||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (November 2010)|
Tyler Christopher as Nikolas Cassadine
|General Hospital character|
|Portrayed by||Tyler Christopher (1996–99, 2003–11, 2013—)
Stephen Martines (1999–2003)
Chris Beetem (temp. 2005)
|First appearance||July 15, 1996|
|Created by||Robert Guza, Jr.
|Introduced by||Wendy Riche (1996)
Frank Valentini (2013)
|Book appearances||The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli|
|Occupation||Head of Cassadine Industries
Former Public relations representative for L&B Records
Stephen Martines as Nikolas Cassadine
Prince Nikolas Mikhail Stavrosovich Cassadine is a fictional character from the original ABC Daytime soap opera, General Hospital, originally portrayed by Tyler Christopher in 1996. Christopher left the show on July 14, 1999, but as Nikolas had become integral to the series, he was immediately replaced by Coltin Scott on July 20, 1999. Scott left the role on April 16, 2003, as Christopher made his return on April 21, 2003. Christopher vacated the role on July 28, 2011 after he was let go from the series. Christopher once again reprised the role on a recurring basis in honor of the show's 50th anniversary. However, the actor was eventually placed on contract.
Created by head-writers Robert Guza, Jr. and Karen Harris and introduced by executive producer Wendy Riche in 1996 as the illegitimate son of Laura Spencer, the character was immediately popular with audiences. Hailed by Soap Opera Digest as the "Best New Male Character" in 1996, Nikolas's arrival immediately implodes the supercouple of Luke and Laura's happy life with their children, Lucky and Lulu. Luke immediately despises Nikolas due to his Cassadine heritage despite Nikolas saving an ailing Lulu's life. The misunderstood Nikolas is forced to grow up when his paternity comes into question and he is led to believe that his uncle Stefan is his father, as opposed to the late Stavros.
Nikolas spends majority of his life trying to get out from under his family's treachery and become his own man. In addition other romances, Nikolas is most known for his widely popular romance with Emily Quartermaine. Nikolas also has a son, Spencer named in honor of the Spencer family. The character was written out in 2011 following his disastrous affair with Lucky's longtime love, Elizabeth Webber. The character's 2013 return features the return of his biological father Stavros, and the ending of the war between the Cassadine and Spencer families. Nikolas also vies for Elizabeth's affection with A. J. Quartermaine, and later befriends Dr. Britt Westbourne.
The role was originated by Tyler Christopher on July 15, 1996. In 1998, he received a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series. In June 1999, it was reported that Christopher had opted to leave the series in order to pursue primetime opportunities, and the role was recast with Stephen Martines, known under the stage name Coltin Scott. In 2003, news broke that Martines and the producers were unable to reach an agreement on the financial aspects of the actor's contract. "Coltin, of course, is very upset at the turn of events," read a message on the actor's official web site. Following Martines' departure, it was announced that the original actor, Christopher, would reprise the role of Nikolas. "The original actor became available, and it was an opportunity we didn't want to pass up," said then executive producer Jill Farren Phelps. "Coltin has done a great job and we wish him all the best." In 2005, Tyler underwent surgery to repair a broken arm, and the role was temporarily recast with Chris Beetem. Tyler again received Daytime Emmy nominations in 2005 and 2006, for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In March 2011, it was reported that Christopher had been let go from General Hospital. "I was told that I would not be signing another contract. I didn't see it coming," said Christopher. He made his onscreen exit on June 30, 2011. Christopher returned for three episodes in late July 2011, under new head writer Garin Wolf. Following a nearly two-year absence, Christopher reprised the role in a recurring status on March 22, 2013.
On June 19, 2013, it was announced that Christopher had signed a long-term contract to remain with the series.
Nikolas is a Russian Prince and the son of Stavros Cassadine and Laura Spencer. Nikolas faces a constant struggle to define his own identity within the context of the history of the Cassadine and Spencer families. He and his half brother Lucky Spencer often face the crossfire of the long-standing war between them, often at the hands of Nikolas' grandmother, Helena Cassadine.
Nikolas is originally born in Greece in November 1983. However his birth year is revised to 1981 when he enters the canvas as a 15-year-old in July 1996. In 1998, he is seen celebrating his 18th birthday, revising his birth year again to 1980. It is later assumed his birth year is 1977 in comparison to the aging of his younger brother, Lucky.
In 1983, Nikolas' presumed-dead mother Laura is revealed to be alive and to have been held captive by Stavros as an act of revenge against Luke Spencer for the events leading to the death of his grandfather Mikkos Cassadine. Laura had been forced to marry Stavros, but is able to return home and reunite with Luke, meanwhile Stavros is presumed dead. In 1996, it is revealed that Laura had been pregnant during that time. The child had been named Nikolas, after Tsar Nicholas II. It is also revealed at this point that when Laura tried to secretly reclaim Nikolas in 1984, his grandmother Helena presumably murdered Laura's mother Lesley Webber. To protect her loved ones, Laura had decided to keep the secret.
