Four-time Emmy winner Michael Learned is joining the cast of General Hospital for a short-term story arc. Soap Opera Digest is reporting the news item this morning. The actress is fondly remembered as mother, Olivia Walton on The hit CBS primetime family drama series, The Waltons from 1972-1979. Michael will begin taping in mid-March and will appear onscreen in early April. Learned’s GH role will be named Shirley Smith, a cancer patient, who will be involved with Robin, Patrick, Lisa, and the rest of the hospital staff. . Digest previously had reported that GH was on the hunt for a “name” actress to play a cancer patient with “great will, vitality and spirit.” Look’s like they found her!