In a surprising move, General Hospital kicked off their Wednesday episode by announcing that Molly Lansing-Davis will now be played by Kristen Vaganos. It came as a shock to viewers, since the role had recently been recast with Brooke Ann Smith who took over for fan-favorite Haley Pullos less than three months ago.
In May 2023, Emmy-nominated Haley Pullos was arrested on charges related to a wrong-way crash in Pasadena, California. The show tapped Holiday Mia Kriegel to take over the role on an emergency basis. Kriegel made her first appearance in May 25, just a day after Pullos' final airdate. On July 19, without any forewarning, Brooke Anne Smith was announced on-air as the show's new Molly.
The decision to cast Smith immediately raised eyebrows. Some fans took to social media to comment not on Smith's work as Molly, but rather her age. In real life, Smith is about 15 years older than Pullos. For additional context, the 25-year-old Pullos is about seven years older than the fictional Molly, who was born on-screen in November 2005.
Mark Smith, the brother of Brooke Anne Smith, took to a Facebook group for GH fans to defend his sister's casting.
"Brooke is a permanent recast, original Molly is not coming back," Mark Smith claimed. He claimed that the "only reason age is an 'issue' is because it's known. [Brooke] looks extremely young in real life it's quite freaky actually. Routinely gets carded almost every time. On the show Awkward she played 16 year old high school student at 30!"
Smith, who described himself as "a protective and proud brother," went on to ask GH viewers to give his sister a chance because "it's difficult for anyone trying to step into the shoes of someone that has been so integral to the show for so long."
Smith's last airdate was on Tuesday, September 27, when Molly shared the news with her partner T.J. Ashford (Tajh Bellow) that their surrogate was pregnant.
Kristen Vaganos is an actor, writer, and producer from Philadelphia. She earned her BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
While this is Vaganos' first soap role, she has an extensive portfolio of short film roles. She is best known for starring in the 2021 Independent Feature, Obsessed With the Babysitter and in Wong Fu's romantic comedy series Dating After College. She was also the title character Lisa in the feature film I Am Lisa, a revenge thriller, which had its world premiere at the United Kingdom's 2020 FrightFest. A sequel is currently in development.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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