ABC Daytime Wiki
Brenda Barrett
General Hospital
Portrayed by Vanessa Marcil
Duration 1992-1998, 2002-2003
First appearance September 1992
Last appearance February 19, 2003
Cause/reason Left town
Created by Maralyn Thoma
Gender Female
Born March 31, 1975 (1975-03-31) (age 47)[1]
Occupation Fundraiser for UNICEF
Residence Rome, Italy

Brenda Barrett (formerly Morgan and Jacks) is a fictional character from the original ABC daytime soap opera, General Hospital. The role was originated by Vanessa Marcil on September 18, 1992. After a six year run with the show, the character of Brenda was believed to have died after her mentally ill mother drove their car off a cliff. After a four year absence, Marcil reprised her role for a few short months. Marcil was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Brenda in 1997 and 1998, and she won in that category in 2003.[2]

After years of teasing, and constant rumors of a return, USA Today was the first to announce Marcil’s return to the soap in August 2010.[3]

Brenda Barrett's return to Port Charles comes at a time when the three most important men in her life – Sonny (Maurice Benard), Jax (Ingo Rademacher) and Jason (Steve Burton) – are all in crisis. Brenda's in trouble herself – when is she not? – possessing an explosive secret. Only she doesn’t even realize it's something devoutly to be kept secret. Brenda has no idea the havoc this little indiscretion will wreak or that she'll send the lives of loved ones hurling into chaos.


Character History[]

Brenda Barrett is born to Harlan Barrett and his former lover, Veronica Wilding on March 31, 1975[5]. In 1992, the 17 year old, drops out of boarding school and turns up on the doorstep of her older sister, Julia. Julia has been blocking Brenda’s access to her trust fund until she agrees to finish school. She later moves in with Jagger Cates and clashes with Karen Wexler who is in love with Jagger. Brenda also becomes best friends with Robin Scorpio.

Sonny or Jax[]

Brenda began an unforgettable romance with mobster, Sonny Corinthos in 1993. Brenda nurses Sonny back to health after he is shot in his attempt to break Frank Smith out of prison. Despite all who cared for Brenda warning her about how dangerous Sonny is, she refuses to believe it. Brenda agrees to wear a wire hoping to prove all of her friends wrong. Sonny’s wife Lily discovers what Brenda is doing and tells Sonny. Sonny is furious and kicks Brenda out on the street leaving her devastated. But Brenda wouldn’t give up and did everything she could to get Sonny back. Sonny finally admits his feelings for Brenda and attempts to leave Lily for Brenda; Shortly after, Lily discoveres that she is pregnant. Knowing what having a child means to Sonny, Brenda realizes that they can never have a future. Brenda later marries the widower Jasper Jacks. The marriage proves to be invalid when Jax’s dead wife, Miranda turns up alive. When they return, Brenda learns that Lily has been killed in a car explosion meant for Sonny but she decides to stay with Jax. Brenda is then kidnapped in an effort to frame Sonny and when Sonny comes to rescue her, they are trapped together in a cave. The two admit their feelings for one another and make love again and Brenda tells Jax the horrible truth. Brenda decides to end her relationships with both Jax and Sonny because she can't choose.

Failed Marriage and Death[]

Brenda and Sonny later reunite as Hernando; Lily’s father is attempting to frame her for the murder of Dr. Pierce Dorman. Sonny later kills Hernando in self-defense and ultimately clears Brenda of all charges. Sonny finally proposes and Brenda happily accepts assuming they can leave Port Charles and the mob behind. On their wedding day, Sonny realizes that Brenda will never be safe with him and sends, Jason Morgan to tell her that he has left town. Brenda is distraught and later moves back in with Jason’s family, the Quartermaines for a short period of time and then moves in with Jax. He tries to help her deal with Sonny’s betrayal. and calls on Julia to help. Brenda’s emotional and mental health only gets worse which leads to her being institutionalized. After recovering, she decides that she wants to be with Jax. As she and Jax prepare to marry, Sonny returns but understands that she has moved on. Brenda’s estranged mother, Veronica Wilding arrives in town in 1998 revealing that she has a mental illness that could be hereditary. Brenda gets tested but before she can see the results, Veronica drives a car off a cliff with Brenda in the passenger seat. Believing Brenda is dead; Jax tears up the test results without reading them.

