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LYNDA HIRSCH ON SOAPS -- Q AND A

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Q: As a "One Life to Live" fanatic I started watching "General Hospital" to see some of my "One Life to Life" favorites. Now I am hooked on the show. Today they introduced the character of Heather Webber. What is her story?

— Arlene, Bethesda, Md.

A: Where to begin. Heather first came on the show in 1976. Georganne LaPiere played her. The actress is Cher's half sister. Mary O'Brien took over the role in 1977. She was replaced by the marvelous Robin Mattson who has played the malevolent Heather on and off since 1980.

When Heather first came on the scene, she went to work as a nanny for Peter and Diana Taylor. Heather did not want a job; she wanted a child. Heather also wanted to be with Jeff Webber who was married to Monica at the time.

Jeff literally tried to blow out his brains when he realized that Monica was interested in his brother Rick. Pregnant Heather gave birth to a boy and sold it to the Taylors. They wanted a sibling for their daughter Martha. That baby was Steven Webber.

Heather and Jeff finally married. The marriage was a disaster. Heather tried to seduce Scott Baldwin, but he was more interested in her cousin Susan. Susan was pregnant with Monica's husband's, Alan, baby. Alan had given Susan a large amount of money as part of a settlement. Susan was then murdered.

Heather tried to gain custody of Jason, Susan's baby, and Jason's trust fund.

Heather told Sam that Franco was Jason's twin brother.

"General Hospital" head writer Ron Carlivati is not creating history; he is paying attention to it. During her previous return in 2004, Heather went after Edward Quartermaine. Newly widowed, Edward was ripe for Heather's manipulation. Edward eventually realized her game.

He accused Heather of teaming up with Tracy so he would lose Lila's contest to determine the most worthy Quartermaine heir in her will. Heather denied the accusations and was frustrated when Edward believed Lila's ghost was haunting him to keep him away from Heather.

Heather pretended she had channeled Lila's spirit. The Quartermaine family doubted Heather's claim that she had been overtaken by Lila's spirit, until she shared a few significant code words that only Lila and her family would have known. In her trance, she claimed that Lila wanted Edward to move on and gave her blessing to a relationship between Heather and Edward.

Edward gave away his money and ELQ shares and took a job at Kelly's Diner. He said that all he needed in his life was Heather.

That didn't last long. Edward had the marriage annulled. At one point, Heather told Luke she knew where the missing Laura was.

Luke agreed to marry Heather in hopes she would tell him where she had taken Laura. Unable to locate Laura, Luke had Heather committed to Ferncliff, which brings us to Sam's encounter with Heather.

To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

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