Scott Bites Back: Kin Shriner Reveals What it’s Like Having His Ear Bitten Off on General Hospital

Kin Shriner
JIm Warren
Kin Shriner

Kin Shriner already plays the longest-running character currently in daytime drama—Scott Baldwin on ABC’s General Hospital. Now he’s in the record books for an entirely different reason: Scott is the first character in soaps to have his ear chewed off! Credit for the crime goes to Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary)—currently suffering from a wackadoo personality disorder—who went all Hannibal Lecter on poor District Attorney Baldwin and sent him to the hospital. Of course, we ignored doctor’s orders and demanded an interview with Shriner!

How did you find out about this atrocious—yet pretty damn amusing—assault on Scott Baldwin? Did the execs warn you or did it just pop up in a script?
I uncovered it in a script. I read that scene and was, like, “Whaat?” Then I right away called up Jackie Zeman [Bobbie] and said, “What’s with this ear-bite business? I’ve been on this show 38 years and this is what they do to me?” And she said, “Well, I think it’ll be funny.” [Laughs] Yeah, because it wasn’t happening to her!

So how is this going to work? Will Scott’s ear be maimed for life or will this problem be like Maxie’s heart-transplant scar—gone by next Tuesday?
That’s what I was wondering at first. Is this like Stephen Nichols who went all those years on Days of Our Lives with a patch on his eye? I mean, if they’re gonna do that, why didn’t they have Luke bite off Scott’s nose and then he could have a metal one like Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou? I love that movie! But, then it turns out that Bobbie grabbed Scott’s ear when it went flying so that it could be sewn back on. For a while I’m doing scenes with a big bandage that looks like I have a cauliflower attached to my head. But you know actors. By the third show you’re like, “Uh, could we just lose this thing? It’s kind of distracting.” So the bandages get smaller and we move on. But I love it. I’m a good sport. Whatever they cook up, I’ll take it. Cut off my ear, shave my head, poke my eye out like the Three Stooges. I don’t care.

I don’t think we could handle a bald Baldwin. Your spiky ‘do is legendary.
Funny you should say that. There’s some other business coming my way on the show having to do with that—you’ll see it down the road. They like to take full advantage of me!

What was it like shooting the ear scene? Who cracked up first?
Me! As you know, Mr. Geary has a fondness for straying from the script and after he took the big bite, he’s going “Yuck! Bleach! That tastes like s—!” And I laughed out loud. And then, of course, I got highly offended. I mean, would Mike Tyson say something mean like that? He’s the one who got this whole ear-biting craze started. Oooh, I just remembered! One time I was on a plane and I felt this weird sense of foreboding and danger and I look up and there’s Mike Tyson. And he says, “Hi, Scotty Baldwin!” He was a big fan of GH! But then I saw him a few years later in Miami and I go, “Hi. Remember we met on a plane?” And he’s, like, “Uh… oh… okay… I don’t remember much. I’ve been hit in the head a lot.” He’s a funny guy.

Can Scott really hold this against Luke? After all, he’s not in his right mind.
Are you kidding me? It doesn’t matter what state of mind he’s in! The way I see it, Luke emotionally scarred Scott by stealing away Laura [Genie Francis], the love of Scott’s life, all those years ago. And now Luke has physically scarred him. Nope. Sorry. Ain’t gonna happen. Scott Baldwin has nearly four decades worth of reasons to dislike Luke Spencer—and this is going on the list!