Burt Ramsey first appeared on General Hospital in late 1979 as the commander of the Port Charles Police Department's homicide squad. Early on, Captain Ramsey, a recent widower, served as a brief love interest for Lesley Webber. Burt was famous for drinking milk, as he was always suffering from stomach troubles, and, he always found time to help folks in trouble.
With the appointment of Robert Scorpio as PCPD leader in January 1983, Captain Ramsey's role became much more of an administrative one, serving as Robert's chief aide. Twice during Robert's tenure Burt was placed in temporary command of the PCPD, first during the initial Aztec Treasure adventure when Robert was in Mexico during the Fall of 1984, and again during the early Summer of 1985 when Robert was pursuing Sean Donely, again as part of the Aztec Treasure issue.
When Robert announced he was leaving the department in August of 1985 to return to Australia, he promoted Burt heavily for the position of PCPD Commissioner. Burt indicated throughout the Fall of 1985 that he was uncomfortable possibly being appointed the top cop in the PCPD, but the Mr. Wu caper kept Robert on the job and delayed a final decision on the position.
With Mr. Wu safely behind bars, outgoing Mayor Lee Baldwin, in one of his final major decisions before turning the reigns over to the next Mayor, Ken Morgan, turned down Robert's recommendation that Burt become the next PCPD Commssioner. Morgan agreed with Baldwin's decision, much to Robert's disappointment. Thus, Scorpio decided on another possible solution to the issue: Appoint Burt as Co-Chief of Police with Anna Devane.
Ken Morgan was not fond of the idea, and needed some convincing from Scorpio. However, he finally went along with the concept, and Anna and Burt took over from Robert when he departed for Australia in mid-December, 1985. At first, Burt seemed very happy with his new partner at the top, which allowed him to concentrate on the administrative workings of the PCPD, and allowed Anna to lead major investigations.
However, in a preview of Burt's private unhappiness with the new command structure, he briefly mentioned to Police Cadet Frisco Jones that the idea of women being police officers was a bad one. At the conclusion of the Brownstone Murder case, Mayor Morgan threw a gala celebration honoring Anna for her hard work solving the case, and Burt was conspicuously absent from the event. Shortly after this, in June of 1986, it was revealed that Burt had joined the Port Charles mob, and had the title of "Mr. Big."
One of Burt's appointees in the mob, Damon Grenville, threatened Chief Devane, a threat overheard by Robin Scorpio, who called Robert in Australia about what she heard, which brought Robert back to Port Charles (with WSB credentials) to help resolve Felicia and Frisco clear their name (they had been framed by Burt to keep them from asking questions about the money laundering operation named Tumble Dry), and solve the mob infiltration that was occurring.
Duke Lavery, also part of the mob, did not know that Burt was the organization's leader, and approached Burt to confess. Burt tried to shoot Duke, but was himself shot by Duke with his own gun. Duke confessed to Robert, who then brought down the organization and plotted to arrest Burt, who after recovering from his gunshot wound, announced that he was retiring as Co-Chief after only a year in order to join the board of directors at the Dockworkers Savings and Loan, which the mob was using as a front to launder money.
Robert, deeply hurt and saddened by Burt's actions, enlisted the entire command staff at the PCPD and the New York State Police Commissioner as part of the plan. Immediately following Burt's retirement party, Robert confronted him on the docks; Burt tearfully confessed, and immediately became catatonic.
He was moved to a state mental facility in December 1986. In the mid-2000's, the actor who portrayed Burt (Bob Hastings) was seen on-screen in an episode of GH as a local parish priest in Port Charles, which appeared to indicate that Burt had been rehabilitated and had turned to church service as a way of making amends for his past behavior. On June 30, 2014, Bert Ramsey, former Port Charles Police Department Captain (1979-1985) and Chief (1985-1986) passed away.