Emma Samms

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Emma Samms
Emma Samms at the 62nd Academy Awards-Cropped.jpg
Samms at the 62nd Academy Awards in 1990
Emma Elizabeth Wylie Samuelson

(1960-08-28) 28 August 1960 (age 60)
Years active1979–present
Bansi Nagji
(m. 1991⁠–⁠1992)

Tim Dillon
(m. 1994⁠–⁠1995)

John Holloway
(m. 1996⁠–⁠2003)
Partner(s)Simon McCoy

Emma Elizabeth Wylie Samuelson[1] MBE (born 28 August 1960),[2] known professionally as Emma Samms, is a British actress and TV host, best known for her role as Holly Sutton on the American daytime soap opera General Hospital and as the second actress to play Fallon Carrington Colby on the prime time soap opera Dynasty.

Early life[edit]

Samms was born in London, England, the daughter of Madeleine U. (née White), a ballet dancer, and Michael E. W. Samuelson, who owned a film equipment rental company.[2] Her grandfather, G. B. Samuelson, was a pioneer of British cinema.[2] Samms was raised in the Jewish religion.[3] She trained as a ballet dancer at the Royal Ballet School but stopped dancing at 15 after a hip injury. Following the accident, she trained as an actress, changing her name to "Emma Samms".[citation needed]


Samms first played Holly Sutton Scorpio on the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital from 1982 to 1985.[4][5] With Samms choosing to leave the series amicably to go to ABC's Dynasty, her character Holly seemingly perished in a plane crash.[6] On 10 April 1985 Samms appeared in the fifth-season episode "Kidnapped" as Fallon Carrington Colby, a role originated by Pamela Sue Martin in 1981.[7] The character was immediately transplanted into the new Dynasty spin-off The Colbys for two seasons (1985–1987). After the spinoff was cancelled, Samms and the character of Fallon returned to Dynasty in the 23 September 1987 eighth-season premiere "The Siege - Part 1".[8] Samms remained with Dynasty for two seasons until its last episode on 11 May 1989. She later returned for the 1991 miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion.

After the show's run, Samms appeared in several film and television roles. In 1989, Samms made a guest appearance on the sitcom, My Two Dads playing Marcy Bradford, the deceased mother of Nicole Bradford (Staci Keanan) and the woman whom the two fathers (Paul Reiser; Greg Evigan) fought over.[citation needed]

"Fan favorite" Samms had been so popular at General Hospital that Holly was brought back from the dead in January 1992 after a seven-year absence.[6][9] She stayed in the role until 1993,[5] during this time also playing Holly's lookalike half-sister Paloma Perez, a heroic revolutionary. In 1995, Samms appeared as the villainous Grayson Louder in the prime time soap opera Models Inc., a spin-off of Melrose Place, both produced by former Dynasty producer Aaron Spelling.[10] She also appeared in the TV movie Treacherous Beauties.

Emma Samms (on right) with Dynasty co-stars Joan Collins (center) and Stephanie Beacham in London, 2009

Samms appeared in four episodes of the BBC series Holby City in 2003, and had a small run on the BBC daytime series Doctors in 2005. She made a seven-episode return to General Hospital as Holly in February 2006. After serving as a presenter (alongside General Hospital co-star Tristan Rogers) for the Daytime Emmy Awards on 28 April 2006, she reappeared on General Hospital for a three-week run starting 1 May 2006, and then again on 30 June 2006. She subsequently stepped into the BBC Children in Need reality series Celebrity Scissorhands as a hairdresser from 3–17 November 2006. On 20 September 2007 Samms guested on the long-running ITV series The Bill as drug addict Ella Winstanley.

In August 2009, Samms performed at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in Shall We Dance, a dance revue of musicals by Richard Rodgers, choreographed by Adam Cooper who stars, alongside his wife Sarah Wildor.[11]

In June 2014 Samms was announced as a contestant in BBC gymnastics show Tumble. She was the second celebrity to be eliminated.[12]

In 2018, Samms performed alongside 26 other celebrities on a new Christmas song, called Rock With Rudolph. The song was released digitally through independent record label Saga Entertainment, on 30 November 2018 in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The music video debuted exclusively with The Sun on 29 November 2018 and had its first TV showing on Good Morning Britain on 30 November 2018. The song peaked at number two on the iTunes pop chart.[13]

Samms continues to make appearances on General Hospital. She returned in May 2009,[14][15] March 2012, August 2013, July 2015 and September 2020.

Personal life[edit]

Samms twice declined offers to appear in Playboy, once during her run on General Hospital and the second during Dynasty. Instead, she appeared on the cover of the February 1988 issue of Inside Sports in a bikini, as well as additional swimsuit shots inside the magazine.[16]

In 1983, Samms and her cousin, film producer Peter Samuelson, co-founded the Starlight Children's Foundation, an organization that helps seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities. The organization was their response to losing Samms's brother and Samuelson's cousin, Jamie, who died at age nine from aplastic anemia.

