General Hospital Explainer: Alexis' Cassadine Family Ties

The Cassadine family is a primarily notoriously evil bunch, causing mayhem not only for the citizens of Port Charles but the world at large, on "General Hospital." Tony Cassadine (Andre Landzaat), was the first to arrive in town in 1981 and schemed with Alexandria "Alex" Quartermaine (Renee Anderson) to acquire the world's largest uncut diamond, known as the Ice Princess — an integral part of his brother, Mikkos Cassadine's (John Colicos), plot for world domination. When that was thwarted by Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary), Mikkos' widow, the homicidal and Machiavellian Helena Cassadine took up the mantle of evil. 

Of the Cassadine brothers, only Victor (then Thaao Penghlis) survived. Helena was first played by screen legend Elizabeth Taylor in 1981, and then in 1997, Constance Towers took over the part, bringing her to new heights of villainy. Along the way, there have been a few "good" Cassadines, most notably Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn). Mikkos previously had a secret affair with Swedish opera singer Kristin Nilsson and sired both Alexis and later her younger sister, Kristina. 

The patriarch clandestinely sent Kristina to another family to protect her from the vindictive Helena who cut Kristin's throat right in front of Alexis. Alexis suffered partial amnesia as a result and grew up thinking she was Alexis Davidovitch, cousin to Mikkos and Helena's children, Stavros and Stefan Cassadine. She didn't know until much later that her real name was Princess Natasha Alexandra Mikkosovana Cassadine alongside her true connection to the villainous family.

Alexis' reunion with her long-lost sister was short-lived

At age 16, Alexis attended a New Hampshire boarding school, and one night she snuck out to a bar where she had a one-night stand with a man whose name she never got. She became pregnant, and when the baby was born, Mikkos gave it up for adoption. It wasn't until years later that Alexis learned Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) was her grown-up daughter, and that mobster Julian Jerome (William deVry) was the father. Prior to that revelation, Jasper "Jax" Jacks (Ingo Rademacher) had met Kristina Carter (Jaime Ray Newman) and learned she was actually Alexis' sister, Kristina Cassadine! 

He brought her to Port Charles, and they spent some time hiding her from Helena. Tragically, Kristina was later killed in a warehouse explosion. Because Alexis was a lawyer, Stefan Cassadine (Stephen Nichols) brought her to Port Charles to help him with some legal matters. She had befriended Luke Spencer, who helped her figure out that not only was her real name Natasha and she was Stefan's sister, but also that she was a princess and the heir to the Cassadine royalty, but Alexis renounced her title. 

Her brother, Stavros Cassadine (John Martinuzzi in 1983), had been obsessed with Luke's wife, Laura Spencer (Genie Francis), and kidnapped her, holding her on Cassadine Island where she had his baby, Nikolas. Laura escaped, leaving Nikolas behind, and believed Stavros was dead after Luke broke his neck. However, Helena had cryogenically frozen Stavros and revived him in 2001.

Alexis later welcomed two more daughters

After a fight with Luke Spencer in 2003, Stefan was stabbed and plummeted off a cliff to his death. Stavros Cassadine (Robert Kelker-Kelly) wreaked havoc on Port Charles until he was ultimately killed by Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna) in 2014. Alexis tried being a good aunt to Nikolas, but he continued to make very poor choices throughout his life and is currently considered missing. Alexis had three daughters total on "General Hospital," including Kristina Davis (Kate Mansi) — who was named after her late sister — and Molly Lansing-Davis (Brooke Anne Smith).

Meanwhile, the Cassadines keep coming out of the woodwork. Once considered the most feared and dangerous member of the family, Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) shot Nikolas who was then presumed dead for several years. He has since changed his ways after the birth of his daughter, Charlotte Cassadine (Scarlett Fernandez). Valentin was the product of an affair that Victor Cassadine (Charles Shaughnessy) had with Helena but believed he was Mikkos' son for most of his life. And speaking of Victor, the diabolical villain picked up where his brother left off. 

However, instead of trying to take over the world, Victor wanted to destroy it. Fortunately, Valentin, Laura, and several others managed to stop his scheme and the villain died from a WSB airstrike. Now, along with Nikolas' sons, Spencer Cassadine (Nicholas Chavez), and baby Ace, Alexis, Sam, and what remains of the Cassadine family have a chance to finally put a positive spin on their existence.