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Tamara Braun, who was GH’s second Carly from 2001-05, returns to the show on November 22 in a new role: Kim Nero, Oscar’s mom.

The comeback was instigated by Executive Producer Frank Valentini. Reports Braun, “I got a call from Frank saying, ‘Would you come in and talk?’ And so I did. I met Frank at the Emmys in 2009, when I won mine [for Supporting Actress as DAYS’s Ava]. He was the EP at ONE LIFE TO LIVE then and was very positive and said, ‘I want to work with you.’ I said, ‘Well, fantastic!’ Then I got this call and the timing and the storyline and the character seemed right — and here I am!”

The actress quickly got past her reservations about inhabiting a new character in the Port Charles universe. “I loved playing Carly when I played her,” Braun says. “She is such an iconic character and I feel so fortunate to have been able to start my soap career playing her. But I chose to leave and Laura [Wright] has been playing Carly for 12 years now, longer than Sarah [Brown, the original Carly] and I ever did! So, there has to be a respect for that. To come back and play that kind of a role, to play that again, that would be strange. It would be wrong! Laura’s wonderful. She is Carly; I was Carly once upon a time and I loved her, but she is no longer mine. I certainly wondered and thought, ‘Hmm, is this a good choice for me to come back, or should I just let it lie?’ I’ve been asked in the past to come back and play other roles and it didn’t feel right. This time it seemed like, ‘If I am going to do this, this would be a good time.’ I actually spoke to a girlfriend of mine who’s a soap fan and said, ‘This is a possibility.’ She said, ‘I just like seeing the people that I love doing their thing, whether it’s the same role or a different role. We get attached to the actors playing the part ing the part, too, not just the characters.’ So that’s where I am. I said, ‘All right! Let’s try a new chapter and see how it goes.’ I’m excited about it.”

The support she’s enjoyed from GH viewers both during and after her time on the show also factored into Braun’s decision. “The fans, who are incredible, they have been saying for a long time, ‘Please come back, we don’t care what you play, just come back!’ That always surprises me and touches my heart and is so flattering and generous and kind and loving. I thought to myself, ‘Hmm, would this be a good thing and would this actually be giving the fans what they’ve been wanting?’ ” Their warm response to her rehiring, she beams, “Meant absolutely everything to me. It encouraged me; it made me feel like, ‘Okay, I did the right thing.’ ” That feeling was cemented when she reported back to the studio. “To see everyone that I hadn’t worked with in a long time, and to have all the hugs and the welcomes, it felt like seeing family I hadn’t seen in a long time,” she enthuses. “It’s all been really good and I hope it will be exciting for the fans.”

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