Lindsay Hartley Once Again Replaces Kelly Monaco As General Hospital's Sam

"General Hospital" has been very good about keeping story points and casting changes under wraps until the last minute, surprising the audience, and many were shocked when Kirsten Storms (Maxie Jones) was suddenly replaced on the December 27, 2023 episode by Nicole Paggi. On that same day, Soap Opera Digest allayed fans' fears that Storms would either be out for a long time or had been let go by clarifying that the recast was solely for that one episode (Storms had previously been replaced several times over the years due to health and personal issues). 

Fans have been nervous about recasts ever since Marcus Coloma, who played fan favorite Nikolas Cassadine, was abruptly let go when his contract ended in January 2023. Kelly Monaco has played private investigator Sam McCall since 2003, with Lindsay Hartley briefly taking over for her in 2020 and 2022. But fans were surprised by the January 2, 2024 episode when they spotted Hartley playing Sam yet again. 

She and her boyfriend, Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna), were enjoying New Year's Eve together, and about to have sex when, in a hilarious moment, her daughter Scout (Cosette Abinante) walked in on them because she had a nightmare! Hartley had no trouble slipping back into Sam's shoes and playing the doting mom once more, effortlessly helping Scout through her emotional ordeal.

Hartley has a lot of irons in the fire

In August 2020, Kelly Monaco thanked Lindsay Hartley for subbing as Sam on "General Hospital" in a post on X, formerly Twitter. She wrote, "I also wanna give a huge shout out to @lindsayhartley for stepping in and doing a beautiful job playing Sam. Girl [...] you kicked a$$. Way to go." Hartley reposted it and lovingly responded, "Thank you @kellymonaco1. I'm grateful for your support. It's all about keeping this sacred genre alive. Thanks for sharing Sam with me. She is your precious creation. I'm glad [you're] back. Enjoy her future!"

In December of that year, Hartley retweeted a post from Soap Opera News that listed her among the best 10 recasts of 2020, simply captioning it with a "Thank you" alongside a heart and praying hands emoji. She got her soap opera start on "Passions" in 1999 and stayed on the show until 2008. Her other sudser credits include "Days of Our Lives," "All My Children," and "The Bay." But when fans see her appearing as a recast, they needn't worry that the actor she's replacing is gone for good, since Hartley is also an accomplished writer and director.

Many of her films are thrillers including the 2020 fan favorite, "Romeo and Juliet Killers." She's got a few other projects in the works too, which have obviously been keeping her pretty busy. Still, it's nice to see Hartley's familiar face pop up in Port Charles every once in a while regardless — even if it's only for a short visit.