First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Eric Ackerman Sr., and I'm the gentleman with the white beard. The young lad standing next to me is my grandson, Eric Ackerman Jr. Hence, us having the same names.
That was one of the most depressing eras in GH history. Emily McLaughlin (Jessie) died; BJ & Stone were killed off; and Monica was diagnosed with breast cancer all within a few years. Plans to diagnose Audrey with Alzheimer's was dropped in fear that the viewers would actually become depressed.
Yes, they are both still alive. Peter Hansen (Lee) is 91 and Susan Brown (Gail) is 80. I was really glad that they were carried over to Port Charles and given a chance to do more. They were perfect patriarch & matriarch types and made great grandparents to Serena, Karen, & later Christina.
That's Kim Hamilton as Dr. Tracy Adams, the first African American doctor to practice at GH.
I only just found out when I was reading the 50th special from SOD, Brad Maule almost didn't go to work the day Tony's death was to be filmed. Even though he had requested it, he didn't want it to end.
McLaughlin was only 60, which I do consider young.
I still remember a line from when Alcazar became a member of the hospital board. Alan turns around and says, "Steve Hardy would be spinning in his grave," or something to that effect. I think that's true for Beradino as well.
Sadly, I too believe that would have been the case. Also with Emily McLaughlin if she hadn't died at such a young age in 1991. In a way, I'm almost glad that they went when they did, because like Anna Lee, it would have broken their hearts to be fired.
As evidenced in this marathon, the veterans were all an active part of the show until the Guza days. No matter what Frank & Ron do and how many veterans they bring back, the time lost during the Guza reign can never be made up.
Thoughts often cross my mind about what Guza & JFP turned GH into. I often wonder if John Beradino had lived past 1996 if GH wouldn't have nearly become the sunken ship that it became. But then again, I wonder if had Beradino lived, would he have gotten the Anna Lee treatment from Phelps, Guza, & Co.