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Kelly Monaco rose to soap opera fame playing General Hospital’s (GH) Sam McCall. While she’s well-known in the world of daytime drama, also with a stint as Livvie Locke on GH’s sister show that is now canceled Port Charles, many other audiences are familiar with her reality televisions roles. She was the winner of Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) in 2005 and then came back for the 15th season of the show to place third in 2012. Even though she’s been on television for a long time, there’s a lot we don’t know about this leading soap actress! Here are 12 things you may not know about Kelly Monaco!
Born and raised in Philly, Kelly was the middle girl in a family of four sisters! The Monacos would eventually move to the Poconos while Kelly was in high school, and it was during this period of time that she first dove into acting classes. A soap opera star was clearly born that day!
Monaco got her big break in the world of entertainment by starting out as a model. She was April’s Playmate of the Month in 1997 and has also enjoyed features in numerous Special Editions of Playboy over the 1990s. While daytime drama seems to be Kelly’s forte, her gorgeous looks have won her a cover feature in Maxim (2005) and in 2006 she was also lucky number 13 in the publication’s Hot 100 List.
During an interview that was published in August 2016 on MichaelFairmanSoaps.com, Monaco relayed that she enjoys keeping her private life private. She was in an 18-year relationship with someone who wasn’t part of the soap world or entertainment business, so she was never photographed with her then-boyfriend Mike Gonzalez during their time together. She managed to accomplish the impossible in Hollywood and keep their entire relationship under wraps. Sadly, the two went their separate ways in 2009.
While many fans might know Kelly’s first television job was working as “Susan” on Baywatch in 1997, what some may not realize is she also had another role on the show. Her co-star Carmen Electra wasn’t able to swim, so Kelly would often fill in for her as a body double from time-to-time when required.
Wonder if Kelly got hired on Baywatch because of her past experience? Life truly did imitate art in 1997, as years before while she attended college, Kelly also had a job as a lifeguard. Working at a local resort, she kept a good eye on things, and probably had the lifeguard stance locked down before she hit the Baywatch set.
Kelly isn’t only a talented actress and dancer, she also works hard to make a real difference. In 2009, along with other soap opera celebrities, she participated in the Feed the Children initiative. As part of the project, she headed to Kenya to pass out food and supplies to those in need. She visited orphanages and schools in that area at that time too. She has also worked on the iParticipate program in the past with other GH colleagues, volunteering to help a school in LA with remodeling.
Well, sort of! Anyone who enjoys watching GH knows that Kelly’s character Sam McCall has had a long-standing rivalry with Elizabeth Webber, played by Rebecca Herbst. In reality, Kelly and Rebecca are actually good friends! In an interview with Kelly, she called Rebecca one of her three dearest friends….here’s hoping Sam and Liz can sort things out in the future. It may make everyone in their blended family a lot happier!
We all know about Kelly’s roles on GH, Port Charles, DWTS, but she has another credit that is much less known. She participated in the short-lived reality show Dirty Soap on E! Sadly, the program only lasted for only one season. Fans also might not remember she had a minor role in the primetime hit Spin City in 2001. Ironically she played the role of a nurse!
… when it comes to GH wardrobe! In that August 2016 interview, Kelly Monaco also relayed that although she understands why the Sam character is in black and navy all the time, and basically lives in t-shirts and jeans. She would love to dress up a little more on the show. She admitted to loving the idea of having Kristen Storms’ (the actress who plays Maxie on GH) wardrobe, as the fashionista character gets more dresses and colorful outfits!
While Kelly may have gotten used to seeing scores and being judged in 2005 while she was on DWTS, the roles were (somewhat) reversed for her come 2009. Paula Shugart and Donald Trump, who wasn’t president at that time, asked Monaco to be a judge for the Miss USA Pageant. The event was hosted in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Casino on April 19th.
Speaking of that fateful April, while Monaco may have been riding a high wave from her Miss USA Pageant stint, only days later a devastating incident occurred. Monaco’s apartment at resort and casino where the pageant was taking place got ransacked by burglars. Hopefully, she’s been able to move on from the situation and thankfully wasn’t hurt or injured from the incident!
Monaco has had a tremendous career in soap operas, with two Daytime Emmy nods under her belt. Her Sam McCall character is one of the most popular roles on daytime drama today and audiences simply love watching her romance with Jason (played by actor Billy Miller) continue to evolve. But what has been her favorite GH storyline during her tenure with the show? Kelly relayed that it was when Sam was pregnant with Sonny’s child, and where she and Jason’s love story began. As she states in a MichaelFairman.com interview, “it was the meatiest, juiciest, best story that the character of Sam has ever gone through”.