The Story Of General Hospital's Insane Villain Grant Putnam

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To the casual observer who doesn't watch soap operas, "General Hospital" may seem like a simple medical drama. Although the show began that way, it has gotten more complex. With the marriage of characters Luke and Laura in 1981, the show set out on a roller coaster ride — the effects of which can still be felt today. Under the helm of producer Gloria Monty, "GH" pioneered action and adventure in daytime dramas, along with the added elements of intrigue and espionage, science fiction, and organized crime stories — something unprecedented in daytime TV, per the Los Angeles Times.

According to a Newsweek article from September 1981, "GH" was not only one of the hottest TV shows at the time, but it was also more profitable for ABC in terms of ad revenue than the weekly nighttime sudser "Dallas." Almost everyone was watching, whether at home, in waiting rooms, airports, restaurants and bars, or even in department store electronic sections.

As the already complex storylines ventured into more action-oriented territory, it's no surprise that at the height of the cold war "GH" would introduce such intelligence agencies as the WSB (World Security Bureau) and its counter-organization, the nefarious DVX. The show has had many WSB agents, including Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) and Anna Devane (Finola Hughes), who were embroiled in numerous adventures, per Soap Hub.

One of these undertakings involved a wealthy American man, his DVX lookalike, and something called the Prometheus disc.

Grant and Celia come to Port Charles

Brian Patrick Clarke known for his television work as Merle on "Eight is Enough," joined the cast of "General Hospital" in 1983 as Grant Putnam. TV Guide reported "GH" executive producer, Gloria Monty, was casting someone charming who could also play a "Jekyll and Hyde"-style character — and she did.

According to the 1995 book, "General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook," in 1983, Celia (Sherilyn Wolter), who was a distant cousin to Lila Quartermaine (Anna Lee), arrived in Port Charles. Edward Quartermaine's (David Lewis) illegitimate son, Jimmy Lee Holt (Steve Bond), was enamored with Celia. Although Celia spoke of her engagement to Dr. Grant Putnam, she couldn't deny the attraction.

Jimmy Lee lived in an apartment above Kelly's diner, where Celia also rented an art studio. Eventually, she agreed to sculpt him and they kissed. Although insisting that nothing was happening, Grant sensed the sexual tension between then and became jealous. At one point, he was on the phone with someone, saying that his marriage to Celia was "all set." However, who was on the other end remained a mystery.

As Grant and Celia's wedding day drew closer, he told her to break away from Jimmy Lee or the wedding was off. She assured him that their affair was over. Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary), on the heels of the Ice Princess story, was presumed killed in an avalanche. However, he had only been temporarily paralyzed, returning home after physical therapist, Natalie Dearborn (Melinda Cordell), helped him recover, per Scorpio Files.

The hunt for the Prometheus Disc

According to Scorpio Files, Natalie arrived in Port Charles revealing that she and Grant Putnam were actually DVX agents. The DVX worked towards stealing the secrets of a powerful energy source called the Prometheus Disc. Higher-up Gregory Malko (Jose Lambie) orchestrated a plan to get them from Dr. Jerrold (Booth Coleman) who had developed the formula. Per Soap Opera Digest, it was further revealed that Natalie's real name was Natasha, Dr. Jerrold was doing his research on the energy source at Port Charles University, and the Prometheus Disc was actually what was used to store the project's top-secret information.

On Celia's wedding day, according to "General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook," Jimmy Lee lured her to a cabin in the country to make one last ditch effort to get her to love him. When she refused, he hid her clothes and she had to escape with nothing but a towel, eventually flagging down a chicken truck and arriving at the wedding (via Soaps In Depth). Grant was furious, assuming that she had an affair with Jimmy Lee, and knocked out the young Quartermaine. As he was about to call off the wedding, Natalie ordered Grant to continue with his cover and go through with it. And so, Grant and Celia were wed.

During Celia and Grant's marriage, Natalie and Gregory grew uneasy as Celia started to question Grant's secretiveness. They ordered Grant to kill Dr. Jerrold or Celia would die (via Scorpio Files).

Grant switches sides

According to Soap Opera Digest – in the tradition of shocking "General Hospital" plot twists – Grant realized that he loved Celia more than the DVX and couldn't follow through with his orders, so Gregory entered the lab and shot Dr. Jerrold. Threatened with death, Grant did as he was ordered and attempted to steal the disc, but Luke grabbed it. In the pandemonium, Luke, Celia, and Holly Sutton (Emma Samms) were ultimately captured (via Scorpio Files).

"General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook" further explains that Gregory killed Natalie and threatened to kill the hostages as well unless a microfilm containing the equation on the Prometheus Disc was given to him. It turned out that the WSB was about to launch a top secret satellite at the same time, and therefore, also needed the disc to power it. In exchange for Celia, Robert Scorpio gave Gregory the microfilm that had been given to him by WSB director Ted Ballantine (William Wintersole). 

Gregory was not happy that the microfilm turned out to be phony, while Robert planned to storm the Pavilion, where Luke and Holly were being held. Meanwhile, Grant, secretly working for the good guys, had switched the guard's bullets with blanks, knocking out Gregory and taking off. Robert arrived seeing the WSB satellite was launched, and realized Grant had saved the day (via Curlyqgrl).

Grant ended up saving the hostages and exonerating himself in the Prometheus Disc incident.

