General Hospital's Kin Shriner on John Stamos, Genie Francis and the Pot-Smoking Eighties
It's hard to tell who's more excited about Kin Shriner's February 19 return to General Hospital — him or us! The most beloved third wheel in suds history, Shriner's Scotty Baldwin was married to Laura (Genie Francis) back when she famously fell in love with Luke (Anthony Geary). Will the poor guy finally get revenge? According to an ABC rep, "Scott Baldwin returns to Port Charles as most of the town is gathered at the Haunted Star for a Valentine's Day party and the first person he sees is Luke. Things will escalate very quickly between the two of them." TV Guide Magazine spoke with Shriner — a veteran of 12 serials — about the best job he ever had.
TV Guide Magazine: We haven't seen Scotty since 2008. Were you dying to get back on GH for the 50th anniversary?
Kin Shriner: My goal is to always keep playing Scotty, which I've now done in five different decades, which is crazy! He's been through so many incarnations, what with hundreds of writers, plus my own meddling. He's been a goodie and a baddie. Hey, when you're happily wed to a woman who runs off with her rapist, it'll tarnish you. I'm just wondering who else they can dig up for the 50th.
TV Guide Magazine: John Stamos is showing up, right?
Shriner: I'm sure Stamos will come back because he knows GH started his career. And, of course, Ricky Dean Anderson. We need to get MacGyver back in the mix! We're like an old family from the '80s and I think we'll always feel that way. I'd love to work with Stamos again. As Blackie, he was Paul Drake to my Perry Mason, my footman, my go-to guy. "Go find this out, Blackie!"
TV Guide Magazine: Word is, GH is going to revisit that incident where Luke's daughter Lulu killed Scotty's son Logan.
Shriner: That's what they tell me. I kinda thought we played that out so I'm wondering where this is headed. Scotty took Lulu to trial and didn't win. He didn't really know Logan very well — one day the kid just suddenly popped up in town — but maybe Scotty's still disgruntled.
TV Guide Magazine: Funny how we still want to call him Scotty, rather than Scott, which the network has been pushing for years.
Shriner: [Former GH executive producer] Wendy Riche is the one who got that "Scott" stuff going. One day she suddenly made a big deal about it. "You are now playing Scott Baldwin." And I'm like, "Why? Why is that, Wendy?" I never did get a real answer. But, whatever. It's Scotty who's coming back!
TV Guide Magazine: When did you first realize GH was a juggernaut?
Shriner: I remember it clearly. It was 1979. Genie and I were in Fort Lauderdale having dinner at Stan's. Right in the middle of our conch chowder, I look up and see a line of people around the building wanting our autographs. We knew we might be onto something.
TV Guide Magazine: You and Genie are still tight, right?
Shriner: Yeah. (Laughs) And we still cause a stir! A couple of months ago I had lunch with her in Calabasas, where she lives, and she made me go to the market with her. There was quite a fuss in the produce department when people spotted us. They were asking us, "Hey, wow, what are you two doing together? Are you guys a couple now?" And I'm, like, "No, Genie just needed a couple of melons for the morning and I tagged along. Really! There's nothing going on!" Of course the people recognizing us were all in their fifties. They enjoyed those times back then. We remind them of their college days and smoking pot. (Laughs) Because that's what everyone was pretty much doing in 1981!
TV Guide Magazine: Tony and Genie have been very open about the dark side of their GH success, but for you it all seems to have been a lark. True?
Shriner: I know some of it was bumpy for them, but I've had the time of my life and made the greatest friends. We've all stayed connected in hopes that we can connect again as our characters. Lynn Herring [Lucy] and I have had a thousand phone calls — we talk at least once a week — where we're, like, "Wouldn't it be great if our characters came back to Port Charles and did such-and-such." And now it's actually happening! (Laughs) We no longer have to imagine it with tweety birds over our heads!
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