Actress Emily McLaughlin, who played nurse Jessie Brewer on the daytime soap "General Hospital" for 27 years, died Friday of cancer, a spokesman said. She was 62.

McLaughlin, who died at her home, created the character of the devoted nurse when the show debuted on April 1, 1963.A stage veteran, she continued with the popular serial until her last appearance on Feb. 13, ABC spokesman David Dyer said.

Gloria Monty, executive producer of "General Hospital," said McLaughlin was the original female star of the show.

Her early television appearances included roles in "Studio One," "Kraft Theater," "The Twilight Zone" and "The Eleventh Hour."