Regan Reax: My Love Affair With Rebecca Herbst and Elizabeth Webber





Shocked, dismayed, sad, disappointed, angry, heartbroken — I’m experiencing a full body of emotions, all due to the ridiculous firing of Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth Webber) from General Hospital. I know, some—maybe most—will jump to the conclusion that my dismay is due to my love of all things Liason, the unforgettable romantic pairing featuring Herbst’s Liz and Jason Morgan (Steve Burton), and I won’t lie, that definitely plays a part, but I have been having a love affair with the character of Elizabeth Webber since long before she fell for Jason. In fact, I've loved Liz and Herbst since they first popped up in Port Charles back in 1997.

Elizabeth’s storylines over the past 13 years have made her one of my all-time favorite soap opera characters, while Herbst's performances in those storylines resulted in her becoming one of my favorite daytime actresses. "Bad" Lizzie Webber was a force to be reckoned with when she first showed up at Audrey’s (Rachel Ames). You just couldn’t help but root for the underdog, little sister over the more “perfect” Sarah.

When GH scribe Michele Val Jean made the decision to write a brutal rape storyline for the character of Liz, Herbst’s acting choices —not to mention the elegant writing—transformed her into a fan favorite, which she’s been ever since. Who could ever forget a shattered and broken Elizabeth crawling out of those bushes, only to be found by Lucky (Jonathan Jackson)?

A teen love affair was created through pain and healing. Simply put, it was one of the best stories General Hospital has ever told, brilliantly acted by Herbst and Jackson. It also led to GH finally revisiting one of the most controversial arcs in the soap’s history, when Lucky learned his father, Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) had raped his mother Laura (Genie Francis).

The tender care Lucky showed for Elizabeth as they both dealt with the scars sexual violence had left on them, made what could have been just another soap teen pairing a bonafide supercouple. Remember Lucky and Liz hiding out in the catacombs, or making a home out of an abandoned boxcar, with Elizabeth painting the walls? These two were destined to be together, until they weren’t.

With plans to move to New York City, Lucky and Elizabeth gave us one of their most memorable moments, exchanging vows in an empty church, just the two of them, promising their love and life to each other. That love ended in tragedy, when Lucky was thought to have died in a fire. Herbst rose up to the challenge again, giving yet another heart-wrenching performance, stopping fans in our tracks as a result.

Out of Lucky’s “death”, Liason was born. Yes, here is where my love of Jason and Elizabeth: The Couple began. The two started out as friends, helping one another in their own way. Elizabeth needed someone to help her mourn over lost love, Jason was reeling after seeing Sonny (Maurice Benard) with Carly (Sarah Brown). When Liz found him shot and bleeding in the snow, magic transpired. Liz was on to her second, epic love story in Port Charles, one born in friendship. It’s sad TPTB never seemed to realize how much this pairing came to mean to fans of General Hospital.

The winter Jason spent hiding out in Elizabeth’s studio gave fans some of the best moments in Liason’s history, a slew of Liason lovers, including me, were hooked, but Liason just couldn’t make it work. Whether it was Burton’s comings and goings, or the brass deciding to put Jason with one flashy, story hog newcomer or another, fans of Liason always got just close enough to forever before having the rug pulled out.

Then, after years apart, Liason fans finally got what we’d been waiting for. A drugged up and cheating Lucky (then played by Greg Vaughan) and Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) rolling around on the floor with her own mother’s husband, caused the fates to align as Liz walked up those infamous stairs and into the arms of the one man she could never forget, mob lifestyle be damned!

Both in need of comfort, Liason exploded in a night of passion we fans will never forget. The blessing of a faulty Quartermaine-produced condom gave us baby Jake and at long last what felt like a real shot for Elizabeth and Jason, that is until a bullet ripped through Michael’s skull.

All along the way, Herbst rolled with the punches, not to mention the Lucky recasts and paycuts. From Jackson to Jacob Young to Greg Vaughan to ultimately Jackson again, Herbst never missed a beat, managing to preserve Liz’s integrity and spirit, even as one out-of-character plot point after another was written and executed to try to make fans dislike the character. Sorry, it didn’t work.

ABC Daytime and General Hospital have made a huge error in judgment. Failing to see the potential and legacy Liz brings to the canvas (Hello, she's Dr. Steve Hardy's granddaughter!) only tells me what fans have been claiming all along is absolutely true — General Hospital has no respect for history, veterans or their viewers, and this “storyline dictated” exit proves it.

Photo Credit: ABC


Comments

Member since:
22 October 2008
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3 years 9 weeks

Thanks Regan. Well said!

luvbucket's picture
Member since:
29 December 2009
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40 weeks 3 days

Wow..that was great post Regan.
The character of Elizabeth Webber has truly been an important staple to the GH canvas and her presence will be missed by soooooo many fans.

Frons/Guza have lost their damn minds and I hope they reap the consequences of their STUPID actions!

WE LOVE YOU BECKY!!!!

Member since:
24 August 2008
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8 hours 46 min

I couldn't agree more.

alstonboy4315's picture
Member since:
12 February 2010
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5 weeks 6 days

I was not a Liz fan, but I remember watching Becky when I was 15 and she was a rebellious little schemer!!!! I feel like I've grown up with her and Jonathan Jackson!!!

