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Vanessa Marcil Makes Long Awaited Return to 'GH'

Marcil Returns to 'GH'

Emmy winner Vanessa Marcil finally makes her long awaited return to ‘GH’ this summer!

General Hospital fans are about to party like its 1998! Fan favorite Vanessa Marcil will reprise her iconic role of Brenda Barrett this summer. The former Las Vegas actress has been rumored to return since the NBC casino romp was canceled two years ago, but a deal could never be reached…until now.

Marcil, who earned an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Daytime Drama in 2003, was scheduled to return as Brenda Barrett for the SOAPnet aired spinoff show, General Hospital: Night Shift, during its first season in 2007. Her return was nixed by NBC and the storyline of “Barrett”, the burn victim, was never revealed to have been Brenda underneath heaps of gauze. “I’m in very close contact with [Vanessa]. She wants to make it happen. I would do handstands to make it happen,” General Hospital head writer Bob Guza, Jr. said of talks with Marcil during an interview with Soap Opera Digest in August of 2008. Though those talks eventually fell through, Marcil, who told ABC Soaps in Depth of her last return back in 2002, “I always knew I’d go back to GH when the timing was perfect,” is returning to GH once again at the perfect time. All imposters be warned. The original HBIC is on her way back to Port Charles starting August 11th. Daytime Confidential first reported a rumored return of a mystery soap vet last week, and USA Today confirmed the news earlier this morning. Marcil, who will be back on the set of General Hospital this July, is currently planning her wedding to CSI: NY actor Carmine Giovinazzo.

Marcil told SOAPnet this morning, “I feel so lucky to continue to be allowed to visit General Hospital and honor where I came from. I am humbled by these great people and a character that I truly love.” Executive Producer Jill Farren Phelps says of Marcil’s return, “We are so thrilled to welcome Vanessa Marcil home to General Hospital. Vanessa is a wonderful, talented actress and her portrayal of Brenda makes her a force of nature in Port Charles.

There is more room on the canvas for another female lead now that 3-time Emmy winner Sarah Brown jumped ship for The Bold and the Beautiful late last year. Marcil got involved early on with the media storm that was A-list film star James Franco’s last stint on General Hospital. Marcil’s close friend Jillian Michaels (of NBC’s The Biggest Loser) Tweeted about Franco when she mentioned she was having dinner with Vanessa earlier in the week back in October. When a fan asked for her to pass along a message to Marcil, Michaels replied to the tweet saying, “James Franco is doing 2 months on the show and she would consider going back for that time to work with him.” Later, another fan asked Steve Burton (Jason Morgan, GH) if Franco was coming to GH with Vanessa. Burton replied, “Franco is… don’t know about Vanessa.” Franco’s stint came and went, with no sign of Marcil. The Oscar nominee is returning this summer, so may we see some Franco/Brenda interaction? Word is that Brenda is returning to town with a secret that will shake up Port Charles. ABC Daytime President Brian Frons tells SOAPnet, “True to form, Brenda arrives in Port Charles with a secret that will impact Sonny, Jax and Jason.” This secret is said to be explosive and bound to hurl quite a few lives into chaos.” Fans have always speculated of a love child with Jax (Ingo Rademacher), since Brenda left town after being dissed at the altar after a goodbye kiss with Sonny (Maurice Benard) by the same man that allows his new wife Carly (Laura Wright) to sleep with rival Sonny any time she gets the itch to. With both Sonny and Jax free of romantic entanglement at the moment could we be up for round 3 of the greatest love triangle GH has ever seen?

Vanessa Marcil joined the cast of General Hospital as the desperately misunderstood Brenda Barrett in 1992, where she remained until 1998. Vanessa made her feature film debut in the 1997 blockbuster film The Rock, where she starred opposite Nicholas Cage. In 1999, she also starred in two independent films, Nice Guys Sleep Alone and This Space Between Us. Upon Marcil’s departure from GH, she joined the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210, where she played vixen Gina Kincaid until 2000. That same year, Marcil briefly appeared on GH as a shocked Jax momentarily saw a thought-to-be-dead Brenda in Paris. In 2001, Marcil did guest appearances on Spin City and NYPD Blue.

