Elizabeth Taylor on 'General Hospital': Remembering the legend's fascinating, and goofy, soap stint

Daytime soaps fans still talk about that time when Hollywood royalty came out to play. Like everything she did, Elizabeth Taylor’s multi-episode arc on General Hospital was big: She came at the height of the show’s popularity to play Helena Cassadine, wife of Mikos. (You remember Mikos, that guy who wanted to freeze the earth.) She was even at Luke and Laura’s wedding,  though off to the side and putting a curse on them .

With news of her passing, the show’s put out a statement: “We were honored to work with Elizabeth Taylor on General Hospital.  Her portrayal of Helena was a defining moment for the show and an extraordinary experience for everyone involved.  She was a great talent, a gracious lady, and a rare presence.  We are deeply saddened by her passing and send our deepest condolences to her family and friends.”

Her appearance on the show was vintage grand dame, but the blooper reel below shows the playful, joyous side of Mrs.  Taylor. And that laugh! Oh, that laugh…

She even makes fun of herself by saying after one flub, “I’m sorry, folks. I’m not used to acting.” It’s amazing to watch her crack up with the ever-charming Tristan Rogers. But I absolutely love the schoolboy joy on Anthony Geary’s face when he forgets a line while looking at her and exclaims “Ahhhh! It’s Elizabeth Taylor.” He’s recently admitted to having had an affair with her for years after they met.

“Elizabeth was more than a great star, she was an amazing human being. Her world famous physical beauty paled in comparison to the beauty that radiated from her heart and soul. She had great humor, didn’t take herself too seriously, and had the most wonderful bawdy laugh. She was a fierce and loyal friend and tireless advocate. She dedicated herself to education, treatment and the search for a cure for HIV/AIDS long before it was fashionable to do so. Back in the dark days of ignorance and prejudice against people stricken with the disease, Elizabeth was at the forefront of the battle,” Geary said in a statement. “I was fortunate enough to call her my friend and every moment I spent in her company was unforgettable. I loved her very much. The world is a little darker, a little colder, a little less beautiful without her.”

Read more:
Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79
All About Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor: 11 Roles for the Ages
Elizabeth Taylor: What’s your favorite role?
Elizabeth Taylor movie tribute marathon to air on TCM
Elizabeth Taylor: The unpublished photos from Life.com
Elizabeth Taylor: Hollywood pays tribute
Cover Story: 60 Years of Liz (1992)
Book Review: Donald Spoto’s A Passion for Life: The Biography of Elizabeth Taylor (1995)
Book Review: C. David Heymann’s Liz (1995)
Encore: When Elizabeth Taylor met Richard Burton on the Cleopatra set
Encore: Cleopatra becomesHollywood’s costliest flop
Photo Gallery: Rare, behind-the-scenes photos from Elizabeth Taylor’s 1956 classic Giant
Encore: Remembering Elizabeth Taylor’s First Divorce, from Nicky Hilton

Comments (26 total) Add your comment
  • Brenda Barrett

    Ah, the glory days for GH…I miss them.

    • SueN


      • Nurse Betty

        I miss the General Hospital when it was around Dr’s & nurses..not ALL about mobsters..

    • dee dee1

      Me too. She was so great as Helena Cassadine. That was a fun time to watch with Luke/Laura/Robert/Tiffany and the Cassadine clan. Elizabeth was magic as Helena. So beautiful.

      • cookie82

        I couldn’t agree more. That was a fun time to be a GH fan!

  • Bobby’s Robot

    I was in college at the time, and the Ice Pincess storyline and, of course, Luke & Laura’s wedding were huge pop culture phenomena. Elizabeth Taylor as a Cassadine was icing on the cake.

  • Anna Devane

    Yes, the good ole days of GH. Where the Hospital in General Hospital actually meant something. Now this show should be called General Sonny Corinthos. Wannabe Goodfellas/Sopranos. Too bad Anna and Sean Donovan were not the police chief of Port Charles because Sonny would be jailed or been killed. Instead the police station is run by Barney Fife (Mac Scorpio)

    • MissMel

      It’s Sean Donnelly.

    • Prunella Von Schleidlhaagen

      LOL @ Barney Fife. Good one.

      • Anna Devane

        But it is so true. Police Department on that show is a joke. Head Writer Bob Guza is a joke. SOS Wendy Richie.

  • Beth

    Oh, that’s just classic! Her death is another blow to the golden days of daytime TV. RIP, Ms. Taylor.

  • Nan

    Aww. This is so sad. But what Tony said about her was just beautiful.

    • Lucy

      I’m still processing that Geary claims to have had a long affair with her

      • Laura Webber Spencer

        Well you know Elizabeth Taylor has a very close friendship with Rock Hudson and especially Montgomery Clift who were both deep in the closet. Might be the same with Tony Geary too.

    • Cathy in San Diego

      It was a beautiful tribute to her, and I’m glad they had the clip here.

  • jeremy

    i was 7 years old at the time she was on GH she was so beautiful on screen an off such a legend…awww im so sad! She was a legend passionate person..RIP well treasure the moments when she appeared on GH!!!! Love YA

  • Teresa

    This was when GH was good. Now it’s just garbage. ET was wonderful on that show. I remember watching it back then and thinking she was the best Helena Cassadine and so evil! RIP Elizabeth Taylor.

  • Star Collector

    Back in the day when it was “must-see” TV. Nowadays, they have forsaken the older characters in favor of these kids who look pretty but cannot act. Yes, I’m talking to you Dante, Lulu, Maxi (how come we never see her scar on her chest from her heart transplant in those little shirts she wears), Christina and the 2 most annoying characters…Molly and Carly

    • Beauty

      I disagree, Dante, Lulu, & Maxi are all really good actors.

      What Tony said about Elizabeth was very nice.

    • Lane

      I totally agree with Molly. Whenever she comes on I dread the scene that’s about to take place.

      I thought they explained the scar away by she had some sort of plastic surgery to remove it.

    • Jason

      I disagree. I think Kirsten (Maxie) is a really good actress, able to do both comedy and pathos. They kind of use her now like they did Lucy back in the day. Dante’s not bad either, I think it’s the writing, not the acting, that’s the problem these days.

  • Anne

    She seemed like a blast! Great to see her having fun and looking fantastic! Loved her appearance on GH back in the day!

  • Mincha

    SUCH good times! I would rush home from school to see GH. I guess that’s why I can’t stop watching the show completely–I remember how good it used to be and, ever the optimist, I always hope it’ll get back SOME of its magic.

  • christie

    loved these clips… I was too young when she was on but was an avid GH watcher for years through high school until just a few years ago. Tired of the Sonny and Carly show…

  • Ali

    Damn, Tristan Rogers was hot back then!

  • Pam

    That’s when GH was great. However, if Tony Geary and Elizabeth Taylor had a “relationship” it was not sexual. Who is he trying to fool?

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