“General Hospital” (GH) star Tonja Walker is back in Port Charles as Olivia Jerome, as her many fans know. Her triumphant return to daytime came at a very opportune time.
The Stars Aligned for This Daytime Star
Walker has two college-aged children whose educations need funding, she told Soap Opera Digest. As any parent knows, a secondary education doesn’t come cheap these days. Her husband is also battling pancreatic cancer. He’s doing well now, the actress said. But good news in any department can make the health-related struggles of a loved one easier
Walker sought out a psychic’s advice. The spiritual guide told her to believe, in herself and that unseen, benevolent forces were at play in her life. Just weeks later, GH executive producer Frank Valentini asked her if she’d consider returning to the ABC sudser. Walker gave him an enthusiastic, “yes,” in reply.
When all the pieces fell into place and her return was confirmed, Walker was overjoyed.
“Holy smokes, I was so happy! I didn’t know what to do with myself…I just feel very, very blessed,” she said.
A Soap Vet’s Exciting Soap Future
Walker said that though she had hoped to work with Ian Buchanan (ex-Duke Lavery) again, she is thrilled to get to once again work closely with Finola Hughes. She also had high praise for her costar, Will deVry.
“What a wonderful actor. What a great guy. He’s just so good,” Walker said of deVry.
This talented thespian has been around the soap block. In addition to Olivia Jerome, she played Alex Olanov on “One Life to Live,” Marie Green on “Guiding Light,” and Grace Nancier on “Passions.”
She had high praise for Valentini’s dedication to honoring a show’s history and its beloved characters.
“The most important thing is when you turn on a show and it still looks like the show that everybody’s watched for forever,” Walker said.
She also said she was “flabbergasted” at the support of fans when GH officially announced her return.
“I was thrilled…just beyond grateful. Beyond, beyond grateful,” the actor said of her fans’ encouraging reactions.
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