Sometimes all it takes is one little sentence to completely change the course of history, and that was certainly the case with General Hospital's Kin Shriner, who is celebrating his 45th anniversary in the role of Scott Baldwin.
When the ABC soap opera approached the fresh-faced youngster to appear in a couple of episodes, he nearly refused -- until a special someone convinced him it would be a mistake.
"There was no actual scene to read... there was no real audition," Shriner shared about his first interactions with GH during a recent episode of Maurice Benard's (Sonny Corinthos) mental health show, State of Mind (which you can watch below). "[The producer] just kind of talked to me... about, 'There's a character that was on the show once. He was a kid, and he's the son of the town lawyer, and we want to bring him back, grown up, at your age. Would you be interested?'"
Shriner goes on to admit that he wasn't interested in the slightest. "As a young actor, when you're making a little dent in the town, you've got some guest-star spots, you've been under contract, you're like, 'Well, why do I want to do a soap?'" he recalled. "We all wanted to be movie stars... But my acting coach... had been on a soap, and she told me that you will never get a better training... You can't get a better education, on camera, working every day, new material. You're not sitting around spending six weeks rehearsing a play you're gonna do. Instead of doing it every night, you're dong a soap, it's every day, it's a new scene, new stuff."
Shriner decided to give the soap world a go, originally signing on for two episodes, which aired August 2 and August 4, 1977. Afterward, he shares, "I thought, 'This is really fun. I'd love to do this.' Then a couple of weeks went by, and I'm thinking, 'Ah, Christ, this is never going to [happen].' So then, two to three weeks in, my agent calls and goes, 'Yeah, yeah, they really want you. They've got a whole big story.' It was a three-year contract... and so, we were in!"
As longtime GH fans know, Shriner was immediately paired with Genie Francis' Laura Webber, a coupling that proved to be so popular, it is credited as one of the stories that saved the then-floundering soap opera from cancellation. The Scotty and Laura chapter came to a close, however, with the introduction of Anthony Geary, which led to the iconic Luke and Laura pairing. Fortunately, that didn't spell the end of Shriner's Scotty, who has continued to be a Port Charles staple these past four and half decades.
As for how he celebrated 45 years on the job, Shriner did a little golfing and a little fishing with his GH co-star, Marcus Coloma (Nikolas Cassadine). He also responded to a slew of congratulations from colleagues, such as Jon Lindstrom (Kevin Collins/Ryan Chamberlain), who shared, "45 years! Somehow it feels longer. Kidding! Congratulations my friend! You've been killin it for all that time. To 45 more!" and Maurice Benard, who shared, "What can I say about my best friend @kinshriner probably one of the only actors in the world that can say they've been working at the same job for 45 years. One thing I always say about his talent, can't keep your eyes off him. you've earned it my friend."
Would you like to congratulate Kin Shriner on his 45th anniversary as GH's Scotty Baldwin? What have been your favorite moments from his time in Port Charles? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.