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Nora Buchanan
One Life to Live
General Hospital
Portrayed by Hillary B. Smith
Duration 1991-2013 (on OLTL)
2017-19 (on GH)
First appearance September 16, 1991 (on OLTL)

March 6, 2017 (on GH)

Last appearance August 19, 2013 (on OLTL)

April 16, 2019 (on GH)

Cause/reason Show ended (OLTL)

Went home to Llanview (GH)

Created by Michael Malone
Introduced by Linda Gottlieb (1991, on OLTL)

Jennifer Pepperman (2013, on OLTL)
Frank Valentini (2017, on GH)

Birth name Nora Hanen
Previous legal name(s) Nora Gannon
Nora Colson
Alias(es) The Nightbird
Nickname(s) Red (by Bo)
Ethnicity Jewish-American
Gender Female
  • DA of Llanview
  • Attorney
  • Host of The Nightbird radio show
  • Residence Llanview, Pennsylvania

    Nora Hanen Buchanan is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera General Hospital.

    The character was originated on the now-canceled ABC soap opera One Life to Live in 1992 by actress Hillary B. Smith.

    On January 31, 2017, it was reported that Hillary B. Smith would be making an appearance on General Hospital to reprise her OLTL character Nora Buchanan. She made her first appearance on GH on March 6, 2017, as Valentin Cassadine's lawyer. She left the series on March 22, 2017.[1]

    On November 10, 2017, it was announced that Hillary B. Smith would return to GH again as Nora Buchanan.[2] She returned from November 13-21.

    On March 28, 2019, it was announced that Hillary B. Smith will be returning to GH to reprise her role of Nora Buchanan, her first airdate was April 1. She left again on April 16.


    When Nora debuted in 1992, she quickly made a connection with fans for her backstory as the Jewish attorney and ex-wife of previously-established African American Llanview District Attorney, Hank Gannon (Nathan Purdue), and mother to his daughter and Llanview University college student, Rachel (Ellen Bethea). She has an older sister, Susannah Hanen (Maureen Anderman), a psychiatrist who helped Victoria Lord (Erika Slezak) integrate her varied personas. Nora's popularity continued to grow as she played a key role in some of the show's most popular storylines on the 1990s, most notably the Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell) gang rape trial in 1993. The character is also known for her supercouple romance with Bo Buchanan (Robert S. Woods), culminating in their popular 1995 rock 'n' roll-themed wedding.

    Nora meets Bo in October 1992; that Thanksgiving he and his wife Sarah (Jensen Buchanan) are involved in a hit and run accident and Sarah is killed. Over the next several months, Nora and Bo work side by side trying to track down the killer. The case is finally closed and the two had become best friends; slowly their relationship grows into romance one after a kiss on New Year's Eve. The couple's first date is at the Serenity Springs spa owned by Max Holden (James DePaiva), and it is soon followed by a slew of junk food eating and jitterbug dates. Bo and Nora first have sex in April 1993 and say, "I love you" in May 1993. However, Nora's chronic headaches worsen, leading her to believe that she was the one who had caused the accident leading to Sarah's death. Bo soon proves this to be false and proposes marriage. During Nora's recovery from a brain tumor, she is terrorized by former client Todd Manning (Roger Howarth), whom she had betrayed while defending him for Marty's rape, leading to his conviction. Bo and Nora marry on June 1, 1995, at St. James Church, the ceremony officiated by Reverend Andrew Carpenter (Wortham Krimmer), a rabbi, and Little Richard (as himself).

    After Bo is devastated when his son Drew, a police officer, is killed in the line of duty, Nora hopes to conceive a child to give Bo a reason to live; out of desperation, she turns to former lover Sam Rappaport (Kale Browne). The pregnancy pulls Bo back onto his feet, but he and Nora later divorce when Sam's jealous ex-wife Lindsay Rappaport (Catherine Hickland) publicly reveals that Nora's son had apparently been fathered by Sam. Sam dies in 2003 when Lindsay accidentally shoots him, leaving a letter behind that Lindsay delivers, stating that Bo is the biological father of Sam's supposed son, Matthew (Eddie Alderson).

    Nora soon begins to see District Attorney Daniel Colson (Mark Dobies). Despite frequent crises with Bo, Nora continues her relationship with Daniel, who soon proposes. After their wedding, Nora begins suspecting that Daniel is having an affair. As Daniel is to become Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, Daniel is arrested for the murders of Paul Cramer (David Tom) and Jennifer Rappaport (Jessica Morris). Nora learns of Daniel's homosexual affair with Mark Solomon (Matt Cavenaugh), and Daniel is soon sent to prison.

    Nora suffers a stroke and becomes comatose for months. After waking from her coma, Nora begins to put her life back on track, until more tragedy occurs. Nora's house catches fire, and she realizes that she is another victim of racist arsonist Tate Harmon (Chris Beetem). After having difficulty with her insurance, former father-in-law Asa Buchanan (Philip Carey) invites Nora and Matthew to move in indefinitely. After Asa's death, he leaves the mansion to Nora in his will. During their time in Texas for the will reading, Nora and Clint Buchanan (Jerry verDorn) begin a relationship, which soon blossoms into love. Subsequently, Dallas Jones (Loyita Chapel), Clint's ex-girlfriend from London years earlier, re-enters the picture intent on rekindling their romantic relationship. Nora later tricks Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser), another ex-romance of Clint's, into giving Buchanan Enterprises back to the Buchanan family after she steals it out from under Clint out of revenge for his dumping her.