Life after Death[]

Luis Alcazar, an arms dealer rescues Brenda from the water after her accident and brings her back to Port Charles in September 2002. Alcazar reveals to Brenda that she really does have Veronica’s illness and wants to care for her as long as she is alive. Luis becomes very jealous of her past romances with Sonny and Jax and plans to kill them. Brenda discovers Alcazar’s plans and escapes; she then has someone lure Sonny to St. Timothy’s Church, where they were supposed to marry, without revealing her identity. Brenda opens the doors of the church to a shocked Sonny and watches in horror as he is shot multiple times. Jason arrives and finds Brenda crying over Sonny who orders him to keep herself. Brenda blames herself for Sonny’s “death” and tries to escape from Jason to warn Jax. Brenda finally escapes and finds Jax as he is marrying Skye Quartermaine. Jax is shocked to see Brenda but she does warn him about Alcazar’s plans. Alcazar finally locates Jax and shoots him. Jax survives and Sonny returns and attempts to kill Alcazar. Jax is paralyzed and Brenda decides to help him in his recovery much to the chagrin of Skye. Brenda comforts her by revealing that she is dying and won’t interfere with their life. Despite her reassurance to Skye, Brenda and Jax get close again. Meanwhile, Skye learns that Brenda isn’t really dying. Brenda begins to worry about the damage her renewed love for Jax could do, and blackmails Jason into marrying her. Jason agrees but only to keep Brenda away from Sonny who is now married to his best friend, Carly. Alcazar later convinces an envious Skye to help him kidnap Brenda. He whisks Brenda away on plane not knowing that Sonny is hiding on board. The plane crashes in a jungle and Jason & Carly rescue Brenda & Sonny. Jax discovers the truth about Brenda’s illness and dumps Skye for keeping the truth. He then tells Brenda that she isn’t dying and professes his love.

Brenda’s Last Days[]

When Alcazar is murdered, Skye hurt and angry blames Brenda for the murder. Jax confesses to protect Brenda, but the truth is revealed and Brenda is arrested along with Jason as the accomplice. Jason and Brenda decide against an annulment so they can’t testify against one another during the murder trial. When evidence is discovered that could send them to prison, Brenda’s attempt to persuade Jason into skipping town with her fails. Fortunately, evidence is found that clears Jason and Brenda of all charges. Brenda and Jason then leave to get the marriage annulled but she convinces him to get the annulment in Port Charles, which would take longer, because she isn’t ready to marry Jax.

Brenda runs into the night before her wedding to Jax and forgives him for leaving her at the altar; they then share a passionate kiss which Carly witnesses. Jax finds out about the kiss and doesn’t say the expected, “I do!” at the wedding. Jax tells Brenda that he doesn’t trust her. Brenda runs into Sonny and he reveals that Carly had left him too. When Jason returns home, he finds Brenda crying and she announces that she is leaving Port Charles. Jason drops her off at the airport and Brenda tells him that he deserves to happy more than anyone.

Night Shift Mystery[]

On the General Hospital spin-off, Night Shift one storyline surrounds a woman visiting from Europe – Brenda lives in Italy. The dark haired woman has an accident at her hotel and then suffers from severe burns when the ambulance she’s in explodes. When the patient’s heart stops, she is sent to hospital morgue but she regains consciousness. The woman's face remains bandaged and she is on bed rest until the season finale. In the final episode, the woman flirts with Damian Spinelli without showing her face. She then watches as Jason and Robin share in an embrace. The unknown woman then leaves revealing a tattoo similar to the one Brenda has on her lower back.

2010 Return[]

On August 11, 2010 Brenda appears on-screen in Italy now a world famous supermodel and the face of the Alliance to Save Exploited Children. She is at a press confererence and just before she steps on stage, a man tries to kill her. But Brenda's body guards stop him before he reaches and Brenda finally faces the crowd, with tears in her eyes.


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