Genie Francis Returns to 'General Hospital' After Nine-Month Absence

General Hospital fans are rejoicing after Genie Francis made her return to the soap opera as Laura.

In a sneak peek of the upcoming Oct. 1 episode, Laura returns home to Port Charles after a nine-month absence, where she was caring for her injured grandson. Now, she's home with husband Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom), whom she married just before she left. But what viewers know that Laura doesn't is that Kevin is really Ryan Chamberlain, Kevin's sociopathic, serial killer twin brother. Laura's actual husband is locked in a mental institution.

Click here to watch the video clip of Laura's return.

Francis will make a small appearance in Friday's episode, but her full return comes in the episode airing Oct. 1.

"I'm headed to Maine for the next month and then, after that, I'm back at General Hospital," Francis told TV Insider in August. "I'm looking forward to coming home and I am really excited about this new invigorating storyline they have for Laura — I look forward to the next chapter of this prolific and historic character."

Executive producer Frank Valentini added, "I'm really excited for Genie to be rejoining the cast and we have an amazing story for her."

Fans may want to be cautious in rejoicing for too long about Francis' return to General Hospital, as the soap opera declined to extend her contract earlier this year — although it did leave open the possibility of having her return.

At the time, fans expressed their disappointment that Francis, who has been revered on the show since 1977, was reduced to a recurring character. In fact, fans were so extreme in their social media rage that they prompted Francis to tweet in defense of Valentini.

"It's been painful for me to see @valentinifrank receive so much of the blame for the decision to take me off contract," she wrote. "No one fought harder to re-establish Laura on @GeneralHospital. He has always been my champion & I don't believe he took any pleasure in seeing Laura diminished."

This won't be the first time Francis has made a triumphant return to the show. In 2013, she returned after spending a little over a year on The Young and the Restless. Two years later, she staged another homecoming to Port Charles just as her on-screen beau, Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary), was preparing to leave.

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Francis was nominated for a Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Laura Vining Webber Baldwin Spencer Baldwin Collins in 1997, and in 2007, she won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.