General Hospital’s Brytni Sarpy has been a fan favorite since her first appearance on the long-running soap opera back in March 2015. Here a few fans share why the love Brytni and Valerie Spencer.
I’ve been a fan of General Hospital since 1979. My mom and twin sister Tracy and I would watch the show together when we had a day off from high school. Back in those days before VCRs or any other recording equipment, if you missed an episode that was it. However, my mom was pretty smart, she would put the tape cassette player on when she had to go out. So at least we could hear what happened.
Anyway, I fell in love with the Quartermaines but especially with a young actress named Genie Francis who played Laura Webber. There was also a rogue of a character that caught my attention. His name was Lucas Lorenzo Spencer. Actor Anthony Geary brilliantly portrayed this character. He recently departed last year after playing the character on and off for over thirty years. When Luke and Laura married in 1980, my sister and I stayed out from school to ensure that we didn’t miss the big event. We even celebrated with our own version of wedding cake.
Fast forward to decades later, Luke was experiencing a mental breakdown resulting in multiple personality disorder. Viewers learned of a tragic event in the Spencer past which introduced Luke’s never mentioned older sister Patricia, played by the dynamic Dee Wallace. She had a daughter, Valerie. After Patricia’s passing, Spencer cousin Valerie remained in Port Charles and on General Hospital to the delight of fans. She became involved with her cousin Lulu’s husband, Dante due to a misunderstanding and miscommunication between Lulu and Dante.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Brytni at the height of this story line. I found her to be extremely intelligent and charming. General Hospital has something special in this actress and her character. Thank you for hiring her to play this character.
I know from the comments I’ve read on social media that I’m not Brytni’s only fan. I wanted to create this fan appreciation project to acknowledge and thank Brytni for her contributions to General Hospital.
Gosh. Where to start.
Valerie Spencer captured my attention from the moment she opened the door to her Pennsylvania apartment in March, 2015 – and I immediately wanted to know more about her and about the actress who plays her, the beautiful Brytni Sarpy. From the beginning, I was impressed with how well Brytni held her own in scenes with soap icon Tony Geary. I became even more excited to keep learning about this newest Spencer, whom I saw as a very interesting and much-needed addition to this waning, but important, General Hospital family. Since then, I have admittedly been disappointed that, so far, GH has not followed through on the promise of those moving scenes in the Spencer Elm Street home – scenes where Aunt Bobbie, Carly and Lucas promised to support Valerie as she grieved for her mother and as she rebuilt her life in Port Charles. However, I continue to look forward to General Hospital developing those Spencer family connections and exploring Valerie’s family history on her father’s side.Valerie was placed in a very difficult position as the third party with a couple who had been the show’s image of “THE happy couple” … and with being the first “other woman” to sleep with Dante, the man who had become, for many of the women watching, the ideal husband who would never cheat. However, in spite of these considerable obstacles, Brytni brought a sensitivity and vulnerability to her scenes that enabled me to feel for Valerie and all she was going through at that time. I saw much more than a third party in the Lante story – I saw a young woman dealing with her grief over losing her mother and, in this emotionally vulnerable state, relying on and falling for a man she couldn’t have.
This combination led to serious missteps and emotionally-charged and dangerous scenarios. However, Valerie’s journey through this emotional mess showed growth and strength in her determination to move on with her life and focus on her career – a decision which was not easy because Dante had been her best friend as well as someone for whom she had developed deeper feelings. But she wisely made the right choice in separating her life from Dante’s and sticking to that decision, showing the same courage and resilience which enabled her to rebuild a new life and a new career in Port Charles. I want to see the writers explore this spirit more in coming stories for Valerie.
Valerie has a great capacity to be a good friend and I would also like to see this side of her explored more deeply. I agree with Dante’s description of her in scenes with Sonny in late October:
“Sonny: Do you like this girl? I’m not talking romantically. I mean, you respect her?
Dante: Yeah. I do. She’s kind, she’s honest. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s got a fire in her. She’s impulsive as hell.
Sonny: She’s a Spencer like Luke, Carly, and Lulu, for that matter. Nobody you’d rather have in a fight backing you up.“
Valerie is all those things – kind … honest and direct (sometimes more than some want to hear) … open with her feelings … and impulsive enough to get into difficult situations … and smart, resourceful and determined enough to get herself out of those situations. Sonny was absolutely right when he said she’d be a great ally to back a friend up in a fight. She certainly did that for Dante – speaking to and defending his point-of-view.
So now I’m looking forward to seeing Valerie’s kind heart and sensitive vulnerability combined with her spirit and courage in significant General Hospital stories in the future.
