The 10 Most Memorable Moments on General Hospital

PEOPLE picks 10 can't-miss happenings from the long-running soap opera's storied history

01 of 11

Luke and Laura's Wedding, 1981

Anthony Geary, Genie Francis General Hospital - 1963

(The following is excerpted from PEOPLE's collector's edition General Hospital: Celebrating 60 Years of Love & Drama available now on Amazon or wherever magazines are sold.)

It's hard to explain the phenomenon of the mobbed-up disco manager Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) and the married teenager Laura Webber (Genie Francis) going on the run in 1980, but by the time they walked down the aisle, 30 million people were tuning in, and Academy Award winner Elizabeth Taylor was crashing their nuptials.

The TV milestone was filmed at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills (aka the Quartermaine mansion) on a sweltering day with every major General Hospital actor in attendance. There were complications (including bees swarming the wedding cake), but there was no chance of the actors' forgetting their lines, thanks to the show's demanding executive producer. "In that situation where Gloria [Monty] was on location," Francis recalls to PEOPLE, "you were not going to be the one to screw up!"

02 of 11

Stone Battles AIDS, 1995

GENERAL HOSPITAL - Stone gets a haircut - 10/26/95 Stone (Michael Sutton) and Robin (Kimberly McCullough) shared a quiet moment before Stone's scheduled brain biopsy, on Thursday, Oct. 26, 1995 on ABC Daytime's "General Hospital"
ABC/Craig Sjodin

It was the most impactful story GH ever told: Orphan Stone Cates (Michael Sutton) experimented with drugs before falling in love with Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough), and they both later tested positive for HIV—with Stone eventually contracting AIDS. Robin and Sonny cared for Stone as he battled the disease, losing his eyesight near the end. His last words were, "I see you ... Oh Robin, I see you!"

"The love that poured through us that day was a reflection of the best of us, when we can see through the prejudice and fear of a disease and treat the person with compassion," McCullough wrote on Instagram in 2020. "Telling stories can be a vehicle for enlightenment, and yes, even soap operas can change the world."

03 of 11

BJ's Heart Transplant, 1994

Tony (Brad Maule) sat at BJ's (Brighton Hertford) bedside after she was severely injured in a school bus crash, on ABC Daytime's "General Hospital"

They set it up perfectly. Dr. Tony Jones (Brad Maule) and nurse Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman) learned their daughter BJ (Brighton Hertford) was in a bus crash and would not survive. They had only moments to make the decision to donate her heart to Tony's niece Maxie (Robyn Richards), daughter of his brother Frisco (Jack Wagner) and sister-in-law Felicia (Kristina Wagner), whose heart was failing.

"Not Barbara Jean!" cried Felicia as she fell to the floor at the hospital upon learning whose heart had saved her daughter. Then Tony snuck into Maxie's hospital room to listen to his late daughter's heart beating in her chest. Can you say tearjerker?

04 of 11

Clink-Boom, 1996

General Hospital - May 31st, 1996 - Clink Boom. Jax & Brenda marry while a pregnant Lily is killed in a car bombing meant for Sonny.

It was a devastating day for Sonny (Maurice Benard). His ex Brenda (Vanessa Marcil) wed Jax (Ingo Rademacher) at the exact moment Sonny's pregnant wife, Lily (Lilly Melgar), died in a car bomb meant for Sonny.

The episode was famously nicknamed "Clink-BOOM" in a nod to newlyweds Brenda and Jax clinking their champagne glasses as the camera cut to Lily turning (a tipsy) Sonny's keys to start his car, which then exploded (à la Michael Corleone's wife, Apollonia, in The Godfather). "No!" Sonny screamed as his car was engulfed in flames. Yes.

05 of 11

Alan Tries to Kill Rick and Monica, 1980

Chris Robinson (Rick), Leslie Charleson (Monica) and Stuart Damon (Alan) star on ABC Daytime's "General Hospital"

Jealousy can make people do crazy things. Just ask Dr. Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon, right), who went crazy after his wife, Monica (Leslie Charleson), cheated on him with fellow doctor Rick Webber (Chris Robinson, left) and became pregnant.