Fifteen-year-old Nikolas comes to Port Charles in order to donate his bone marrow to his sister Lulu Spencer. He and his half-brother Lucky have instant animosity. Nikolas decides to stay and eventually becomes best friends with Emily Quartermaine, who develops romantic feelings for him. Nikolas and Lucky work with Emily and Elizabeth Webber to catch Emily's blackmailer, and it is the first time Nikolas and Lucky start to bond as brothers. They become closer while Nikolas deals with being told that his uncle Stefan Cassadine is instead his father. Laura is determined to foster her relationship with her son, and the two bond when it appears Lucky perished in a fire.
In December 1999, Nikolas learns Stavros really is his father. A few months later, he learns Helena is holding Lucky hostage, as well as having kept Stavros alive by cryogenically freezing him. Helena's plan is thwarted and Stavros falls to his death in a fight with Luke Spencer. Nikolas is then devastated when Laura enters a catatonic state after the murder of her adoptive father Rick Webber. As a result of losing their mother, Lucky, Lulu, and Nikolas become extremely close.
Though Nikolas has romances with both Sarah Webber and Gia Campbell, his greatest love turns out to be Emily. They become close as Emily battles breast cancer. As their feelings grow, Emily becomes torn between Nikolas and her first love Zander Smith. Believing she is dying, Emily marries Zander as her last gift to him. She then enters remission, and eventually Emily and Nikolas slept with one another. Witnessing their adultery starts Zander on a downward spiral, and Emily ends their marriage. Zander tries to kidnap Emily, but is killed by the police. Stefan also interferes, but eventually commits suicide.
When a car accident leaves Nikolas with amnesia, war-widow Mary Bishop takes him in, making it seem like he is dead. Mary lies to Nikolas and tells him he is her late husband Connor, who coincidentally looks just like Nikolas. Emily eventually finds Nikolas, and gently tries to help him regain his memory. Finally remembering Emily, the two reconcile, causing Mary to break down and go on a murder spree. She is eventually shot and killed. Helena returns to stop their relationship, and Nikolas throws her off of cliff, at which point she is presumed dead. Nikolas pleads guilty and the two marry before he is sent to prison. Nikolas' doppelgänger Connor Bishop returns to town alive, and begins romancing Emily as vengeance for Mary, and on the orders of Helena, who turns out to be alive. Connor rapes Emily, who afterwards emotionally retreats from Nikolas due to their similarity. Their marriage is strained, and Nikolas begins an adultress affair with Courtney Matthews. Emily and Nikolas divorce, and Courtney becomes pregnant. It is unclear if the father is Nikolas or her ex-husband Jasper Jacks. Jax learns Nikolas is the father, and switches the DNA results to make it look like he is.
After misinterpreting a close moment between Nikolas and Emily, a pregnant Courtney leaves town and is briefly abducted by Helena. After her escape, she returns to Port Charles in the middle of an encephalitis outbreak. She and Nikolas both become ill. On Courtney's deathbed, Jax reveals Nikolas is the real father, but Courtney dies before she can tell Nikolas. The real DNA results are discovered by Robin Scorpio, and during the baptism, Robin reveals the truth to Nikolas.
Nikolas changes the baby's name to Spencer. Emily and Nikolas start to become close again. Nikolas hires a nanny named Colleen McHenry. Colleen turns out to be unstable, and obsessed with Nikolas. She is eventually fired when Emily discovers all of the other fathers she had worked with had been murdered. As the holidays draw near, Nikolas allows Spencer to be in a Christmas pageant. As the performance begins, Nikolas and Emily discover Spencer has been kidnapped by Colleen. Helena is able to get the baby from Colleen and attempts to christen him as the next Cassadine heir. However, Emily and Nikolas thwart her, and Nikolas has Spencer baptized, naming Emily as his godmother.
Nikolas and Emily continue their romance. They are held hostage at the Metro Court Hotel with several others, and Emily's father Alan Quartermaine dies as a result. After the crisis, the hostage taker, still using the alias James Craig, injects Nikolas with an experimental poison in order to blackmail him into financing a new life. Robin Scorpio discovers them, and Craig forces her to pretend she is dating Nikolas. Nikolas is forced to end his relationship with Emily, but she learns the truth and works with Robin to save him. Robin and Patrick Drake are able to create the antidote and cure Nikolas. It is revealed that Craig is actually Jerry Jacks. As he recovers, Nikolas begins exhibiting symptoms of uncontrollable violence, anger and blackouts. Nikolas and Emily plan a romantic Black and White Ball, and get engaged. During the ball, Nikolas is devastated when Emily becomes the next victim of the Text Message Killer and is strangled to death. Nikolas begins having hallucinations of Emily, and is eventually diagnosed with a brain tumor. Nikolas befriends nurse Nadine Crowell, who is able to get him to admit he does not want to stop having hallucinations of Emily. When he realizes Diego Alcazar is the killer, the two fight and Diego inadvertently hangs himself during the struggle. Nikolas starts the Emily Bowen Quartermaine Clinic to treat patients without insurance, as a way to honor Emily. Nikolas finally decides to go forward with the surgery, for the sake of his son and knowing it would be what Emily would want.
