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Forget all the rumors you've heard...

Forget all the rumors you've heard about GH's Genie Francis taking an even longer break from the daytime screen. Francis is back where she belongs, on the set. "She's back, and she's having a great time," confirms her manager. "She's already taped four episodes." So where was Francis all summer? "She bought a house in New England and spent the summer there with her family," her manager explains. The well-rested Francis is primed and ready. And how will Laura make her grand entrance back on the GH canvas? Pining over the well-being of her estranged son, Lucky? Confronting Stefan or Felicia over past indiscretions? "We'll see Laura walk right into Luke's trial," says a GH spokesperson, where her presence is sure to cause some major sparks. Francis returns to the air Oct. 6 … And while we're on the subject of GH, there's been plenty of debate over who could fill the recently vacated top writing slot at the show. Some of the names thrown into h read more

Rebecca Budig (Greenlee, AMC)...

Rebecca Budig (Greenlee, AMC) puts her muscles to the test. She's co-hosting the new WWF HEAT, a 2 hour extravaganza of wrestling matches, music, celebrities and fan interaction, which will air on MTV on Oct. 1. "It's going to be a really fun show," says Budig. "The band Disturbed will be there this week." The show will broadcast live from the World Wrestling Federation Complex in New York City. MTV's DJ Skribble co-hosts the lively production with Budig. No stranger to emcee duties, Budig hosted The Sports Illustrated for Kids Show. "But I've never done anything live, so these guys are taking a risk," she says with a chuckle. Wrestling phenomenon Stone Cold Steve Austin will be one of Budig's guests, but don't look for Budig to challenge him in the ring. "There will be no wrestling," she exclaims. "I'll get my yellow flag out and say 'I surrender'." The games begin at 7 pm/ET...On Sept. 26, Passions's star Bruce Michael Hall read more

Could you forgive someone who...

Could you forgive someone who took away the most important piece of your life? That will be one tough question to answer this week when Brooke learns that Eliot is the drunk driver who killed her daughter on All My Children. Eliot, the reformed ex-cop turned minister, originally returned to Pine Valley to banish his last, lingering demon of Laura's death. "One of the final things Eliot wanted to do was confess," says Julia Barr, who plays Brooke. "He tries to tell me on a number of occasions, but there are just too many things that intervene. Then they got involved, and it seemed like an impossible admission."

When Brooke and Eliot win physical custody of Ricky, who, like Eliot, suffered at the hands of a abusive parent, it sets off the chain of events that lead to the shocking revelation. "Because Hank [Ricky's father] is a policeman and part of the pipeline, he's found out who Eliot really is," says Barr. "The guy's extremely threatening. He breaks and enters my hom read more

Dear Soaps, Please help me! I...

Dear Soaps,
Please help me! I was watching One Life to Live and a commercial came on for Centrum. There was a blonde woman standing there with a chart marking off stuff, and she never spoke. I think it was Dr. Melanie MacIver from OLTL. This has been bugging me for weeks. Could you please help me? — Teresa.

Dear Teresa,
Looks like you got a double dose of Lanie that day. Not only does Darlene Vogel, who plays OLTL's Melanie, dole out prescriptions in Llanview, she's is the blonde hawking Centrum vitamins in the commercial. Good catch! (DD)

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Dear Soaps, A few co-workers and...

Dear Soaps,
A few co-workers and I were trying to remember who was married to whom on The Young and the Restless. I recall that Victoria and Ryan were married several years ago. Can you tell me if I am right? Also wasn't Cole married to Ashley when Victoria was carrying his child? Thanks! — Melissa

Dear Melissa,
Ryan and Victoria were indeed wed. The marriage ended due to mostly to Victoria's immaturity and inability to commit to a full relationship with Ryan. (She wasn't ready for a sexual relationship.) Victoria was indeed expecting Cole's baby when he and Ashley wed. And, in an unusual twist, everyone knew about it before the "I dos" were exchanged. Cole decided to go ahead with the wedding to Ashley because he genuinely felt his relationship with Victoria was over. Sadly, the baby, named after Cole's mother, Eve, died shortly after her birth. A few months later, Cole left town. His portrayer, J. Eddie Peck, is now Jake read more

Dear Soaps, Whatever happened...

Dear Soaps,
Whatever happened to Trevor and Natalie? Are they still a part of All My Children? — Cgarnder

Dear Cgarnder,
Sadly, this fan favorite couple is part of Pine Valley history. Trevor left town at the beginning of this year to help clear his wife Janet of murder. Sadly, Natalie died in 1993, following injuries she sustained in a car wreck. (Melody Anderson had assumed the role of Nat from Kate Collins and fans never warmed up to her performances.) The character of Natalie, played by Collins, returned as an occasional apparition while members of the Dillon family were still on the canvas. (MJM)

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Dear Soaps, Is the girl who plays...

Dear Soaps,
Is the girl who plays Mac on The Young and the Restless the same one who was the daughter on The Echo of Thunder, a Hallmark movie that ran about three weeks ago? Thanks. — Patty

Dear Patty,
Ashley Bashioum (Mac, Y&R) certainly looks like the girl featured in this family feature. But the Lara Ritchie character, who comes to live with her father and his family in the Australian outback, was actually played by Australian born actress Lauren Hewett.

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Dear Soaps, Please! Oh Please!...

Dear Soaps,
Please! Oh Please! Oh Please! Help me! My girlfriend claims that Days of Our Lives's character Lexie Carver is infertile, and that Lexie's doctor confirmed her infertility years ago, and that Lexie kept all of this from her husband Abe, making excuses as to why they shouldn't have a child. If this is true, why then has Lexie spent recent months trying to get pregnant? Is my girlfriend right about this? We've got a bet going and need to find the truth. We know you always tell the truth so please let's have it! — Veronica

Dear Veronica,
Boy, this sure sounds like a plot point that happened. But I can't find evidence of it anywhere! If Lexie had been told by a doctor that she couldn't have children, it was probably the same physician who keeps screwing up Victor Newman's vasectomies over on Y&R. Seriously, we do know that back in 1993 Lexie and Abe were discussing having a baby. However, Lexie tearfully opte read more

Dear Soaps, Can you please tell...

Dear Soaps,
Can you please tell me who Victor Newman's very first wife was on The Young and the Restless? Do you have a picture of her? Maybe the "mustache" is out of town looking for her? What do you think he's up to? — Hope

Dear Hope,
Victor's first wife (unless the writers decide to change this) is Julia Newman, last seen living overseas. Meg Bennett, the exiting co-head writer at General Hospital, played the part. Victor's gone away to think about how he's going to handle Diane's pregnancy. While leaving town is often a way to create story for a character, Victor will have plenty to do with existing characters on the Y&R canvas. (MJM)

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Dear Soaps, How can the Forresters...

Dear Soaps,
How can the Forresters have any legal claim over little Eric on The Bold and the Beautiful? Little Eric's mother, Becky, was married to C.J. He would seem to have more rights over little Eric than anyone else. What about Becky's parents? Why don't they get guardianship of little Eric over anybody else? Where is little Eric's real father? — Parksnancyl

Dear Parksnancyl,
Those Forresters are kind of pushy on this one, aren't they? I can't figure out why Stephanie is so determined to get this guy back in the Forrester compound when she practically tried to murder Morgan's unborn Forrester heir. Rick, who's most likely listed as the father on the baby's birth certificate (which gives him a legal edge), should have thought about wanting to keep little Eric before he tossed Amber out. Then again, he might have lost in a custody case against Becky. Becky's parents seemed to have vanished from the scene. And they may not have read more

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