Sunday Reflections 20: General Hospital’s Farewell to Edward Quartermaine … The Pleasures and Pains of Soap Reruns

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman

General Hospital:  Wasn’t the death of Edward Quartermaine nicely handled?  As visiting grandson Ned said in a toast:  “There will never be another Edward Quartermaine.” This  was also a tribute to the late John Ingle, the great actor who long played the role (originated by David Lewis.)  Perhaps the saddest scene soap history-wise was the agonized exclamation of Tracy at the family crypt: “There was always the four of us, including Edward, Lila, and Alan, and now there’s only me.”  All in all., a fond farewell  to daytime’s most feisty family, iconic  because they were perhaps just a bit like yours and definitely just like mine: endearing but dysfunctional and  fighting all the time.

The late, great John Ingle

GH, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the  Restless: As if to soften the blow, SoapNet gave us five rerun episodes of the Quartermaines on the family’s traditional pizza-eating holiday,  Thanksgiving, known to them as “Quartermainia.”’  Also giving us old episodes the day after Thanksgiving was Days of Our Lives (Susan’s Elvis themed wedding) and The Young and the Restless (Nikki and Victor’s second wedding.)

Don’t you just love watching soap reruns? Most of all, there’s the joy of seeing “friends,” characters you spent years with, some long forgotten and now delightfully rediscovered. I’m an especially soft touch for characters who had heart, like GH’s Laura and Tony Jones. But last week Marlena really enjoyed seeing her historic favorites, the humorous supporting characters like Reginald the footman on GH (whatever happened to him?),  Alice the wrestler/maid and  Foster and Annabelle, the Q dogs. They added spice to the famous Quartermaine family’s comic brew.

Perhaps the most fun of watching reruns is to see characters and actors in their younger form.  Weren’t younger Vanessa Marcil and Ingo Rademacher just gorgeous together as Brenda and Jax?  We got to enjoy the progression of the hilarious hairdos of Jason Quartermaine Morgan (Steve Burton), from teenaged flipped back to older spikey.

Watching these GH reruns, Marlena learned that all things on soaps seem to come in threes:    Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman) was a blonde, a brunette and a redhead.  And of course there were three Carlys: Laura Wright, Tamara Braun, and the best, the original, Sarah J. Brown.   Coming in pairs were different actors playing the same roles, such as Billy Warlock and Sean Kanan playing A.J. Quartermaine.   And then there was a role that could only be played by a single wonderful actress, Kimberly McCollough, who grew up before our eyes on GH as Robin Scorpio.

My only complaint is it’s hard to watch episodes out of content.  Why doesn’t SoapNet give us the dates of these episodes?  And embarrassingly, sometimes I couldn’t remember or recognize characters. What was  A Martinez doing on GH?  Who did Coltin Scott play on GH and what happened to him?  My goodness, was that really Jamie Lynn Bauer playing Laura Horton on Days of Our Lives as a redhead?

Most interesting of all for longtime soap viewers were the little discrepancies you notice between today and yesterday.  Remember the days when Y&R had a budget and all the scenes were bedecked with vases and huge displays of fresh flowers?  Isn’t it just plain bizarre that Melody Thomas Scott looks younger now than she did a decade ago?

Do you like watching soap reruns?   Tell me your favorites and give me your observations.    While on this nostalgic track, I think I will go and read some old Marlena columns now….

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Foster the dog on GH was owned by The Spencer family, not the Quartermaines, and Coltin Scott (now going by his real name of Stephen Martines) was a recast for Nikolas Cassadine from 1999-2003 when Tyler Christopher left the role for a few years! A Martinez was on GH playing mobster and FBI informant Roy DiLucca. He played the role from 1999-2002 (the role was originated by Asher Brauner from 1978-1979). Roy was a mob associate to Luke Spencer, and also dated Luke’s sister Bobbie! I loved the GH tribute episode for John Ingle/Edward Quartermaine, and was choked up at the end when Edward and Lila (played by body doubles showing only their backs) went up the stairs of the Quartermaine Mansion to the white light of the afterlife! I also enjoyed the “Quartermania” Thanksgiving marathon on SoapNet too, along with the classic episodes of Y&R and DAYS as well!

  2. Chris says:

    BTW: SoapNet did release the dates of the episodes for the GH “Quartermania” marathon in a press release and on their website!

  3. James says:

    Chere Marlena,

    Ahh, the wonderful memories those classic episodes offered us. Who remembered that Mary Beth Evans was on GH as Katherine Bell in the mid 90s? Or that Missy Reeves left Days for five years in the 90s and was replaced by Stephanie Cameron? Or that Linda Dano did that multi-soap crossover as Gretel Rae Cummings from 199-2002?

