William deVry as Julian Jerome
|General Hospital character|
|Portrayed by||Jason Culp (1988–90)
William deVry (2013–)
|First appearance||February 24, 1988|
|Created by||Ann Marcus and Norma Monty|
|Introduced by||H. Wesley Kenney (1988)
Frank Valentini (2013)
|Residence||Jerome Penthouse PH #979
Port Charles, New York
Jason Culp as Julian Jerome
Julian V. Jerome is a fictional character from the original ABC Daytime drama General Hospital. Created by Ann Marcus and Norma Monty, the role was originally portrayed by Jason Culp from 1988 to 1990. William deVry took over the role upon the character's re-introduction in 2013.
First introduced in 1988, Julian is the youngest son of New York crime lord Victor Jerome. Julian goads his father's former henchman, Duke Lavery, into attempting to legitimize the mafia. However, when Duke turns on the family over to the authorities, Julian vows revenge. In the meantime, Julian reunites with his college sweet-heart, Cheryl Stansbury, when she is framed for Olivia's attempted murder. Duke and Julian are presumably killed on-screen in 1990. However, after the family is written out, Julian is the only member of the Jerome family who maintains a connection to the canvas as he is revealed to be the biological father of Cheryl's son Lucas Jones, who is adopted into the Jones family.
In 2013, the character is re-introduced under the alias Derek Wells as a media mogul, and it is revealed that he is working with his previously unmentioned sister, Ava Jerome, to take back the family's territory from Sonny Corinthos. In addition, Julian is scripted as being the biological father of Sam Morgan due to his one-time tryst with a teenage Alexis Davis. Though Julian starts off as a stand-up guy, he becomes very bitter, lethal and unpredictable as his family falls apart around him. He also takes over his father's organization but always has a soft spot for the women in his life, which is first displayed with Cheryl. This trend continues with Alexis and Sam despite Julian being unaware of his connection to them. But true to form, Julian is still very tough on his sisters, Ava and Olivia.
Julian Jerome is the youngest son of crime lord Victor Jerome (Jack Axelrod), born in 1959. Unlike his older brothers, Victor favors Julian and protects him from the mob life. While in graduate school, Julian has a three-year romance with Cheryl Stansbury (Jennifer Anglin) and they fall in love. According to his sister, Olivia (Tonja Walker), Julian even plans to marry Cheryl. However, Julian is forced to break off the relationship as Victor refuses to involve Cheryl in the family business.
The role was originated by Jason Culp on February 24, 1988. Culp made his final appearance on March 16, 1990. On July 8, 2013, TV Source Magazine announced exclusively that Wiliam deVry, previously known for his role as Storm Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful and his Emmy-nominated role as Michael Cambias on All My Children, had joined the cast of General Hospital in an undisclosed contract role. deVry filmed his first scenes on July 9, reportedly with Maura West, who had recently joined the cast as Ava Jerome. deVry later took to Facebook to confirm the news and revealed his first air date to be July 30. deVry also appeared briefly on the General Hospital spin-off, Port Charles. deVry said that when he originally auditioned for the role, he wanted to make sure the series was not using the open casting call in an attempt to cast someone else. Fortunately, no decision had been made and they were still testing candidates for the role. Three weeks after his first audition, deVry had a screen test. The character and casting was very much a mystery. deVry revealed that he and the others who auditioned for role were only given a vague character breakdown. However, the lack of information provided for the character only piqued his interest. deVry also revealed that he was hesitant to take the role due to his history with All My Children and the sudden change in direction for the character of Michael Cambias with the installation of new producers. deVry was offered a screen test immediately after his audition. deVry screen test with Maurice Benard, who portrayed Sonny Corinthos. A few days later, deVry booked the role and was offered a four-year contract with the series. deVry filmed his first official scenes with Sullivan, and also confirmed that he had indeed worked with West.
TV Source confirmed the character's name as Derek Wells, the boss of fashion editor Connie Falconeri, portrayed by the departing Kelly Sullivan. Derek comes to town with an "agenda", said deVry. However, deVry claimed that he had not filmed with West. deVry described Derek as a "really strong character." Soaps In Depth speculated that deVry's Derek would factor into many more storyline. deVry later confirmed those speculations. Soaps In Depth described Derek as a "media mogul" who would cause trouble for several other characters, including Sullivan's Connie and by extension Benard's Sonny. Derek is introduced as the new owner of Connie's fashion magazine, Crimson, and its parent publication, the tabloid recently abandoned by Todd Manning (Roger Howarth). deVry said that anyone who comes in contact with Derek should watch their backs. Soaps In Depth speculated that Derek would factor into Connie's departure from the canvas. Michael Fairman speculated that Derek Wells was just a code name and that Derek Wells was somehow connected to the infamous Jerome crime family. Ron Carlivati previewed the month of August and hinted that Derek Wells shared a connection to Ava and the original Jerome family. According to Carlivati, deVry's introduction opens the door for a new and bigger story. deVry admitted that the decision to make his character Julian Jerome was very last minute and he was only made aware of the potential decision a few days before taped his first scenes. Upon's deVry's introduction as Julian, it is revealed that he and sister Ava were behind the gambling ring that afforded them the opportunity to infiltrate the Corinthos crime organization.
