Rena Sofer Returning to 'General Hospital' as Lois Cerullo After Leaving Soap 26-Years Ago (Exclusive)

The actress was one-half of one of the most popular soap supercouples of the '90s

Bell-Phillip Television Inc./Gilles Toucas Rena Sofer
Bell-Phillip Television Inc./Gilles Toucas Rena Sofer

General Hospital fans can expect a familiar face returning to Port Charles next month.

Rena Sofer — the 54-year-old actress who won an Daytime Emmy for playing Lois Cerullo, the effervescent, fast-talking, long fingernail wearing, Italian bella donna with the thick Brooklyn accent — is returning to the beloved ABC soap opera after a 26 year absence, the network has confirmed exclusively to PEOPLE.

It's a big treat for viewers, who will remember Lois as one-half of one of the soap world's most popular supercouples of the '90s, alongside Wally Kurth's Ned Ashton. The character was played by Daytime Emmy winner Lesli Kay from 2005 to 2005.

Sofer, who taped her first scenes this week, will be on-air come October.

Lois' reappearance comes at a time when Ned, her ex-husband, is suffering from amnesia — which is nothing but bad news for his current wife, Olivia (Lisa LoCicero), especially since he thinks he's Eddie Maine, Ned's alter ego who was a leather-loving rock star (literally) 30 years ago. Back in 1993, Lois immediately took a liking to Eddie after seeing him perform with his band, The Idle Rich. She went on to work as his manager, not knowing at the time that Eddie was actually the wealthy Ned Ashton by day and Eddie by night.

ABC, Inc. Ned and Lois (Wally Kurth, Rena Sofer)
ABC, Inc. Ned and Lois (Wally Kurth, Rena Sofer)

The two eventually fell in love and got married. But being a soap opera and all, the happily ever after was just a blip on the screen because he was also forced to wed Katherine Bell (Mary Beth Evans), who was blackmailing Ned's family, the Quartermaines.

After finding out that her Eddie was a bigamist, Lois popped out of Katherine's giant birthday cake and greeted her with "Happy Birthday to Mrs. Ned Ashton, from the other Mrs. Ned Ashton!" And that was the end of Lois and Ned's marriage, at least for a little while.

Ned did everything in his power to win Lois back, and he eventually succeeded. He proposed, she said yes, and they got married. But they hit a rough patch when she gave him an ultimatum — their marriage or his loyalty to his family and its business, ELQ — and he chose the family business.

Lois left town in 1997with a broken heart and headed back to her hometown of Bensonhurst, New York, where she gave birth to their daughter, Brook Lynn (currently played by Amanda Setton).

Related: 'General Hospital' Celebrates 60 Years! See Past and Present Stars Gather for Stunning Cast Photo

Fast forwarding to show's recent storyline, Ned — who now goes by the surname Quartermaine — is married to Olivia but that marriage isn't doing well because of Ned's amnesia. Although they have agreed that they're better off as friends, Olivia is truly falling in love with him.

Needless to say, this is the perfect time for Lois to pop into the picture.

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Soap fans began to speculate — or maybe it was just wishful thinking — that Sofer would return to GH when she left her role as Quinn Fuller on The Bold and the Beautiful after nine years. The actress — who off-camera, shares a daughter with Kurth, whom she was married to from 1995 to 1997 — has also had memorable roles on Melrose Place, Seinfeld and Two and a Half Men.

Lois' presence could turn both Olivia and the Quatermaine family's worlds upside-down depending on how Ned/Eddie reacts when he sees her.

Will Lois just pop into town to check on her daughter and then pop right out? Or is there more to her stay? Will the amnesiac Ned think that he is still married to — and therefore, still in love with — Lois, leaving Olivia outta luck? ABC is remaining tight-lipped about the upcoming storyline.

Related: Happy 60th Anniversary, 'General Hospital' ! PEOPLE Is Celebrating with a New Special Edition

Sofer's return isn't the only big news coming out of General Hospital. John J. York (Mac), 64, announced Wednesday in a video posted to his social media accounts that he is in treatment for two blood and bone marrow disorders, which he was diagnosed with in December 2022.

“Over the past many months, I’ve had three bone marrow biopsies, many chemo treatments, I have another one coming up in a couple of weeks, and I’m closing in on a blood stem cell transplant,” York said.

He added that he will be out at GH for at least three or four months as treatment continues.

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