    I was also struck that Ingo Radamacher really improved as an actor over the years. Not saying that he’s Oscar calibre now, but he certain grew in his 16 years on the show. Of course, when Ingo first came on the show, he was just so pretty to look at, who cared how good an actor he was!

    Also noticed that Drake Hogestyn now has a raspy voice, something that wasn’t present in that 1997 episode. Does Drake smoke cigarettes? I tend to like his raspy voice, but it was disconcerting to realize that he didn’t have it 15 years ago.

    As for the Edward Quatermaine tribute, I kept tearing up both days. Michael getting to say his goodbye, Edward meeting his great-grandson, Daniel. Standard, but much missed, Q bickering. The final scene of Edward and Lila walking up the steps. Such a nice tribute to the character and to John Ingle.

    So glad it was Ron and Frank who got to handle Edward’s death rather than Guza and JFP. If Guza had written it, there probably would have been a mob shootout — some rival gang going after Sonny’s son, Michael, but killing Monica instead, thereby ridding the show of another of those pesky Quatermaines that Guza disliked so much. Then JFP would have done the production to hilt and submitted it as her Emmy entry for the year. And probably would have won too!

    Marlena says; Thanks for the memories, cher James. Love your description of a Guza end to the Q’s.

  4. Patrick Erwin says:

    The scenes where the Quartermaines say goodbye to Edward GH were fantastic. Jane Elliot was especially wonderful. I think the Q’s and the Spencers may be the last characters/families either created by or shaped by Doug Marland left on our screens. (And no surprise they’re still around.)

    I have to say I get more interested (and impressed) with GH all the time. As opposed to B&B, where my favorite character is disappearing forever this week (and along with it, any motivation I ever had to watch).

    Marlena says; Yes, wasn’t Jane Elliot brilliant? Then again she is in every scene she plays.

  5. Diana says:

    Love those old episodes showing where all GH history comes from and would really like to see those old episodes used when they want to show a rerun instead of something everyone has just seen. I must say they did a tear inducing job with “Edwards” passing especially his leaving this earth with Lila. My daughter and I were in tears through the two shows. I love that they brought back super villian Faison. I can only hope the Ron C. remembers this is GH and does not turn him into a comic book villian ala OLTL last two villians (Mitch and Irene). Please don’t have his villiany be related to the wholely ridiculous mind control/switching of Irene Manning. GH is better than that and it does not have to be related to OLTL any more than the characters already on. Don’t get me wrong, I watched OLTL from the beginning as I have watched GH from almost the beginning, they are separate shows and don’t need to comingled anymore than they have been so far. I always enjoy your articles.

    Marlena says: Thanks Diana and I agree with you 100% about GH and OLTL being two separate shows. The Irene Manning plot ranks right up there with the Ivan Kipling story for being OLTL’s worst ever!

  6. horselover says:

    The absolute best scene was Edward and Lila walking up the stairs. Pure perfection. Now if only Frank and Ron could bring back Alan and Emily, I would be a happy camper. Seeing that crypt just made realize how destructive Guza was killing all those Quartermaines.

    Marlena says: Wasn’t Guza the worst? Like I haven’t said that a million times already!

  7. Bonnie says:

    I agree the episodes should have been more in order from the original airdate, which was given at the end of the show. I was surpised that they used an episode from last year, also the one getting Alexis and Mac together, there was not alot of Quartermaines. Though I did appreciate the Diane and Max scenes love them! Jane Elliott gets better and better and needs an Emmy!

    Marlena says: Just f.y.i. Jane Elliot did win an Emmy in 1981 for Best Supporting Actress for Tracy. I’m sure she’ll at least get a nomination for her most recent work.

  8. susan says:

    it was great all around, the tribute..

    i didn’t get to see the shows that you’re talking about, as i don’t get soap net…

    but i remember the second nick, catherine……..thought that she and stephan nichols were still great together…and all that…

    all of the carlys…..lol..

    and other stuff…

    susan

  9. susan says:

    naw leave emily out of it, they ruined her for me….when they put her with nick…..and what she did to zander…

    alan, of course i want him to come back….they need him back…

    now if you want a raspy voice….he’s the one that has gone raspy over the years….he didn’t sound like he did, when he was on for a bit, a few years ago, on as the world turns…..

    susan

  10. Ellen Bay says:

    Marlena,
    There were actually four Carly’s. Jennifer Bransford played Carly from April 2005-October 2005. I loved Sarah Brown in the role but I love Laura Wright even more as Carly.

    Marlena says: I know there were four. In this column I was just referring to the number of Carlys I saw in the reruns on Thanksgiving night.

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