Julian agrees to help Duke Lavery (Ian Buchanan) find his kidnapped wife, Anna (Finola Hughes), much to his father's chagrin. However, Julian is thinking of the bigger picture and tries to convince Victor to use Duke to legitimize their criminal organization. However, Julian's attempt to help Duke ends in kotragedy when he is shot and wounded in a shootout with a rival mob boss in March 1988. On his death bed, Julian makes Duke promise to help Victor legitimize the mob. Julian's death bed guilt trip put a kink in Duke's plans to cut ties from the mob completely which Julian had previously warned Duke against. At Julian's memorial service, Olivia announces that she and Duke will be controlling the organization. Meanwhile, Julian's former love Cheryl resurfaces and does her best to hide her relationship with Julian from her current boyfriend, and police commissioner, Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers). Unbeknownst to most, Olivia had put a hit out on her brother hoping to take over their father's business. Meanwhile, Cheryl is shocked to discover Julian actually alive. He convinces her to keep quiet. However, Julian blows his own cover and confronts his sister about her involvement in his shooting. Olivia claims the bullet was meant for Duke. When Julian refuses to go along with Olivia's plans to merge the Jerome and Carter families, Olivia and henchman, Dino (Chris DeRose) have Cheryl kidnapped. When a hysterical Cheryl accidentally shoots Olivia and leaves her in a coma, Julian covers it up framing Anna. Julian still protects Cheryl when he is implicated in Olivia's attempted murder after her earring which he gave to her as a gift is discovered at the crime scene. However, Olivia, who hated Anna, helps keep up the story and claims Anna as the shooter. Duke threatens Julian when it is revealed that he, Olivia and Robert have been covering for Cheryl, over Anna. Julian helps care for Cheryl when she gets shot, which immediately causes trouble for Cheryl and Robert, who thinks Cheryl has feelings for Julian. Fortunately for all involved, Anna and Cheryl are cleared when it is revealed that Dino, Victor's illegitimate son, had shot Olivia, hoping to claim the Jerome empire for himself. When Duke and Anna successfully send Olivia to a mental hospital, and Victor ends up dead, Julian swears revenge for Duke's betrayal. With the family weakened by Victor's death, Julian heads up the organization, and makes it his business to neutralize Olivia, who has escaped from the mental hospital, and puts a hit out on Duke, who has gotten plastic surgery and is going by the name Jonathan Paget (Greg Beecroft). He even plans to frame Olivia for the crime. However, Julian ends up killing Olivia when he learns that she told Anna about Paget's true identity. In March 1990, the bitter rivalry comes to an end when Julian and Duke are both killed after a struggle over a gun. It is later revealed that Cheryl gave birth to Julian's son, and Victor arranged for Cheryl to think the child is stillborn. The child, Lucas is eventually adopted by Dr. Tony Jones (Brad Maule) and his wife, Bobbie (Jacklyn Zeman) after Cheryl's death in 1992.
Media mogul Derek Wells arrives as the new owner of Crimson magazine and The Port Charles Press. While Derek demands that editor-in-chief Connie (Kelly Sullivan) increase circulation, it is revealed that he is actually Julian Jerome, working with sister Ava (Maura West) to reclaim their family's territory and claim local conglomerate ELQ for their own schemes before the returns of Cesar Faison (Anders Hove), Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati), Jerry Jacks (Sebastian Roché), and Robin Scorpio-Drake (Kimberly McCullough). Sam Morgan (Kelly Monaco) requests Derek's help in finding a bone marrow donor for her ailing son, Danny. However the story gets bumped; to make up for it, Derek agrees to get tested as a bone marrow donor. When Derek proves to be a match, and learns how Sam was conceived from Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn), he realizes he is Sam's father, but Ava convinces him to hide it to conceal his identity. In October 2013, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) discovered that Julian had survived the shooting and the WSB had arranged for him to receive a new face and a new identity in exchange for his testimony against the mob after he and Ava were already rid of Jason Morgan (Steve Burton), but that wasn't a part of their plan in getting rid of the Corinthos mob family. Robert Scorpio, then Police Commissioner, had been aware of this and signed-off on it. Sonny announces this to a shocked Sam and Alexis at the opening of Franco (Roger Howarth)'s art exhibit. Julian fires back at Sonny that he better be kept alive for Danny's sake. Sam is disgusted that Julian would use her son as shield to escape Sonny's wrath. Sam leaves soon after, with Alexis warning Julian to stay away from her family. Julian tells Alexis that he loves Sam, and Danny, and they are in no danger from him. Julian pulls her in for a passionate kiss, saying he never wanted Carly, but her.
Soap Central noted the irony in deVry's casting being announced on the ten-year anniversary of the actor's performance on All My Children as the evil rapist of Bianca Montgomery. The casting was approved by critics. "Just rename General Hospital, Sex and Port Charles!" said Jamey Giddens. Michael Fairman praised the scenes in which deVry was revealed to be Julian Jerome, along with his first meeting with his daughter, Sam. Laurie Bedigian also praised the storyline and described it as a "great play on history". Bedigian also praised the decision to cast deVry in the role. Soaps In Depth praised the reveal. deVry was ranked as the second-most enjoyable newcomer to GH in a Soap Opera Digest poll, with 44% of votes. deVry ranked at #10 on Daytime Confidential's list of the "10 Best Male Soap Opera Entertainers" for the year and praised the actor for portrayal of concerned father and grandfather, and a ruthless mob boss.
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