Whenever a character’s life is in danger, soap fans fear that they’re leaving the show, so when Franco was trapped after the earthquake in Port Charles, many worried Franco was leaving GENERAL HOSPITAL! But if you take a look back at this character’s wild and crazy history, he’s survived everything from falling off a roof to a brain tumor! This is just a drop in the bucket!
The character of Franco was originated by actor James Franco in 2009, and he made occasional guest appearances on GH through 2012. However, in 2013, Roger Howarth took over the role and Franco became a series regular.
Franco was introduced as an artist and serial killer who was intent on torturing Jason Morgan. Working on an art exhibit of crime scene reenactments, he seduced Maxie and kidnapped Sam and Carly in order to get Jason’s attention. He felt that Jason’s work in organized crime was art and threatened to kill someone every time Jason took a life. Jason rescued Carly but Franco abducted Lulu and trapped her and Maxie with bombs on opposite sides of town. Jason saved Sam while Dante got Lulu out just before the explosion. Franco also killed Carter, who had abused Michael in prison. During a fight with Jason, Franco apparently jumped off the roof of the building but the crowd assumed it was part of a show.
Franco played a deadly game of cat and mouse with Jason! (Photo Credit: Ron Tom/ABC via Getty Images)
Dante and Jason learned that Franco’s real name was Robert Frank and tracked down his mother, Besty Frank. The psycho kidnapped Liz’s son, Aiden, and gave him to Betsy to raise, but Lucky was able to get the boy back. Franco also took credit for the bomb that blew up Sonny and Brenda’s wedding limousine. After Sam and Jason got married, Franco followed them on their honeymoon, drugging them and leading Sam to believe Franco had raped her! After a paternity test showed that Sam’s baby was his, Jason shot and killed Franco. Later, Heather claimed that her cousin, Susan Moore, was Franco’s biological mother, making him Jason’s fraternal twin brother. A subsequent paternity test indicated Franco was the father, but thankfully Heather later confessed she’d tampered with the results.
In 2013, Franco revealed that he was still alive and that he had not actually raped Sam, but only tortured Jason by making him think he had. After being released on bail, Franco took advantage of his connection to the Quartermaine family and connected with Kiki, who Ava was claiming to be his daughter. After Sonny and Shawn beat up Franco, he awoke believing himself to be Jason and abducted Danny to protect him. Eventually, it was revealed that Franco was suffering from a brain tumor that had caused his psychotic behavior and it was removed. This also helped him avoid legal repercussions for his many crimes.
Franco lured Carly to the altar to expose her and Sonny’s crimes! (Photo Credit: Howard Wise/jpistudios.com)
Heather finally revealed that she was really Franco’s biological mother and that Scott Baldwin was his father. He also learned that Kiki wasn’t his daughter. Franco began to develop feelings for Carly, so Heather kidnapped and attempted to kill her. Nobody really approved of Carly and Franco’s relationship, especially when they became engaged. However, at the wedding, Franco revealed proof of Carly’s infidelity with Sonny and their cover-up of Sonny’s murder of A.J. Quartermaine!
Franco then got mixed up with Nina, who had kidnapped Ava’s baby, and took them to Canada. They planned to raise the baby as their own, but the authorities caught up with them. Nina went to Shadybrook, while Franco was locked up in Pentonville. But he participated in a jailbreak that got him to the mental hospital in time to save Nina from Heather, who was also a patient there. He injected himself with LSD in order to remain at Shadybrook with Nina.
Liz was grateful for Franco’s help when Jake began acting strangely. (Photo Credit: XJJohnson/jpistudios.com)
When there was a series of killings at the hospital, Franco became a suspect, but Liz helped clear his name. And when Liz’s rapist, Tom Baker, was stabbed to death, Franco was also arrested for that, but he was revealed to be innocent. Liz continued to grow closer to Franco, although many warned her about the guy. He even bonded with her children, especially Jake, helping the tormented boy through a rough patch where he was being brainwashed by Helena Cassadine!
After the reveal that the man they thought to be Jason was really Andrew Cain, Franco learned from Betsy that she had raised them both as children but sent Drew away after Franco pushed him down the stairs. Even as he and Liz got engaged and prepared to marry, Franco worried about his past and sought help from Dr. Kevin Collins. Learning that Jim Harvey had dated Betsy during that time led Franco to believe the guy knew more about the past than he was letting on.
Unfortunately, on his and Liz’s wedding day, Franco chose to confront Jim first and then found himself trapped by rubble following a deadly earthquake! But as you can see from Franco’s twisted history, he’s a survivor!
For more GH news, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!
Love GH? Be sure to join our We Love General Hospital Facebook group to chat about all the latest storylines and juicy gossip!