Jane Elliot leaves her iconic role as Tracy Quartermaine
TELEVISION -- After almost 40 years, the city of Port Charles is set to say a final goodbye to Tracy Quartermaine.
Portrayed by Emmy winning actress Jane Elliot, the strong-willed business woman has had her final story arc push her to do some of her best work on General Hospital (GH), and will see her wrap up her iconic run May 4, 2017.
Since 1978 Jane Elliot has at one time or another been gracing the screens of GH viewers, playing the role that will never be forgotten.
“I’m really glad I got to do it, but now I want to use a different part of my brain. That part where I don’t have to learn lines, put on makeup, wonder if my roots are showing,” said Elliot on her retirement.
The character of Tracy has been a complicated one to say the least.
Whether she was scheming to take control of ELQ, the company her father started, or the never-to-be-forgotten scene where she refused to give her father Edward his medication unless he destroyed his will, there was never a dull moment when the Quartermaine matriarch was on screen.
On a show that includes a heavy presence of the mob, Tracy was still one of the fiercest characters around because of the loyalty to her family, and the shadow of her father she could never quite escape.
Her relationship with father Edward was contentious to say the least, but the drive that made her yearn for his approval is what created both a character you could love, and a villain all at once.
In her final month, the writing team decided the best way to send Elliot off was to give Tracy the closure she, and her fans wanted to have for years, and she finally got it with her trip to Turkey storyline.
After finding out that her father may have left a painting in a Turkish monastery, she took off to track it down. Little did she know that what she would find was going to be the thing that finally set her free.
This story not only let Tracy realize that she was better than her father’s shadow, but it helped her to finally acknowledge that her relationship with Edward wasn’t as bad as she believed it to be.
Long-time GH viewers were given a flashback treat as well in an April 28 episode centred on the woman of the hour.
With her long run wrapping up today many people are disappointed to see both Elliot, and the character of Tracy leave. But what she leaves behind is never going to be forgotten.
“The opportunity to work with Jane was a dream come true,” said GH Director Phideaux Xavier. “It’s such a loss, but we’re so happy for Jane.”
With her final scenes airing today, there’s bound to be tears, memories, and even a visit from missing leading man Anthony Geary.
Geary played mobster turned conman Luke Spencer since Elliot started playing Tracy.
The two characters had a tumultuous love-hate relationship for years, but most fans describe the two as perfect, despite the Luke and Laura pairing that spawned one of the most watched episodes of television ever.
Geary retired in 2015, and walked off into the fog, but he’ll be back in some capacity to help whisk off his former leading lady.
Like Geary, Elliot’s character is leaving on good terms, which in the soap world means she wasn’t murdered in a very public fashion – but it’s a soap so who’s death really kidding – so the door is always open for a Tracy Quartermaine return.
Let’s hope we do get to see Elliot again, the town of Port Charles won’t be the same without her.
Sean Heeger is a journalist, photographer, and editor-in-chief of the Torch Online Media. Visit his personal twitter account at www.twitter.com/fa1coneri