General Hospital wasted no time in dropping Daytime Emmy-winner Jane Elliot and her delightfully entertaining alter-ego Tracy Quartermaine into the thick of things. Whenever Elliot reprises the role she won a Daytime Emmy for in 1981, she makes Tracy’s presence known. And this return has been no exception.
Jane Elliot – Performer of the Week
Tracy wasn’t even back in Port Charles yet when Elliot reminded us just how outspoken and determined her character can be. After helping Holly (Emma Samms) and Felicia (Kristina Wagner) rescue a kidnapped Ethan, Tracy boarded a plane stateside with Felicia in the seat next to her. It’s always fun to watch Tracy’s response to the larger-than-life drama that’s going on in the show’s storylines and witness her unique take on the current conflicts.
Elliot plays her character as someone who reacts with a mix of bewilderment and disdain as evidenced by Tracy’s response to Felicia telling her that her late ex-husband Luke (Anthony Geary) wouldn’t have wanted her chasing down his killers. “Who are you to tell me what Luke Spencer would or wouldn’t want for me?” Tracy firmly responded to Felicia.
Tracy has never suffered the opinions of people who try to offer her advice — no matter how well-intentioned that guidance may be. Still, Felicia refused to take offense at Tracy’s stance. Instead, she said she was glad that Tracy was going home to visit her relatives. This prompted Tracy to burst out laughing, asking rhetorically if Felicia had met her family.
Tracy has always known how to make an entrance — especially when she re-enters sister-in-law Monica’s (Leslie Charleson) home. (You know, the one Alan gave her.) “What on earth was Monica thinking planting daffodils all the way up the drive?” Tracy snapped as she made her way into the living room. “It looks like the Easter Bunny threw up out there. Thank God, I’m home to put things to right.”
Despite not spending as much time in Port Charles as viewers would like, Tracy has the uncanny ability to know about interpersonal dynamics among characters. Someone needs to let Chase (Josh Swickard) know that Brook Lynn (Amanda Setton) helped him get his PCPD badge back. Why not have that be Tracy?
Elliot doesn’t need to have lines in a scene to make her character’s presence be known. At Michael and Willow’s wedding (their latest ceremony – not their first one), Tracy expressed her enthusiasm over the nuptials by taking out her cell phone. She appeared as excited about the big event as if she was waiting in line to be seated at a restaurant. Showing she is not totally disrespectful, Tracy put her device away and stood along with other wedding guests when the bride walked down the aisle.
It would get a little tired if Elliot played Tracy as a quip-delivering interloper all the time. Of course, that’s not what the actress does. Sure, Tracy was understandably miffed about not being kept in the loop on family dynamics, but when she was told that Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) is suffering from Stage 4 Leukemia, Tracy compassionately asked what she could do to help.
And therein lies the beauty and entertainment factor in Elliot’s choices when she brings Tracy to life. The character calls things as she sees them, she doesn’t suffer fools gladly but when the chips are down, she’s going to be there for her family.
“Michael, I meant what I said. I have contacts everywhere. If there’s anything you need, you’d be surprised what I can accomplish…when I put my mind to it,” Tracy reassured her great-nephew. Of course, we are never surprised at the terrific performances that Jane Elliot delivers as Tracy Angelica Quartermaine.