I think another soap should snatch her up IMMEDIATELY!!

Maybe Y&R can cast her as Mac. I have NEVER liked any of the actresses who have been cast in the role in the past, but I think Rebecca could make me like the character.

Or she could be a Colby recast on AMC. They could age Asher and cast Greg Vaughan!!!

I'm sure there are other possibilities, but those are the only two that spring to mind for me right now.

Member since:
25 March 2008
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3 years 12 weeks

Beautifully said, Regan! As always!

strawberrygurl22's picture
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7 March 2008
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4 hours 35 min

Sad( Sad( Sad( Sad( Sad( Sad( Sad( Beautifully put Regan! Thank you

liason4real's picture
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10 May 2008
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1 day 4 hours

Thanks Regan,,,,,,

You nailed the reasons why I love Liz and why I fell in love with Liason.

GHfan-4now's picture
Member since:
29 August 2010
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2 weeks 14 hours

Oh, Regan... Crying And such a beautifully subtle pic to go with this post.

ahanshew's picture
Member since:
25 March 2008
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13 weeks 6 days

Bravo, Regan. Bravo.

Member since:
8 November 2010
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3 years 4 weeks

This is great. Bravo. NO GH WITHOUT BECKY/ ELIZABETH WEBBER.

Evangeline Vega's picture
Member since:
4 January 2011
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5 weeks 5 hours

Aw man I've been trying not to get too down but what you posted was beautiful. Even though I am an LL2 fan first, I can still understand the lost and the hoping and the what could have been.

I started watching GH when I heard the oringinal Lucky was returning and I had already caught up on all of the old L&L, Scorpios and Cassadines, Lizzie's debut and the beginning of LL2's romance...Man I felt like I have been jipped and I can only feel the same way for JJ. He was hoping for a reunion for Lucky & Liz.

I wish RH and her family all of the best and wish for her to find a place where she is appreciated.

Member since:
11 June 2009
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3 years 4 weeks

This simply could not have been said better! I have watched GH for over 25years and Rebecca Herbst has been the shining light throughout the last 13 years of that time. She has never ceased to amaze me with her talent and with her magnificent ability to make Elizabeth Webber very real in every way.

I will mourn her in every way as I've lost a very real constant in my life for no reason at all.

Thank you Regan for voicing my feelings and those of many other of Rebecca's fans, I'm sure.

Member since:
22 August 2007
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7 weeks 18 hours

Thank you all for reading, thank you for your kind words. 

maxsmom's picture
Member since:
20 February 2009
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3 hours 32 min

Rebecca Herbst tweeted her thanks to Regan for loving the character as much as she does and I'll second that emotion.

Member since:
10 December 2009
Last activity:
3 years 12 weeks

Awesome article Regan. You said what I and many many others couldn't. Elizabeth has always been my favourite character on GH. What a huge loss for them. I'm sure another show will realize what GH didn't seem to, that Rebecca Herbst is an amazing talent. Unfortunately GH never seemed to recognize it.

jlafferty23's picture
Member since:
21 June 2010
Last activity:
2 years 25 weeks

Very nice piece Regan!
I'm not a Liz fan but I am a fan of Lucky/Liz and I feel like I have been kicked in the gut, I won't be able to see my couple reunite.
I also feel for Becky, despite me hating her character, I have always loved her as an actress, she blew me away with alot of her performances.

I wish her nothing but the best and hope one day she can return to GH.

Member since:
30 December 2008
Last activity:
3 years 1 week

Regan, I have listened to you talk about your love of Lizzie for 3 years now on DC, and I have always felt the same way. I watched GH first for Scorpio, and then for Liz when she came on. I stayed watching GH for her, even as my other favourites were forced off ie the entire Quartermaine family. I mourned the passing of Liason and took it very hard, and I have especially hated the mob swallowing Port Charles. I have put up with it all, but I never thought that Frons and Guza would be so disrespectful to the fans as to fire one of their most popular characters and a legacy one at that.

It seems the height of stupidity, and insensitivity. I just do not feel any obligation to watch this show anymore. OLTL and Y & R, they just have better story to offer me and they like their fans. I just hope Becky ends up at one of those places.

Thank you for the lovely, heartfelt tribute to Lizzie and Becky.

