Laura Spencer: ‘General Hospital’ Welcomes Genie Francis Back To Soap Opera Role After 30-Pound Weight Loss

Laura Spencer reigned as one of General Hospital’s most iconic characters for years. Now Genie Francis, the 52-year-old actress who portrayed that dynamic diva, is getting cheers from her fans with the announcement that she is returning to the show, reported People.

Although she began her General Hospital soap opera success journey in 1976 before leaving in 1982 for roles on soap operas such as Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless, Genie’s fans haven’t forgotten the chemistry that she ignited on the show with her cast mates.

Just the phrase “Luke and Laura” came to symbolize intense romances. Although Genie did appear on occasion on General Hospital, including five months in 2013, her followers had never stopped hoping that she’d return permanently.

So when General Hospital executive producer Frank Valentini tweeted the soapy news, fans of the show and Genie were ecstatic.

“Hey #GH fans: I have AWESOME news…@GenieFrancis is coming back to @GeneralHospital!!!”

As to precisely when she will return and what the plot will reveal, the show’s producers are being cautious, saying only that Genie’s appearance is planned within a few weeks, reported TV Line.

“Genie is a part of our GH family and the door has always been open for her to return when the timing and story are right,” emphasized Valentini. “Lucky for us, the stars have aligned and we are thrilled to welcome Genie back home.”

In addition to starring on other soap operas during her years away from General Hospital, Genie has successfully achieved her weight loss goals, reported People.

The actress revealed that producers forced her to diet after she had worked for the show in the role of Laura Spencer for just a few months.

“I started working when I was 14 years old. The first thing they did after I had been there for three or four months is put Laura on a diet. I totally freaked and it was very hard on me.”

For more than three decades, Genie tried all types of diets. Then, when her weight battles became increasingly frustrated, Francis turned to Nutrisystem for help. She lost 30 pounds in just seven months.

“I wanted something different this time,” Genie revealed. “A lot of the diets I’ve been on have been extreme and taught me how to starve myself. But this has taught me how to feed myself.”

In addition to dieting, she works out regularly.

“The first five weeks I dragged myself to that gym, I didn’t want to do it. But then something flips and you want to go. The weight loss and toning up is almost secondary to me now because I need it just to feel good.”

As the Inquisitr reported, Soleil Moon Frye and Melissa Joan Hart also credit the Nutrisystem program for their own weight loss success.

[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NATAS]