SOAP STAR GENIE'S WACKY WEDDING TO STAR TREK COMMANDER
BY CAROL GLINES
Soap sweetheart Genie Francis, who grew up in front of viewers' eyes on daytime TV, has become a radiant bride in a wedding as romantic as it was offbeat. Stunning in a floor-length ivory gown and flowing white veil, the Days of Our Lives star exchanged vows with Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. They said "I do" before an altar decorated with pink and white flowers and lit by 30 white candles.
After they promised "to love, honor, cherish, and keep" each other, the Rev. Michael Carll put a lighthearted spin on the traditional Episcopal service. Smiling at the couple, the minister said, blending the famous Star Trek introduction with the title of Genie's show: "You're going on a voyage where no man has gone before. The captain of the ship has brought you together and will guide you through the days of your lives." Then, in a poignant note, he added: "This is the stuff dreams are made of. Both of you have given dreams to others. Now you look in each other's eyes and see dreams."
It was the first marriage for Genie, 26, and 35-year-old Frakes, who used to live with actress Debralee Scott of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
Toward the end of the ceremony, blond Genie caressed her nervous bridegroom's cheek. After they exchanged rings, Jonathan, handsome as ever in a black tuxedo, lifted her veil and embraced her. Then the two kissed. They gazed deeply into one another's eyes and kissed again, to the delight of their 100 applauding guests.
Gorgeous Genie was a sensation as a real-life bride-just as she'd been on General Hospital back in 1981 when, as Laura, she wed Luke (played by Tony Geary). The episode lit up the TV screen and sent the soap's ratings to an all-time high. Genie was just 14 when she made her debut on the show. Dark-haired Frakes stars in the new syndicated Star Trek series as Commander William Riker. He and Genie met while shooting the 1982 miniseries Bare Essence. But sparks didn't fly until three years later when they worked together again in the miniseries North and South.
"We were friends first, so we really knew what we were getting into," Genie says. "I fell in love with Jonathan because he's so funny. We laugh a lot." Her previous boyfriends were fellow soap stars Kin Shriner (Scotty on General Hospital), John Martinuzzi, and Billy Moses. Shriner attended the wedding, along with two other GH stars, David Wallace and Peter Hanson.
Also on hand at the white brick chapel of St. Nicholas Church in Encino, California, were Genie's Days of Our Lives castmates Patsy Pease, Jane Elliot, Arleen Sorkin, Lisa Trusel, Judi Evans, John Aniston, and Michael T. Weiss. Other guests included Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Frakes' co-stars Denise Crosby, Michael Dorn and Brent Spiner, as well as Jessica Walter of Aaron's Way and Terri Garber of Dynasty.
While Genie was the picture of serenity arriving at the church in a white limo, Frakes had a bad case of the pre-wedding jitters. His mother tried to calm him down, but as the big moment approached, the edgy groom puffed away on cigarette after cigarette and nervously paced from one end of the parking lot to the other.
Genie walked down the aisle on her brother Ivor's arm. She was accompanied by a flower girl, a ring bearer, and four bridesmaids in lacy pink dresses. Jonathan was attended-nearly supported-by four ushers. "I was sweating so much, I must have lost a lot of pounds up there," he said later.
The reception was held at a trendy restaurant and featured such dishes as crayfish and angel-hair pasta. Each plate was decorated with a nasturtium, an edible flower. The wedding cake, all chocolate and chocolate mousse, was four tiers high. One guest said: "Genie and Jonathan went to a friend's wedding just last week and were nervously looking ahead to their own special day. They needn't have worried. It turned out beautiful."