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Rebecca Herbst Marks 25 Years As GH’s Elizabeth

In honor of Rebecca Herbst’s 25th anniversary in the role of Elizabeth Webber — she made her debut on August 1, 1997 — Digest asked her to reflect on 25 of her GH colleagues. “I have been so, so fortunate over the years to have worked with such incredible people,” she says. “In 25 years, there’s been only a handful of people — less than a handful, really — that I didn’t absolutely love working with.”

Rachel Ames (ex-Audrey): “Aw, sweet Rachel. She is a beautiful woman and obviously had an amazing run on the show and I have so much respect for her decision to bow out when she did and leave on a high note. I think it’s funny that we still talk about Audrey as if she watches my kids from time to time. That’s always a chuckle! She is the person I probably miss the most out of everybody that I’ve worked with.”

Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky): “I don’t know that there are enough words to express how much I absolutely loved working with Jonathan. He taught me so much, right from the beginning, when it comes to acting and preparing and listening to each other. He’s just such a beautiful soul. When I look back at Elizabeth’s life in Port Charles, Lucky is one of the highlights. Even though they had their ups and downs, he really helped her become who she is today.”

Genie Francis (Laura): “Genie and I just click as people. I absolutely adore and admire her and I’m always so happy when I get to work with her. She is such an amazing actress and working with her reminds me not to be too soapy, not to try too hard, just to have a real conversation with another human being and I think that comes across on screen. I’m so lucky to work with her.”

Anthony Geary (ex-Luke): “He really taught me how to listen to the other actor, mainly because he improvised so much! He was always so generous and caring and attentive when I worked with him.”

Tyler Christopher (ex-Nikolas): “Nikolas was a staple in Elizabeth’s life for many, many years and they had a beautiful friendship. Of course, the writers chose to take it in a direction that I know many of the fans weren’t happy with, but Tyler and I were up for the challenge and when they had their affair, we tried to play it as organically as possible. Tyler and I, in our personal lives, were really good friends for a long time and I’m so proud of him now with where he’s at in his life.”

Amber Tamblyn (ex-Emily): “That little girl has turned into such a powerhouse, such an amazing woman — an activist, an accomplished writer and poet and everything else that she’s done with her life. She really amazes me. She will always have a piece of my heart. We were as good friends off screen as we were on screen and I’m super-lucky that I got to work with her.”

Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie): “She’s just as lovely today as she was 25 years ago. She hasn’t worked as much as I wish she could, but her attitude about it all has been so positive. It’s a good lesson to remember that there’s more to life than just our jobs and to always remain positive and happy. And that laugh of hers is everything!”

Kimberly McCullough (ex-Robin): “I’m in awe of what she has accomplished in her life. She’s so bold and brutally honest with people and with herself, which is not always easy to do, especially in this industry. I have the utmost respect for her, and every now and then I drive out to see her and her beautiful little boy. She was always so easy to work with, but I cherish our friendship off screen even more.”

Steve Burton (ex-Jason): “I so appreciated our time on screen and off screen. It’s still hard for me to understand why the writers didn’t follow through with the Liz and Jason storyline, and it’s amazing to me that after all these years, the ‘Liason’ fans are still so incredibly supportive of the two characters. He was another one that really kept me on my toes. I had to know my stuff really, really well because he is so über-professional. You can’t get away with phoning it in with Steve!”

Jacob Young (ex-Lucky): “It was definitely interesting having to get used to a completely new actor playing the role. It took a minute for us to have that sort of chemistry, and then once we found it, he was basically gone! It was short-lived but we were always super-friendly with each other and I’m so happy for him that he has such a beautiful family.”

Chad Brannon (ex-Zander): “That’s a blast from the past! When he came back last year, I wasn’t in his scenes and I didn’t even know that he was on set and then all of a sudden, I hear, ‘Becky?’ and I turn around and it was like somebody just threw me backward 20 years. It was just so nice to see him. We had a lot of fun together even though our story was short-lived.”

