A Look At General Hospital's Genie Francis & Hallmark's Jonathan Frakes' Decades Of Romance

When you put a "General Hospital" legend together with a "Star Trek" icon, you get a match made in heaven. That's exactly what happened when Genie Francis and Jonathan Frakes met on the set of the 1983 primetime soap opera, "Bare Essence." Francis had already become a star as Laura Spencer on "GH" and was expanding her career. In a February 1994 interview, she told People she enjoyed working with Frakes on the nighttime sudser because "He treated me like one of the guys — which I loved." 

The two worked together again in 1985 on the TV mini-series, "North & South: Book 1," and she admitted to crushing on him then. During that time, Frakes and co-stars James Read and Wendy Kilbourne took her to a strip club for her 23rd birthday, which she stated was "embarrassing" but simultaneously "funny." 

Frakes later asked her to go away for the weekend with him, but feeling she didn't have the worldly experiences that other women her age did, she opted to go on a traditional date with him. "We went to a McDonald's and sat in a church parking lot and talked. Our wild lives!" she hilariously remarked. It wasn't long before the two were smitten with each other and ended up moving in together one year after the production was completed. In 1987, Frakes got down on one knee and proposed to Francis, and history was made. Thirty-eight years later, they're still as madly in love as ever.

The Frakes semi-retired to Maine for a while

On May 28, 1988, Genie Francis and Jonathan Frakes got married. He had just started playing Commander Will Riker on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in 1987, and so the officiant couldn't help but use the joke, "You're going on a voyage where no man has gone before," according to Soap Hub. Soon after, Francis was living in New York, where she was busy playing Ceara Connor Hunter on "All My Children" from 1990 to 1992 and working on theatrical plays. A long-distance relationship can be difficult for some couples, but not for these two.

When Francis reprised her role as Laura on "General Hospital" in 1993, she moved back to California, and the happy couple had two children: a son, Jameson Ivor, and a daughter, Elizabeth Francis. Ivor was the name of Francis' father who died two years prior to her wedding to Frakes. Eventually, the couple left Los Angeles for Belfast, Maine, where Francis ran a store called The Cherished Home, a gift and home décor shop.

Frakes had partially moved away from acting to become a director, getting his start in the third season of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and moving on to direct other TV shows and films. The couple was quasi-retired, so he was very picky about the jobs he chose. After a time, they moved back to California and bought a stunning mansion in Woodland Hills for $2.78 million, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Francis and Frakes are still as close as ever

While promoting his 2023 Hallmark film, "A Biltmore Christmas," in which he stars, Jonathan Frakes spoke to People about his 38 years with "General Hospital" legend Genie Francis. Although she was a decade younger than him, "Somehow, she took a chance on me," he stated, explaining, "because I was like, number 37 on the call sheet on 'North and South,' and she was up there with Patrick Swayze and Lesley-Anne Down." The two had hit it off, and he further wondered, "Why she would go out with me is a mystery!"

Although Frakes is known for doing more "Star Trek" acting gigs than other projects, working for Hallmark is another connection that cements him and Francis because she's worked on several of the network's films. "This brand is quite amazing," Frakes remarked, noting that he often likes to try something new. "I've been blessed with this 'Star Trek' thing for 36 years, so to be part of a new franchise is kind of a treat for me." He thought his acting was a bit rusty, but then reprised his role of Will Riker on the series, "Picard," which bolstered his confidence, and he looked forward to a new venture.

The amazing couple continue to enjoy spending quality time together, as evidenced by Francis' September 2022 Facebook post, which stated, "We took up biking this summer. So much fun!" A lot can be learned from their successful, decades-long romance!