    Nora and Bo's teenage son, Matthew, is in a car accident with drug-addict and Marty's teenaged son, Cole Thornhart (Brandon Buddy). He survives but is paralyzed from the waist down. Nora, who had taken in Cole after the "death" of his mother, is furious and initially wants to send Cole to prison. Remembering her daughter Rachel's own drug addiction, she later changes her mind and allows Cole to go into rehab instead.

    Dealing with Matthew's paralysis brings Bo and Nora closer, sparking Clint's jealousy. Clint calls neurosurgeon Dr. Greg Evans (Terrell Tilford), who is confident he could restore the use of Matthew's legs, but when he cannot guarantee that Matthew will survive the operation, Nora and Bo refuse to allow Greg to operate on their son. Furious, Matthew quickly hires Téa Delgado (Florencia Lozano) to sue his parents for the right to make the choice himself. The matter is complicated when, on the night before Nora's wedding to Clint, Matthew catches his parents passionately kissing. He attempts to blackmail them into giving consent for the surgery; they call his bluff and ultimately Matthew cannot intentionally hurt his beloved uncle Clint by telling him what he saw.

    Bo's growing feelings for Nora seem to be reciprocated, but a confused Nora simply will not allow herself to hurt Clint by pursuing them and backing out of the wedding. Clint's "20-minute girl" does ultimately tie the knot with him. Shortly after their wedding, Matthew sues Bo and Nora for the right to have an operation to make him walk again which brings Bo and Nora even closer as they unite to stop Matthew. When they "kidnap" him and take him to London, they finally confess their true feelings for each other and passionately kiss. Clint later finds out about Nora's feelings for Bo and confronts her; she admits that she's fallen back in love with Bo, and Clint quickly divorces her and disowns Bo.

    Shortly after Bo and Nora's reunion, he is shot but survives. Bo and Nora remarry in June 2010. Several months into their marriage, Nora becomes jealous of Bo's attractive new secretary, Inez Salinger (Jessica Leccia), whom Nora is sure wants to steal Bo away from her. Inez begins dating Clint, who quickly blackmails her into seducing Bo as revenge against Bo and Nora for humiliating him with their reunion. Clint also pays Inez's evil ex-husband, Eddie Ford (John Wesley Shipp), to kidnap Nora and hold her hostage while Inez drugs Bo in an attempt to make him think they'd slept together. Though Eddie tries to rape Nora, she is eventually rescued, and Eddie is shot and killed shortly thereafter. Nora leaves Bo when she learns of his "affair" with Inez, but once Inez confesses to drugging Bo, Nora takes him back.

    Bo and Nora focus on finding Eddie Ford's killer and are stunned when Clint informs them that Matthew was the culprit. After much soul-searching, Bo and Nora decide not to turn Matthew in and try to keep his role in Eddie's murder a secret. Bo and Nora welcome their grandson, Drew Buchanan II, to their family on the television series finale episode January 13, 2012.

    To Nora and Bo's dismay, Matthew does not follow through on being an involved father to his son. Regardless, Nora and Bo gladly accept the role of grandparents and offer support to both Drew and Drew's mother, Destiny. Nora also finds time to return to her college passion of doling out advice as a disc jockey. With Bo's encouragement, she begins hosting a radio call-in program and calls herself the Nightbird.

    Nora is first seen talking to fellow lawyer Diana Miller (and Lulu Falconeri's lawyer in the custody case) and is revealed to be Valentin's lawyer. Nora won the case for Valentin. On April 1, 2019, Nora is called in from Llanview to represent Kevin due to him witholding his brother who was considered a fugitive. She is concerned when Kevin tells her that he is going to plead guilty. Kevin changes his mind at the last minute. With the help on Lucy, Kevin is able to plead not guilty and make bail.

    On April 12, Nora gets the charges against Kevin dropped by making a compelling argument, saying that Kevin couldn't have withheld a fugitive if said fugitive was declared legally dead at the time. The judge acknowledges that Kevin made an error in judgement and then dropped the charges.

    Crime Committed

    • Threw Todd Manning's trial when she learned he was guilty of raping Marty Saybrooke [1993]
    • Murdered Colin MacIver in self-defense
    • Took Rachel on the run when she admitted to killing Georgie, but later brought her back
    • Instructed Dorian to sign over controlling interest of Buchanan Enterprises to the Buchanan' in exchange for murder charges against her being dropped [Oct 2008]
    • Failed to turn in her son for murdering Eddie Ford [2011]
    • Agreed not to press charges against Nate Salinger for assaulting Matthew to prevent Matthew from facing murder charges [2011]
    • Had Olivia Jerome sent to D'Archam Asylum under the orders of Valentin Cassadine [Mar 22, 2017]

    Health and Vitals

    • Diagnosed with brain tumor and rendered temporarily blind [1993]
    • Nearly raped by Todd Manning [1993]
    • Injured in train derailment and explosion and believed dead [2000]
    • Given drug by Lindsay that erased her memories [2000]
    • Nearly raped by Colin MacIver [2001]
    • Collapsed from an aneurysm and rendered comatose [2005]
    • Suffered stroke while in coma [2006]
    • Temporarily rendered unconscious after carbon monoxide poisoning [2007]
    • Punched in the face by Destiny Evans' mother
    • Kidnapped at gunpoint by Troy MacIver and nearly injected with memory erasing drug [Jan 2012]

    Family tree



    1. [1]

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