Leslie Charleson was born February 22, 1945 in Kansas City, Missouri. She is most famous for her work in daytime television. Her career began on short-lived soap A Flame in the Wind in 1964. She then moved to As the World Turns as Alice Whipple, but when she learned of the length of the contract she was supposed to sign, she left almost immediately. In 1967 she was an original cast member Love is a Many Splendored Thing and was a part of a highly popular love triangle with David Birney and Donna Mills. She left the show in 1970.
The next 7 years brought guest-starring roles in a slew of primetime series. In 1977 she was asked to join the once-stalwart soap General Hospital, which by that time was near the bottom of the ratings and months away from cancellation. Charleson replaced Patsy Rahn as the high-strung Monica Webber, a beautiful doctor caught between her back-from-the-dead husband Jeff Webber and his brother, her true love Rick Webber. Charleson's first day was, according to her, nightmarish, for a number of reasons. She was president of a local Elvis Presley fan club and he had died the day before she started at GH. She had to take her own clothes to work and do her own makeup because of a hair and wardrobe strike at ABC. Worst of all, GH's producers had not bothered to inform the cast or crew of Rahn's dismissal. She had to break the news to people who were not thrilled to learn of the change. In spite of these pressures, Charleson was accepted backstage and was a big hit with viewers, especially when Monica entered into an initially loveless marriage with roguish millionaire Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon). The love/hate relationship between the two, all while Monica fought to be with Rick Webber, electrified viewers and was one of the stories which helped propel the show towards #1 in the ratings. The Webbers were eventually phased out, but Monica and Alan remained, through a series of affairs, divorces and remarriages. In 1990 Gloria Monty who had created the Quartermaine family while producing GH, returned and attempted to push them off of the show because she felt they were "old hat". She planned to replace them with the Eckert family. Angry viewer response and falling ratings convinced Monty to change her tune. Charleson said she felt it was poetic justice that the last few Eckerts had to film nearly all their scenes in the Quartermaine living room. In 1994 Charleson was given some of the best dramatic material of her career, as Monica faced a long battle with breast cancer. Charleson was nominated for a Daytime Emmy. As of 2004, Charleson remains on GH, but due to the extremely limited role ABC now has for actors over 40, she has moonlighted on such series as Friends and Dharma & Greg.
In her personal life, Charleson is a trained and award-winning equestrian. She was married from 1988-1991.
- IMDB profile (http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0153184/)
- Official page (http://www.lesliecharleson.net/index.html)