“When I joined ‘General Hospital’ as Anna, it was a part I never thought I’d get, because I’m as British as Emma Samms, and the producers wanted an American Anna. I was so surprised when they chose me, I jumped up and down for joy.” Finola Hughes
A versatile actress who portrayed so many different characters in so many different shows, Finola Hughes is well-known to daytime soap fans as the mysterious Anna Devane on the soap operas “General Hospital” (1985-1991, 1995, 2006) and “All My Children” (2001-2003), and for her portrayal of Anna Devane’s identical twin sister, Dr. Alexandra “Alex” Devane Marick on “All My Children” (1999-2001). The roles garnered the eye-catching, lithe actress a number of recognitions, including a 1991 Daytime Emmy Award and three Soap Opera Digest Awards (in 1990, 1991 and 2000). On the primetime show, this long-legged British actress of Irish and Italian lineage is probably best recalled as Patricia Halliwell on the supernatural WB program “Charmed” (1999-2006).
As a movie actress, Hughes reached a degree of notoriety for playing the diva dancer who knocks egos with John Travolta on the 1983 Sylvester Stallone-directed Staying Alive, a sequel to the successful classic Saturday Night Fever. She earned two Razzie nominations for her work on the movie. Other film credits include Nutcracker (1982), Soapdish (1991) and Aspen Extreme (1993).
Outside the spotlight, Hughes is married to photographer Russell Young and they have two children. To keep in shape, she likes swimming and practicing aerobics. She also loves reading and viewing MTV and feature films.
Childhood and Family:
Finola Hughes was born on October 29, 1960, in London, England. She attended Norland Place, an English private school, and was in Art’s Educational, a theatrical school where she studied ballet from age 10 through 17. While there, she took part in diverse television plays and ballet performances. Finola made her first public appearance at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden when she was 11. Before returning to London, where Finola worked as a dancer in television and had sporadic bit parts in films, she joined a ballet company for a year.
On July 4, 1992, Finola tied the knot with Russell Young, a photographer. She gave birth to a baby son named Dylan Joseph on November 9, 2000. Their second son, Cash Justice, was adopted in 2005.
All My Children
Originally trained as a dancer, Finola Hughes got her career start on the London stage, where she originated, and portrayed for a year, the role of Victoria, The White Cat, on the original company of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Cats” in the early 1980s. The next season she rejoined the composer for the production of “Song and Dance” (1982), as a featured dancer. Hughes was no stranger to the big screen, having made her screen debut as a dancer in the 1980 mish-mash musical The Apple, before landing her first substantial role as a defecting Russian ballerina named Nadia Gargarin on the British drama Nutcracker (1982), starring Joan Collins.
It was due to her imposing performances in “Cats” and “Song and Dance” that actor/director Sylvester Stallone earned a video tape of Hughes’ work and he subsequently cast Hughes in her first Hollywood film, Staying Alive (1983), an installment to 1977’s classic Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta. Unlike its predecessor, the film was a box office disappointment, and Hughes, who played diva dancer Laura, was nominated for Worst New Star and Worst Supporting Actress at the 1984 Razzie Awards. In a more positive note, her burning love performance in the film helped Hughes become a familiar face worldwide.
After the failure, Hughes made her way back to London, where she starred in the 1983 TV series “The Hot Shoe Show” for nearly a year, and later turned to daytime drama to make a living. Her big break arrived when she was cast as the quick-witted Anna Devane Scorpio Lavery on the ABC daytime hit “General Hospital,” a role she played from 1985 to 1991. During her stint on the show, she won a 1991 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and two Soap Opera Digest for Outstanding Lead Actress and Outstanding Heroine.
After making a name for herself as a daytime TV start on the most well-liked soap of all time, Hughes revisited the silver screen by having a cameo role as a soap actress in the soap opera spoof Soapdish (1991), for director Michael Hoffman and starring Sally Field, before breaking into the primetime in the ABC “Jack’s Place” (1992), playing the non-nonsense waitress Chelsea Duffy, opposite Hal Linden and John Dye. She appeared with Paul Gross and Peter Berg in the action/drama film Aspen Extreme in 1993, and was seen as the title character’s stepmother on 1994-1995 season of NBC’s sitcom “Blossom,” which starred Mayim Bialik. 1995 also saw the actress made a brief return to “General Hospital.”
Impressed by Hughes’ memorable gig on “GH,” noted TV producer Aaron Spelling tapped her to play a bothered wife, Kate Russo, on the Fox primetime soap “Pacific Palisades” (1997), but it only lasted for 13 episodes. After “Pacific Palisades” departed the airwaves, she rejoined Spelling for a guest performance in his daytime soap “Sunset Beach” (1997). Hughes, however, did not experience her next breakthrough until she joined the cast of the daytime television show “All My Children” in 1999, playing Alexandra “Alex” Devane Marirck (1999-2001) and later the dual role of Anna Devane (2001-2003). For her bright effort, the actress was handed a 2000 Soap Opera Digest for Favorite Return, and earned Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2000 and 2002.
It was also in 1999 that Hughes made her first of several guest appearances on the WB primetime series “Charmed,” where she portrayed The Charmed Ones’ mother, Patricia “Patty” Halliwell. She stayed with the show until 2006, the same year that also marked her brief return to “General Hospital.”
Recently, Hughes can be seen hosting the popular makeover show “How Do I Look?” on The Style Network, a gig she has had since 2004.
- Soap Opera Digest: Favorite Return, “All My Children,” 2000
- Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, “General Hospital,” 1991
- Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding Lead Actress: Daytime, General Hospital,” 1991
- Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding Heroine: Daytime, “General Hospital,” 1990