|Laura Webber Spencer|
|Genie Francis as Laura Spencer|
|Portrayed by||Stacey Baldwin (Originated role; 1974-1976) |
Genie Francis (1976-1981, 1983-1984, 1993-2002, 2006, 2008)
|Last appearance||November 12, 2008|
|Cause/reason||Sought Treatment in France|
|Created by||Bridget and Jerome Dobson|
|Aliases||Laura Webber (adopted name)|
Laura Baldwin (married name) Lucy Johnson (name while on the run with Luke)
|Born||December 21, 1961|
Laura Spencer (née Williams; previously Vining; previously Webber; previously Baldwin) is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera, General Hospital. Laura was portrayed by Stacy Baldwin from 1974 to 1976, and since then has been played by Genie Francis, first from 1976-1982, and then from 1993-2002 (with brief appearances in 1983, 1984, 2006, and 2008). Laura is one half of "Luke and Laura," one of the most well-known couples in soap opera history. Though other "supercouples" came before them, Luke and Laura are the most well known outside of the soap opera realm, and are credited with defining the term "supercouple," which caused other soap operas to copy the successful formula.
Originally, critics of the soap opera genre panned the unlikely pairing. Laura was actually raped by Luke; as very few (if any) rape victims fall in love with their rapists, this relationship was actually offensive to some of the public. However, the duo became wildly popular in spite of the origins of their relationship. They wed on November 16, 1981, with 30 million viewers tuning in. The episode was the highest-rated hour in soap opera history. They were married for two decades and had two children. Even today, their union still has a presence in Port Charles. On internet message boards, the couple is often referred to as "L&L".
Laura is the daughter of medical professor, Gordon Gray and his former student, Lesley Williams. Lesley believed Laura died at birth until she learned that she was being raised the Jason & Barbara Vining. After moving in with her real mom, Laura had some trouble adjusting to being away from Barbara. Lesley would then take her back to the Vinings but she couldn’t forget her. Her husband Cameron Faulkner was jealous and payed the Vinings to run off with Laura. Laura was later found by Dr. Rick Webber along with Lesley. He’d help her come to terms with the fact the Lesley loved her just as much as Barbara. Laura would move in with Rick & Lesley when they married.
Spencer/Baldwin Feud: The Beginning
With permission from her parents, she married Scotty Baldwin on July 6th, 1979. She would spend a lot of money on law books for Scott and to get out of debt she asked Luke Spencer for a job at the campus disco. Luke would eventually fall deeply in love with her. On the night he finally confessed his love for her, thinking he was going to die, he lost control and raped her on the floor of the campus disco. She would refuse to name her rapist and Laura somehow forgave him in letter. Scott found the letter and punched Luke just before his wedding to Jennifer Smith. Laura would save his life after he fell of the yacht. They then ran off together and fell in love in the process. Upon returning to Port Charles, Laura admitted she was married after being hounded by reporters breaking Luke’s heart. She’d go on the search for Scott who’d also run off but always bumped into Luke. They would later admit they couldn’t live without each other.
The Ice Princess & Marriage to Luke
While working at E. L. Q. Industries, the couple would learn of the Ice Princess. Luke was searching for the Ice Princess diamond but when it got into the hands of the Cassadine family, the couple would have to stop Mikkos Cassadine from freezing all of Port Charles in the middle of summer. With friend, Robert Scorpio, Luke & Laura found the island where Mikkos’s weather machine was being kept. Mikkos would try to force them to surrender by threatening to freeze the entire world starting with Port Charles. Luke was able to stop the freezing process with the password, “Ice Princess.” When they got back home, Laura filed for divorce with Scotty so she and Luke could plan their wedding. The entire town would throw a magnificent wedding for the heroes at the mayor’s mansion. The couple married on November 16th, 1981 with 30 million viewers tuning in (this still remains one of the highest rated hours in television history). After the wedding, Tiffany Hill got Laura to take the modeling job as “Ms. Star Eyes.” This job would take her away from home very often and on one of her trips, she was kidnapped by ‘’David Grey’’ and presumed dead. She was actually being held captive by the Cassadines. They told her Luke had died and forced Laura into marrying the son of Mikkos Cassadine, Stavros. She had an affair with the other Cassadine son, Stefan and then gave birth to Nikolas Cassadine. Helena, the widow Mikkos hated Laura with a passion and got Laura to leave by letting her find out Luke wasn’t dead. She returned to Port Charles leaving Nikolas behind knowing Stefan would care for him. The two happily reunited when Luke spotted her from the balcony of the mayor’s mansion as he was elected as mayor in 1983. The two declared that they liked their privacy and Luke resigned and they left Port Charles. While away, they’d give birth to a son, Lucas Lorenzo Spencer, Jr.
The Long Awaited Return
In 1993, after complaints from fans and the fictional characters alike, the Spencers returned to Port Charles with their 10 year old son Lucky. They were on the run from mob boss, Frank Smith and popped up in British Colombia. They had a joyful reunion with their friends and family but the merriment didn’t last long. Laura was arrested for the murder of Damian Smith, Frank’s son. She was acquitted when the real killer turned out to be her lawyer, Justus Ward.
