Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo checks back into 'General Hospital'

EntertainmentTelevisionABCGeneral Hospital (tv program)HealthVanessa MarcilSteven Spielberg

Maybe you can take the actress out of the show, but you can't take "General Hospital" out of Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo.

That's why, in and around her prime-time work in such series as "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Las Vegas," the 2003 Daytime Emmy winner has returned to the weekday ABC serial. She reprises the role of impulsive, passionate Brenda Barrett again starting Wednesday, Aug. 11. Two days of episodes featuring the character will precede her return (also on SoapNet, which shows the drama as well).

"It's kind of always been in the works," the lively Giovinazzo reports of her latest "GH" stint. "It's where I came from. They gave me my first job when I was a kid, and I'm still friends with all those guys I worked with. We went to high school together on the show. I supposedly lost my virginity with one of the cast members. We went to the prom together, and … all those things you remember for the rest of your life, I did on TV with these people.

"It really was the most lovely cast I ever worked with," she adds, "and I always said I could spend the rest of my life on this show and be content. The people there work really hard and take acting really seriously, in a genre not necessarily known for that."

And Giovinazzo had interesting co-stars then. She cites Amber Tamblyn, Kimberly McCullough (still on "GH" as Robin Scorpio) and Jonathan Jackson (who's now back on "GH," too). "And there was Steve Burton, who's done the same thing I've done. He'll go and do a Robert Redford movie or a Steven Spielberg-produced miniseries, then come back.

"Then there's Maurice Benard (alias the show's Sonny Corinthos), who is our king. Every piece of joy I have ever gotten from acting is because of him, because he truly is the one who broke down acting for me for the first time. And my producers at the time were Wendy Riche and Shelley Curtis, and Angela Shapiro was heading up ABC Daytime. I wasn't really prepared for the other stuff that came along with the job. I feel like these people raised me."

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