Denise Alexander (born November 11, 1939) is an American actress, best known for her role as Lesley Webber on General Hospital, a role she originally played from 1973 to 1984 (contract), 1996-2009, and a guest stint in 2013, in honor of the show's 50th anniversary. Alexander returned to General Hospital for two more guest appearances in December 2017 and April 2019, the latter to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the show.
Alexander in 1973
|Born||November 11, 1939|
New York City, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Richard A. Colla|
Life and career
Alexander was born in New York City and raised on Long Island. She moved to Los Angeles when her father, Alec Alexander, an agent who handled such notables as Frank Gorshin and Sal Mineo, decided to make the switch from the East to the West Coast. Alexander had appeared on TV and radio by the time she was a junior at UCLA. She made her feature movie debut at age fourteen in the Don Siegel film Crime in the Streets starring John Cassavetes. In 1962 Alexander appeared as Mildred Kroeger on the first season of the TV western The Virginian on the episode titled "Impasse."
Alexander first broke into the soap opera genre by playing Lois Adams on The Clear Horizon in 1960. Her big break on soaps came via the role of Susan Hunter Martin on Days of Our Lives from 1966 to 1973. In 1973, the character of Susan was written out of the show temporarily during contract negotiations with Alexander. ABC Daytime rushed to offer her a then-unheard of salary/perks package to join General Hospital. When Susan finally returned to Days, a new actress, Bennye Gatteys played her.
Alexander's role on General Hospital, Dr. Lesley Williams (Faulkner Webber), would become a long-running role. She stayed with the show for eleven years as one of the show's most popular leading ladies, leaving in 1984 after a contract dispute. In 1986, she was offered a big salary to portray McKinnon matriarch, Mary, on Another World. When the commute from her home in Los Angeles to Another World's studio in New York City proved to be difficult for her, she left the show, filming her last scene in 1989, but briefly returned for a guest appearance in 1991. In 1996, she returned to the role of Lesley (brought back from the dead after almost 13 years!) on General Hospital, which she continued playing on a recurring basis until 2009 when the character simply faded from view. She reprised the role in time for the show's 50th anniversary in 2013 and remains on canvas as a recurring character. Alexander reprised her role on General Hospital in late December 2017 for a short stint.
Alexander is married to television director and actor Richard A. Colla.
In November, 1949, Alexander played Perry Como's daughter on "Perry Como's Chesterfield Supper Club" on NBC. It was a Thanksgiving-themed show with guest Raymond Massey portraying Abraham Lincoln.
|1950||Dimension X||Mink||Episode: "There Will Come Soft Rains / Zero Hour(Zero Hour)"|
|1951||Robert Montgomery Presents||Episode: "Bubbles"|
|1951||Armstrong Circle Theatre||Episode: "That Man Is Mine"|
|1952||Kraft Television Theatre||Episode: "Lace on Her Petticoat"|
|1955||Robert Montgomery Presents||Jeannie||Episode: "The Tall Dark Man"|
|1955||The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn||Mary Jane Wilks||TV Movie|
|1956||Crime in the Streets||Maria Gioia|
|1956||Father Knows Best||Georgia||Episode: "No Apron Strings"|
|1958||The Veil||Ruth Cooper||TV Mini-Series|
|1958||The Walter Winchell File||Teresa Filchok||Episode: "Hot Night in Manhattan"|
|1958||Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse||Episode: "Song of Bernadette"|
|1958||Make Room for Daddy||Connie Coleman||Episode: "Terry's Girlfriend"|
|1959||The Danny Thomas Show||Gerta Shoentler||Episode: "Red Tape"|
|1959||The DuPont Show with June Allyson||Ellie||Episode: "Love Is a Headache"|
|1959||The Ann Sothern Show||Connie||Episode: "The Sal Mineo Story"|
|1960–1962||The Clear Horizon||Lois Adams||Series regular|
|1960||The Twilight Zone||Jody Sturka||Episode: "Third from the Sun"|
|1960||Letter to Loretta||Joyce Parker||Episode: "Plain, Unmarked Envelope"|
|1960||The Detectives||Donna||Episode: "Armed and Dangerous"|
|1960||The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis||Jini Metzger||Episode: "Rock-A-Bye Dobie"|
|1960||The Blue Angels||Sally Beckett||Episode: "Blind Flight"|
|1961||The Detectives||Madge Snyder||Episode: "The Frightened Ones"|
|1961||The Barbara Stanwyck Show||Janue Hunter||Episode: "Call Me Annie"|
|1961||Angel||Episode: "Goodbye, Young Lovers"|
|1961||Sea Hunt||Caroline Tucker||Season 4, Episode 23: "Baby"|
|1962||Ben Casey||Ann Muller||Episode: "A Memory of Candy Stripes"|
|1962||Stoney Burke||Arlette Hughes||Episode: "The Mob Riders"|
|1962||The Virginian||Mildred Kroeger||Episode: "Impasse"|
|1963||Ben Jerrod||Emily Sanders||Series regular|
|1963||Combat!||Annette||Season 1 Episode 21 "No Time for Pity"|
|1964||Combat!||Jacqueline||Season 2 Episode 18 "The General and the Sergeant"|
|1964||The Fisher Family||Lois||Episode: "The Trap of Freedom"|
|1965||Diamond Jim: Skulduggery in Samantha||Catherine||TV Movie|
|1965||That Funny Feeling||Helen|
|1966–1973||Days of Our Lives||Susan Hunter Martin||Series regular|
|1973||The ABC Afternoon Playbreak||Laura||Episode: "The Gift of Terror"|
|General Hospital||Lesley Webber||Series regular (1973–1984), Recurring role (1996–2009, 2013)|
Nominated - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1976)
|1976||The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case||Violet Sharpe||TV Movie|
|1983||Shaft of Love||Maxine Burke||TV Movie|
|1984||Hotel||Gail McLain||Episode: "Lifelines"|
|1986–1989, 1991||Another World||Mary McKinnon||Series regular|
|1997–1998||Sunset Beach||Sister Beatrice||17 episodes|
|2010–2012||Pretty the Series||Louise Fitzpatrick||8 episodes|
|2013||The Inn||Lola||10 episodes|
- Associated, The (January 31, 1984). "Goodbye For Fans". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- "Denise Alexander Biography (1939-)". Film Reference Library. Toronto: TIFF Bell Lightbox. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- Frank Gorshin biodata Archived 2007-01-29 at the Wayback Machine, therealfrankgorshin.com; accessed September 16, 2014.
- "Denise Alexander Playing Lesley Webber on General Hospital". Soaps.com. United States: SheKnows Media. November 11, 1938. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Newcomb, Roger (2013-09-19). "EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Denise Alexander Talks Playing THE INN's Mysterious Lola & Returning To GENERAL HOSPITAL (Part 1 of 2)". We Love Soaps. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- SOD (November 30, 2017). "Exclusive! Denise Alexander Returns To GH". Soap Opera Digest. United States: American Media, Inc. Odyssey Magazine Publishing Group Inc. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- Eades, Chris (November 30, 2017). "Denise Alexander Returns to GENERAL HOSPITAL!". ABC Soaps In Depth. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Bauer Media Group. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
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