Shell Kepler, who is best known for her work on General Hospital as Nurse Amy Vining, passed away on February 1 after being admitted to the hospital at Oregon Health & Sciences University on the same day. According to reports, the 49-year-old actress succumbed to renal failure, a situation in the body in which the kidney fails to function adequately.
“She was a sweet woman with a big heart. She couldn’t have been lovelier to me and was very welcoming when I joined GH [General Hospital],” former co-star Nancy Lee Grahn, who is known for her role as Alexis, told Soap Opera Digest.
Kepler joined General Hospital in 1979, taking over the role of the gossipy nurse from Cari Ann Warder, who portrayed the character in 1975. She beat out over 205 people during the audition and was considered as a fan favorite, enjoying more than two decades of exposure on the long-running soap.
Kepler’s character, Amy, was the sister of icon, Laura Spencer, who was adopted by Amy’s family when she was a baby. Raised as siblings, Amy and Laura established a strong bond even after Laura left the Vinings to go and live with her biological mother, Lesley Webber. Amy soon followed her sister to Port Charles and became a nurse at General Hospital. Amy remained single during her stint on the show and was never really officially written off. She last appeared on the canvass in 2002.
Additionally, Kepler was also credited for the 1982 Joan Collins film, Homework, the soap opera Port Charles, and a couple of episodes of the sitcom Three’s Company.
Apart from being an actress, Kepler was also a business woman, marketing her clothing line, Lacy Afternoon, on the former Home Shopping Club with sales over $20 million in one year alone. Following her entertainment career, she dedicated herself to helping others and got involved with several charities and fundraising events.
Shell Kepler was married and divorced twice and was only survived by her younger brother, Jeff.
For more information about Shell Kepler, catch the upcoming issue of Soap Opera Digest.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Soap Opera Digest
(Image courtesy of ABC)