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God Pages Nurse Vining to Heaven

2/2/2008 2:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Shell KeplerShell Kepler, who played nurse Amy Vining on "General Hospital" for more than 20 years, died yesterday in Portland, Ore. Paging Dr. Quartermaine!

According to the Medical Examiner's office, Kepler died of renal failure.

After her stint on "General Hospital" ended, Kepler moved to Portland and got involved in charity fundraising.

IMDb says she was 46, the M.E. says she was 49.

137 COMMENTS

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61.

Yisa    

TMZ.....you make her death into a joke. My heart goes out to her family. You just have no heart!

2366 days ago
62.

EGO BUSTER    

I used to watch GH, but stopped after the big L&L wedding. Cassidines and weather machines? Demi Moore, a telekinetic psychic? It got too dumb. Still, I'd check back every once in a while to meet up with some of my old "friends." The latest storylines that focus on all that 20-year-old angst bore me to pieces.

The good stuff was the characters' skeletons in the closet. It got good when Genie Frances came on board. The David Hamilton-Laura affair/murder and Leslie Webber taking the rap. Then the discotheque on the college campus, with scheming Bobbie after Scottie, but he was in love with Laura. Then the pseudo-rape at the disco, with Herb Alpert's "Rise" playing in the background. Bobbie's hood brother "Luke" being the rapist and Laura being the victim.

Then mobster Frank Smith making Luke marry Smith's awful daughter on the yacht, with avenging Scottie messing everything up, allowing Luke and Laura to go on the run with the secret "black book" that listed all of Frank Smith's bag guys. Plus, the book was supposed to lead to the infamous "the left-handed man." Finding HIM was supposed to break Frank Smith's mobster's life right open.

Then the summer of romance as Luke and Laura outran the bad guys, nearly getting killed by "Hutch," who eventually became a good guy, and by "Sally," the sweet saloon keeper lady who eventually turned out to be a hit man -- a real man in drag! She -- oops! -- He gets shot by Hutch just after Sally shoots Luke. Sally dies, Hutch dies, and Luke is wearing a bullet-proof vest.

At the foot of a water fountain statue, Luke reveals to Laura that he is still alive because of the vest. They laugh and look up at the statue. It is of a man with his left arm held forward. Luke touches a switch on the base of the statue and the base opens, revealing all of Frank's hidden gold.

Thus ended the best summer of daytime television.

But Amy Vining was to play a major part in GH's history, as her character was introduced just before the L&L storyline took off. Naturally, the storylines were rewritten to satisfy the public's new interest in L&L.

The Vinings were part of the GH storyline long before Laura was ever in the picture. Leslie Webber was once married to Steve Vining. That whole story, with Amy Vining suddenly showing up, never fleshed out. Instead, Amy's character became a bit part, more of a character who provided comic relief.

Regardless, Shell Kepler was a trooper and she played her part to a tee. Her "Amy Vining" evolved into one of the show's most (intentionally) annoying characters. I am deeply saddened by her passing because I vividly remember her as a stand-out actress and felt I "knew her" after so many years.

Rest in Peace, Shell. We will always remember you. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.



2366 days ago
63.

Cindy    

So sorry to hear about Shell passing away. she was a wonderful actress. Rest In Peace, Shell!

2366 days ago
64.

Alexia    

She was my friend and a very kind loving person. We are sad at the sudden loss of such a beautiful, kind and caring woman. she will be missed greatly. She was a true talent and is a great star back in the sky where she belongs. Thank you for being a friend Shell. GOD SPEED MY FRIEND

2366 days ago
65.

frankly_disturbed    

I remember her very well from General Hospital. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

2366 days ago
66.

Valerie    

this is so sad - she was a great person! GH fans will surely miss her (well we have missed her since they haven't had her on in several yrs).
Shame on all of you who are posting in this article a bunch of nonsense and jabs at tmz. This article is about an actress that died, may she rest in peace!

2366 days ago
67.

sugar shack    

she went to great high school in sherman oaks and she is 49..............................

2366 days ago
68.

Peep    

This is so sad, may she rest in peace.

2366 days ago
69.

tori    

#6-That IS what she looked like then. Loved nurse Amy Vining on GH-that's when I used to watch it. She was a great smart ass schemer!! So sad-so young!

2366 days ago
70.

editorjeff    

Seriously, is every TMZ story aimed to be as perverse and in as bad taste as this? It's nice to see this mention, as to many who grew up in the '80s, watching Luke and Laura, Shelly was a mainstay on that show. Even after her role was downplayed to a background character, she still made the most of it, while also designing her own clothing line. It's bad enough that TMZ and its staff will be able to take credit for Britney Spears' continuing spriral downward, and worse, they'll be able to lay claim for being responsible if she kills herself or someone else, but Jesus, let these people rest in peace. Show just a little bit of class every now and again. A story like this doesn't need a bite or a sharp witted tounge. Tell the story without making into a joke. That said, I hope you guys can live with Britney's blood on your hands. It's truly sick what you guys continue to do to her and others who deserve some privacy to go through whatever personal problems they need to go through. I guess that's what you get when you pick writers with a grade school education. How many months years old did one of your reporters recently refer to a celb's baby? A highly educated bunch for sure.

2366 days ago
71.

Lyn    

Wow, I'm shocked, I didn't even know she was ill. I use to watch GH with my mom all the time. How sad.

2366 days ago
72.

Albatross    

Aw, that's a shame. :(

2366 days ago
73.

Attractive?    

OMG! I cannot believe this.....
She was a staple on that show when I was growing up!

2366 days ago
74.

rachel    

I loved her as amy!!! she was so funny on GH, too young to go!!!! RIP

2366 days ago
75.

Joan K    

I used to watch General Hospital all the time and was shocked to see that she had died, so sad and I send her family my deepest sympathy

2366 days ago
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