'General Hospital' Gets New Credits: A Look at 'GH's' Opening Over the Years
by Michael Maloney, posted Feb 25th 2010 1:00PM
The opening credits of 'General Hospital' got a face lift on Feb. 23 in honor of the show's 12,000th episode. 'General Hospital' has joined fellow soaps 'The Young and the Restless' and 'The Bold and the Beautiful' in adding the actual names of the actors to the opening credits.The opening credits of 'General Hospital' got a face lift on Feb. 23 in honor of the show's 12,000th episode. 'General Hospital' has joined fellow soaps 'The Young and the Restless' and 'The Bold and the Beautiful' in adding the actual names of the actors to the opening credits.
While it's not exactly a new tradition, generally, actors' names have not appeared in the opening credits of daytime soap operas. Back in the day, the head writers for soaps didn't want fans thinking of the actors as anyone other than the characters they played. Two rare exceptions to this policy were Rosemary Prinz, who was billed as a "special guest star"on 'All My Children' in the show's infancy, and Beverlee McKinsey, who received unprecedented (and well-deserved) star-billing on the short-lived NBC soap 'Texas' in the early '80s.
This is the sixth incarnation of 'GH's' opening credits in the show's 47-year history. Here's a look back at the different ways in which the show used to start off each day.
1. Original opening. Nurses and other hospital personnel were shown moving about the floor, performing their daily routines. The image would freeze and then turn negative (which, back in 1963, probably looked way cool).
2. Basic black. 'GH' simplified its opening in the first year, switching to a plain black screen with the words 'General Hospital' appearing the center.
3. Speeding Ambulance. If you drive south on the 101 from Hollywood, you may do a double-take upon seeing the Los Angeles-USC Medical Center on your left. The facility doubled for 'General Hospital's' exterior. This version, which included a speeding ambulance driving by, aired from 1975 to 1993.
4. 'Faces of the Heart. 'GH' debuted a new opening with gallery and episodic images of the actors set to the Dave Koz jazz tune 'Faces of the Heart.' The credits opened with veteran characters Steve and Audrey Hardy (played by the late John Beradino and Rachel Ames) and ending with Mac Scorpio (John J. York).
5. All together now. In an effort to streamline its soap lineup, ABC Daytime debuted similar openings for 'AMC,' 'One Life to Live' and 'General Hospital.' Only a brief shot of the USC Medical Center building appeared in this version. These credits ended with a shot of the male characters looking rather stoic and Anthony Geary (Luke) walking away.
Your favorite is likely the one that was playing when you got hooked on the show. If you remember when nurse Jessie Brewer's navy blue sweater was in black and white, then you go back to the original theme. If the names David Hamilton, Alexandria Quartermaine and Duke Lavery ring a bell, then you're a fan of the ambulance opening. And, if you're a die-hard Sonny/Brenda fan then you fondly recall the 'Faces of the Heart' version.
Tell us: Do you like the new 'General Hospital' credits? And which one was the best?