Emily McLaughlin  » People  »
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  • Early this morning, I was watching an episode of the classic TV show, The Twilight Zone, and I was reminded of a wonderful woman -- Emily McLaughlin

    • by Orrymain

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      Early this morning, I was watching an episode of the classic TV show, The Twilight Zone, and I was reminded of a wonderful woman — Emily McLaughlin. This science fiction series was one of the few non-soap opera appearances that Emily ever did, so I imagine that most people today don’t really know who she is, and that’s a shame.

      Emily McLaughlin began her career on one of the very first television soaps — Young Dr. Malone. A few scattered shows and stage appearances later, she landed the part of Nurse Jessie Brewer on the brand new daytime drama, General Hospital. She was one of the main couples, with Roy Thinnes playing her husband, Phil Brewer.

      For years, Emily was at the heart of the drama, her character going through all kinds of personal trauma and tragedy. There were love affairs and hurts. She and Phil were one of the main staples, though the Phil character came and went and Jessie had numerous romances.

      She was one of the five or six characters who made up the heart of the daytime show.

      Then something really tragic happened. Years passed, and the powers that be decided to focus on the youngins’. Emily and her veteran co-stars were shoved into the background, giving way to the likes of more demographically pleasing characters, such as Monica Webber, Laura Vining, and Bobbie Spencer.

      Fans loved Emily, though, and they campaigned and fought for her. She just had to be on General Hospital, and so she did continue, at least once a week or so. Emily began wearing a dark blue sweater with her nurse’s uniform, and it became something safe and warm for her and the viewers. There was a comfort in turning on the TV, tuning in to General Hospital, and seeing that comfortable old blue sweater on the actress. She insisted on wearing it, and in those later years, it was extremely rare to not see it on her.

      Occasionally, Emily ...

      • would get more to do, but more and more, she was just assigned to the seventh floor nurse’s station to answer phones or send people wherever they needed to go. Her days of having a storyline, even a minor one, had sadly passed.

        Ironically, most of those same performers that shoved Emily and the others to being wallpaper have now had the same thing done to them, and they are now the wallpaper to the kids of today. Why Hollywood believes that being over fifty means you can’t have a storyline is beyond me.

        Regardless, Emily McLaughlin was a really nice woman. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few times at fan events, and I was a member of her fan club. She was friendly, kind, warm, and embracing, and that in spite of the fact that she’d gone through some real life heartbreak of her own, not the least of which was her dear love, Jeffrey Hunter’s tragic death. Emily and Jeffrey

        Hunter had a true bond, and their mortal life together was way too short.

        Emily McLaughlin passed away from cancer in 1991, not that long after her final appearance on the show. Her fans were deeply saddened. Many of us still tune into to General Hospital, but it’s just not the same. The seventh floor is no longer the hub of the hospital, and the cups of coffee that Jessie and the staff used to share are non-existent anymore. Still, I long for those days, when Jessie and Phil ruled the airwaves and then those days when I could open my eyes and see that sympathetic woman with the blue sweater.

        Emily McLaughlin needs to be remembered and that’s why I wrote this review, to remind folks that she was here and that she made a contribution that was enormous to daytime drama, and that she had an impact on her fans, just by being the woman she was, one with an inviting smile and friendly voice.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in March, 2009. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 521903638090631/k2311a0319/3.19.09
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