In 1984 Samms and Tristan Rogers went public with their real-life romance,[5] but the relationship ended around the time she left General Hospital the next year. Engaged to Marvin Hamlisch in the early 1980s, Samms has been married three times: to Bansi Nagji (1991–92), to Tim Dillon (1994–95), and to John Holloway (1996-2003). She and Holloway have two children.

Samms was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to seriously and terminally ill children.[17]

In April 2018, Samms said that she had been dealing with Bell's Palsy, an illness that causes temporary facial paralysis, which results from damage or trauma to the facial nerves. A month later she sent out an update on Twitter saying "paralysis on my face is 90% better".

She tested positive for COVID-19 during the global pandemic in March 2020.[18]

She is in a relationship with journalist Simon McCoy.[19]



Year Title Role Notes
1979 Arabian Adventure Princess Zuleira
1990 The Shrimp on the Barbie Alexandra "Alex" Hobart
1991 Delirious Rachel Hedison / Laura Claybourne
1994 Terminal Voyage Becker
2002 The Little Unicorn Lucy Regan
2005 The Marksman Amanda Jacks Direct-to-Video
2013 Vendetta Sandra Vickers
2018 Rock With Rudolph Herself Music video


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Goliath Awaits Lea McKenzie TV movie
1982–85, 1992–93, 2006, 2009, 2012–13, 2015, 2020 General Hospital Holly Sutton Scorpio 62 episodes
1984 Ellis Island Violet Weiler Mini series
1985–1989 Dynasty Fallon Carrington Colby 57 episodes
1985–1987 The Colbys Fallon Carrington Colby 49 episodes
1986 Murder in Three Acts Egg TV movie
1987 The New Mike Hammer Jamie Jinx Episode: "Green Lipstick"
1988 Murder She Wrote Pamela Leeds Episode: "Snow White, Blood Red"
1988 Newhart Emma Samms Episode: "A Midseason's Night Dream"
1989 The Lady and the Highwayman Barbara Castlemaine TV movie
1989 My Two Dads Marcy Episode: "In Her Dreams"
1989 The Magic of David Copperfield As Emma Samms (Special Guest/Host) XI: Explosive Encounter.
1991 Dynasty: The Reunion Fallon Carrington Colby 2 episodes
1991 Bejewelled Stacey TV Movie
1992 Get a Life Tricia Paddington Episode: "Girlfriend 2000"
1994–1995 Models Inc. Grayson Louder 12 episodes
1994 Diagnosis Murder Cleopatra Quinlin Episode: "Murder with Mirrors"
1994 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Arianna Carlin Luthor Episode: "Madame Ex"
1994 Treacherous beauties Anne Marie Kerr TV film
2002 Pretend You Don't See Her Lacey Farrell / Alice Carroll TV film
2003 Holby City Elizabeth Woods 4 episodes
2005, 2018 Doctors Amanda Clay 40 episodes
2011 Casualty Rachel Greer Episode: "Memory Games"
2017 Love Blossoms Carrie Steilman TV movie/Hallmark Channel


  1. ^ "Michael SAMUELSON". Thegazette.co.uk. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Emma Samms Biography (1960-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  3. ^ TV Guide, Volume 36. Triangle Publications. 1976.
  4. ^ Schemering, Christopher (September 1985). "General Hospital". The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. pp. 108–119. ISBN 978-0-345-32459-7.
  5. ^ a b c Waggett, Gerard J. (November 1997). "General Hospital". The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. Harper Paperbacks. pp. 112–134. ISBN 978-0-06-101157-3.
  6. ^ a b Harris, Mike; Carter, Alan (24 January 1992). "Daytime TV dirt". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
  7. ^ Schemering (1985). Soap Encyclopedia. "Dynasty", pp. 80-84.
  8. ^ "The Colbys". Soap Opera Digest. 19 October 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019 – via PressReader.com.
  9. ^ Carter, Alan (26 June 1992). "Emma Samms: Cool Soap Actress". Entertainment Weekly. No. 124–125. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
  10. ^ Shaw, Jessica (18 November 1994). "Remodeling Inc.". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
  11. ^ ROSLYN SULCAS (24 August 2009). "Invoking Richard Rodgers, That Muse of Movement, at Sadler's Wells". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Amelle Berrabah And Emma Samms Sign Up for Gymnastics Show". Femalefirst.co.uk. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  13. ^ Barker, Faye (30 November 2018). "TV stars sing for Great Ormond Street Christmas charity single". ITV News. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  14. ^ West, Abby (10 March 2009). "Emma Samms to return to General Hospital". Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  15. ^ "General Hospital recap (15 May 2009) - Soaps.com".
  16. ^ "SI undressed". ESPN Page 2. 20 May 2003. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  17. ^ "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B23.
  18. ^ https://expressdigest.com/british-dynasty-star-emma-samms-59-tells-of-six-month-long-covid-hell-2/
  19. ^ Carter, Helen (14 March 2020). "BBC news presenter Simon McCoy is dating a Dynasty star". Manchester Evening News.

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