Soap actress Shell Kepler dies at 49

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PORTLAND, Ore. -- Actress Shell Kepler, who for years played the gossipy nurse Amy Vining on the TV soap opera "General Hospital," has died. She was 49.

Kepler died Friday at Oregon Health & Science University hospital, which did not give the cause of death.

Kepler's busybody character on "General Hospital" was a fan favorite and enjoyed a long run, 1979-2002.

In addition to her run on "General Hospital," she was also in a 1982 Joan Collins film "Homework" and a couple of episodes of the situation comedy "Three's Company."

Kepler was born in Ohio and the family moved to California when she was 10. She recalled in 1994 that she didn't yet have a driver's license when she began trying out for film roles.

"I managed to get my girlfriends to drive me to auditions because I wasn't old enough to drive. I was a rather ambitious kid," she said.

She moved to Portland after her TV career and became involved in charity fundraising.
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