The notorious super villain Helena Cassadine has consistently defied death over the years and has repeatedly returned to the GENERAL HOSPITAL to wreak havoc. And although the last time viewers only saw her in flashbacks, is Helena really and truly sincerely dead? The character was first introduced in 1981 when GH fan Elizabeth Taylor arranged a guest appearance on the soap opera and became part of Luke and Laura’s infamous wedding. Dimitra Arliss had a brief stint as Helena for a few episodes in 1996, but it wasn’t until 1997, when the villainy returned in the form of actress Constance Towers, that she truly became a force to be reckoned with!
When Helena showed up in Port Charles in the fall of 1981, Luke Spencer and Laura Webber were preparing to walk down the aisle. But Helena vowed revenge for the death of her husband Mikkos Cassadine during the infamous Ice Princess adventure and cursed the happy couple on their wedding day. And although Helena hadn’t been seen for years, the curse seemed real, because troubles plagued Luke and Laura throughout their lives, and the Cassadines were usually behind it!
Helena returned with a vengeance in 1997, plotting against her son Stefan Cassadine, whom she saw as weak and unworthy of the Cassadine name. She murdered Katherine Bell and framed Laura, then revealed that Nikolas Cassadine was really Stavros Cassadine’s son and the true Cassadine heir.
Lucky Spencer was believed to have been killed in a fire, but it turned out he had been kidnapped by Helena and brainwashed into carrying out her orders. She also had her dead son, Stavros, in suspended animation waiting for the right time to bring him back to life. Luckily, Lucky broke Helena’s conditioning and Luke managed to kill Stavros again.
Helena kidnapped Nikola’s son Spencer and later orchestrated the performance of Rebecca, his late wife Emily’s doppelganger. When Helena reappeared terminally ill and fearing the mysterious Valentin Cassadine, Nikolas had her flown back to Greece for her own safety.
A recovered Helena returned to Port Charles and began threatening Elizabeth Webber, who she believed was carrying Nikolas’ baby. This led to a lot of DNA testing shenanigans. Helena made another big entrance when she shocked Ethan with the news that Cassandra was really her daughter Irina and was part of her plan to get revenge on the Spencer family. Helena revealed a kidnapped Luke and announced that one of them was going to die, then shot Irina dead!
Lulu Spencer was kidnapped by Helena and Luke and Laura were shocked when they tried to save her and found Ethan instead. Helena gave Laura a gun and offered to release Lulu if she shot Ethan or Luke. But Luke and Laura turned the tables and shot Helena, believing her dead.
However, it later turned out that Helena is alive, thanks to Robin Scorpio’s miracle formula, which also saved Jason. Because Luke suffers from DID, he teamed up with Helena and they planned to blow up the Cassadine yacht with everyone on board. Nikolas banished Helena, and as Luke recovered and searched for answers, he found a weakened Helena who seemed content and offered him a gift – his presumed dead grandson Jake!
When Jason regained his memories, clues led him, Sam Morgan and Liz to the Cassadine compound where Nikolas served his dying grandmother. She cursed Sam and just as she was about to tell Jason a secret from his past, she finally passed away. Liz couldn’t revive her and everyone assumed the villain was finally defeated.
Since then, Helena has appeared in people’s nightmares and also in afterlife flashbacks, when it was revealed that she bought the chimera virus from Valentin and hoped Jake would release the virus during the 2017 nurses’ ball. She reappeared in a flashback in August 2019 as part of the Jason/Drew/Shiloh storyline and revealed that she was involved in the memory mapping scheme.
Valentin had a ghostly visit from Helena in February 2020 after learning Mikkos wasn’t his father and the following year he learned Victor Cassadine was his real pop. In January 2022, Helena appeared again in Port Charles via a recorded message rejoicing that Luke was dead.
Given Helena’s chilling history, it wouldn’t be too surprising if she physically returned from the dead to wreak havoc on Port Charles once more! Stay tuned to see what happens next!
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