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Lynn Herring

Matriarch of Topanga Canyon

By

ABC Daytime 'Port Charles' Twin Towers Fundraiser
Mark Mainz / Staff/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

General Hospital veteran viewers will have no trouble remembering the much-married lady with the killer body, Lucy Coe, portrayed by Lynn Herring. Her delightful performance as Lucy livened many episodes of General Hospital from 1985 until 1997, and on Port Charles until 2003.

Actress, Psychologist, or Both?

Herring was born Sheryl Lynn Herring on September 22, 1958, in Enid, Oklahoma, but her family eventually moved to Virginia. After attending W.T Woodson High School in Fairfax, Virginia, she graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She was Miss Virginia USA in 1977 and 4th runner-up for the title of Miss USA 1977.

After college, Herring was accepted into several graduate schools, including USC, UCLA and Loyola-Marymount. Unsure about what her chosen profession was to be, she moved to New York City instead. There she worked as a model and acted off-Broadway while studying acting. In 1980, she at last settled in Los Angeles, but she was still unclear about her career path. While she sought work as an actress, Herring studied at Loyola-Marymount College, obtaining credits toward a Master’s Degree.

The Winner: Acting

Herring finally succumbed totally to acting and won her first role in the 1979 film Roller Boogie. Roles on Ten Speed and Brown Shoe, Quincy, M.E., Tucker’s Witch, Matt Houston, The New Mike Hammer, Hotel, Airwolf and many other prime time series followed.

The actress entered daytime in 1987 as librarian Lucy Coe on General Hospital. Lucy was not at all what she seemed, which was a quiet, plain librarian. Viewers soon learned that this was one hot babe. During the course of the show, the glamorous Port Charles citizen married five times: to Tony Jones, Alan Quartermaine, Scott Baldwin, Rex Stanton, and Kevin Colliins. She also managed to wind up without her clothes at the end of every Nurses’ Ball.

In 1992, Herring left General Hospital and took a role on Days of Our Lives as Lisanne Gardner. The role proved disappointing, and Herring asked to be released from her contract. Six months after she left, she returned to General Hospital. Herring stayed with General Hospital until 1997, when she moved over to Port Charles, the GH spinoff. She was with Port Charles until its cancellation in 2003. Regarding her role as Lucy, Herring told interviewer Michael Fairman: "I never had closure with Lucy. What has been really hard...people would come up to me and say, 'Why on earth are you not back on GH as Lucy?' ...So many people come up and blame you for not being there. The closure would be to finish up Lucy and have her go back to Paris, or whatever."

Semi-Retirement

Once Port Charles was off the air, Herring seemed to retire, with the exception of showing up for Lila Quartermaine’s funeral, decked out in red, on General Hospital in July of 2004.

Herring returned to daytime in 2009 as Audrey Coleman on As the World Turns. During an interview she gave at that time, she stated that General Hospital had never invited her back, though she would have liked to have been asked. As she told Michael Fairman,"Most days I understand it and why, because the mafia was so big at GH and Lucy was not part of it...It’s still hard, though." As to her opinion of the show today, she said, "Mafia and bad violence has turned people away. The networks don’t get that our viewers are so intuitive and smart."

Lynn Herring Today

In 1981, Herring married actor Wayne Northrop, best known for his work on Days of Our Lives as Alex North/Roman Brady from 1982-2006, and as Michael Culhane on Dynasty from 1981 to 1987. The couple run a cattle ranch in the Topanga Canyon of Los Angeles and have two sons, Wayne, born in 1991, and Grady, born in 1993. The ranch is operated in accordance with the couple’s strong environmental philosophy, and cattle isn’t the only thing one finds on their ranch. They also have horses, dogs, cats, and chickens.

Herring enjoys working out, horseback riding, hiking, and skiing. She is very involved in the community of Raymond, in which she lives, including working to restore an old train depot. Her friend and former costar, Kin Shriner, compared her to Barbara Stanwyck on The Big Valley, stating, “She’s running the whole town.”

Herring never lost her love of acting, and she was invited by the new regime at General Hospital, head writer Ron Carlivati and Frank Valentini, to return to the show late 2012, after more than eight years away.  Her first appearance back aired December 17, and Herring took her place at the Nurses' Ball as hostess once again in 2013.  She is now with GH on a recurring basis. The fans are thrilled.  Sexy, funny, and charming, there is no one like Lucy, just as there is no one like Lynn Herring.

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