The mention of Spencer’s mother may have had some newer fans wondering who was Courtney Matthews on GENERAL HOSPITAL? Well, Sonny’s sister hasn’t been around for a while, so it’s understandable if viewers aren’t aware of the character or just need a refresher on her history. Courtney was introduced in 2001, played by Alicia Leigh Willis, and was killed off in 2006. Though she did pop back for a ghostly visit in 2015!
When Courtney first arrived in Port Charles, she fell in love with and married A.J. Quartermine. Originally, he was just using her to get his biological son, Michael Corinthos, but A.J. soon realized he genuinely loved her. But as A.J.’s alcoholism got worse, Courtney was blackmailed into stripping and discovered her husband had hired Coleman Ratcliffe to stalk her so he could play the hero by rescuing her! Dumping A.J., Courtney next fell for Jason Morgan, who had been protecting her during the stalking situation. They got married, but when she miscarried their child, it put a strain on the relationship. Also, she couldn’t live with Jason’s dangerous lifestyle, and so they eventually split up.
Courtney started a foundation for underprivileged children and took in a foster child, Diego Alcazar. Jasper “Jax” Jacks helped fund her organization and they grew closer. When he bet her $10 million he could seduce her in three months, she accepted, assuming she’d beat him at his own game, but the two inevitably fell in love. Later, Jax and Courtney were married and decided to have a child via surrogate since she was no longer able to carry a baby herself. As Jax bonded with their surrogate, Elizabeth Webber, Courtney found solace with Nikolas Cassadine and they began having an affair. Unfortunately, Courtney then became pregnant after all! Jax changed the DNA test results to show he was the father, but Courtney and Nik fought for custody. But she eventually broke up with Nikolas believing he should be with Emily Quartermaine.
Tragically, Courtney contracted Encephalitis during the outbreak in Port Charles and chose to save her unborn son’s life over her own. After the infant was born, Jax told Courtney Nikolas was really the father, but she died before she could tell Nik the truth. Jax raised the baby as his own, naming him John Michael Jacks, but eventually, Robin Scorpio revealed the truth, and Nikolas changed the boy’s name to Spencer Cassadine.
After Spencer was badly burned in a fire, Courtney appeared to her son in a vision to help him become a better person, assuring him she would always be with him. So perhaps one day, if Spencer needs her, Courtney will make another ghostly appearance to offer more sage advice. In October of 2019, Sonny and Carly gave their newborn daughter the middle name of Courtney in honor of Sonny's late sister.
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