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“Luke and Laura Return To Rekindle Their Sizzling Love”

“General Hospital’s Hottest Couple in Mexico”

STAR Magazine 
September 11, 1984

Luke and Laura, the hottest lovebirds ever on daytime soaps, are returning to General Hospital— and they may even be joined by a surprise on-camera visit by Elizabeth Taylor.

Hoping to boost General Hospital's ratings, ABC executives are also taking the Luke and Laura show on the road. They're spending a fortune to fly Luke (Tony Geary), Laura (Genie Francis) and the entire cast to Cuernavaca, Mexico, to shoot six weeks' of shows that will explain why the passionate couple haven't been seen for some time. When last seen, they fled their hometown of Port Charles to escape the circus-type atmosphere that was threatening to destroy their love for each other.   In reality, both quit General Hospital to "pursue other interests." Since they last appeared together in General Hospital, Geary has become engaged to actress Roberta Leighton, whom he met on the show two years ago.   Genie was in the short-lived NBC series, Bare Essence, and has done theater around the country.   Tony was in a TV movie, Intimate Agony, that bombed in the ratings—it was about herpes— and has done a nightclub act, singing, dancing and telling jokes.   By last December, both were gone from the soap.   But now the couple—whose fictional wedding set daytime ratings records when it aired in November, 1981 — are returning in the most long-awaited comeback in the history of the soaps.   An ABC insider said: "We feel that our Mexican storyline will boost General Hospital."   No-one is saying officially that Liz Taylor will be back as the evil Mrs. Cassadine, but it is no secret that Tony Geary desperately wants to act with her again, and the General Hospital producers know that her return is just what the soap needs to perk up ratings.   The new story line has Luke Spencer on the run in Mexico. And his wife, Laura, now pregnant, is staying at a tourist hotel in New Mexico.   The six-week run of this story line will be shown from the end of October through early December. Joining Luke and Laura in their return adventure will be their old partners in crime and drama — Holly and Scorpio (Emma Samms and Tristan Rogers)—and newcomers Kristina Malandro and Elba Ramirez.   The Mexican plots will be told from two points of view. One will be Luke's, and the other will be Felicita's  [THAT IS HOW THEY SPELLED IT], a beautiful Mexican princess in her early 20's.   How does Port Charles' favorite couple come to be mixed up with a Mexican princess?   The dramatic plot involves a Hapsburg prince and a bitter family feud over an ancient treasure.   Luke is hiding in a Mexican village. He persuades a small boy to make calls for him to his home town of Port Charles.   But a mysterious Mexican man, Paco, intercepts the call. Paco is after Luke for unknown reasons.

Luke escapes and finally reaches Scorpio, who at the time is planning a Parisian vacation with his bride, Holly. Luke asks Scorpio for his assistance. Scorpio plans to meet Luke in Mexico and tells Holly to fly to Paris alone, where he will join her later.   Scorpio plans to meet Luke in the home of World Security Bureau colleague Donnely. When Luke arrives he is greeted by a sexy woman, Lupe. Without Scorpio's knowledge, Holly arrives at the airport and boards Scorpio's flight to Mexico. She is tired of being a police commissioner's wife, and yearns for fun and excitement in her life.   And then the REAL reason Luke vanished from General Hospital is revealed — he had been thrown into a Mexican jail on murder charges.   But Luke escaped, vowing to find the murderer and the mystery treasure.   Scorpio discovers Holly and lets her stay if she promises to help out. The couple are reunited with Luke. In Tres Ojos Luke enters a cantina, where a beautiful Mexican woman approaches him and asks him to dance. She comes on to Luke with sensual gestures, and he is attracted to her. They kiss, but Luke remembers the love of his life.  Paco enters the cantina.  It is his girlfriend who is dancing with Luke. She tells Paco that it was just an American tourist, but when given a description, he realizes that she was dancing with Luke, who by now has escaped.   Luke tries to call Laura in New Mexico, and is told by Felicita's grandmother that his beloved Laura is sleeping. They talk about Felicita's boyfriend, Peter, who was supposed to be on his way back to New Mexico, but never showed up.  We find that the grandmother’s phone is bugged, and Peter is one of the thieves...  What happens next?  Tune in and find out.