Carly's Future

GH's Sarah Brown has solidified her place in soap history, but what's next for this dynamic actress?

Soap Opera Update- January 30, 2001

When General Hospital set out to cast Carly Benson, the long-lost daughter of bad girl-turned-herione Bobbie Spencer, back in 1996, the show had to find just the right actress. After all, this was a character with a volatile lineage. Remember when Bobbie seduced Scotty and conspired to send Laura off to school? Well, Carly was going to prove that she could do far more than that. The show took a chance on newcomer Sarah Brown...and it was one of the best decisions that GH ever made. Carly has not only wreaked more havoc than Bobbie did, but like her TV mother, Brown has also engratiated herself into the hearts of GH viewers everywhere.

Soap's Best Actress?

At ABC Super Soap Weekend held at Walt Disney World, Brown received high praise from another daytime star, Catherine Hickland (Lindsay, One Life To Live). Hickland introduced Brown to a group of fans by rhetorically asking them, "Is she the best or what?" Indeed! Brown's tortured performances have nabbed her three Daytime Emmys. Sure, Carly's done some truly bad things, but she hates doing them. She hopes for forgiveness, but the truth is that she's harder on herself than anyone else is.

During her three-year tenure, she ruined Bobbie's marriage by sleeping with her stepfather Tony, then lied to him, A.J. and Jason about who fathered Michael. And a year ago, just when viewers thought Carly couldn't get any worse, she shared a night of passion with Sonny Corinthos, the best friend of Jason, the man Carly professed to love!

Sonny and Carly

Pure commitment to the character she's playing is perhaps what motivated the GH writers to have her betray Jason by making love to Sonny. (Viewers did forgive Carly and Sonny's night of passion.)

The action prompted Steve Burton's (Jason) departure from the canvas, but more importantly, propelled Brown and Maurice Benard (Sonny) into supercouple stardom. That suited Brown just fine.

"Before I ever worked with Maurice or even joined the show, I'd watch his work," Brown says. "I thought, "Let me work with him. I'd play his bodyguard even!' I think that Carly was always attracted to Sonny, and that added to the mix. Before they lost their baby, they had a love/hate relationship. It wasn't based on anything lasting aside from their child."

Contract Time

Did Brown think that her relationship with Sonny would endure as long as it has? "No," says the actress. "It was completely shocking. I thought Carly was going to blow up in a car bomb!" Instead, Carly's union with Sonny has survived and thrived. For the first time in her life, Carly feels that she's found true love. "Carly's in love big time," Brown enthuses. "She definitely does love Sonny. She's head over heels. It's also a little bit dysfunctional and will take a minute to figure out."

Fans are hoping that it takes more than a minute. As previously reported, Brown's contract is up this coming March. And while the actress, who has producing and directing aspirations, has gone on the record as saying that she'd love to attend film school, viewers would like her to stick around GH for many years to come.

No one could accuse GH of not offering Brown variety in order to entice her to stay. In addition to pairing her with Benard, the show has intergrated the character into the lives of many other Port Charles residents, most recently Laura, played by Genie Francis.

Giving Brown diverse players to work with might help convince her to re-sign with the show. Since Brown has such a loyal following, it could even behoove ABC to cross her character over to sister soaps Port Charles, One Life To Live and All My Children.

Is there anyone in soaps with whom Brown would like to share a great deal of airtime? "There are so many wonderful actors in daytime," Brown says. "I've been fortunate that I've gotten to work with most of the General Hospital cast."

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