Beloved soap actress Genie Francis — who was dropped to recurring status on General Hospital in January, much to the chagrin of her fans — is returning to the ABC drama as a series regular.

Francis, who plays Laura, told TV Insider, “I’m looking forward to coming home and I am really excited about this new invigorating storyline they have for Laura. I look forward to the next chapter of this prolific and historic character.” Executive producer Frank Valentini added, “I’m really excited for Genie to be rejoining the cast and we have an amazing story for her.”

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EW has confirmed that she will return to set in early September. It’s unclear when her first episode will air.

Earlier this year, the sudser declined to extend Francis’ contract for another year but left open the possibility of having her return. Her agent told EW that Francis would only make her way back to Port Charles if the story and timing were ideal.

“She did not want to leave the show as a series regular,” Arthur Toretzky said. “It was not her choice to leave.”

Francis has played Laura off and on on General Hospital since 1977, when she and Anthony Geary, as Luke Spencer, formed an onscreen couple that left an indelible mark on the genre. In 2013, Francis made her first return to General Hospital after spending a little over a year on The Young and the Restless.

Two years later, she staged another homecoming to Port Charles just as Spencer was preparing to leave.

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