthless Frank Smith. In March, Luke finally met Laura. He became enamored with the teenage beauty. Meanwhile, Scotty and Laura made glorious plans for a June wedding.

In the winter of 1979, Dr. Steve Hardy was forced to place General Hospital under quarantine due to an outbreak of a rare and mysterious disease known as Lassa Fever. Steve, Rick, Alan, Audrey, Jeff and Monica were among the hospital staff, employees and even visitors who were quarantined within the walls of the hospital for weeks. After weeks of exhaustive work, Dr. Steve Hardy fell ill with the potentially-fatal disease. Flushed and weak, Steve continued to treat the sick patients before passing out. Believing that Steve was on his deathbed, Audrey stunned Jeff with the fact that Steve was his real father! Jeff was stunned and hurt by the news, and was cold to Steve upon his recovery.

When the quarantine was lifted, Monica and Rick secretly rendezvoused and made love. After a night of passion, Monica declared her total commitment to Rick but he persuaded her that they both needed time to put their lives in order and to make absolutely sure of their feelings.

In the spring of 1979, Scotty kept assuring Laura that he was doing everything in his power to bring a June wedding about, but she lost confidence that they would ever be together. Disillusioned, Laura returned her ring and set out to make new friends. Laura's disregard for his feelings sent Scotty into a tailspin. In despair, Scotty turned to drink. Thankfully, Bryan and Lee, both recovering alcoholics, pulled him out of the trap -- but not before Bobbie hatched another elaborate scheme designed to snare Scotty once and for all! She got Scotty drunk, an climbed into bed with him -- knowing that Laura was on her way over. After seeing them in Bobbie's bed, Laura fled and in a fraught emotional state, she crashed the car. Scotty lovingly stood by her during the ordeal and upon her recovery, they marred in a casual, country-style wedding in he park.

Laura's accident shook Rick back to his senses. He informed Monica (who had separated from Alan) that it was over between them. Resigned, Monica went back to Alan, then discovered she was pregnant!

As the weeks passed and Monica announced her pregnancy to the Quartermaine clan, Tracy stepped up her vendetta against Monica by trying to fan the flames of Alan's jealousy of Rick. Tracy felt threatened, figuring correctly that Alan's first born male heir would inherit the Quartermaine fortune instead of her son, Ned, who was away in boarding school. The only way to keep Ned's legacy alive was to prove to one and all that Monica's baby was fathered by Rick, not Alan. At the same time, knowing that Edward would not give her more money until she found herself a husband, Tracy nudged her fiancé, the corrupt, mob-tied Assistant District Attorney, Mitch Williams, to marry her. Enticed by the Quartermaine fortune, Mitch married Tracy, but continued to two-time her with Susan. By now, the upwardly mobile Mr. Williams (who remained in the mob's pocket) was running for the State Senate using Tracy's megabucks to finance his campaign. With Tracy controlling the purse strings, Mitch had no choice but to give in to her demands to crack down on organized crime -- starting with the mob's rumored control of the Campus Disco!

Ruby Anderson, an ex-hooker grown too old for the profession, got a job at the hospital with Jessie's help. Salty, savvy and good-hearted, Ruby Anderson was Luke and Bobbie's aunt. Bobbie had undergone a major metamorphosis. When she realized how close to death Laura came, Bobbie was shaken to the core and truly repented her past scheming. Free of her obsession for Scotty, Bobbie got engaged to Roy DiLucca. However, Bobbie's scandalous past life as a hooker would not go away. The truth finally came out when a former john exposed Bobbie.

The honeymoon appeared to be over for Laura and Scotty as tension began creeping into their union. Their life became more turbulent upon the arrival of Laura's stepsister, Amy Vining. Bored and seeking a challenge, Laura convinced Luke Spencer to give her a job as a waitress at the Campus Disco. Working together in the disco, Luke and Laura developed an easy rapport. Luke found Laura easy to talk to. His intense feelings for Laura were unmistakably love. He began to fantasize about her.