GAgal28's picture
Member since:
8 December 2009
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2 years 12 weeks

Thank you Regan, thank you for writing such a beautifully put article! I absolutely agree with what you said. GH just will NOT be the same without Liz/Becky. And it makes me disgusted to see a legacy character be treated this way, while these new characters eat the show up everyday. And then for ABC to add salt to the wound by announcing Erin Chambers has a contract is just all kinds of malicious & ill spirited. My thoughts are with Becky & her family, & I hope she finds better work somewhere else. *Tears*

GHFan777's picture
Member since:
3 June 2010
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4 hours 8 min

Excellent article. You said it perfectly. I can't comment further at this point, because I am so mad and sad at this news. I do know that Frons just gave me a hour more a day to accomplish other things in my life. Though I have been very disgusted with this show, the past year or so... I was hanging in there for a few of my favorite characters. I no longer seem to have that reason. Especially when I hear how other actresses on the show responded to the news. I won't be able to watch this show, knowing how nasty, classless, and mean spirited they are in real life.

katsonnet's picture
Member since:
27 July 2009
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3 years 12 weeks

Great article and I agree wholeheartedly with every word. I loved the Elizabeth character like a family member. It's crazy but then again, I grew up with her. I can't even put in words how upset I am over GH firing her and the mess Frons has made of GH. I won't be able to watch it without Rebecca Herbst. It wouldn't be the same. I will keep Rebecca and her beautiful family in my thoughts and prayers and pray she is snatched up by another show pronto. I will follow her wherever. Thanks for the beautiful tribute!

watchingallday's picture
Member since:
21 December 2009
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2 years 13 weeks

Regan, I don't know if you know this, but Rebecca used her husbands twitter account to say that she read this

This article was very well done. I have always been a fan of Liz. She wasn't my favorite, but she was sort of the heart of the show. I preferred her to even Emily. It was disgusting to watch what they have done to the character over the last few years. I don't really buy into the whole daytime's death is inevitable. I think it takes deliberate actions like firing one of the most popular characters when the show has been spiraling out of control for at least the last year. I honestly do not think there is another character on the show that fans would be this upset over being fired and treated with such disrespect save for maybe Robin.

Member since:
28 September 2009
Last activity:
3 years 12 weeks

Weather you liked her character or not, Elizabeth brought the past and present together. Now that you hardly see the Q's anymore this show has turned for me. I wish Rebecca nothing but the best and I hope she finds another acting gig quick!

Member since:
19 January 2011
Last activity:
3 years 12 weeks

Regan totally love you, love the article, and I love Elizabeth I grew up with her!!

I'm devasted and wanted to cry some people will just tell me it's a show but I really respect Becky and everything she brought to the character and GH.

So I don't want to ruin anything with a correction but

"General Hospital has no respect for history, veterans or their viewers, and this “storyline dictated” exit proves it"

Should change to:

"General Hospital has no respect for history, veterans or their viewers, and this “storyline dictate” exit proves it."

The tense changes. I just want people to take your article seriously which they seem to be doing because we (all the fans) are in it together.

Thank you for your contributions.

Thank you.

doodleynoodle's picture
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17 February 2009
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11 weeks 1 day

REGAN! I don't know if it's hormonal or if it's just because it's really starting to hit me now...but you just made my eyes leak.

I couldn't agree more with your sentiments concerning all things Elizabeth and I believe you've spoken eloquently for the masses of Becky/Elizabeth fans who are still in complete shock over the events of the last 24 hours.

But the thing I especially *LOVE* is that you used the word "elegant" to describe Michele Val Jean's writing. There was nothing more beautiful than Michele's writing for Becky/Elizabeth back in the days when TIIC weren't complete and utter morons and actually allowed the writers to do their jobs.

I've loved this genre for most of my life. I sure am gonna miss it.

crazy4gh's picture
Member since:
5 June 2008
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1 year 44 weeks

Regan, I couldn't have said it better myself. I read the news about RH yesterday, but tried to put it out of my mind until reading your words tonight. I will miss her soooo much, guess my dreams of a Liason reunion are gone, how sad. I hope RH does well in the future, but whenever I think of her I will remember her early days with Lucky, but will forever in my mind live for LIASON!! How very, very sad!!

used2bmrsmorgan's picture
Member since:
24 February 2010
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2 years 4 weeks

Aww Regan, that was beautiful. I read on Facebook about Becky being let go, and I had to come here to see if it was true. When I saw the post, I was heartbroken. The character of Liz is who hooked me to GH. Before she came on, I would watch bits and pieces during the summer, but I wasn't hooked until Liz appeared on the show. You put into words everything I've been feeling since yesterday. I'm going to miss the character of Elizabeth.

Member since:
15 May 2008
Last activity:
12 hours 14 min

CityGrilla1: Next time ABC sends out a press release be sure to tell them that since it is what they wrote in it.

Member since:
3 March 2010
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2 years 46 weeks

What a beautiful article!!! Like you I adore her. She will be sorely missed. I still cant believe they let her go. It just won't be the same without her.

Member since:
24 November 2008
Last activity:
3 years 12 weeks

Regan, it's like you were in my head when you wrote this - I heard my own heart and voice in all your lovely words about the gorgeous inside and out Becky and the life she breathed into Liz. Though I adored Liason and original LL2, beyond her romantic pairings I connected to the heart, soul and history she represented even when under utilized.

Above and beyond all that, I was sexually assaulted within 6 months of Liz's rape storyline and in very real ways that storyline helped in my own life. GH came off my dvr when this news hit yesterday as it is no longer the show I once loved and I can't personally support a show that made this type of decision but I'll never forget my love for this actress & character.

doodleynoodle's picture
Member since:
17 February 2009
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11 weeks 1 day

Thank you Jillian. I was just coming back in to make that point but you beat me to it. Quotation marks people...quotation marks. That should have been your first clue.