It's hard to believe that it's been a whopping 15 years since General Hospital viewers were introduced to Laura Wright, who bravely took on the role of Carly Corinthos after soap favorites Sarah Brown and Tamara Braun both played her to major fanfare (from 1996 to 2001, and 2001 to 2005, respectively). Fortunately for viewers of the show, Wright proved that GH's casting directors did a fantastic job re-filling the role, and she quickly became one of the most loved performers in Port Charles.
Of course, she did have a little practice, having previously spent eight years playing Guiding Light's Cassie Layne Winslow and seven years playing The City/Loving's Ally Bowman -- both of which she says majorly prepared her for the tough role of Carly.
"I think it gave me the confidence that I needed to make the move and being able to walk on set and play Carly. You can't come on being afraid," Wright shared with TV Insider of how her previous experience helped her tackle her GH role. "Jason [Steve Burton], Sonny [Maurice Benard], and Carly are a threesome. They're a family. I couldn't be the weak link. Carly is the rock, really, in a lot of ways. She's the rock for Sonny, and Jason's the rock for her."
Wright recalls that it took a lot of hard work to make Carly her own in the beginning, but all of the dedication paid off.
"I read the scripts and listened to [then-writer] Elizabeth Korte, the 'forever writer and historian' of the show," she says of how she initially prepared to play the character, adding, "I had to bring my own version of Carly. I didn't go back and watch anything. I didn't want to mimic anyone else. I had to bring, of course, what made Carly her -- the feistiness of Sarah, the emotions and depth of Tamara, and the intensity that [short-term portrayer] Jenny [Bransford] brought to that part. I wanted to bring all of that and also humor. Carly has this childlike quality that a person would have to have in order to justify some of the things Carly says and does."
As Wright shared on Instagram, her 15-year journey as the hate-to-love/love-to-hate character has been one of the most joyous aspects of her life. The actress shared a clip from her debut scene as Carly back in 2005 along with the caption: "15 years ago today! Ohh it's been one hell of a ride!! Big love to all the General Hospital fans who welcomed me and support Carly's World -- I love her so so much. I'm so grateful to play in Port Charles with the cast and crew of General Hospital. They truly are my family."
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15 yrs ago today !!!! Ohh it's been one hell of a ride!! Big love to all the GH Fans who welcomed me and support Carlys World - I LOVE her so so much. I'm so grateful to play in Port Charles with The cast and crew of GH. They truly are my family ❤️❤️ #15yrs #CarlysWorld #GHBaby #Caroline #4 #15moreBaby xo
Wright also shared with TV Insider that she is extremely thankful to have such loyal and supportive fans -- who she calls the most incredible fans on the planet.
"I'm so grateful to have been embraced, that they love my version of Carly," she enthuses, adding applause for the show's cast, writers, crew, producers -- and everyone else in between. "What we do in this medium is so incredible. Our writers are already writing six weeks ahead. In prime time, [shows] get table reads, they have writers on set. We have everyone showing up in all departments doing the best that they can to their abilities and for the opportunities that we are given. I am grateful all day long."
Would you like to wish Laura Wright a happy 15th anniversary at GH? What are your favorite memories from the actress' time as Carly Corinthos? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.