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Lesley Webber is a legacy character on GENERAL HOSPITAL, but since she doesn’t appear very often these days, newer viewers can be forgiven for not being aware of her epic history in Port Charles. But we’re happy to refresh your memories! Dr. Lesley Williams first appeared in March of 1973 with Denise Alexander in the role. After the popular character was killed off in 1984, fans were devastated, but in 1996, GH revealed she was still alive and Lesley continued to make recurring appearances on the soap until 2009. However, after another brief stint in 2013, Lesley has only made the occasional visit.
Upon her arrival in Port Charles, Lesley joined the staff at General Hospital, and one of her first patients turned out to be the wife of a man she’d had an affair with years ago! Lesley recalled how she’d gotten pregnant and lost the baby in childbirth, but when Gordon Gray wanted to leave his wife for her, she convinced him not to. After marrying Cameron Faulkner, Lesley found out that the daughter she thought had died was living nearby, having been adopted by the Vining family. Cameron warned Lesley not to contact Laura, but she disobeyed, and the teen was thrilled to meet her biological mother. Cameron hatched a few schemes to keep Lesley and Laura apart, but when he tried kidnapping her, Lesley grabbed the steering wheel and the car flew off the road, killing Cameron.
Lesley was comforted by fellow physician Rick Webber, who was trying to stay away from his brother’s wife, Monica. Despite Monica’s warnings, Lesley grew closer with Rick and he even helped her track Laura down. Unfortunately, she wanted nothing to do with her mother anymore. After Rick convinced Laura how much her mother loved her, Lesley was overjoyed and she and Rick ultimately became man and wife.
When old friend David Hamilton was injured, Rick invited him to recuperate with the family, but this led to David making a pass at Lesley. When she rejected him, he moved on to Laura, and they carried on a secret relationship. But when David confessed he was just using Laura to get to Lesley, she caused him to fall to his death! To protect her daughter, Lesley confessed to the murder Laura eventually came clean.
Lesley experienced marital troubles when she believed Rick was having another affair with Monica. And sure enough, while under quarantine at the hospital, the pair slept together. After Monica returned to her husband, Alan, she discovered she was pregnant. Meanwhile, Lesley and Rick wanted to start a family but she was unable to conceive without risking her own health. Ultimately, Lesley helped deliver Monica’s baby, and found out it was Rick’s son. Lesley and Rick split, but she still supported his seeking custody of his son although it was later revealed that Alan Jr (A.J.) was really Alan’s child after all.
Rick and Lesley eventually remarried and adopted a six-year-old boy named Mike. When Laura disappeared and was presumed dead, Lesley struggled to cope with the grief. They also later became foster parents to Blackie Parrish, so their home was quite full. An old enemy of Rick’s, D.L. Brock, resurfaced and sought revenge, which ultimately resulted in Lesley's death in a car accident.
However, in 1996, it was revealed that Lesley hadn’t died and Stefan Cassadine was keeping her drugged in a catatonic state. Laura was reunited with her mother, but when Stefan blackmailed her into leaving town, she took Lesley and Lulu with her. Eventually, they returned, and Lesley was happy to be a grandmother to Lucky, Nikolas, and Lulu.
In 2002, Rick returned to town for Laura's re-marriage to Luke Spencer and was happy to see Lesley again. But the reunion also caused Laura to experience terrifying flashbacks to murdering nurse Theresa Carter, who she caught having an affair with Rick. She freaked out and attacked Rick in the attic, killing him and falling into a catatonic state. Losing both Rick and Laura was devastating for Lesley.
Thankfully, in 2006, Laura was brought out of her catatonic state temporarily and Luke staged a fake wedding to make her happy before she left them again. Laura also admitted to Lulu she didn’t believe she’d killed Rick, and it was ultimately revealed that the culprit had actually been Scotty! But Lulu feared telling Luke because of how he would react. Lesley then attended Lucky and Elizabeth’s second wedding, and in 2008, helped Lucky, Lulu, and Nikolas track down Laura when Scotty kidnapped her. Lesley was grateful that Laura had finally recovered, but didn’t approve of her relationship with Scotty. So in 2013, she was furious to learn her daughter planned to remarry the attorney and confronted Scott with the fact that he’d murdered Rick. Laura begged her mother to understand, and not only did Lesley grudgingly give her blessing to the union, she even officiated the ceremony when the mayor was a no-show!
Lesley made occasional appearances in Port Charles in subsequent years, putting on a doctor’s coat again to dig up details of Luke’s medical condition, being shocked by Faison’s return on Halloween, and paying Monica a visit. In 2017, Lesley returned to attend Laura’s wedding to Kevin Collins, and once again ended up officiating at the ceremony!
Who knows when Lesley might show up again? Laura could certainly use her mother’s counsel! Stay tuned to find out, and for more GH news, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.
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