The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has been dominating the news, and this week’s headlines have been about Markle’s father, Thomas, who reportedly staged paparazzi photos in preparation for his daughter’s nups, and told TMZ.com that he would not be attending because he had heart surgery. Lynn Herring (Lucy, GH) fondly recalls working with Markle, when he served as GH’s lighting director, and says, “For the time period that we all knew him, he was an amazing man and sweet, sweet to all of us, very professional and fun. And I’m sorry he is being portrayed in the media right now the way he is because he was a gem and he made me really feel comfortable when I was new. I just want folks to know that Tommy is a good man and he was so kind to all of us, especially young, new actors. It’s just really important for me to say that.” Specifically, Herring says she has fond memories of “his smile and his laugh. I would always miss my mark when I started and he’d say, ‘The lighting is better to your left. Go left, go left!’ He was such a special man to all of us and I think sometimes when you get involved in these huge life situations, people need to stand up and say, ‘He was a stand-up guy at the time.’ “ She isn’t the only GH-er who feels that way, to hear Herring tell it. “Both Kin [Shriner, Scott] and Jane [Elliot, ex-Tracy] called me because they hadn’t realized that this Tommy was our Tommy from GENERAL HOSPITAL and when we knew him, he was such a great person. You can see how sometimes these machines get way overwrought on calling people out, so we just wanted to emphasize that he was such a kind, sweet man. Jane said, ‘It’s sad that he is being painted this way because he was such a good guy to us.’ Now, life changes, he moved to Mexico, things happen. People are complicated. But he was always sweet to us and we were all so shocked that he was involved in this and the British tabloids were painting him out to be such a different person. We all just felt that we should say how lovely he was to all of us and gave us pointers about where to stand so that we would look the best on camera, and he was always so sweet about watching our backs. He went above and beyond. He didn’t have to be as kind; you can just do your job and walk away. But he chose to help us. On a soap opera, when we used to rehearse more, you’d get to know the lighting director very well because they were right there, working as fast as they can, moving their lights around to see where you’re going to be standing, and he’d be out on the floor with us. He was just friendly and charming and when you hear about someone in another context but you know how kind he was to you, you just have to say, ‘This man treated me very well, especially when I was new and young and didn’t know what the heck I was doing.’ Sometimes these publicity machines are unfair or run with bad information.” Meghan, who appeared on GH in 2002 as Jill, released an official statement this morning, which reads, “Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health. I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.”
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