Nikolas has a brief attraction with Claudia Zacchara, whom he rescues when she washes ashore Spoon Island. His relationship with Nadine also progresses. Nikolas admits to himself though he cares for her, Nadine's feelings for him are much stronger. They attend a benefit at General Hospital, where Nikolas sees a mysterious woman named Rebecca who looks just like Emily. While the benefit is going on, a biotoxin is released and the hospital catches on fire. Nikolas saves Rebecca, though she tells him to stay away. Nadine breaks up with Nikolas when she realizes how attached he is to Rebecca. When Lucky starts to date Rebecca, it bothers both Nikolas and Elizabeth. Nikolas kisses Elizabeth to make them jealous, prompting Elizabeth and Lucky to reconcile. However, Elizabeth finds herself increasingly attracted to Nikolas. Lucky proposes to Elizabeth, and she goes to Wyndemere to see Nikolas. Nikolas and Elizabeth sleep together, but she leaves and accepts Lucky's proposal. Nikolas finds out Rebecca is scamming him and the Quartermaine's for Emily's monty, and he begins dating her in a plot of revenge. He eventually breaks off the relationship. Rebecca tries to reconcile, but Nikolas tells her he will never be able to care for her. Elizabeth and Nikolas wrestle with their feelings for months, continuing to sleep together. Lucky finds out eventually and confronts them, saying he's done with both of them.
On Valentine's Day, Elizabeth passes out from hypothermia and is found by Lucky. She finds out she is pregnant and the baby could be either Nikolas' or Lucky's. After finding Elizabeth on the hospital roof looking ready to jump, she is sent to Shadybrook. When the paternity test is taken, Lucky is revealed to be the father of Elizabeth's baby. However, Helena tampers with the results, making it seem that Nikolas is the father. During the pregnancy, Elizabeth and Nikolas mend their relationship, with the help of Shirley, a terminal patient they both befriend. In July 2010, Aiden Alexi Nikolossovich Casssadine is born. He is briefly kidnapped by Franco, but Lucky finds him and brings him home. In September, Nikolas invites Brook Lynn Ashton to be his escort for a formal dinner, leading to her officially working as his escort for social commitments. Eventually their relationship turns into a brief romance, but they break up amicably and she leaves town to pursue a music career.
When Jake Spencer is killed by Luke in a hit-and-run accident, Nikolas manages to repair his relationship with Lucky, helping him pull through his grief and setting up a wedding night for Lucky and his new wife Siobhan McKenna. Nikolas participates in a forced intervention meant to coax Luke into rehab for his alleged alcoholism after Jake's death. He briefly agrees to finally enter rehab later on, but flees almost immediately. Lulu believes that she can lure Luke back by managing Luke's casino, The Haunted Star. Nikolas gives Lulu money to buy the casino from Luke's wife Tracy Quartermaine. On the night of Jake's death, Elizabeth finds out that Lucky is Aiden's father but keeps the secret for months. She tells Lucky when he begins a downward spiral dealing with his father. Nikolas refuses to believe it and plans to leave the country with Aiden. He reconsiders and leaves Aiden with Elizabeth and Lucky before leaving town in June 2011.
Nikolas briefly returns in July, when he comes to Cassadine Island, where Lulu is looking for Luke, to speak with Helena. After telling Helena to stay away from Aiden and to never speak of him again, Nikolas tells Lulu how he always felt second to Lucky because everyone was worried about how Lucky felt when he was growing up. He also tells Lulu her search for Luke is just like their mother's belief that Luke was a good man, which eventually destroyed their marriage. He leaves, and Lulu realizes her mistake and returns to Port Charles. In December 2011, Lulu mentions that Nikolas and Spencer are now living in Greece.
In March 2013, Nikolas returns to town following the abduction of Lulu. Upon learning from Luke and Laura of her disappearance, Nikolas implies that he had foreknowledge of Lulu's kidnapping and returned to town in an effort to prevent it. Before Nikolas can disclose what he knows, he is shot by a sniper across the street, who later kills himself in sight of Dante Falconeri and Anna Devane by ingesting a cyanide capsule. Nikolas recovers, and reveals to Alexis and Elizabeth that his father, Stavros, is alive, and has kidnapped Lulu.
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