Genie Francis, better known as her character, Laura Spencer, will be returning to General Hospital on ABC next month.

Francis, 50, departed General Hospital in 2002 due to contractual issues. That wasn’t the first time that the soap actress had left the show. In 2007, she apologized to her General Hospital fans for suddenly quitting the show in 1982, a year after her fairytale wedding to the character Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary.)

The onscreen wedding between Laura and Luke was watched by over 30 million people, making it the highest-rated hour of a soap opera on record—and further establishing them as the darling couple of daytime TV.

Since her last leave from General Hospital, Francis has appeared in Hallmark Channel movies, The Note and Taking a Chance on Love. And, over the past year, she’s been playing Genevieve Atkinson on The Young and The Restless.

After Francis was dropped from The Young and the Restless due to the show’s budget constraints, General Hospital executive producer Frank Valenti was eager to get her back on his show. She agreed to return to Port Charles, just as long as the writers gave her character a legitimate reason for her long absence.

“It’s not for me to tell them how to run their show,” Francis told EW. “But my biggest concern was that there had to be a good reason for me to stay away from my family.”

Francis returns to General Hospital for the Feb. 11 episode.

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