As for what has touched me in Brytni’s acting, I’m a fan of nuances – of subtle and sometimes small moments which add emotional layers to a scene and which give us insight into a character. Sometimes these are scenes of few words- or may even be wordless. An example which comes to mind is the closing montage on November 4, 2015. With her tears, her facial expression and her body language, Brytni’s portrayal of Valerie’s heartbreaking sadness set the mood for entire montage about people’s lives being in pieces. As she sat in the wreckage of the disastrous Hallowe’en party at the Haunted Star, Brynti reflected beautifully the wreckage of Valerie’s life.
I could list various other examples, but will use just one more from an episode in late January where she appeared only for a few minutes near the end of the episode – telling Dante at the Metro Court that she could have nothing to do with him. I appreciated the layered emotion Brytni delivered in these short scenes – her honesty and quiet determination to move on melded with the sadness of cutting ties with someone who was important in her life. Brytni moved me with the quiet, understated catch in her voice when she sadly ended the scenes with “Good luck and goodbye.” Few words, but understated, meaningful emotion.
I hope to be adding many more favorite Brytni/Valerie scenes to my growing list.
I remember my mom watching a few different soap operas when I was young but it wasn’t until I was around 12 that I had one that I liked and that was General Hospital. My viewing regularity has varied at different times in my life but I remember Luke and Laura on the run with a young Lucky and the Spencer family became my favorites on GH. No matter the combination, Tony Geary, Genie Francis and Jonathan Jackson were tremendous talents and they made you feel every moment the characters were going through. Years later Julie Marie Berman was cast as teenage daughter Lulu and she quickly became my favorite female soap character. Like Tony, Genie and Jonathan, Julie drew me in and made me feel for her character. Between the level of talent in these actors portraying Spencers and the number of Daytime Emmys between them it makes me have high standards for what it takes to be a part of the Spencer family. Some soap actors seem to be doing little more than reading words off of a page but Brytni is not one of those people. Although the writing hasn’t been much more than plot point since her initial arrival in Port Charles, Brytni Sarpy sells me on every moment while she is portraying Valerie Spencer, just like Tony, Genie, Jonathan and Julie have done.
I had taken a break from watching General Hospital after Julie Marie Berman left the show and her role was recast but tuned back in to see how Tony Geary’s Luke Spencer would be written off of the show. I was as surprised as anyone to see that not only did Luke have a previously unknown niece, but she definitely did not have the same fair skin or blonde hair! That was very shocking. Brytni had the challenge of starting her soap opera acting with some of the most iconic soap opera actors in Tony and Jane Elliott as Tracy Quartermaine and well known actress but soap opera newcomer Dee Wallace as her mom Patricia Spencer. Not only did she hold her own with such big name actors but she sold her scenes that were very emotional, from being held hostage by a crazed Uncle Luke to the devastating death of her mother and then in a moment of grief, holding a scalpel to her newfound uncle’s neck, the man she blamed for the death of her mother.
Since those first scenes I have continued to be impressed with Brytni’s abilities to draw me in and make me feel what her character is going through, just like those iconic Spencers that originally drew me in. Valerie is a character with such potential! She is a Spencer so she has many relatives on the GH canvas that she should be interacting with besides rare Aunt Bobbie scenes, like with Carly and Lucas. There is also the mystery of her father and it makes so much sense that since she is mixed race that he might be a Ward, especially since the Spencer family was close to Mary Mae Ward and Justice Ward in years past. Valerie is a strong young woman who has chosen a tough career path to be in law enforcement. I would love to actually see her graduation from the police academy in some form. I also love the way she wears her heart on her sleeve and doesn’t take crap from anyone! She is fierce when she has to be! There are also not enough friendships on GH and there are so many potential friends for Valerie that have been dropped or rarely seen like Dillon and Jordan or have yet to be explored like maybe Liz, Kiki or Sabrina when she returns. Although I wish Valerie could get some fantastic writing that is about HER and not just using her as a plot point as we have seen all too often, I have noticed that Brytni can even impress when given brief or infrequent scenes. THAT is a fantastic talent that needs to be taken advantage of by the General Hospital show runners. Isn’t it fun for Team GH when their actors win Daytime Emmys? If they would only write for Brytni’s Valerie I am confident she could bring the team a big win!!
The comments represented here are in no way the extend of the fans of Brytni Sarpy. The Nerdy Girl Express welcomes anyone who wants to add a remark about Brytni and Valerie to please do so in the Comments below. Or tweet @thenerdygirlexp and @stacyamiller85 .