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."

On the side, she was a businesswoman, marketing clothing on the former Home Shopping Club. She said in a 1994 Associated Press interview that her "Lacy Afternoon" collection had sales topping $20 million that year alone.

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.