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Dr. Steve Hardy and Nurse Audrey Hardy are fictional characters and a former fictional couple on the ABC daytime soap opera, General Hospital.

Storylines

Audrey March arrived in Port Charles in 1964 to visit her sister Lucille. Audrey was a registered nurse, but had been working as an airline stewardess, which she thought was a more glamorous life. She soon saw Dr. Steve Hardy and decided to stay in town to become a private nurse. She and Steve struck up a romance and became engaged on November 20, 1964. But, when Audrey's client, Randy Washburn, proposed to her, she broke things off with Steve and accepted Randy's proposal. Audrey was then diagnosed with lymphoma and Randy left her high and dry. Audrey turned back to Steve and the two married in 1965 after she fully recovered from her illness.

After several years of marriage, Audrey was worried when she failed to conceive a child. Thinking Steve might be sterile, she had herself artificially inseminated without Steve's knowledge. Audrey became pregnant, and Steve was upset at first, but then started to look forward to having a child with Audrey. Then Audrey was in a car accident and suffered a miscarriage. Audrey was devastated at losing the baby and left Steve. Shortly after their divorce was finalized, Audrey married Tom Baldwin in an effort to show Steve she was over him. Audrey couldn't bring herself to consummate her marriage to Tom.

Audrey returned to Port Charles two years later, in 1971. She told her sister Lucille that her baby had died at birth, which was a lie. The truth was that she had given birth to a baby boy she named Steven Baldwin and called Steve, after her true love Steve Hardy. She kept Steve in hiding. She was afraid that if Tom found out the baby was alive that he would contest their divorce, which had not yet been finalized.

She came up with a scheme. Her plan was to claim her child was dead, remarry Steve Hardy, then convince Steve to adopt her son. However, Peggy Nelson, the woman who was watching after young Steve, found out about the plot and started to blackmail Audrey. Peggy ended up dead and Audrey accused of her murder. She was acquitted with help from Steve, but then Tom Baldwin claimed his son. Baby Steve Baldwin was renamed Thomas Baldwin, Jr. and called Tommy. Tom Baldwin forced Audrey to resume her marriage to him and be a family with him and the baby. That didn't last long though. Tom kidnapped Tommy and fled to Mexico. Later, Tom was presumed dead and Tommy was reunited with his mother.

In 1974, little Tommy became ill with a heart ailment. Dr. Jim Hobart performed surgery on him and Tommy made a full recovery. Audrey was so grateful for the doctor saving her son's life that when Jim injured his hands in an accident and feared his career as a surgeon was over, she felt sorry for him and married him, even though she was still in love with Steve Hardy. Jim and Audrey stayed in their loveless marriage for several years until Jim left her for a younger woman in 1976. Audrey was disheartened after the breakup and attempted suicide. Steve Hardy came to her rescue and saw the chance to make his move. He proposed to her, and she accepted. The two were remarried and all seemed perfect for a brief moment. Then, Tom Baldwin showed up again, very much alive.

The return of Tom Baldwin meant that Audrey's marriage to Jim, and then her second marriage to Steve, were both invalid. She was still legally married to Tom. Tom wanted to reclaim both his wife and their son. After a while, though, he came to the realization that he was not wanted and left town. After finally finalizing her divorce to Tom, Audrey married Steve again in 1977. Steve officially adopted Tommy, and he became Thomas Steven Hardy.

Terri, Rick, and Jeff Webber, the children of Steve's old friend Lars Webber, had arrived in Port Charles some time before Steve and Audrey's reconciliation. Steve and Audrey found themselves embroiled in their various dramas, including Jeff's disastrous marriage to Monica Quartermaine. Jeff ended up shooting himself. As he lay in hospital, Terri informed Steve of the existence of a letter from Helene Webber, Terri, Rick and Jeff's mother. Steve found the letter and was shocked to learn Jeff was in fact his son, conceived when he had had an affair with Helene many years before. Steve informed Audrey. The two agreed to keep the truth about Jeff's parentage to themselves.

Two years passed and in the winter of 1979, Port Charles was hit by an epidemic of Lassa Fever. General Hospital was placed under quarantine as Steve worked tirelessly for a cure. As Steve began to fall victim to the disease, Audrey decided to tell Jeff the truth. Shortly afterwards, the cure was formulated. Everyone afflicted by the disease was cured. Both Rick and Jeff were angry at Steve and Audrey. It took many months before everyone was reconciled.

Steve and Audrey were overjoyed when it was revealed Jeff's son Steven Lars was still alive, but heartbroken when Jeff decided to leave town with him. Some years later, Tommy (now known as just Tom) also left Port Charles to attend college. Tom returned in 1987, and Steve and Audrey were thrilled. Audrey had doubts when Tom married an African-American doctor, Simone Ravelle, fearing her son's interracial marriage would not be accepted. (The union of Tom Hardy and Simone Ravelle was the first interracial marriage on a daytime soap opera.)

In 1993, Audrey organized a surprise party for Steve's 30th anniversary at General Hospital. However, tragedy later struck Audrey when she was attacked by psychopath Ryan Chamberlain, who in his delusional state, had mistaken her for his abusive mother. Fortunately, Audrey quickly recovered.

Audrey was disappointed when Tom and Simone divorced in 1995. She did not approve of Simone's relationship with Justus Ward. The following year, Audrey was devastated when Steve died of a heart attack. In the aftermath, General Hospital went bankrupt. It was revealed Steve had known about the hospital's financial situation for months. Steve's fatal heart attack was quickly attributed to the stress which he had been under in trying to deal with the worsening crisis. Audrey was comforted by Gail Baldwin, Monica Quartermaine, and Kevin Collins during this difficult time. Steve's death later caused a considerable strain between Tom and Audrey.


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