Yep, that was Lilly Melgar (ex-Lily), who played Sonny's late wife, holding the cards with the credits on them at the end of GENERAL HOSPITAL's live show on Friday! How'd her "return" to Port Charles come about? "It all started at the GH after party after the Emmys," Melgar tells Soaps In Depth. "There was a group conversation going on and Frank [Valentini, executive producer] had a lightbulb moment! He pulled me away and said, 'I have this idea that'll be a really fun surprise for the fans!' That's how it happened!"
Melgar says she had an early morning call time at the GH studios the day of the live show. She immediately reconnected with friends who were both on the show when she was and some who weren't! "I went to the makeup room and saw Maurice [Benard, Sonny]," she says. "We hung out the entire time and had so much fun!" The actress made a new friend in Finola Hughes (Anna) and also saw pal Michelle Stafford (Nina). "She and I have been friends for years and to see her at a place I once called home was so awesome!"
GH did its live show twice on Friday and on the first airing Bernard stepped in during Melgar's segment and pretended to save her from a bomb, a nod to that famous moment when Lily was blown to smithereens back in 1996. "We rehearsed it where we did a 'no, you take it!' with the bomb, but we did it where he threw that bomb away which I thought was a better choice."
However, the show opted to not replay that moment for its second live performance that day when news broke of the sentencing of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
"Frank said it'd be in poor taste to do it because of the timing, and we all agreed," Melgar notes somberly, before adding on a more positive note that her Twitter feed was non-stop for a full day following her appearance! Melgar's appearance at the end of the live show has only fueled speculation that Lily has been alive all these years, having escaped the car before it blew up, and that she's the mother of either Teresa Castillo's Sabrina or Elena Tovar's Rosalie.
It remains to be seen if Melgar will drop the "ex" from Lily but she's definitely added the term "Emmy-winning" before her name, having earned a golden statuette as a producer of web soap THE BAY. "That's been a huge morale booster," she says. "After the wave of having won comes the reality of knowing we have to up our game!"
For more on what Melgar's been up to, check out the current issue of CBS Soaps In Depth in which the actress reflects on her time as Claudia on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL.