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Marcus Aurelius Corelli "Marco" Dane was a fictional character on the popular ABC soap opera General Hospital.
He crossed over from One Life to Live from 1992-1993 and was played by Gerald Anthony.
Casting and reception
Following Anthony's introduction as a day player by head writer Gordon Russell, his Marco soon became one of the soap opera genre's first leading anti-heroes. Regarded as "daytime's answer to Al Pacino," Marco Dane became a leading fixture on OLTL alongside central characters Victoria Lord (Slezak) and Larry Wolek (Storm), and is credited, in part, for the show's critical acclaim and ratings successes from late 1970s and into the 1980s.
In 1992, GH executive producer Wendy Riche introduced the role on the fellow ABC serial; Anthony earned his second nomination and first Daytime Emmy Award win for Outstanding Supporting Actor for the latter portrayal in 1993 (his first being in the same category for the role on OLTL in 1982), becoming to the first actor to win an Emmy for a crossover role.
In 1977, Karen Wolek, fiancée to Llanview Hospital chief of staff Dr. Larry Wolek, is planning for her impending nuptials when ex-boyfriend Marco Dane arrives in Llanview. Fearful that Larry would not marry her if he were to learn about the confidence tricks and embezzlement schemes she participated in with Marco before her arrival in town, she agitated at Marco's presence. Karen and Larry marry without Marco divulging Karen's secret past, while Marco planned to blackmail her into another business venture instead. In search for employment, Dorian Lord hires Marco as a personal assistant, briefly engaging in a romantic affair with him.
Marco engages in constant schadenfreude in Karen's anxiety over the possibility of the con man telling Larry of all the sordid details of their prior criminal behavior. In late 1977, Karen becomes a jangled bundle of nerves around Marco. With the arrival of the goddaughter of Victoria "Viki" Lord Riley, Tina Clayton, Marco opens up a brothel while masquerading it as a photography studio.
Finally establishing a business venture in Llanview, Marco forces Karen to become one of his prostitutes in exchange for his silence on their past dealings. After Marco takes clothed photographs of naive, teenage Tina, he edits the images to make them appear as if Tina posed nude. When Marco publishes the photos of Tina, a livid Viki confronts a nonchalant Marco who concedes to none of Viki's accusations.
Newspaper publisher Viki proceeds with a pursuing an exposé in her family newspaper, The Banner, about Dane's doings. While investigating Marco, Viki starts to suspect Karen of cuckolding her former brother-in-law Larry in multiple extramarital affairs. Growing stressed at keeping the secret of her sexual exploits to herself, when Viki confronts Karen with her suspicions, Karen admits to the affairs and divulges her forced prostitution by Marco to Viki.
Simultaneously empathetic to Karen's plight and livid with Marco's lurid behaviors, Viki proceeds to share and publish the story of Marco's business dealings with the help of her husband and editor-in-chief, Joe Riley. Before the story can be published, Marco finds the murdered corpse of his brother, Dr. Mario Corelli. Marco soon devises a plan to assume the identity of his dead brother in an effort to frame Viki for his apparent murder.
Known for her recurrent bouts with multiple personalities (most notably, "Niki Smith"), Viki's apparent motive of revenge for the damaged reputations of her dear Tina and close friend Karen leads Llanview Police Lieutenant Ed Hall to arrest the town heroine. Viki is later indicted and charged with the murder of Marco, unbeknownst to anyone Marco had an identical twin brother.When Viki is put on trial for the murder of Marco, Llanview District Attorney Herb Callison brings surprise witness "Dr. Mario Corelli" (Marco masquerading as his late brother) to the witness stand. "Mario" then presents forged letters of threats from Viki to Marco as evidence. Karen convinces her friend and fellow prostitute Katrina Karr as to the true identity of Marco's murderer, and Katrina directs Karen to a post office box with a letter about the killer. Upon arrival to the post office to retrieve the letter uncovering Marco's murderer, the letter is mysteriously lost and Katrina subsequently is hit by car, resulting in Katrina going into a coma. After a month of trial, Katrina recovers and testifies that Karen's extramarital lover, Talbot Huddleston, was Marco's murderer, exonerating Viki at the eleventh hour.
