Genie Francis joins 'Young and the Restless' -- EXCLUSIVE


Image Credit: David Livingston/Getty Images

General Hospital fans, you may want to consider changing loyalties: EW has learned exclusively that Genie Francis, aka Laura Vining Webber Baldwin Spencer Spencer from the ABC sudser, will join The Young and the Restless as a series regular at the end of May.

Francis will play the mother of Ethan Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard), who was declared dead outside his dad’s wedding last month and is now appearing as a ghost on the show.  His sudden “passing” lathered up the fans, so the addition of Francis should reignite speculation that Cane will remain an integral part of Genoa City. (His ghost is expected to continue appearing throughout the spring).

Francis will begin taping at the end of the month.

The actress’ decision to abandon the ABC world and join Y&R shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to Hospital fans, who no doubt heard what Francis said while appearing on Oprah’s “Legendary Soap Star Spectacular” last month. Oprah Winfrey asked Francis is she’d ever return to Hospital and she said, “If there is a way to go forward with Laura and make her into what I’d like her to be now, then perhaps I would do it.

“I would like her to be funny and have a little bit of an agenda that might look a little bit vengeful, but it really isn’t. I think she’d have a plan,” she continued. “There is nothing in me that is willing to play a victim anymore. I’m sort of done with the wounded dove in my life.”

Francis worked for ABC’s Hospital from 1977 to 2008.

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Comments (134 total) Add your comment
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  • Holt Roussel

    Is not Genie a bit young to be playing his mother? I realize that soaps tend to time warp characters but technically speaking, she is only ten years older than he is. Still glad to see Genie returning to tv.

    • Ladybug76

      Hey Holt Roussel! You would think so but it’s a soap remember? I mean look at Jessica Leccia. On OLTL she plays a mother to 3 grown boys & she’s only like 35 in real life. lol

    • dj

      She was born in 1962 which makes her almost 50. I don’t think Cane is any older than 30 on the show.

      • oc

        But Cane was passing himself as Phillip at first which should make him closer to his early 40s shouldn’t it?

      • Skippy

        Cane has to be about the same age as Phillip in order for him to have fooled Jill and Catherine for so long–so Cane has to be old enough to be Chance’s father. If he’s only supposed to be in his 30s, how could he have a sone Chance’s age?

    • gfloyd

      Genie played Tyler Christpher’s mother on GH, and she is about 10 years older than him. It will work – she’s a great actor.

  • LogopolisMike

    There’s very few soap actors who would make me tune in to a show — Genie Francis is certainly one of them.

    • Abe Froman

      Actually, there’s very few soap actors who would make me tune in to “GH” again–Genie Francis is one of them. But on another show? No thanks.

      • gfloyd

        That’s too bad b/c i think that you will miss out by not watching Genie in another role.

    • cattyfan

      Genie Francis is fantastic…but she won’t help the ratings unless the show gets new writers.

      They already had Peter Bergman, Christian LeBlanc, and Doug Davidson…and they hired Tristan Rogers, Maura West, and Stephen Nichols. This gives them some of the best acting talent on TV (day or night.) The writers, however, are some of the worst in the business, and subsequently the show is bleeding viewers by the hundreds of thousands. All the clever casting in the world won’t change what’s killing this show.

      • Lynn Crocker

        Lets not be too negative about one of the few remaining soaps lest they all go away. Not much fit to watch on TV these days. I rate Y&R at the very top. The various storylines keep me coming back day after day. Thanks to Y&R for staying with us. Must be some pretty good writers to keep my attention.

    • Gina

      What is interesting is that Tristan Rogers who plays cane’s father used to be a GH veteran as well playing Robert Scorpio who was Luke Spencer’s best friend and also very close to Genie Francis who played Laura Spencer – so does this mean Genie Francis will now be Cane Ashby’s father’s (Tristan rogers) ex wife?

  • Adam

    Woah! That means that Robert Scorpio and Laura had a son together!

    • Jason S.

      Is tristan still on this show! I think I would watch if Tristan and Genie were paired as love interests.

      • Jennifer

        Yes he is!!! Genie will be playing the mother of his child…or ex-wife??? This will be amazing to watch!

      • LIza

        Genie Francis better play EX-wife of Colin, I can’t see Scorpio and Laura having sex- YUCK. I think if they started a romance I would think of Luke every time I saw them. I would rather her be at odds with Jill and Colin- that would be fun.

    • Teresa

      Love them both! This will definitely make them watch. Laura and Scorpio reunited.

      • Teresa

        I meant me watch. See too excited!

  • Chrisie

    GH sure dropped the ball on this one! With Lucky’s son just hit by a car and dying having her back now would make sense. It’s just so not like Laura to not be there for her children at a time such as this. And add to it the fact that it was Luke who hit Jake. They really needed to bring Laura back. *sigh*

    • Brenda Barrett

      Too bad GH’s show-runners are misogynists. They stated at one point that they didn’t want Genie back because of her weight. She lost the weight and they still didn’t want her…they never deemed her as important as Luke. And not that they could have fit her in — that would have meant less screen time for the mobsters.

