It was, to my surprise, Richard Dean Anderson, later known best for MacGyver, who appeared in General Hospital, from 1976 to 1981. Strange the things you find out when you go looking for something else. It’s hard to imagine Anderson in a soap, but everyone’s got to start somewhere. Sometimes I think Anderson feels he’s back in a soap, when you see him in Stargate, a series he’s looked infinitely bored with since the beginning. Bring back MacGyer, I say, even if he’s aged twenty years. He must still have a few tricks up his sleeve.
Curiously, when you look up Richard Dean Anderson on the General Hospital site, there’s nothing showing up about him. Maybe he was in it too long ago – and of course, so many things happen in soaps, and so many people come and go. Soaps never stand still, not for a moment. I remember Adrian Plass writing a wonderful piece about the sorts of things that happen to characters in soaps, how they can change from being heterosexual to homosexual overnight (it’s happened more than once on Shortland St, for starters), and how even the dead return to life – that’s happened on Shortland St as well! It’s a world where anything goes. If you want to find out the extent of how much anything goes, everything you ever wanted to know – practically – is on the General Hospital page, part of the soaps.com group of pages.
One last thing: I found this quote from General Hospital while I was checking out some of the above:
Skye Quartermaine Jacks: Since I have known you, I have been trapped in a burning building, stalked, kidnapped, and left to die in Wyndemere. I woke up next to a dead man, been convicted of murder, and spent time in a state penitentiary! But I will not have cockroaches crawling on me! That is where I draw the line!
Luke Spencer: They won't, no more. I promise you. Trust me. I'll just fumigate the cardboard condo and you can get back to your beauty sleep.
Say no more!