IKimberly McCullough reflects on the harrowing life of one of GENERAL HOSPITAL’s most indestructible heroines
t’s a rare soap character that makes it from early childhood to adulthood with the same actor playing the role. Throw in the fact that GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Dr. Robin Scorpio-Drake has also been kidnapped repeatedly, drugged, shot and even subjected to electroshock, and it’s a miracle that she’s even still alive!
“Robin’s my hero!” enthuses her portrayer, Kimberly McCullough. “That girl’s been through everything and come out unscathed. She’s actually been blown up, and she still had a baby after that. Right?”
It Takes A Village
One of the reasons that Robin’s such a survivor is that she comes from pretty tough stock. Her parents, Robert Scorpio and Anna Devane, were international superspies! However, the other reason the kind-hearted young woman made it is that she’s had no shortage of people looking out for her. “Robin grew up in Port Charles, so she’s connected to lots of different people, McCullough acknowledges. “She’s a person that so many characters have wanted to protect and see do well.”
Given the fact that Robin’s folks had a habit of disappearing and “dying,” the community began building that protective cocoon around her early on. “I don’t know how old I was, but I do remember losing my parents. Robert and Anna [supposedly] died at the same time,” McCullough recalls. “It was a very quick coming of age for me, having to hold my own as an actor on a show where [Tristan Rogers and Finola Hughes] had taught
me everything. It was scary.”
McCullough did more than hold her own in 1995, when Robin’s first love, Stone Cates, contracted HIV and left her positive, too. The actress says that the storyline in which a teenaged Robin showed strength as Stone faded away was the one that she connected with most “just because HIV/AIDS was prevalent at the time, and it was such an important story to be told. I was so grateful to have the chance to tell it.”
Her Toughest Storyline
However, like every good heroine, Robin has also had moments of self-doubt and weakness. One of the most tr ying to play was the aftermath of Emma’s birth. “I was very uncomfortable with the postpartum depression storyline because I always wanted a baby myself,” the actress reveals. “So it seemed counterintuitive to have a baby on the set and not want to hold it.”
However, now that she’s become a mother herself, McCullough says she understands the brutal combination of sleepless nights and hormone hell. “I didn’t have postpartum,” she shares, “but I’ve definitely experienced the exhaustion and feeling like you just want a break.”
McCullough has fond memories of playing Robin and Patrick’s love story with Jason Thompson (now Billy, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS). “Out of everyone I worked with,” she says, “we had the most natural chemistry.”
Even now, Stone’s memory lives on in Robin’s heart.