Denise Alexander

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Denise Alexander
Denise Alexander as Leslie.jpg
Alexander in 1973
New York City, U.S.
Years active1949–present
Spouse(s)Richard A. Colla

Denise Alexander is an American actress, best known for her role as Lesley Webber on General Hospital, a role she originally played from 1973 to 1984 (contract),[1] 1996 to 2009, and a guest stint in 2013, in honor of the show's 50th anniversary. Alexander returned to General Hospital for two other guest appearances in December 2017 and April 2019, the latter to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the show. She then reappeared in early 2021.

Life and career[edit]

Alexander with John Beradino on General Hospital, 1973.

Alexander was born in New York City[2] and raised on Long Island. She moved to Los Angeles when her father, Alec Alexander, an agent who handled such notables as Frank Gorshin[3] and Sal Mineo, decided to make the switch from the East to the West Coast. Alexander had appeared on TV and radio by the time she was a junior at UCLA.[4] She made her feature movie debut at age fourteen in the Don Siegel film Crime in the Streets starring John Cassavetes. In 1962 Alexander appeared as Mildred Kroeger on the first season of the TV western The Virginian on the episode titled "Impasse."

Alexander first broke into the soap opera genre by playing Lois Adams on The Clear Horizon in 1960. Her big break on soaps came via the role of Susan Hunter Martin on Days of Our Lives from 1966 to 1973.[4] In 1973, the character of Susan was written out of the show temporarily during contract negotiations with Alexander. ABC Daytime rushed to offer her a then-unheard of salary/perks package to join General Hospital. When Susan finally returned to Days, a new actress, Bennye Gatteys, played her.

Alexander's role on General Hospital, Dr. Lesley Williams, became a long-running role. She stayed with the show for eleven years as one of the show's most popular leading ladies, leaving in 1984 after a contract dispute. In 1986, she was offered a big salary to portray McKinnon matriarch, Mary, on Another World. When the commute from her home in Los Angeles to Another World's studio in New York City proved to be difficult for her, she left the show, filming her last scene in 1989, but briefly returned for a guest appearance in 1991. In 1996, she returned to the role of Lesley (brought back from the dead after almost 13 years) on General Hospital, which she continued playing on a recurring basis until 2009 when the character simply faded from view. She reprised the role in time for the show's 50th anniversary in 2013 and remained on canvas as a recurring character throughout that year.[5] Alexander reprised her role on General Hospital in late December 2017 for a short stint, and also for one episode in April 2019 for the show's 56th anniversary.[6][7] She also reprised the role in early 2021.

Personal life[edit]

Alexander is married to television director and actor Richard A. Colla.[citation needed]


In November 1949, Alexander played Perry Como's daughter on Perry Como's Chesterfield Supper Club on NBC. It was a Thanksgiving-themed show with guest Raymond Massey portraying Abraham Lincoln.[citation needed]

Year Title Role Notes
1950 Dimension X Mink Episode: "There Will Come Soft Rains / Zero Hour(Zero Hour)"
1951 Robert Montgomery Presents Episode: "Bubbles"
1951 Armstrong Circle Theatre Episode: "That Man Is Mine"
1952 Kraft Television Theatre Episode: "Lace on Her Petticoat"
1955 Robert Montgomery Presents Jeannie Episode: "The Tall Dark Man"
1955 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mary Jane Wilks TV Movie
1956 Crime in the Streets Maria Gioia
1956 Father Knows Best Georgia Episode: "No Apron Strings"
1958 The Veil Ruth Cooper TV Mini-Series
1958 The Walter Winchell File Teresa Filchok Episode: "Hot Night in Manhattan"
1958 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Episode: "Song of Bernadette"
1958 Make Room for Daddy Connie Coleman Episode: "Terry's Girlfriend"
1959 The Danny Thomas Show Gerta Shoentler Episode: "Red Tape"
1959 The DuPont Show with June Allyson Ellie Episode: "Love Is a Headache"
1959 The Ann Sothern Show Connie Episode: "The Sal Mineo Story"
1960–1962 The Clear Horizon Lois Adams Series regular
1960 The Twilight Zone Jody Sturka Episode: "Third from the Sun"
1960 Letter to Loretta Joyce Parker Episode: "Plain, Unmarked Envelope"
1960 The Detectives Donna Episode: "Armed and Dangerous"
1960 The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Jini Metzger Episode: "Rock-A-Bye Dobie"
1960 The Blue Angels Sally Beckett Episode: "Blind Flight"
1961 The Detectives Madge Snyder Episode: "The Frightened Ones"
1961 The Barbara Stanwyck Show Janue Hunter Episode: "Call Me Annie"
1961 Angel Episode: "Goodbye, Young Lovers"
1961 Sea Hunt Caroline Tucker Season 4, Episode 23: "Baby"
1962 Ben Casey Ann Muller Episode: "A Memory of Candy Stripes"
1962 Stoney Burke Arlette Hughes Episode: "The Mob Riders"
1962 The Virginian Mildred Kroeger Episode: "Impasse"
1963 Ben Jerrod Emily Sanders Series regular
1963 Combat! Annette Season 1 Episode 21 "No Time for Pity"
1964 Combat! Jacqueline Season 2 Episode 18 "The General and the Sergeant"
1964 The Fisher Family Lois Episode: "The Trap of Freedom"
1965 Diamond Jim: Skulduggery in Samantha Catherine TV Movie
1965 That Funny Feeling Helen
1966–1973 Days of Our Lives Susan Hunter Martin Series regular
1973 The ABC Afternoon Playbreak Laura Episode: "The Gift of Terror"
2013, 2017, 2019, 2021
General Hospital Lesley Webber Series regular (1973–1984), Recurring (1996–2009, 2013), Guest (2017, 2019, 2021)
Nominated - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1976)
1976 The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case Violet Sharpe TV Movie
1983 Shaft of Love Maxine Burke TV Movie
1984 Hotel Gail McLain Episode: "Lifelines"
1986–1989, 1991 Another World Mary McKinnon Series regular
1995 Zoya Axelle TV Movie
1997–1998 Sunset Beach Sister Beatrice 17 episodes
2010–2012 Pretty the Series Louise Fitzpatrick 8 episodes
2013 The Inn Lola 10 episodes


  1. ^ Associated, The (January 31, 1984). "Goodbye For Fans". The New York Times. New York City. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  2. ^ "Denise Alexander Biography (1939-)". Film Reference Library. Toronto: TIFF Bell Lightbox. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  3. ^ Frank Gorshin biodata Archived 2007-01-29 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed September 16, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Denise Alexander Playing Lesley Webber on General Hospital". United States: SheKnows Media. November 11, 1938. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  5. ^ Newcomb, Roger (September 19, 2013). "EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Denise Alexander Talks Playing THE INN's Mysterious Lola & Returning To GENERAL HOSPITAL (Part 1 of 2)". We Love Soaps. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  6. ^ SOD (November 30, 2017). "Exclusive! Denise Alexander Returns To GH". Soap Opera Digest. United States: American Media, Inc. Odyssey Magazine Publishing Group Inc. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  7. ^ Eades, Chris (November 30, 2017). "Denise Alexander Returns to GENERAL HOSPITAL!". ABC Soaps In Depth. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Bauer Media Group. Retrieved January 2, 2018.

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