Some characters that have come and gone on ABC's "General Hospital" are Lulu Spencer, Lucky Spencer, Courtney Matthews, Emily Bowen-Quartermaine and Carly Corinthos. Hundreds of characters have played significant roles on the show but are no longer active, whether because the character died or because the storyline simply shifted away from them.
"General Hospital" is an Emmy Award-winning drama series that some consider one of the best soap operas of all time. The show first aired in 1963 in 30-minute episodes; as of 2015, it airs in 60-minute episodes. The storyline takes place in the fictional town of Port Charles, New York, and features the wealthy Quartermaine family.
Several of the characters that have come and gone over the years were played by actors who are now major movie stars. For example, Demi Moore appeared as Jackie Templeton in the early 1980s, John Stamos portrayed Blackie Parrish in the 1980s, Mark Hamill appeared as Kent Murray in the early 1970s, and James Franco portrayed James Frank in the 2000s and 2010s.
Over the years, "General Hospital" has raised awareness of important social issues through the content of its shows, including sexual responsibility, HIV/AIDS, child abuse and organ donation, among others. "General Hospital" has received three SHINE awards and the Ryan White Foundation's 1996 Ryan's Angels Award for these efforts.