"General Hospital" is giving fans much to talk about: the reunion of Luke and Laura Spencer, the ABC soap opera's most popular couple.
Genie Francis, who originated the role of Laura nearly 30 years ago, will return to the show — and to the fictional town of Port Charles — to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Luke and Laura's wedding, which was seen by 30 million viewers on Nov. 16, 1981, ABC announced Tuesday.
Francis, 44, will appear in a series of episodes beginning in the middle of October, the network said.
"I'm very happy to be returning to my 'General Hospital' family and look forward to portraying a role that means a lot to me as well as the fans who have supported the character throughout the years," Francis said in a statement.
Francis has left the show several times; her most recent departure was in 2002.
Buzz surrounding the fictional couple's 1981 wedding was intense. So intense, that Francis and Anthony Geary, who plays Luke, appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine. In the episode, Elizabeth Taylor made a cameo as the malicious Helena Cassadine.
No details were provided about Laura's story line and the upcoming anniversary. Four years ago, the character suffered a mental breakdown after she killed her father, and has been living at a psychiatric hospital in a catatonic state.
© 2006 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.