Rachel Ames, who first played the character of Audrey March Hardy in 1964, steps out of retirement to appear on General Hospital for the first time in two years on October 19.
The character of Audrey was married to Steve Hardy (John Bernadino), but when she started on the show, she was Audrey March, the sister of a nurse at GH, Lucille March.
Since it turned out that Jeff Webber was actually Steve Hardy's son, Audrey is the grandmother whom Elizabeth Spencer speaks of so often, and thus, the great-grandmother of Cameron and Jake Spencer.
Ames went on recurring status in 2003 and retired in 2007.
Before General Hospital and Port Charles, on which she also appeared, Ames was a stage actress and then Hollywood starlet under contract to Paramount Studios in the early '50s. Her first film (as Judith Ames) was the science fiction movie, When Worlds Collide in 1951. She was a guest star on nearly all of the big TV shows in the '50s through the early '60s, including The Virginian, Ironside, Wagon Train, Ben Casey, Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Science Fiction Theater.
Ames has the distinction of being the longest-running performer on ABC's longest-running daytime serial. In 2004, she received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy after three Outstanding Actress nominations.
On a side note, when Rick Springfield returned to General Hospital in 2005, he mentioned during an interview that he ran into Rachel Ames on the set and raved about how beautiful she remains, year after year. As anyone who ever saw her gorgeous gams kicking in "One" each year at the Nurses' Ball can attest, she is one lady who has never gotten older, only better.
Photo: Emily McLaughlin (Jessie Brewer), Rachel Ames (Audrey Hardy) and Stuart Damon (Alan Quartermaine) - American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.