Once Rebecca Budig confirmed that she was leaving GENERAL HOSPITAL, fans began to wonder how Hayden would be written off the soap. Originally introduced as a con artist, Hayden was only on for a few months before she was shot and put into a coma. But the character woke up a couple months after that and was making a new life in Port Charles. Sadly, that all about came to an end when her past caught up with her and she made her escape.
Hayden first appeared on GH in March of 2015 claiming to be the wife of Jake Doe, who was really Jason with amnesia. However, the whole thing was a big scam and she was really working for Ric Lansing, who wanted to get Jake away from Elizabeth so he could have her for himself. Hayden fell for Nikolas and realizing that he knew Jake was actually Jason, used it to her advantage.
Hayden even had a fake marriage certificate to con Jake/Jason! (Photo Credit: Howard Wise/jpistudios.com)
After Ric and Hayden’s scheme was exposed during the Nurses Ball, Hayden tried to blackmail Nikolas but he urged her to go ahead and tell the truth. However, when Hayden went to the garage where Jake worked, she was shot in the head! Although it was assumed Shawn was the shooter, under orders from Sonny to take out Jake, it was really a hit man sent by Nikolas! At the hospital, Hayden fell into a coma before she could tell Jake the truth about his identity.
Months later, Hayden awoke from her coma but didn’t remember anything, and Nikolas wanted to keep it that way. But Hayden’s memories returned and the truth was finally revealed. Hayden started working for Tracy Quartermaine to help her get ELQ back and continued to see Nikolas as part of their plan. Heck, they even got married in Vegas! She also had a genuine bond with Nik’s son, Spencer.
Hayden was more than a match for Nikolas! (Photo Credit: Howard Wise/jpistudios.com)
But eventually, it was revealed that Hayden’s real name is Rachel Berlin, the daughter of Raymond Berlin, a banker who swindled billions of dollars out of his clients. Furious, Nikolas demanded a divorce, but she threatened to reveal he tried to have her killed if he dumped her. Later, Heather revealed that Hayden’s mother, Naomi, had an affair with Jeff Webber back in the day and realized that Hayden is his child — making her Elizabeth’s sister!
Hayden found herself drawn to Dr. Hamilton Finn and helped him deal with his drug problem. After contracting the same disease that was killing him, they were finally cured and began a relationship. But they were both startled to learn Hayden was pregnant, and she worried that she wasn’t ready to become a mother. After thwarting Obrecht’s scheme to have Finn fired from the hospital by tampering with his drug tests, Hayden and Finn were targeted by the doc for revenge.
Hayden found true love with Finn. (Photo Credit: XJJohnson/jpistudios.com)
Obrecht brought Hayden's ex-husband, Jared, to Port Charles as part of her plan to destroy Finn's life. Jared had gone to prison to protect Hayden, who had gotten drunk and hit a girl walking her dog. He threatened to reveal the truth unless Hayden paid up, and she very nearly did, but reconsidered and came clean to Finn herself. He still wanted to marry her, but on their wedding day, Hayden pulled a disappearing act and left Finn desperate for answers!
With Curtis' help, Finn was able to track down Hayden, but all the detective found for the doctor was a letter. In it, Hayden apologized for taking the coward's way out and hoped he would find someone who truly deserved him. She also told him that she had lost the baby, but in a flashback shot of Hayden writing the letter, after glancing at her new passport with the name Madison Ford, she stood up to reveal that she was still very much pregnant!
GH fans are furious at the soap for letting a talented actress like Budig go, but at least they can take heart that the character wasn't killed off. So there's every chance that one day Hayden will come waltzing back into Finn's life with their child. Stay tuned!
For more GH news, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.