BELFAST (AP) – The actress who plays Laura on TV soap opera “General Hospital” has signed a deal to serve as spokeswoman for Medifast and hopes to lose 35 pounds.

Genie Francis, who runs a home-furnishing shop in Belfast, said she has been trying to lose weight since having her second child.

“I’ve tried different methods to lose weight for years but I really never got the weight off. I was so focused on my family and the day-to-day of my busy life that at some point, I just gave up on making my own health a priority,” she said.

Francis, who’s up for a daytime Emmy next month, will participate in a marketing campaign that chronicles her weight loss.

On “General Hospital,” Francis played a teen, Laura Spencer, whose 1981 TV wedding drew the largest daytime audience in history.

Fans were devastated when she left “General Hospital” to pursue other acting jobs, but a story line resurrected her character last year.

“We are ecstatic to have someone like Genie Francis on the Medifast program and promoting our brand,” says Joseph DiBartolomeo, vice president for clinical nutrition for Medifast.

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