“The Young & the Restless” has finally mastered the art of stunt casting.
Daytime legend Genie Francis is joining the soap in the role of Cane’s (Daniel Goddard) mother. According to Entertainment Weekly, who broke the story, the woman who played Laura opposite Tony Geary’s Luke on “General Hospital“, will first appear in late May.
Francis will reunite with her former “General Hospital” co-star Tristan Rogers who plays Cane’s father, Colin. Rogers played Robert Scorpio, Luke Spencer’s best friend — and the best man and Luke and Laura’s wedding. Seeing them paired together will be delicious. I think we can all agree this is a far more exciting addition to the show than Eric Roberts or Sean Young. EW described the part as a “regular” role so it seems that Francis will sticking around Genoa City for a long time.
Earlier, Y&R confirmed to Soaps In Depth that Goddard, who has only been seen as a figment of Lily’s (Christel Khalil) imagination, is still under contract and “definitely not leaving the show, and will continue to appear beyond just figments of Lily’s imagination.”
Given that Cane is good friends with Phillip Chancellor II (Thom Bierdz), who successfully faked his death for decades, it’s possible that he managed to do the same thing, perhaps with the help of his mother. Or, given that Genoa City is the town where everybody has a doppleganger, Goddard could be playing Cane’s twin.
This casting coup has a definite “ABC, you have just been served,” quality about it. Laura’s final storylines on “GH” reduced the character to a mentally unstable perpetual victim. Since Luke and Laura returned in the 1990s, the show always seemed to write Luke as the more important part of the couple, even though Laura was the character who millions of young women identified with back in the 1970s and 1980s when the show was on fire.
When she recently appeared on “Oprah,” she made it clear that she was not interested in returning to the role that made her famous unless the character was written as a strong woman, saying, “There is nothing in me that is willing to play a victim anymore. I’m sort of done with the wounded dove in my life.” Presumably, the role of the ex-wife of an Australian mob kingpin will not be a shrinking violet. Rogers has also been vocal about his disappointment in the direction that “GH” has taken in recent years. Both Rogers and Francis played characters that fought the mob on “GH” (yes, there was a time when criminals were the actual bad guys on the show.) Seeing them as criminals now seems like some sort of commentary.
“Y&R” is surely hoping that some “GH” viewers will tune into see Francis in her new role. The shows do not air in the same time period, so people can easily watch both. Francis is much more than just a name. The Daytime Emmy that she won in 2007 was long overdue. Francis, who has also done good work in less than memorable roles on “Days of Our Lives” and “All My Children,” now has the same opportunity to create an exciting new character. It’s going to be a lot of fun to see Francis go toe-to-toe with Jess Walton who plays Colin’s new wife, Jill. Kudos to “Y&R” for creating what is sure to be must-see daytime TV.