Maysoon Zayid Joins Cast of ‘General Hospital’
The actress/comedian calls being part of the hit ABC soap a “lifelong dream.”
UPDATE: As of July 1st, Maysoon Zayid has been upgraded to RECURRING status on GH and shared the good news on Twitter, so it looks like we’ll be seeing much more of her!
If you’re an avid soap opera viewer, then you may have noticed a familiar face on ABC’s ‘General Hospital’ recently — none other than Maysoon Zayid! Kept under wraps for several months, the actress and comedian took to Twitter with her big announcement — and it looks like she may be sticking around Port Charles for a little while as her character, Zara Amir, represents Shiloh aka David Henry “Hank” Archer (played by Coby Ryan McLaughlin) in his custody battle with Willow Tate (played by Katelyn MacMullen.)
Though this marks Zayid’s fictional TV debut, it did not come easily. Born with cerebral palsy, Maysoon attended Arizona State University where she majored in theatre — and even though her teachers were highly impressed by her acting abilities, she was never cast in any major school productions. Maysoon found not only her disability, but also her ethnicity (Palestinian descent) limited her in many ways — and, after numerous attempts at delving into the acting world, she instead turned to comedy, appearing in many famous New York clubs including Gotham and Caroline’s. “It became very obvious to me that in the United States of America, a fluffy ethnic disabled chick was never going to get a job unless she did stand-up,” she told BBC News at the time.
In 2013, Maysoon got her first major break after her TED Talk saw over 10 million views, making it the most-watched TED Talk that year, and has since used her platform to raise awareness on the lack of disabled actors, actresses, news anchors and talk-show hosts. “You can put on makeup to look Asian or Latino or black, but black, Asian and Latino people know you’re not — and disabled people watching their disabilities being poorly portrayed know it’s not them either,” she says.
As for her time on ‘General Hospital’, Zayid is full of gratitude to the show’s frontrunners and her fellow cast-mates, tweeting, “Thank you for believing in me and for being integral in making my dream come true.”