Lulu’s Birth & The Return of the Cassadines
The couple had a daughter Lesley Lu named after Lesley on August 8th, 1994. In 1996 Lulu was diagnosed with a weird bone marrow disease and became very sick. After Luke, Laura & Lucky were proven not be a match, Laura was forced to find her long lost son, Nikolas. After Lulu recovered, Laura tried to build a relationship with her son & Stefan. Laura & Stefan’s relationship was very rocky. She discovered that he was keeping Lesley in a catatonic state every since her “death” in 1984. Laura would go and escort her back home. In 1997 Stefan threatened to reveal Nik’s paternity to Luke. Laura ran off with Lulu & Lesley returning with Lulu a year later. The return wasn’t a happy one when she learned that Nikolas had been shot in front of Luke’s club and Lucky moved out after learning about the rape. When she & Luke finally began moving on, she had to testify on Stefan’s behalf when he was put on trial for murdering his fiancée Katherine Bell. Laura stated that she'd been on the parapet right before Katherine fell. This statement only added to Luke's heartache over learning Nikolas's paternity and that Laura and Stefan had been lovers when she was missing all those years ago. Luke left town and Laura stayed behind to face the demons of her past.
When Lucky “died” in a fire, Laura went to morgue to identify the body. She collapsed from grief and Luke caught her in his arms. She blamed resident mob boss, Sonny Corinthos and his right hand man, Jason Morgan. Luke & Laura were torn further apart by Lucky’s death and Helena only made it worse when she told Laura, Lucky’s death was her fault. She suffered a nervous breakdown and went to the hospital for a few days before going to recover at Stefan’s house. When Katherine was found to be alive, she began dating Nikolas. Laura tried to convince she wasn’t good for him but he didn’t listen. Katherine got pregnant and Nikolas proposed to her. As she was leaving Wyndemere, someone pushed Katherine off the parapet again. Nik & Stefan suspected Laura and Stefan confessed to the crime to protect her. Stefan & Laura got suspicious that Helena killed Katherine and ended up sleeping together while looking for evidence. The romance would turn ugly when Luke revealed that he saw Stefan & his men with Lucky, alive! She teamed up with estranged husband Luke to bring Lucky home but had to deal with bringing Luke’s girlfriend, Felicia along. After being led on a wild goose chase by Helena, they finally found Lucky and brought him home. They realized something was wrong with him and discovered he was programmed by Helena. They tried to wait it out and get Lucky to come to them but Helena had convinced him that his parents were behind the entire kidnapping. Luke promised her that they would undo whatever Helena did to Lucky and they were growing close again; then Luke was put on trial for Stefan’s murder. Laura was shocked to learn that Felicia & Luke had slept together the night Stefan disappeared and she tried to drown her pain in alcohol. Scott would then come to take her home.
Moving On & Stavros’s Return
Laura moved on by obtaining Deception Cosmetics from Scotty with the funds of Sonny Corinthos. Sonny agreed to financially back Laura if his wife Carly could be co-partner. Wanting her independence once again, Laura agreed to the partnership. Carly was anything but easy to deal with, and gave Laura many headaches. Luckily, she enlisted the help of Elton Herbert, ex wedding extraordinaire as her assistant and the two got along famously. Her first choice for the company's signature model was Elizabeth Webber. But Carly wanted Gia Campbell. Determined to get her way, Carly had Gia lock Laura on the roof the night Laura was going to announce the new model. In June 2001, Luke & Laura tearfully remembered their past together as they signed their divorce papers. They agreed it was time to put the past to rest but they couldn’t stay out of each other’s minds. Stavros Cassadine would return after being cryogenically frozen by Helena for several years. He would constantly stalk her scarring her to death when he showed himself to her in a mirror on a dark night. Laura left town again with her mother & daughter for the summer. She returned to find that Luke had mysteriously vanished. He eventually surfaced suffering from an illness that caused him to cycle his past. She helped Luke get his memory back, put a pause on her relationship with Scott and helped Stefan escape jail after he was arrested for Chloe Morgan’s murder. When Luke collapsed, Laura pleaded with his unconscious body not to leave her and confessed her love for him. Just as Luke was starting to recover, Laura and Nikolas went to confront Helena in her underground lab. They ran into Stavros instead. He took Laura to a secret bedroom to reclaim her as his wife. While Stavros was explaining his good intentions to Laura, Luke appeared and declared that Stavros would never have Laura. The two fought, and Stavros knocked Luke to the ground. He grew angry at Laura's pleas to leave Luke alone. When he left Luke and Laura alone in the room, they declared their love for one another. Half of Port Charles turned up to escort Helena jail, but Stavros escaped. Luke went after him and watched him fall into a bottomless pit. Laura was taken out of Helena's lab by Scott and anxiously waited for Luke to make it out as well. Right before the lab shut down, Luke slid under the door, and was embraced by Laura stating that everyone could use a happy ending. Soon afterward, Scott asked Laura to marry him all over again, fearing that she would leave him for Luke. She pondered the question for awhile and was unhappy that Luke found out about it when LuLu blurted it out at Thanksgiving dinner. Though he was hurt, Luke told her to marry Scotty. But Laura ended up turning Scotty down.