JON'S JOKES KEEP GENIE FROM BLOWING HER CORK
Love and friendship are the bare essentials for soap star Genie Francis and her hunky hubby, actor Jonathan Frakes. Genie, 31, and Jonathan, 41, met on the set of Bare Essence in 1981. Their friendship took another turn while filming North and South. Their inner compass pointed toward the altar, and they wed on May 28, 1988. "Love, devotion, tenderness-those are the basis for a strong marriage," says Genie, who plays Laura Spencer on General Hospital. "And we have them."
Here are their other tips for bliss:
Make each other laugh-"Jonathan keeps me laughing," says Genie. "I get too serious without him. He reminds me to laugh at myself, this business, and everything else."
Share your thoughts-"Talking is important," says Jonathan, Cmdr. William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Spice up your love life-"Sex is definitely important to marriage," says Genie. "Chemistry is a big part of romance."
STAR MAGAZINE ARTICLE-1994
GENIE FRANCIS HAS DREAM BABY TWO WEEKS LATE
BY CAROLYN CALLAHAN
General Hospital star Genie Francis finally gave birth to the baby she's been longing for. The 32-year-old actress and her TV star husband Jonathan Frakes, 42, named their new little 8-lb., 6-oz. boy Benjamin Ivor. (Side note: They later changed his name to Jameson for unknown reasons.)
Francis was two weeks late when she delivered the baby August 20 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles-which is the model for the medical center on the long-running soap opera. The first-time mom was relieved the long wait was over. "Genie had felt absolutely miserable," a source on the General Hospital set tells STAR. "She was so uncomfortable sitting around her house for weeks waiting for something to happen. Finally, she decided to check herself into the hospital on Friday, August 19, and her doctors decided to induce labor the next day."
Frakes, who stars in Star Trek: The Next Generation, was by his wife's side throughout. Genie and Jonathan, who have been married for six years, chose the baby's middle name as a tribute to her father, Broadway actor Ivor Francis, who died in 1986. Blonde beauty Genie was only 14 when she first started playing Laura on GH and became one of daytime's most popular actresses. Her hospital room was packed with flowers from colleagues and fans. One of the biggest and most beautiful arrangements came from former All My Children costar Susan Lucci. Genie received so many flowers that she gave most of them to nurses to give to other patients in the hospital. "The patients were absolutely thrilled when they were told their flowers were a gift from General Hospital's Laura," says a source. "The gesture really cheered them up."
Now Genie is back home. She'll spend the rest of her maternity leave learning how to be a mom, and trying to get her energetic son to go to sleep. "This baby is not a sleeper," says the source. "Genie's been really exhausted, but it's a good kind of exhaustion-she's wanted a baby for a long time. Now that the baby's here, she'll have to start thinking about how she's going to lose the weight that shes gained. But Genie's main concern is making sure her baby son is happy and healthy."
When the actress found out she was pregnant last winter, it was written into the show. However, on the show, the baby arrived more quickly. Before Genie started a six-week maternity leave at the end of July, Luke and Laura became parents of a baby girl, which they named after Laura's (presumed) dead mom, Lesley. Denise Alexander, who played Lesley, threw a real-life baby shower celebration for Genie. Guests included longtime GH costars Leslie Charleson (Monica), Sharon Wyatt (Tiffany), and Jackie Zeman (Bobbie).
Francis, who has spoken candidly in the past about how difficult it was to be a rich and famous teenager, says there's no way her son will be a showbiz baby. "I will say that this baby is going to college before he goes into acting," she says without a trace of doubt in her voice.
LOS ANGELES TIMES-DECEMBER 10, 1998
MY FAVORITE WEEKEND-JONATHAN FRAKES
BY ROBIN RAUZI
Dinner at Nic's: Friday when I get off work, I go to Nic's, a restaurant run by Larry Nicola in Beverly Hills on Canon Drive. It's got great food, great jazz, great drinks. My wife, [actress] Genie Francis, and I can always get a table there and have a nice conversation over the Nicola oysters, which are infamous.
Special Request: Saturday mornings we go to Art's Deli in Studio City with our two kids-who are 4 years and 18 months old-and they specifically request Julie or Suzie to be our waitress. You have to get one of those two.
Grown-Up Time: If we're lucky and we have a baby-sitter, my wife and I will sneak off to the Beverly Hot Springs spa on Oxford Avenue in Koreatown. Or there might be some antique shopping in there, or a trip to Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Genie knows antique stores everywhere, and can find them even in cities where we've never been.
Laid-Back Saturday Night: Later, we collapse with the kids at home in Coldwater Canyon. If the kids haven't melted down, we'll see a movie. Or have dinner with another couple to have some adult conversation.
Sunday Treats: Sometimes on Sundays we take the kids down to Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, but it's better to do that during the week when it's less crowded. Somewhere in there we get iced blended mochas from the the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Not a weekend goes by without at least one of those. That night we get take-out from Xian in Beverly Hills-scallion pancakes, veggie moo shu, Szechwan string bean and orange shrimp. That's the best Chinese food in L.A.
SOAP OPERA UPDATE-DECEMBER 19, 2000
SOAP'S SEXIEST COUPLES-JONATHAN FRAKES & GENIE FRANCIS
GH'S LAURA & STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION'S NUMBER 1
In 1983, Genie Francis (Laura) was still riding high on her post-General Hospital fame when she first met a young struggling actor named Jonathan Frakes. Two years earlier, the immensely popular actress had departed GH, and she was busy trying to jump-start a primetime career when she was cast in the TV miniseries Bare Essence, along with Frakes.
At the time, sparks didn't fly. "I was about 19 (when they first met). We didn't date or have anything to do with each other. He always made fun of my hair," she told fans during an online chat about her first "work experience" with her future husband. A few years later, when the same producer hired both actors to work on the 1985 miniseries North and South things were different. According to Frakes, he became Genie's "hero" after he managed to track down a grilled cheese sandwich for the actress in the middle of New Orleans-and that was it. Ever since then, they've been inseparable. After a not-so-long courtship, the couple married in 1988. The couple hasn't worked together steadily in many years, however they appeared on an episode of the ABC show Lois and Clark and in 2000 the duo played-what else? A married couple on an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Lately, there's been rumors that Francis was considering departing her GH day job to be with her hubby and their two kids, son Jameson Ivor Frakes, 6, and daughter Elizabeth, 3, full time. Until then, Francis says the recipe for a happy marriage is simple: "Love, devotion, tenderness, and communication are key," she tells Update.