If you want a quick glimpse at GENERAL HOSPITAL history, keep your eyes peeled today when Sam and Patrick meet up with a mechanic who has some vital info for the duo. Duncan Hursley, the grandson of GH creators, Frank and Doris Hursley, will be playing the role!
"With the 50th anniversary, I felt a lot of pride in, 'Wow. My [grandparents] created this iconic soap opera,'" Hursley says. "So I reached out to [executive producer] Frank Valentini. He had me come to the studio and said I needed to come back again and he'd get me on the show. I'm a product specialist for Mazda and because of my automotive background, they wanted me to play this mechanic. I had a blast!"
Hursley grew up watching GH, although, at the time, he had no idea of his family connection. "Before I had a consciousness of who my grandfather was, I would come home from kindergarten early and my mom's mom would fix me tea and a sandwich and I'd sit on the floor in the den in front of the TV. My grandmother got very concerned that my mother was going to be so upset because she was discovering that I was starting to follow all of the connections on the soap opera. She was watching GH."
Fast forward to 1990, when he was given a small role with less than five lines of dialogue in a scene with Decker and Dawn. "I didn't realize until I got to the set that they were taping the 7,000th episode," Hursley remembers. "They had a big cake, and the whole cast and crew was assembled. The producer at the time was Joe Hardy. He called me up to do a toast and cut the cake with Emily McLaughlin (ex-Jessie) and John Beradino (ex-Steve). It was so surreal."
Returning to GH after all these years touches Hursley deeply. "When I was at the studio that day," he says wistfully, "I saw my father and grandfather doing a jig."