An actress who has carved out a career as one of the legends of the soap opera genre has been dumped by her current daytime drama.
CBS’s long-running “The Young and the Restless” is dropping Genie Francis from the show, CBS Soaps in Depth reports. Francis has been playing Genevieve Atkinson on the CBS show, but is best known for her decades-long portrayal of Laura Spencer on ABC’s “General Hospital.” Francis won a daytime Emmy for that role in 2007.
Francis, who has also appeared on “All My Children” and “Days of Our Lives,” is being dropped after about a year on “Restless.”
A source said the move was being made for budget reasons, but a spokesperson for the soap noted that the show does not comment on issues involving contracts.
A separate report, by Soap Central, notes that the show has seen personnel changes behind the camera, and indicates the move may be motivated by something other than financial concerns.
“The network higher-ups at CBS were reportedly not fans of Francis’ on-screen alter ego, and saw the recent behind-the-scenes changes to the show’s writing and production teams as a way to write out the character,” the story reports. “There have been numerous claims floating around the Internet that Francis and ‘Y&R’s’ executive producer Jill Farren Phelps do not have a cordial relationship. Phelps recently refuted those claims.”
Phelps is quoted by Soap Opera Digest saying: "I was the music director [at ‘General Hospital’] when Luke and Laura got married, so I’ve known Genie since she was a very young girl — and I was a very young girl. I think she’s a wonderful actress and I’m very fond of her. There is no personal acrimony between us."
The latest move is likely to rekindle speculation among soap fans about whether Francis might soon return “home” to “General Hospital,” Soap Central notes.
The 1981 wedding of Francis’ Laura to Anthony Geary’s Luke remains the most-watched daytime soap opera episode of all time, the report notes.