As the 1980s begin, Karen is raped by Brad Vernon, the husband of her younger sister Jenny Wolek Vernon, and confides in Marco (as Mario) as to the apparent assault. Upon learning of her husband's rape of her sister, the pregnant Jenny goes into premature labor as Katrina Karr is in the hospital giving birth to her own child. Marco and Karen, now friends again, go about switching the sickly-and-soon-dead body of Karen's niece with the live-born child of Katrina (Kristine Karr) when Karen goes in to visit the nursery. A distraught Katrina falls into a deep depression while the elated Jenny revels in being a new mother.
Emotionally disturbed with leading a double life, Marco (continuing to pretend to be Mario) suffers a bout of selective amnesia, which prompts Karen to commit Marco to a sanatorium. After being released from the sanitarium, he courts and becomes engaged to marry Banner reporter Edwina Lewis. Before the wedding ceremony can be completed though, Dorian reports to the Llanview police that Mario Corelli is, in fact, Marco Dane. Marco, his identity revealed, is arrested for identity fraud, incarcerated in Statesville prison, and Edwina proceeds to break off their engagement. After his release from prison though, Edwina and Marco reconcile and marry.
Apparently reformed from his criminal ways, partners-in-crime Marco and Karen learn that Tina's (adoptive) father, Ted Clayton, is attempting to swindle the Lord family fortune from Viki. The two devise a plan to foil Ted's plot, much to the chagrin of an out of the loop Edwina, who tells the secretive Marco to move out of their apartment. Marco is later shot in a confrontation with Ted, who is shot dead by Llanview Police Commissioner Ed Hall. As this storyline reaches a dénouement, Edwina proceeds to enact divorce proceeding with Marco and the switched baby is returned to Katrina Karr following the discovering of the baby switch.
Unable to sever ties with Edwina, Marco engages in a love triangle between his ex-wife and new romance and sister of Jenny's ex-husband, Samantha Vernon. Edwina and Marco remarry, but breakup and divorce yet again when ambitious Edwina leaves Llanview in pursuit of career opportunities. After a series of other exploits involving Viki, Echo DiSavoy, and Clint Buchanan, Marco eventually leaves Llanview in 1986.He returns in 1989, meeting Viki's daughter, actress and multiple-personality sufferer Megan Gordon, masquerading as alter-ego "Ruby Bright." Clint, shadowing his sick stepdaughter, uncovers Marco courting Ruby. Clint divulges to Marco that Ruby is, in fact, a figment of Megan's personality and the two collaborate in causing Megan to reemerge from her latest bout of mental illness. Marco departs Llanview in 1990 after serving as Megan's manager.
Now a private investigator, Marco arrives in Port Charles in 1992, much to the intriguing delight of heiress Tracy Quartermaine Hornsby, who is in the middle of marital woes. Tracy proceeds to engage in an extramarital romance while hiring Marco to investigate the mistress of her husband, Jenny Eckert, a cousin of Luke Spencer. Marco, as a side venture, becomes a boxing promoter managing high school student Jagger Cates. Jagger, who was dating Brenda Barrett at the time, has an obvious romantic attraction to classmate Karen Wexler, much to the displeasure of Brenda.
Karen makes advances at Jagger which go unrequited, to which she reacts badly. Going into a bout of depression, Karen begins taking drugs and working at the Paradise strip club, owned by Sonny Corinthos. Later, when Jagger discovers Karen and Sonny in bed together and learns that she had been stripping and abusing drugs, boxer Jagger engages in an altercation, which leaves Sonny greatly injured. An incensed Sonny puts a hit out on Jagger in retaliation, only to put the plan on indefinite hold at the insistence of Marco, who urges him to cancel the planned killing in return for a cut of Jagger's boxing winnings.Marco worked briefly for Frank Smith along with Luke Spencer and Sonny Corinthos before leaving town in 1993.
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