In 2002, Marcil returned to General Hospital full-time for the first time in four years. Her return was predicated on how her newborn son Kassius responded to her work schedule. In the end, GH couldn’t keep her schedule light enough to accommodate her needs, and Marcil left the soap. In 2003, the actress landed the part of no-holds barred casino host Samantha Màrquez alongside Nikki Cox (ex-Gina, GH) and Josh Duhamel (ex-Leo, AMC) on NBC’s Las Vegas, a role that sometimes crossed over to fellow network dramedy Crossing Jordan. The show lasted 5 seasons despite time changes and a move to the dreaded Friday night lineup. Since Las Vegas’ cancelation in 2008, Marcil has appeared in two made-for-television films, The Nanny Express and One Hot Summer, and she booked guesting gigs on the now defunct Lipstick Jungle and Without a Trace.

Marcil recently starred in The Bannen Way, a web series about the underworld of crime and intrigue. The actress will played street thief Madison. The series, which premiered in January 2010, has already garnered multiple web series awards.

Boarding school brat Brenda first came on the canvas at GH lusting after Antonio Sabato, Jr.’s Jagger. Soon after Brenda came between Jagger and Karen (Cari Shayne), she got mixed up in the underworld of Port Charles when she started dating Karen’s mafioso ex, Sonny. The two heated up the screen for two years as General Hospital’s last remaining supercouple, but broke up when Brenda betrayed Sonny when she decided to wear a wire to protect him from other potential wire-wearers. The two enjoyed more sexual tension than you could cut with a knife as Sonny married Lily Rivera (Lilly Melgar), daughter of a rival mob boss, to stay out of prison. Sonny decided to leave Lily and return to Brenda, but when he found out Lily was pregnant with his child, he left Brenda standing in the rain and ready to jump into the arms of the waiting Jasper Jacks. After Lily’s death by car bomb, affectionately known as “clink-boom” to the GH fans, the Sonny/Brenda/Jax triangle played out until Marcil’s exit in 1998.

The triangle heated back up in 2002 during Marcil’s last return, but this time with Sonny’s wife Carly (then Tamara Braun), Jax’s wife Skye (Robin Christopher) and frenemy Jason Morgan (whom Brenda had a marriage of convenience to protect her from going to prison for murder) thrown into the mix. Sonny ultimately stayed loyal to Carly, but Jax left Skye almost immediately after their wedding to reunite with Brenda. On Jax & Brenda’s wedding day, Jax left a crushed Brenda at the altar after Carly told him she had witnessed a kiss between Sonny & Brenda on the docks the night before. Brenda, who intended to say a final goodbye to Sonny with the kiss before she married Jax, fled town with only Jason, who had become her friend and confidante, to send her off.

With Brenda’s impending return, the implications for Jax & Carly (who are now married and with child), Sonny, and Jason & Sam’s storyline are huge. How will leading ladies Carly and Sam (Kelly Monaco) get on with Brenda this go around? Carly used to tout that Sam, who popped up in Port Charles long after Brenda was gone, was a carbon copy of the raven haired beauty. This fan is interested in seeing just how things go down when Jason’s ex-wife Brenda finally meets Sam. This will also be the first time that best friend Robin (Kimberly McCullough) sees Brenda onscreen since her “death” in 1998. How will Brenda react to Robin & Patrick’s (Jason Thompson) marriage and Robin’s newfound motherhood? And then there’s always Olivia (Lisa LoCicero), another brunette backup that walked into Sonny’s life two years ago with a built-in magical back story about being Sonny’s first true love. How will Olivia fare against Brenda? Tune into General Hospital, weekdays at 3pm EST starting August 11th to find out!

Keep visiting TVSource Magazine as this breaking story continues to develop for more news regarding Marcil’s return.


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