Why Is Sam Morgan on ‘General Hospital’ Played by a Different Actress?

Lindsay Hartley

Getty Lindsay Hartley is temporarily taking over the role of Sam Morgan on "General Hospital."

Fans of General Hospital may be surprised to discover that the soap opera’s character Sam Morgan looks different in new episodes. Sam Morgan, usually portrayed by actress Kelly Monaco, was temporarily recast; in Monaco’s absence, the role was played by Lindsay Korman-Hartley.

According to a tweet made by Monaco’s mother, Carmina Monaco, her temporary recast was motivated by on-set difficulties with a COVID-19 mask during filming. Monaco wrote, “Kelly is safe and healthy. First day back she had a hard time with the Covid mask and was given a rather unexpected 14 day quarantine even though she tested negative twice for Covid and a third negative test for Covid antibodies. She is excited to get back on set next week.” Carmina’s tweet suggests not that Kelly had coronavirus, but rather that she had trouble complying with safety measures put in place on set to prevent the spread of COVID-19; Kelly Monaco herself has not commented on her time away from filming nor what caused it.

In another tweet, Carmina seemed to confirm that her daughter Kelly would be back on set filming as of August 3, the show’s first day airing new episodes. She wrote to a concerned fan, “Kelly is great and should be back on set Monday. 14 day quarantine after a breathing problem with mask 1st day back. 3 negative Covid test, I’d say she is better than great. Thank you for all of the love.”

Hartley confirmed the news that she would be playing Kelly Morgan, writing on Twitter, “Some big shoes to fill…precious too. I hope you enjoy watching Sam as much as I have enjoyed playing her, temporarily.” Hartley’s first episode as Morgan airs on August 3; the episode description teases, “Nelle is shaken; Jax is impressed with Nina’s strength; Ned and Olivia clash.”

Hartley Has a Number of TV Soap Opera Credits & Is Known for Her Role on ‘Passions’

Lindsay Korman-Hartley is well-known in the soap opera television community. According to her IMDb profile, she played Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald on Passions from 1999 until 2008.

Hartley went on to play Arianna Herandez in 170 episodes of Days of Our Lives; in 2010 she joined the cast of All My Children as Dr. Cara Castillo.

Kelly Monaco has played Sam Morgan on General Hospital since 2003; according to her IMDb profile, she’s appeared in over 1,900 episodes of the show.

‘General Hospital’ Filming Has Resumed Following Production Halt Due to COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the United States, television production was halted in compliance with CDC guidelines and to prevent further spread of the virus to filming crew and cast. While General Hospital was on pause, ABC aired “Flashback Friday” episodes in the show’s Friday timeslot to make up for the decrease in new episodes.

According to Us Weekly, when General Hospital returns with new episodes on August 3, it will be the second soap opera to make its post-COVID comeback. The Bold and the Beautiful was first to return with new episodes on July 21.

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Masked… Covid set life. 🙏🏻

A post shared by Lindsay Korman-Hartley (@lindsaynhartley) on

Hartley shared a selfie from the set while filming with General Hospital. In the caption, she wrote, “Masked… Covid set life.”

Episodes of General Hospital air on Mondays at 3/2c on ABC.

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