How Ned Ashton Became Eddie Maine On General Hospital

Ned Ashton, who would later take his mother's maiden name and become Ned Quartermaine, has been played by soap vet Wally Kurth on "General Hospital" since 1991. In addition to his several decades on "GH," Kurth has also held the role of Justin Kiriakis on "Days of Our Lives" since 1987. Though he has switched back and forth between the two shows throughout his career, he has starred on both simultaneously since 2015. He also briefly appeared on the soap "As the World Turns" as Sam Hutchins in 2007 and 2008. Kurth has been nominated for two Daytime Emmys for his work on "DOOL" and once for performance on "GH." He is also a musician and one-half of the band Kurth & Taylor, who won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Original Song in 2002 for a song called "Barefoot Ballet" that was written and produced for "GH" and was featured on an episode.

Though Kurth has had many names on daytime TV, his most interesting is Ned Ashton's rock star alter-ego Eddie Maine from "GH." When he got tired of the incessant Quartermaine squabbling, Ned would shed his tie and blazer for a pair of leather pants and hit the road — which was a treat not only for the actor, but for fans as well.

Ned Ashton lived a double life as Eddie Maine

In 1993, Ned Ashton had adopted the pseudonym Eddie Maine to pursue his dreams of becoming a rock star (via Soap Central). While performing in the city one night, he caught the eye of record producer Lois Cerullo (played by Kurth's real-life ex-wife Rene Sofer). Lois thought Eddie was talented and wanted to turn him into a star and the two quickly hit it off. "Eddie" found himself falling for the tough Brooklyn-bred Lois, which was inconvenient since Ned was already being blackmailed into marriage by Katherine Bell (Mary Beth Evans) back in Port Charles. Regardless of that fact, Lois and "Eddie" were infatuated with each other and got married, even though she was unaware that her husband was using an alias and was not actually Eddie Maine.

Meanwhile, Ned was being pressured by his high-profile family, the Quartermaines, to focus on the family business ELQ and settle down. Ned went on to marry Katherine as himself and did his best to maintain his double life. Not only did he have two names, and two jobs, but he had two wives, as well! Shortly after, Lois followed her husband to Port Charles to be closer to him and discovered Eddie's true identity (via Soaps in Depth). It turned out that Ned's marriage to Lois was the legal one, but she quickly divorced him anyway. However, the two were genuinely in love and eventually reconciled. They married again in 1995, and had a daughter named Brook Lynn together.

Ned Ashton struggled to choose between music and business

While in Port Charles, Lois Cerullo joined up with her friend Brenda Barrett (Vanessa Marcil) to create a company called L&B Records (via Soap Central). Lois represented Ned as Eddie Maine and his music career began to take off. However, he was still devoted to ELQ and wanted to remain a businessman, as well. Ned struggled to balance his two lives and this put a significant strain on his marriage. When Lois eventually asked him to choose, he picked the Quartermaines. Heartbroken, Lois divorced Ned again and went back to Bensonhurst to raise their daughter.

Ned's fame as Eddie Maine created some hurdles for him, particularly when he became involved with Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn) and his fans constantly harassed her (via Soaps in Depth). Eventually, he decided to hang up his leather pants and focus more on the Quartermaine business. Over the years, ELQ suffered from financial ups and downs and at one point was near bankruptcy. This prompted Ned to reopen L&B Records and Lois (then played by Lesli Kay) returned to Port Charles, agreeing to be business partners and co-parents, though they didn't reconcile romantically. By 2005, Ned and Lois left town with their daughter to focus on their music business. Ned would eventually return after a few years, but Lois hasn't been seen in Port Charles since.

Ned only breaks out his Eddie Maine persona for Nurses Ball performances

It has been many years since Ned Ashton has performed as Eddie Maine in any serious capacity, though he (and his portrayer Wally Kurth) still occasionally bring the alter-ego to life during the annual "General Hospital" Nurses Ball (via SoapHub).

Eddie Maine first appeared at the 1995 Nurses Ball with his band the Idle Rich when they performed "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and again in 2000 when they did the song "Simply Irresistible." Ned also performed as himself in 1997, 1998, and 1999. "General Hospital" retired the Nurses Ball from 2002 to 2012, but the event returned in full force in 2013.

Eddie Maine returned to perform Meat Loaf's "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" in 2014 and Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" in 2015. Ned and his wife Olivia Quartermaine (Lisa LoCicero) performed dance numbers together each year from 2017 to 2020. The Nurses Ball often has real-life celebrity appearances which have included Richard Simmons, Mario Lopez, Carla Hall from "The Chew," Chandra Wilson from "Grey's Anatomy," and more (via Soaps).

Wally Kurth performed as Eddie Maine to raise money for charity

Within the narrative of "General Hospital" the Nurses Ball is a charity function that raises awareness and money for HIV/AIDS research. At the same time, the cast and crew of the show use the opportunity to raise money in the real world as well (via Deseret News).

Wally Kurth was thrilled to utilize his alter-ego Eddie Maine to raise funds for The Ryan White Foundation, which provides support to those living with HIV (via Soap Central). In an interview with Lifestyle Magazine, Kurth said, "[As part of] Eddie Maine and the Idle Rich, the band that I played with, we played about 40 times, we wrote songs for the show, and we used to go out on tour, and we raised money for pediatric AIDS all around the country. We raised about a quarter of a million dollars." Though Kurth no longer tours as Eddie Maine, his real-life band continues to raise money on behalf of the Kurth & Taylor Foundation, "which helps various children's hospitals and direct service programs]."

Though the Eddie Maine persona came about as part of a character's storyline on daytime television in the 1990s, "General Hospital" and Kurth managed to turn music into a way to help real people in need and create a decades-long tradition with iconic performances that fans can look back on for years to come.