Emily McLaughlin

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Emily McLaughlin
Jessie Brewer General Hospital.jpg
McLaughlin in 1967
Born (1930-12-01)December 1, 1930
White Plains, New York, US
Died April 26, 1991(1991-04-26) (aged 60)
Los Angeles, California, US
Occupation Actress
Spouse(s) Robert Lansing (1956-1968) 1 Child
Jeffrey Hunter (1969-1969) (his death)

Emily McLaughlin (December 1, 1930 – April 26, 1991) was an American actress known for her long-standing role as Nurse Jessie Brewer on the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital.

Early life[edit]

McLaughlin was born in White Plains, New York, where her father was mayor. She was educated at Middlebury College and after studying drama began performing in Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.[1]


McLaughlin and John Beradino (left) at the 10th anniversary of General Hospital, 1973

McLaughlin made her television debut in 1959, with regular role of Eileen Seaton on the NBC daytime soap opera, Young Doctor Malone. In 1961, she moved to Hollywood and began appearing with guest starring roles on anthology dramas The Twilight Zone, Studio One and Kraft Television Theatre.

General Hospital[edit]

From 1963 to 1991, McLaughlin starred in the soap opera General Hospital as Nurse Jessie Brewer. She was cast as one of the original leading actresses on the series.[2] Registered nurse Jessie Brewer spoke the opening line of the premiere episode, "Seventh floor, nurses station," a phrase that became a staple in the show's early years. The series' original premise centered around the drama of Brewer and Dr. Steve Hardy's personal lives and experiences at General Hospital.[3] When she died on April 26, 1991,[2]

In 1974, McLaughlin earned nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for her role.[4] She became the first and only actress, who was nominated for Golden Globe Award for role on the daytime soap.

Her character in General Hospital was seen less and less during the 1980s. Although she wanted the steady work and to keep her job, her failing health made it difficult. She was eventually demoted to day-player status, but still retained her billing at the top of the cast crawl. Towards the end of her life, she was only shown on the serial a few times a year, with her last appearance on the show aired on February 13, 1991 [5] when Jessie attended the funeral of a character, Dawn Winthrop . At 9:54 a.m. April 26, 1991, she died from cancer at age 60. McLaughlin is interred next to Jeffrey Hunter in the Glen Haven Memorial Park cemetery in Sylmar, California.

After her death, co-star John Beradino announced at the end of a General Hospital episode that McLaughlin had died. However, the character Jessie Brewer was never written out of or referred to; she simply disappeared without explanation. Not until years later, during an anniversary episode, did Dr. Steve Hardy mention that Jessie had died.

Personal life[edit]

McLaughlin was married to actor Robert Lansing from 1956 to 1968, with whom she had a son. After their divorce, she married actor Jeffrey Hunter in February 1969. Three months after they married, Hunter died of a brain haemorrhage on May 27 at the age of 42.

McLaughlin had an adopted daughter, [6] Mary Ann Anderson, who wrote and published Portrait of A Soap Star: the Emily McLaughlin Story.[7]


Year Title Role Notes
1969-1960 Young Doctor Malone Dr. Eileen Seaton Series regular
1960 The Twilight Zone Doris Richards Episode: "The Jungle"
1962 Checkmate Sue Stoner Episode: "The Bold and the Tough"
1962 The Eleventh Hour Myra Williams Episode: "The Seventh Day of Creation"
1963-1991 General Hospital Nurse Jessie Brewer Series regular
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1974)
1966 The Man Who Never Was Kleiner Episode: "Pay Now, Pray Later"
1982 Young Doctors in Love Cameo

Further reading[edit]

  • Don Keefer, “Emily McLaughlin’s Life Story”. Afternoon TV. September 1975, pp. 48–61.


  1. ^ "Emily McLaughlin Biography (1928-1991)". Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Emily McLaughlin; 28 Years on 'General Hospital'". Los Angeles Times. latimes.com. 1991-04-27. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ Shaw, Jessica (1994-04-01). "'Hospital' Birth". Entertainment Weekly. ew.com. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Golden Globe". Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  5. ^ <http://variety.com/1991/scene/people-news/emily-mclaughlin-99126473/>
  6. ^ Carine Harrington (2010). Soap Fans: Pursuing Pleasure and Making Meaning in Everyday Life. Temple University Press. p. 63. ISBN 9781439903872. 
  7. ^ "Portrait of a Soap Star the Emily McLaughlin Story: Mary Ann Anderson: 9780964316782: Amazon.com: Books". Retrieved 25 April 2015. 

External links[edit]