In our next Casting Capers regarding stunt casting, we move on to one of the most fun stunt casts in General Hospital history - in fact, it's a multiple stunt casting of one character, Jennifer Smith.
Old-timers may remember Jennifer Smith as mobster Frank Smith's daughter. Back in the day, that day being 1980, Jennifer was played by a beautiful, slender ingenue named Lisa Marie. No Presley, just Lisa Marie. Jennifer was engaged to marry Luke Spencer. It wasn't that Luke was in love with Jennifer -- he wasn't -- but he wanted to marry the mob and become more involved in some of Frank Smith's more lucrative businesses, actually, the clean ones.
By this time, Laura and Luke had already fallen in love, in a way. Well, Luke had raped her while the song "Rise" was playing. Laura was jealous of Jennifer. Nevertheless, what with Laura a married woman and all, Luke decided to marry Jennifer. The wedding was to be a big, glamorous affair on a yacht. The day of the wedding, Scott, who had found out about the rape, came onto the yacht and attacked Luke. Luke was knocked overboard, and everyone thought he was dead.
As we all know now, Luke was far from dead. As Laura was standing on the pier, something grabbed her leg. That something was Luke. Luke and Laura took off, thus beginning the "Love on the Run" adventure so fondly remembered by not only all of us, but the entire U.S.
We know the rest of that story. In 1994, Luke, Laura, and their son, Lucky, left Canada after their diner was blown up and returned to Port Charles. They wanted to take care of the Frank Smith situation and stop running. In order to get something on Smith, L&L went looking for Jennifer and finally found her in Atlantic City running a casino. They hoped that she had some papers Luke was anxious to locate with which they could blackmail Smith to call of the contract on them.
Jennifer was married now to Billy "Baggs" Boggs, a big guy. Jennifer had really changed. In fact, one might say she looked a lot like Roseanne Arnold. That's because she was Roseanne Arnold. And BBB looked like Tom Arnold.
Jennifer, despite marriage Billy Baggs Boggs, had never gotten over Luke. During their encounter, she continually flirts with him, at one point pushing Luke onto a couch. "Destiny's fickle, Jen," Luke tells her. Jennifer answers, "Whatever," and starts making out with him. Billy, on the other hand, thinks Laura was quite a strudel, telling her, "I want to take you on a magic carpet ride." How to escape the clutches of these two -- Luke threatens to expose theft charges against the two of them, which would put the happy couple in prison.
As an aside, also in 1994, Roseanne, a huge fan of General Hospital, invited Tony Geary and Genie Francis to play Luke and Laura on her show. They ran through Roseanne's house on the run, and then Roseanne and her TV husband Tom Arnold compared hardships with Luke and Laura.
Now it's 2002. Jennifer's back, still big, but shorter and blond. Now she looks like Sally Struthers. That's because -- wait for it -- she is Sally Struthers. Jennifer kidnaps Luke and Laura and insists that Luke marry her. If he doesn't, she will kill Laura. Roy DiLucca (A Martinez) and Felicia Jones came to the rescue. Roy posed as the minister who would marry them, and Felicia was the minister's wife. They managed to get Luke and Laura away from the conniving, half-crazed Jennifer.
Have we seen the last of Jennifer? When it comes to Jennifer Smith, until the last character actress has said her last line, don't count her out.