The Real Grant Putnam surfaces

Meanwhile, in England, a man with amnesia noticed an article in an American newspaper telling the story of a spy using Grant Putnam's identity, per Soap Zone. After reading the article, the man suddenly regained his memories and speech, realizing that he was the real Grant Putnam, and that the DVX stole his identity. He came to London in 1975 to attend medical school (via YouTube). As the doctors try to tell him what had happened in the years he had lost his memory, the real Grant became enraged to find out the impostor had married Celia. He managed to convince the hospital to release him, despite the fact that a doctor named Campbell warned that Putnam was psychotic.

According to, Andrei Chernin, the fake Grant, trained his whole life to mimic rich American, Grant Putnam. When the time was right, Putnam would be replaced with Andrei flawlessly — not even Celia knew the difference (via Soap Opera Digest). Per YouTube, the fake Grant met with Ted Ballantine and Robert Scorpio proclaiming that he didn't know anything about the real Grant Putnam and was dedicated to America and helping the WSB root out DVX spy nests. 

Filled with vengeance against the man who stole his life, identity, and face, Grant Putnam returned to Port Charles, promising Celia that he wouldn't interfere in her life, according to the "General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook"

A villain is born

As Curlyqgrl explains, the imposter Grant and Celia were still deeply in love and changed their last name to Andrews. Grant Andrews' medical license was revoked, relegating him to taking a construction job with Jimmy Lee. Grant Putnam secretly plotted to destroy Andrews' and Celia's marriage by planting evidence to make the couple think each other were having affairs. Dr. Campbell came to America to warn about this dangerous man, but Putnam strangled the doctor, dumping his body into the river.

"General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook" reveals that Putnam framed Andrews for attempting to kill Celia by planting evidence that Andrews blew up a ship, targeting her. Andrews was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Putnam then tried to get closer to Celia, finding Jimmy Lee to be an obstacle. Celia knew that Andrews was innocent and went to the English sanitarium to find evidence. Putnam had beaten her there, stolen the evidence, and attempted to kill her twice, but luck was on her side both times. She secretly told Robert Scorpio that Putnam was psychotic.

Dr. Borden from the sanitarium had received a tape from Dr. Campbell which basically outlined Putnam's psychosis and that Campbell was probably dead if Borden received it. Celia planned to meet Borden at a cabin near Port Charles, but when she got there Putnam had already killed him. Robert entered the scene and subdued Putnam. Andrews was released from prison and his medical license reinstated (via Soap Zone).

Evil returns to Port Charles

Former WSB agent Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) came to town revealing, to Robert's surprise, that they had a girl named Robin (Kimberly McCullough), according to Soaps In Depth. Anna and Robin lived in a house with an Italian caretaker named Filomena (Argentina Brunetti). In 1988, Grant Putnam escaped, swearing vengeance against Robert Scorpio, intending to kidnap Robin. He sent several cryptic, anonymous messages to Robert saying things like "The Snowman is watching you," and "The Snowman has Mephistopheles" (via Scorpio Files).

Putnam arrived at Anna's, expecting only Robin, but Anna surprised him and an epic fight ensued (via YouTube). Anna, who was no match for the sheer brute force of Putnam, was knocked unconscious. In the process, Putnam killed Filomena. The young Robin was paralyzed with fear. Putnam took Anna prisoner and brought her to a bungalow he'd rented. In the basement, he put her inside a chain link prison, which was guarded by an attack Doberman named Satan.

Robert followed every lead he could find to track Anna. Her husband, mobster Duke Lavery (Ian Buchanan), wanted to help but Robert wouldn't allow it. So, Duke went to mob boss Victor Jerome for help, planning to find Anna on his own. Unfortunately for Duke, who had broken all ties with the mob in order to be with Anna, Victor required that he come back to work for him in exchange for help finding Anna, per "General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook."

A race against time

According to "General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook," Grant Putnam's story concludes with Anna trying to seduce him in an escape attempt, stabbing him with a homemade weapon. However, Putnam didn't die and instead staggered outside to the waterfront. Dr. Patrick O'Connor (Guy Mack) found him, treating him for pneumonia. Putnam realized Robin was in the hospital, but it was too heavily guarded for him to make a move. Switching his hospital wristband with another patient, he escaped.

Anna used a wire to electrify the fence stunning Satan, but Putnam showed up, stopping her escape. Duke and Robert separately figured out that Putnam had taken Anna and where his bungalow was. It was a race against time to get there. Then, against Robert's orders, Duke ran in, but the building exploded. However, both Robert and Duke survived. It was also revealed that minutes before the explosion, Putnam took Anna, escaping to the Adirondack Mountains. Anna managed to get away from him, but got lost in the freezing wilderness (per Scorpio Files).

At the same time, Julian Jerome (Jason Culp), Victor's son, gave Duke information on Putnam's location. However, Duke's jeep broke down, and Robert and Putnam had a chase on snowmobiles. The pursuit continued into mountainous terrain. The chase and gunfight ended up on foot with Putnam dangling off a cliff, and Robert was able to rescue and collar the insane killer. Anna caught up to them and the two embraced. The psychotic Grant Putnam was put away once and for all (via YouTube).

While that may be the last time he was on "General Hospital," fans on the Soap Central message board are clamoring for a return of the deranged and psychotic Grant Putnam. Only time will tell.