Rick Hearst (ex-Ric): “I wish he still lived in California! I loved working with him and we had great chemistry together. That was a really fun time for me. Another super-generous, nonjudgmental, really present screen partner.”

Kelly Monaco (Sam): “She has a huge place in my heart. She and I have worked together for so long and we’ve never had any issues or drama. We’ve had nothing but love and respect and support for each other, which people sometimes are surprised to find out because of the history of our characters. Kelly and I would be the happiest people on earth if we only worked with each other because we have so much fun together. We love it when Sam and Elizabeth join forces and I wish we were in each other’s orbits more often. That girl’s like two doors down from my dressing room and if I need anything, if I need to talk to somebody, she’s my go-to.”

Tamara Braun (ex-Carly; ex-Kim): “Tamara and I worked really well together. She is an incredible actress and a beautiful spirit and it was a privilege to work with her.”

Greg Vaughan (ex-Lucky): “When Greg came along, he had this realness about him and it didn’t take very long for us to sync up as Liz and Lucky. He has such a genuine and caring heart. He’s just a precious person that makes everyone smile.”

Kirsten Storms (Maxie): “We don’t work together that often but I just love seeing Kirsten’s face at work. I would be so sad if she wasn’t around. I love her.”

Jason Thompson (ex-Patrick): “Another super-positive person who put his heart and soul into his job. He understood that his job was to say the words on the page and not write the show, but he tried his best to make things his own and he always made things better. And that face of his makes everything better [laughs]!”

Billy Miller (ex-Drew): “It was interesting working with Billy because we really weren’t sure where the story was going. Was he Jason, was he not Jason? It was a little bit confusing, but I think Billy and I played really well together.”

Natalia Livingston (ex-Emily): “She’s one of the top people that I miss. She has such a gentle, loving, caring spirit about her. You can’t say anything bad about Natalia! She’s just like a shiny little light that got dropped down on earth and anybody who meets her is blessed to know her.”

Rebecca Budig (ex-Hayden): “I’m so sad they haven’t brought her back because I wish Elizabeth had her sister back in her life, and selfishly, I just love her. When we would go into each other’s dressing rooms and chat about life, it was like nothing left those four walls, we were completely safe with each other, and it’s not always easy to find that trust and that friendship.”

Roger Howarth (ex-Franco; Austin): “I think Elizabeth grew up a lot in her relationship with Franco. It was the first time she was able to truly be honest with herself and stand up for herself and have a man support her, which was monumental in her life. Roger and I worked really well together. We had great chemistry. He’s another one where I don’t really understand why the writers decided to end things the way they did, but yeah, we had a lot of fun working together.”

William Lipton (Cameron): “That kid’s incredible. I have so much respect for him because he’s a full-time student and holding down this job; he’s managing these two lives but is still respectful and kind and well-prepared. He’s more mature than some of the people I’ve worked with! I feel like I hit the lottery jackpot with all of my kids on the show.”

Kin Shriner (Scott): “When I’m with him, I laugh, always — whether he’s trying to be funny or not! I love my scenes with him. We’re very supportive of each other and we trust one another and we always lift each other up and try to help each other, which is really sweet because he’s been doing this for, like, two million years and he doesn’t have to be that supportive of everybody else, and yet he is. He’s such a sweet person.”

Cassandra James (Terry): “I love that Elizabeth has a BFF that came from her childhood days, so there’s a realness to their relationship; she doesn’t have to always be this happy, flower person when she’s around Terry. Cassandra is a lovely person and brings a really appreciative energy to the set. She’s so grateful to be there and it’s a nice reminder that we should always be grateful to have this job.”

Michael Easton (Finn): “I am so lucky to be paired with Michael. One of the things I really admire about him is that he has such respect for our crew and when we have frustrating days where we have sensitive material and there’s chatter in the background, he never puts anybody down or yells or pops off on anyone. He’s just a really intelligent, kind and funny person. I feel like the trust is there between us, and when you have trust, you are able to be vulnerable with one another on camera.”