Pressure began to mount when Luke learned that Frank Smith planned to test his loyalty by asking him to murder Mitch Williams on election night. Instantly, Luke understood the cold facts -- this was a suicide mission -- there was no way he would leave the scene of the hit alive. And if he refused the assignment, he would be rubbed out by the mob. Either way, Luke was marked for death!

One night, a drunken Luke entered the bar and silently began to cry. Laura was sensitive to Luke. "I found out something tonight. Within a month, I'll be dead," he confided. Luke's life and his dreams were over. In a bitter outpouring of love, jealousy, sexual tension and unbridled rage, Luke confessed the depth of his feelings for Laura. Luke reached out and took Laura's hand and together they swayed to the pulsating beat. Luke drew her close, and his grasp became urgent and fierce. "No, Luke, no!" exclaimed Laura, as they sank to the floor. Moments later, it was over. "Oh my God, what have I done?," thought Luke as he looked at Laura on the floor. Her clothes ripped and her body bruised, Laura ran sobbing into the night.

Laura revealed that she had been raped, but did not reveal the identity of her attacker. In the aftermath of the rape, Scotty and Laura's marriage was more strained than ever. Laura's presence in the disco proved to be awkward and uneasy for both Luke and Laura. Luke's tensions increased further on election night. In an ironic twist, Luke was asked by Scotty to drive Laura home on election night. Laura, having picked up on enough information to know that Luke was involved in something very dangerous, threw his car keys out the window to prevent Luke from doing whatever job it was that threatened his very life. Luke was aghast, crying out "You've just put a bullet in my head!"

In a race against time, Roy decided to kill Mitch himself! Roy fired a shot, barely wounding the new State Senator. Roy, shot by the security guards, stumbled his way to the front of the hotel, where he died in Bobbie's arms. Luke and Bobbie were able to get away, unseen.

Luke Spencer was not the only resident of Port Charles immersed in deceit and secrecy. A pregnant Monica struggled to hide the fact that she had slept with Rick from her sister-in-law, Tracy. This became especially difficult after Rick and Monica were forced, under oath, to admit their union while giving a deposition in a malpractice suit. The court papers were sealed, and Tracy (whose own marriage was in shambles after she discovered Mitch in bed with Susan Moore) struggled to get her greedy hands on the elusive document.

Across town, Heather Webber desperately tried to win her son, Steven Lars, away from Diana Taylor by driving her insane! Increasingly, Diana grew more dependent on -- who else -- Heather! In one final diabolical move designed to destroy Diana, Heather purchased LSD and planned to give it to Diana. Heather placed the LSD into a glass of iced tea, but little P.J. mixed up the two glasses. By mistake, Heather drank the LSD and began to wildly hallucinate. Jeff had no choice but to ship his wife to Pine Circle Sanitarium.

In the aftermath, Jeff grew close to his roommate Joe Kelly, who had fallen in love with a virginal nurse, "Annie" Logan. Annie, who was Audrey's niece and a registered nurse, had recently adopted an orphaned child prodigy, Jeremy Hewitt.

In a shocking revelation, Dr. Peter Taylor learned from Heather's mother, Alice, that Steven Lars was actually PJ! When Peter suffered a heart attack and died, the news remained secret. Diana, going through Peter's old clothes, found the fateful note he wrote only moments before he died -- "PJ is Steven Lars." Out of her shock, she realized she could lose the child she loved so dearly. That is, unless she married Jeff Webber. Then they would both have what they want -- PJ and Steven Lars!

During a fierce storm, Lesley was forced to deliver Monica's premature boy. During the emergency delivery, a near-delirious Monica, believing that she was dying, muttered aloud that Rick was the father of her child! Lesley, in a state of silent shock, rode along to the hospital with Monica. Rick and Lesley separated, but remained close.

Rick sensed that Monica was lying when she said that Alan was the baby's father. Rick waited for Monica to admit that the child was his. The twist to this tale was that Monica herself did not remember her confession to Lesley during labor! Only Lesley and Rick knew of Monica's son's paternity. More than anyone, Tracy Quartermaine wanted to prove that Monica's baby was fathered by Rick. If the baby was Rick's, then greedy Tracy's son Ned would be first in line to inherit Edward Quartermaine's vast fortune!

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