Soap icon Genie Francis joins The Young and the Restless

Posted Thursday, March 31, 2011 10:01:55 PM
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Soap icon Genie Francis joins Y&R

Genie Francis is returning to daytime television, but not to the place that fans might expect. The Emmy-winning former General Hospital star is headed to The Young and the Restless. Francis appeared as Laura Spencer on GH for more than 20 years.

The Young and the Restless has scored a casting coup that will undoubtedly break the hearts of General Hospital fans everywhere. The top-rated CBS soap has reached a deal that will have Emmy winner Genie Francis (ex-Laura Spencer) appearing in Genoa City.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Francis will play Cane's mother, Genevieve. Since Cane's untimely death earlier this year, fans have been lobbying to have Y&R reverse their decision to kill off the character. Cane, played by actor Daniel Goddard, has recently been appearing as a "ghost," but Francis' addition to the cast and Y&R's recent assertion that Goddard remains under contract to the show has fans wondering if Cane might somehow still be alive.

Francis assumed the role of Laura Vining in 1976. The actress has made several breaks from the ABC soap in the past, but her most recent exit as a contract player came in September 2002. Francis returned for a month in 2006 to mark the 25th anniversary of Luke and Laura's wedding. In 2008, Francis made a similar short-term return. Last year, rumors surfaced that General Hospital might be interested in having Francis return to the show. After several weeks of chatter, the rumors quieted down.

Hopes were again raised in February when, during an interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Francis didn't dismiss the idea of a return to General Hospital. The actress did, however, seemingly lay down a set of requirements for her to consider heading back to Port Charles.

"If there is a way to go forward with Laura and make her into what I'd like her to be now, then perhaps I would do it," the actress answered when Winfrey asked about a reprisal of Francis' iconic GH role. "There is nothing in me that is willing to play a victim anymore."

The 1981 wedding of Luke and Laura Spencer -- which was reportedly only brought about as a way to convince Elizabeth Taylor to make a guest appearance on the show -- was watched by more than 30 million viewers. Despite being one of daytime's most recognizable actresses, Francis has received only two Daytime Emmy nominations. In 2007, Francis won the Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy.

Francis will begin taping her first scenes at The Young and the Restless at the end of April.

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