Emily McLaughlin, 61, who for 28 years portrayed calamity-prone nurse Jessie Brewer on the daytime television soap opera "General Hospital." The native of White Plains, N.Y., earned a bachelor's degree in literature at Middlebury College in Vermont and studied acting at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. After several stage roles on and off Broadway, she appeared in quality television dramas such as "Studio One" and "Kraft Theater." Miss McLaughlin, first introduced to daytime audiences as Dr. Ellen Seaton on "Young Dr. Malone," joined the "General Hospital" staff for its original telecast on April Fools' Day, 1963. As the gentle but troubled nurse Brewer, she survived five marriages, lost two babies, and endured spots on her lungs, an 11-month pregnancy, a hysterectomy and--in order to get a vacation--a nervous breakdown. On Friday in Los Angeles of cancer.