Emily McLaughlin, 61, actress who was grand dame of ABC-TV’s “General Hospital” soap opera for nearly three decades, died April 26 in Los Angeles of cancer.

McLaughlin starred as nurse Jessie Brewer on “General Hospital” since its first broadcast, April 1,1963. She last appeared Feb. 13.

Her character lost two babies, endured five marriages, suffered spots on her lungs, and had a hysterectomy and a nervous breakdown.

“General Hospital’s” only remaining original cast member is John Beradino, who plays Dr. Steve Hardy.

McLaughlin was born in White Plains, N.Y. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in literature at Middlebury College in Vermont and studied acting at New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse.

Her Broadway appearances include “The Frogs Of Spring” and “The Lovers.” She appeared in an Off Broadway production of “Troilus And Cressida” and toured in productions of “Richard III” and “‘The Corn Is Green.”

McLaughlin also appeared on tv’s “The Twilight Zone,” “Studio One,” “Kraft Theater” and “The Eleventh Hour.” Her first daytime drama appearance was as Dr. Ellen Seaton on “Young Dr. Malone.”

She had been married to Jeffrey Hunter for only two months when the actor died in 1969.

Survived by a daughter, Mary Ann Anderson, and a son, Robert Lansing Jr.

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