In her May 12 and 13 Hallmark Channel Mothers Day event movie, “Notes from the Heart Healer,” Genie Francis plays an advice writer who, as a young woman, gave up her baby for adoption — and now, as a newlywed, finds herself facing the entirely unexpected prospect of later-in-life parenthood when a baby is left on her doorstep.
Of course, Genie’s own real-life parenting story couldn’t be much more different, and happy. The actress and husband Jonathan Frakes have a son and daughter, ages 17 and 14. Will Jameson or Elizabeth be following in mom’s and dad’s show business footsteps?
“Both of my kids are very talented in many ways,” Genie proudly says. She tells us that just recently, her daughter went off on a service trip to Costa Rica — and climbed a volcano while she was there.
“She’s a very good writer as well as an actress, and she’s very service-minded. I’m impressed, because it’s not my idea. I don’t tell her to do these things. She finds them and does them herself,” Genie says. “I’m trying to keep her open-minded and learning and growing by exposing her to as much education and as many experiences as possible. It would be selling her short to say that acting is all she does well. She does a lot of things well.”
The “Young and the Restless” star says she would love to act with Elizabeth. “We have not done it yet. The most important thing for her would be to get out there and do it
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on her own. The obvious comparisons to me will not serve her best interests. She needs to come out as herself, not as Genie’s daughter.”
Then there is Jameson, who might just have a behind-the-cameras career ahead some day. “My son is quite a good director as well as a musician, and he’s now looking into colleges,” she reports. “My family’s very busy.” No kidding.
Genie, who rose to spectacular levels of popularity as Laura Spencer on “General Hospital,” is coming up on her first anniversary with her present show, “The Young and the Restless.” As a member of daytime royalty, who has also played roles on several soaps that no longer exist, how does it feel to be among the last stars standing?
“Really, really lucky,” replies the actress now known as Genevieve Atkinson to “Y&R” fans. “To have landed a job on the Number One soap feels extremely lucky.”
“Y&R” arranged for Genie to have time away to film “Notes From the Heart Healer” — which is a worthy follow-up to her first two, hugely successful “The Note” films.
“They had plans to do the third one for quite awhile,” says the actress. “They had the concept almost immediately after the second one” which debuted in 2009. Will there be a fourth? “I heard at one point that this is the final movie and then I heard that it wasn’t, that there might be more. I don’t know. Perhaps they’re considering how it does in the ratings.” She’d like to do more, she tells us: “I’m always happy to go to work.”