Blood tests led them to believe the baby was Rick's, so Alan set out to kill them both — unsuccessfully. Ultimately the baby turned out to be his and grew up to be A.J. (Alan Jr.) Quartermaine.

06 of 11

Jason Loses His Memory, 1995

Sean Kanan and Steve Burton star as brothers AJ and Jason Quartermaine on ABC's "General Hospital."

Who knew a head injury could turn a bright young med student into a Mob enforcer? That's what happened to Jason Quartermaine (Steve Burton) after he jumped into the passenger seat of A.J.'s car to stop his brother from driving drunk. A.J. (Sean Kanan, left, with Burton) hit a tree, and Jason was ejected. He woke up with no recollection of the past, but he knew enough to dislike most of his family. Jason dropped out of medical school and went to work for Sonny as a hit man. In a soap rarity, Jason never regained his memories.

07 of 11

Tracy Withholds Edward's Heart Medication, 1980

General Hospital 1980. Edward cuts Tracy out of his will. He has a heart attack ad begs Tracy for his medication. She withholds it asking him not to change his will. It's a trick to see what she would do.

Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliot) learned her father was going to disinherit her, so when it appeared that Edward (David Lewis) was having a heart attack, she elected not to help him unless he promised to keep her in his will.

As Edward lay lifeless on the floor, Tracy lamented he was the only man she had ever loved and finally reached for the phone to call 911. Oops! Edward grabbed her from behind and told her he had faked the episode as a test. "Tonight I'm going to sign a new will," he announced. "Watch me." We did.

08 of 11

Anna and Robert Have a Daughter, 1985


Robin arrived in Port Charles with the last name Soltini, a grandmother named Filomena and a "family friend" called Anna (Finola Hughes) who she soon learned was her mother. When Anna's ex Robert (Tristan Rogers) met the 6-year-old, he did the math on her birth. "She captured my heart just like someone else did seven years ago," he deduced. "Robin Soltini. Should be Scorpio, shouldn't it?"

09 of 11

Heather Frames Anne for Murder, 1981

Richard Dean Anderson, Susan Pratt on 'General Hospital'; ROBIN MATTSON; Diana Taylor's murder. Heather Webber thinks she did it and to frame Anne, she uses Diana's hand to write Anne's name in blood.
Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images; ABC Photo Archives; ABC

In an effort to win back her estranged husband, Jeff Webber, from his new love Anne Logan (Richard Dean Anderson and Susan Pratt, left), Heather (Robin Mattson, right) tried to get back Jeff's baby, whom she had secretly given birth to and sold on the black market. That made Diana Taylor (Brooke Bundy), who had adopted the boy, a target.

Heather broke into Diana's house to kill her but found her already dead — so Heather wrote Anne's name in blood with Diana's hand to (literally) finger her for the crime. Heather's efforts to vanquish Anne from Jeff's life failed when Anne was exonerated and the real killer was revealed: It was Heather's mother, Alice Grant (Lieux Dressler)!

10 of 11

Felicia Kills Peter August, 2022

ABC/Troy Harvey

After "dying" numerous times (most notably falling down the stairs during a fight with Finn and having his body hidden in the hospital freezer), Faison's evil son Peter (Wes Ramsey) was finally offed by Felicia (Kristina Wagner, pictured) with a tire iron in an effort to protect her daughter Maxie. Anna (Finola Hughes) came upon Peter's lifeless body and, instead of calling 911, watched her nephew die.

"The death of Peter was an extraordinary moment," Hughes tells PEOPLE. "Ultimately Anna didn't give the defining blow, but she sat there with him and didn't call the emergency team. She waited." So it's not murder when you're protecting a loved one?

11 of 11

General Hospital at 60

General Hospital People Cover

For more on all things General Hospital, pick up PEOPLE's special collector's edition General Hospital: Celebrating 60 Years of Love & Drama available now on Amazon or wherever magazines are sold.

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