      • Anne

        I thought I was the only one who thought GH writers have woman issues. Glad to know I’m not. I quit watching a few years ago because I got sick of them making murdering men seem noble while making every woman around them victims. I don’t know how Nancy Grahn stands it

      • Brenda Barrett

        I’m with you, Anne. I had watched GH since I was 11 years old, but gave it up five or six years ago when they continually wrote the criminals as the heroes. In the old (glory) days, Sean Donely or Anna Devane would have sent Sonny’s @$$ to prison, and that would have been the end of him.

    • js

      totally agree, they kill off a kid and then don’t bother showing the funeral, sonny stays home with his twit instead of supporting his best friend and the grandmother can’t be bothered to show up. Ludicrous. Yet I still watch, go figure.


      I agree 100%. Why General Hospital didn’t fight to bring her back as Laura during this current storyline is beyond me. They definitely missed a HUGE opportunity.

      • Danielle

        I agree with you this would be the greatest storyline to bring Laura back with Jake dying and Luke needing help. GH so missed the boat on this one. I am going to have to start watching Yand R so I can see Genie Francis

  • Luke

    Great news! Too bad GH never appreciated her, Laura was golden but they won’t write for her, Y&R is smart!

  • Sue

    Wow, so Tristan Rogers (Scorpio), Nice stunt casting by Y&R – Robert Scorpio and Laura Spencer, reunited.

    Kin Shriner (Scotty) and now Genie Francis (Laura). Sorry GH, Y&R is getting all your talent.

    • gfloyd

      I don’t think that casting Tristan Rogers is a stunt.

      • LIza

        No, they signed TR to contract. He and Jess Walton are wonderful together. Jill is going to freak to find out hes the father of Cane and that Cane has a Mom. LOL

  • Gina

    Y&R’s gain is GH’s Loss. I think it’s great that Genie is going to be on Young and the Restless. GH doesn’t know how to write for its vets. I wish her good luck. Now I just hope that Y & R hires Tyler Christopher, he is an excellent actor and I would love to see him on Y & R because after he leaves GH I will be turning it off and would love to see him join Genie and Tristan on Y & R.

  • Gina

    would like to add Tyler would make a great pairing with the actress who plays Abby Newman they would look great together.

    • Peggy

      Isn’t Tyler Christopher leaving GH because he is going to be in a nighttime show?

      • On his twitter he said he was fired @Tyler2929

  • Summer Bay

    I read Ethan Cane thought it said Ethan Crane & got all excited.

    • amber

      awww…i miss passions!!!

      • Rblues

        Me too!

  • Alice

    GH SUCKS! So Genie is making the right move to Y&R – At least now she will be on a quality show with GOOD story! I will watch

    • Brenda Barrett

      Amen. Y&R is light years ahead of the dreck on GH.

  • Alex

    Welcome to Y&R Miss Genie Francis!!! I’m psyched my favorite daytime actress is joining the #1 soap opera… I can’t wait!

  • Darcy

    WoW !!!!!

    unfreakinbelievable…I don’t blame Genie they treated her like something you scrape off the bottom of a show on General Hospital.had her fans memory for years droolling in a chair. She would never be written well on that show…Vets are highly disrespected and women do not drive story and are either mob bimbo apologists or written with no gumption, wishy-washy and fickle they have no strong women characters on that misogonistic show…

    Its great to see Genie in a new venue and will “hopefully” be written not to play the victim and if this is an example of “stunt casting” hiring two soap icons Tristan and Genie then I’m all for it….

    Kudos to Y/R and my deep appreciation for putting Genie on board

    and shame on GH for not honoring a character who not only brought in 30 million viewers but had limitless potential for great story…they said there is no audience for Genie Francis hopefully Y/R will prove them quite wrong…

    • Gina

      Yes – what happened to the days of GH when you could not wait to run home from school to watch the fun at the campus disco with Luke, Laura, Scotty, Bobbi, Roy, Brian, & Claudia – they should rename the show the “Sonny & Carly” show – it seems they are always focused on these 2 characters – even Brenda is not the same Brenda – She is such a whiner – somebody smack Sam – she is nothing like her gutsy mother Alexis – Sam should get a life instead of pining away for Jason – What a DRIP! the best storyline right now is the Robin, patrick, Lisa triangle and we need more MAXIE!

  • Samantha

    WooHoo! Go Y&R! show GH how to appreciate its long time vets!!

  • Sina

    I’m so freakin happy. Genie and Rebecca Herbst were the reasons I kept watching GH. I will put Y&R on my DVR now. I just hope Y&R can snatch up RH as Katherine’s granddaughter.

    • SueN

      Rebecca Herbst is staying on GH.

    • Jayne

      Rebecca will be staying on GH which is good. I will say I will miss Genie on GH but I just dont watch Y&R anymore it would take me forever to figure everyone out. I quit watching in the middle 70’s so it has been a long time. I will stay a GH fan forever.

  • Alberto

    Wow! This is awesome news! I can’t wait to see what Y&R does with Genie Francis. Very much looking forward to this. Good move Y&R!!

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