Love them or hate them, the Quartermaines definitely leave their mark on TV history. They are as stylish yet dysfunctional, and raise eyebrows but also touch hearts. The General Hospital family was first introduced in 1977, with the introduction of character Alan Quartermaine. Much of the Quartermaines' drama centers on the family business, ELQ Industries. But viewers would agree, business or no business, the Quartermaines are charged with intrigue and controversy. Here are ten facts you didn't know about the General Hospital family everyone loves to hate.
The Quartermaines have a quirky tradition of ordering pizza for Thanksgiving dinners. This was started when family quarreling and strife at the dinner table made it necessary for takeaway food to be ordered.
One has to give the family credit for honouring festivities like Thanksgiving. As well as for being inventive in saving the holiday with pizza! While viewers can learn lots from them and their comedic fights, there is one lesson to take home: when the heat gets turned up, order pizza!
First names are big with the Quartermaines and they strive to carry the family names throughout the generations. To give an example, Edward and Lila's names have been carried through generations by some of the Quartermaines, and used in naming their own children:
Tracy's oldest son was named Edward, while Jason Morgan and his wife Sam called their son Daniel Edward. The name Lila was used to name Skye Chandler-Quartermaine's daughter, as well as Sam's daughter (Lila Morgan).
Much of the show's narrative centers on the family's business, ELQ International. While viewers will be familiar with the ongoing drama in the business, they might not know that ELQ stands for Edward Louis Quartermaine, the man himself. He is not just the center of the business, but of all the family drama.
This family business has also sparked immense family conflict. Heightened tension in the show emerges when Edward dies and everyone battles for prominence in ELQ as the new head.
Tracy Quartermaine has had a rough past and hides some secrets which she has kept close to her heart. Among these are numerous love affairs and a succession of divorces. She first arrives in Port Charles after divorcing her first husband, bringing her son, Ned, along. Later, she remarries Paul Hornsby and gives birth to a second son, Dillon. Her second marriage eventually ends. Around this time, it is revealed she had an abortion when she was much younger. The father is never mentioned.
Dysfunctional as they are with all of their quarreling, the Quartermaines are proud of their name and their inheritance. This is why there is such controversy around Jimmy Lee Holt, born Eric Quartermaine, who arrives in Port Charles as an adult (in 1983) and has his eyes set on the family's fortune.
He tries scheme after scheme to get his foot in the door of the family's inheritance, eventually marrying Celia Quartermaine. However, it would seem he has no luck as a swindler. Celia eventually divorces him, believing him to be too poor.
Jason and his half-brother, A.J., pretty much like the rest of the family's members, have issues. These issues stem from an intense jealousy between the pair, spurred on by relatives with the tendency to pick favorites. This is because Jason is the family favorite, while A.J. is a scapegoat for the family's dysfunction and considered a loser by his loved ones. A.J., unable to shake his reputation off, and angered by the situation, decides to drive drunk one evening with his half-brother in the car. He rams it into a tree, resulting in Jason ending up in coma at the hospital. They say jealousy makes a person nasty and it would seem in the case of sibling rivalry between the half-brothers, this is true.
As unstable as they might seem at times, the Quartermaine family members do have hearts, and their goodwill is best expressed at Christmas time. If Thanksgiving dinners are about pizza for the Quartermaines, then Christmases are about traditional family Christmas readings in the hospital's Pediatric Ward. The family gathers together in the Pediatric Ward during the annual Christmas party to share in the festivities together for a change. This has been a tradition since the passing of former Chief of Staff, Steve Hardy.
A random fact if ever there was one, but the Quartermaines have an ancestor called Percival Quartermaine. He is the esteemed brother of Constance Quartermaine and who is alleged to have done great things, all the way back in the 1700s. Apparently, he boarded the prestigious Courage ship to sail all the way from England to America. All this, to start his own shipping company. Percival's journey wasn't all smooth sailing. The ship was attacked but showing the same courage after which his ship was named, he managed to make it back to the shore. What became of Percival remains a mystery but the prosperity of the Quartermaines suggests he was highly successful.
The family has their residence in the Quartermaine Mansion in Port Charles. This palatial establishment has been their home since 1977, when they arrived in Port Charles. At the time, Alan Quartermaine made the decision to get a job at General Hospital as a physician, buying the mansion for his new wife, Monica, as a wedding present. Not bad for a wedding gift. The beautiful home forms the center of activity for much of the series' action. A good investment if ever there was any.
The show is filled with many tales of intrigue involving rings. Fans of the controversial, dynamic series might not know that Sam is the keeper of Alan and Lila's wedding rings. What Sam is doing with the rings is questionable but one can only imagine what such rings look like, when considering the family's not-so-small fortune. Another story involving rings on the series, is that Ned Quartermaine gave Lila's engagement ring to Olivia Falconeri. The beautiful ring fitted Olivia's hand perfectly, and the air was charged with romance on her receipt of the gift. Ned's gesture in giving her the ring was either really romantic or a low shot, something which is up to fans to decide.