Family & Companions
Emma Samms was a raven-haired, dark-eyed British beauty with milky-white skin who invaded American daytime and primetime soap operas in the 1980s, earning some degree of fame as Holly Scorpio on ABC's "General Hospital" and as the second Fallon (replacing Pamela Sue Martin) on ABC's "Dynasty" and its spin-off, "Dynasty II: The Colbys."
Samms originally had her sights set on a career as a ballet dancer, and, at age 10, was already studying with and doing arabesques for the Royal Ballet Theatre in London. A bout with bursitis ended all hopes for her dance career and, after a brief stint studying to be a medical technician, Samms became a model, signed by a Japanese cosmetics company. Tiring of modeling, she won the role of Princess Zuleira in a 1978 feature film version of "Arabian Adventure" on her first audition. The miniseries "Goliath Awaits," in which she was opposite Mark Harmon, followed, and Samms decided that to find true stardom as an actress, she'd have to give Hollywood a go. She did, and in 1982 joined the cast of "General Hospital" as Holly Scorpio, at the time one of the hottest role in daytime TV. Samms stayed for three years, long enough to become a frequent subject of tabloid articles and gossip columns, and then moved to ABC primetime replacing Pamela Sue Martin as Fallon Carrington Colby, daughter of Blake and Alexis and wife of Jeff, on "Dynasty." Soon after she arrived, the character was key to the 1985-87 spin-off, "The Colbys." Samms then went back to Denver and "Dynasty" until it was canceled in 1989.
By that time, Samms was already appearing in TV longforms. She was Violet Weiler in the 1984 CBS miniseries "Ellis Island" and also co-starred in the TV-movie "Murder in Three Acts" (CBS, 1986). A decade later, she broke ground at the Sci-Fi Channel, appearing in one of the network's first original movies, "StarQuest," as a government agent with a decidedly cold approach. In 1995, Aaron Spelling, Samms' "Dynasty" boss, tapped her to play the vixen role in the struggling Fox series "Models, Inc." in an effort to save the show, but it didn't work.
Samms has also appeared in a few feature films during the 90s, including "The Shrimp on the Barbie" as leading lady to Cheech Marin, "Delirious" (1991) as, aptly, a soap opera queen, and "Illusions" (1992), as a woman who suspects her sister of sleeping with her husband.
Samms' brother Jamie, one year her junior, died of aplastic anemia when she was about 10 years old. His death has had a profound affect on her life and in 1979 she co-founded The Starlight Foundation, an internationally known charity which grants wishes to critically and terminally ill children.
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Left home at age 10 to begin studying at the Royal Ballet School (date approximate)
Stricken with bursitis, her ballet dreams crumble at age 16 (date approximate)
Made feature film debut in "Arabian Adventure"
Co-founded Starlight Foundation, which provides entertainment to seriously ill children
Made TV debut in "Goliath Awaits" miniseries
Appeared as Holly Scorpio on the ABC daytime drama, "General Hospital"
Played Cheech Marin's leading lady in "The Shrimp on the Barbie"
Revived the role of Holly Scorpio in "General Hospital" (ABC) (character had been killed off in a plane crash when Samms left show in 1985)
Joined the cast of "Models, Inc." in effort to revive sagging ratings
After cancellation of "Models, Inc." moved back to England
Sold first teleplay, "His Bodyguard", to USA Network
Acted in the PAX movie "Pretend You Don't See"
Appeared in four episodes of the BBC series "Holby City"
Revised the role of Holly Sutton Scorpio, for a six-week return to ABC's "General Hospital," with former on screen (and formerly deceased) husband Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio)