Shell Kepler was a popular American television actress who played the role of Nurse Amy Vining on the soap opera General Hospital for 23 years. She was also a successful businesswoman who launched her own clothing line called Lacy Afternoon. She died on February 1, 2008, at the age of 49, from kidney failure. Here are some details about her life and death.
Early Life and Career
Shell Kepler was born on October 5, 1958, in Ohio, and moved to California when she was 10 years old. She had a brother named Fred, who was a guitarist and musician. She developed a passion for acting after watching The Wizard of Oz at the age of two. She started auditioning for roles when she was 14, after her mother died and her father moved back east.
She landed the role of Amy Vining on General Hospital in 1979, after beating out 250 other actresses. She became a fan favorite for her portrayal of the gossipy and energetic nurse who was the sister of Laura Spencer. She also appeared on other shows such as CHiPs and Three’s Company, and in the movie Homework (1982) with Joan Collins.
Business Ventures and Charity Work
Shell Kepler was not only an actress, but also a savvy entrepreneur. She created a line of clothing called Lacy Afternoon, which she marketed through the Home Shopping Club. She claimed that her collection earned more than $20 million in sales in 1994, according to Associated Press.
She also moved to Portland, Oregon, after leaving General Hospital in 2002, and became involved in various charitable causes. She supported organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Children’s Miracle Network.
Personal Life and Death
Shell Kepler was married and divorced twice, and had no children. She was close friends with her General Hospital co-star Jacklyn Zeman, who played Bobbie Spencer. Zeman delivered a eulogy at her funeral.
Shell Kepler died from kidney failure on February 1, 2008, at Oregon Health & Science University, according to The Celebrity Deaths. The cause of her kidney failure is not known, but some sources suggest that she had diabetes and renal problems for a long time. The February 26, 2008 episode of General Hospital was dedicated to her memory.
Shell Kepler was a talented and beloved actress who left behind a legacy of entertainment and philanthropy. She will always be remembered by her fans and friends for her vibrant personality and generous heart.