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Fiola Hughes and Jason Thompson appear in a still from their 50th anniversary interview for General Hospital. - Provided courtesy of ABC

Finola Hughes, Jason Thompson talk 'General Hospital's 50th anniversary - 5 facts

Get more: TV
04/02/2013 by Nichole Hamilton

"General Hospital," the longest-running soap opera in the world, is celebrating 50 years on television -- and stars Finola Hughes and Jason Thompson are dishing on everything.

Hughes, 53, has played the strong-willed Anna Devane for nearly 30 years on the daytime drama. Thompson, 36, has played the lovable Dr. Patrick Drake for around eight years on the show, acting as Devane's late daughter's husband. The pair took part in a live chat with ABC News to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary.

"General Hospital" debuted in 1963 and holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-running daytime soap opera, a milestone previously marked by CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns," which ended in 2010.

"General Hospital" currently airs at 3 p.m. ET and 2 p.m. PT and CT. It's official 50th anniversary took place on April 1, 2013.

Check out 5 facts about the long-running soap opera.

1. If Finola Hughes could play any other character on the soap opera, it'd be ... Sonny Corinthos?

FINOLA HUGHES: "Sonny," she quickly responded, when asked who she would play if she could play any other character on the show. "I'd love to play Sonny -- or just the head of the mob," she laughed.

Maurice Bernard is known for his portrayal of the unpredictable Sonny Corinthos, who joined the cast in 1993. Sonny is a manic depressive mob kingpen who has been a part of two of the show's most revered couples -- Sonny and Carly, and Sonny and Brenda.

The character has done a number of ruthless things in his tenure on the show, including blackmailing, kidnapping and even murder.

2. While there have been MANY couples on the soap through the years, the stars can't seem to get enough of the classic -- Luke and Laura.

JASON THOMPSON: "I have to say Jason (Patrick) and Robin," he said, laughing, when asked who his favorite couple on the show is. "To me, they're the best couple."

Thompson's character plays Patrick, who was married to Robin until her mysterious (supposed) death in 2012. The couple were married for around four years on the show, and also shared a daughter, Emma Grace Scorpio Drake.

FINOLA HUGHES: "I would also go along with that."

JASON THOMPSON: "I mean, obviously we wouldn't be 50 years if it wasn't for Tony Geary and Genie Francis playing Luke and Laura -- that's the truth. The show would not be on the air if it wasn't for that marriage, those two characters."

Luke and Laura's romance ignited back in 1979. The pair are the show's original and signature super couple.

3. While Robin's character may have recently left the show, it doesn't mean she's gone for good -- according to the stars.

FINOLA HUGHES: "That would be the best -- if Kimberly came back, yes, Robin."

JASON THOMPSON: "I think there's an amazing story to tell there and I think as much that hurts the fans that she's not on the show, Kimberly's doing her own thing right now and we're so proud of her for doing it -- it's an open story that I think would be very much welcomed."

Kimberly McCullough played Robin Scorpio on the long-running series for over 25 years. The actress is one of few television actresses who aged on the show in real time, growing up on-screen while portraying Robin on the show.

FINOLA HUGHES: "There's an incredible story there, and it's just kind of sitting ...."

4. While Thompson has grown to be a series favorite as the charming Dr. Patrick Drake, he admits that prior to taking part in the daytime soap, he didn't really watch the show -- ever.

JASON THOMPSON: "I think, probably, the week that I was up for the job (I watched an episode). I auditioned for the role -- I was the first person to ever read for Patrick Drake -- our old executive producer was a dear, dear person in my life, she changed my life by giving me the job. So, I kinda started watching when that happened just to understand what I was getting into.."

JASON THOMPSON: "Other than that, to be completely honest, I never really watched."

5. The stars of "General Hospital" love working with ... well ... EVERYBODY.

FINOLA HUGHES: "I love working with Jason," she said, when asked who her favorite cast members are to work with. "I also loved working with Kimberly -- my daughter on the show. I love working with Ian, obviously, Tony, Jane, Nancy ... you know, it really is very hard to say."

JASON THOMPSON: "It's true, I think we've talked about it before -- everybody does their job very, very well -- they're very professional and they know what they're doing, let alone they enjoy what they're doing. So, it doesn't matter who your scene is with, it feels like it's going to come alive."

FINOLA HUGHES: "It's a treat to work with everybody."

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