A Tribute to General Hospital’s Shell Kepler

By Marlena De LacroixShell Kepler

Nurse Amy Vining was a supporting character on General Hospital, but she was omnipresent throughout the  fabled Luke and Laura/Gloria Monty years.  After all, she was Laura’s sister!  As Amy, Shell Kepler, who died last week in Oregon, always had a quick quip or a giggle for anyone who hung around the nurse’s station.  My journalist friend Ed Martin, one of the “Monty Men” (a term I coined for my many male friends who first became superfans of GH in the Monty years — and are still watching, waiting for those years to come back!)  penned a wonderful tribute to Shell. Read it here.


  1. Marlena, what a wonderful tribute to Shell Kepler. I thought it was inexcusable and inexplicable that they just let her go without even the decency of writing off her character! Just think of how fabulous it would have been to have Amy commenting on all the goings on at GH, mixing it up with Epiphany, flirting with Patrick and Noah, counseling Nicolas in his relationship with Emily, not to mention getting into it when they lamely brought Heather back. Not to mention being a mentor to Lulu (so much better than Carly who I have to say is actually the mature one in her talks with Lulu). And when Genie Francis came back all to briefly and gloriously, how wonderful it would have been to have Amy there. What a loss for GH and the world.

  2. Marilyn Henry says:

    Add to Guza’s many rip-offs, the Mason-Julia beginning from Santa Barbara!
    (Robin baby story.)

    Remember that Julia came on as Louise Sorel’s sister, a smart attorney, but single. The well-to-do Lockridge family is a bit snobbish and when Julia begins to hear her biological clock ticking and wants to have a child on her own, she is looking for a man with a high IQ and good, healthy physical attributes, as well as family pedigree to father her child.

    When Mason hears about it, he is right on it. Though she knows his reputation, and dislikes him, he is persistent. They eventually make a deal. No romance at all, just straight forward insemination. Of course Mason messes with this, ordering up satin sheets at the Capwell hotel, etc, so it takes him a while to bed Julia. Once he does, she has trouble disconnecting from their big night–and so does he, From there on the story unfolded deliciously, each denying their rapture, Mason even marrying another for nobel reasons (can’t recall the gal’s name now). Lots of obstacles until finally, finally the wedding, which was also hilarious. ‘I promise you (reads note) butter, eggs, ground beef, uh..’ puts shopping list away and searches pockets again for right note with vows…

    Anyway, SB handled the single girl’s search as lovely, inspired, romantic comedy. Witty, adult and fun. GH made it thoroughly tiresome, unbelievable, and aggravated by Robin’s very public search and need to give Patrick a scalding at every turn.

    Where o where are those marvelous, intelligent writers of SB? Well, primarily Patrick Macalhey? (SP?) (But GH likely wouldn’t hire them anyhow.)

    Thanks, Marlena, for remembering me. We had some fun, didn’t we? Remember taking me over to ATWT and giving me my first look at a soap studio? Such a thrill…

  3. I always like the Amy Vining character. Never felt like they developedt the character at all. Baiscally just used her for comic relife either through her endless gossiping or her many crushes on the available men.

    But as I recall reading someplace, Gloria Monty’s original plan for Amy was that she would be an ice skater (or some type of athlete) who would fall in love with her coach and eventually compete in the 1980 Olympics. But that storyline got kaboshed when the US boycotted the 1980 Olympics after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

    Maybe I’ve got the details wrong, but I do distinctly recall thinking how much more interesting a character Amy would have made if she’d had a storyline like that.

    I too noticed that Amy was not even mentioned when Laura came back last year. Not even a “Too bad Amy’s off in Africa with the Doctor’s Without Borders Program.” Characters who’ve been on the show for 23 years should get a decent send-off.

    Was really saddened to hear about her death at age 49. Still so young.

    But I was impressed that USA Today ran a brief about her death on the front page of the Life section. Given how that mainstream press is averse to covering soaps at all, it was nice they made an exception for Shell’s death.

    Kinda ironic that USA Today treated Shell better in the end that GH did Amy.

  4. Sharon Gabriel-Frazier says:

    What a beautiful tribute. There are many out there who just adored “Chatty Amy”, but all are not able to, or know about this particular web-site. Many hours of pleasure was given and I am so proud to have “known” Amy, and thank you for a chance to say this to your readers. Bless You. “Amy, rest in peace my friend.”

  5. Matthew J Cormier says:

    Well i have to say that was a beautiful tribute to Shell Kepler and Amy Vinning. Amy was always one of my favorite characters and i was deeply saddened when they let her go without so much as a on-screen mention. I also felt it was terrible that when Laura awoke from her coma not one person mentioned Amy or that Laura never asked “where is my sister Amy”?

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