Daytime drama 'General Hospital' celebrates a major television milestone: 15,000 episodes

Genie Francis and Maurice Benard join the cast in celebrating 'General Hospital's' 15,000th episode.
HOLLYWOOD -- The cast and crew of the daytime drama "General Hospital" are busy shooting...listen to this...their 15,000th episode! They have sure been through a lot since the show first hit daytime television back in 1963.

"General Hospital" has been entertaining soap fans for a long time now.

"I don't think anybody can believe that it's been around this long. It's quite an accomplishment, isn't it?" said Genie Francis, who plays Laura Collins. "And it's gone through different generations of people."

Francis has played the popular character of Laura since she was a teenager. Now, she is the mayor of the fictional Port Charles.

"I'm very happy with how the character has grown and changed. In the beginning, of course, she was very, very vulnerable. And now I focus much more on her strength," said Francis.

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We've seen "General Hospital" age along with us...different opens...different music...different characters...but drama has always been a staple. Episode 15,000 will focus on Francis' character...and it sounds like a good one!

"It'll be happy. It'll be sad. It'll be dark. It'll be scary. It'll be fun. It'll be thrilling. It'll be exciting. But most importantly, it has almost every single cast member in it," said executive producer Frank Valentini.

And they showed up for the traditional celebratory cake! We've been here plenty of times in the past...but applauding 15,000 episodes is really something special.

Maurice Benard, who plays Sonny Corinthos, let us in on a little secret regarding these caloric celebrations.

"Well, you know, the truth of the matter is I don't even touch the cake because I'm real disciplined," laughed Benard.

The cake is a sweet reminder that "General Hospital" is on its way to celebrating another milestone next year when the show turns 60 years old. We'll see the 15,000th episode airing on June 17.

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