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General Hospital’s Steve Burton Reveals the Emotional Scene He Almost Could Not Get Through

Photo: JPI

On a recent episode of General Hospital, Jason received a message from his mother, Monica Quartermaine (Leslie Charleson) via a note. The effect it had on Jason’s portrayer, Steve Burton turned out to be quite visceral.

As GH fans know, although Jason’s bio-mom was Susan Moore, he was raised and adopted by Monica. Speaking on his Daily Drama podcast with his co-host and GH co-star, Bradford Anderson (Spinelli), Steve shared some insight on the difficulties he had getting through that scene.

Burton shared that in the key moment, “Brooklyn (played by Amanda Setton) came in and that’s where she gave me (Jason) the letter from Monica. That was a very hard scene for me to do. That was a tough one. That was the one time I was almost going to call ‘cut!’  It read ‘Jason, I believe in you.’ I was literally going to walk off the set.”

Photo: JPI

To clarify and in the story, Monica was saying “I believe in you” and that she knows Jason didn’t shoot Dante (Dominic Zamprogna). Steve added, “It was tough, man. Emotionally, it was a tough scene. It was overwhelming in the moment.”

Steve went on to detail to Anderson, “She (Brook Lynn) pushed it to me and I read it and she was walking out and I had to stop her, but I was so emotional I couldn’t even get it out.  And at that point, I’m like, ‘Do I just keep going … or do I just walk off the set right now?’ But, I knew just to stay, because it’s so hard to get back there, once you shut it down. I knew, the next take wasn’t going to be the same.”

Photo: JPI

It’s clear that Leslie Charleson is so missed on-screen as Monica by all of her castmates, and that Jason and Monica had a very special mother/son relationship throughout the decades on GH.

What did you think of the moment when Jason got a note from Monica that said, “I believe in you?” Were you touched as well? Let us know in the comment section. You can check out the latest episode of Steve and Bradford’s podcast below.

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I’m not sure what he was choked up about; that Leslie Charleson is obviously not well and is no longer on the show? (that’d be understandable.) But that note? I’m thinking that’s not all a mother would say in a note when her son comes back from the dead. How utterly dumb. These writers need to hire writers, lol.

Agree – I wonder if he had to come up with something for the fans and that was it.

Sons coming back from the dead isn’t that big of a deal for Monica anymore. Between AJ & Jason it’s happened a dozen times or so. Now on the other horn, Jason being accused of shooting Sonny’s son? That’s a new one.

LOL; now let them bring back AJ. She can send him the same note. It’d be applicable for AJ’s always uphill battle.

I’ve been waiting all of these years for AJ to return…

As long as Sean Kanan is working for CBS, AJ will remain in Hell. The Billy Warlock version had zero redeeming qualities, and a third recast at this point would be too absurd to consider. Especially with all the ridiculous “out of character” dog piling against Sonny that we have seen the last couple of weeks.

AJ (regardless of who plays him) is dead-dead. Yes, it’s a shame because he was a powerful legacy character.

It seems that nobody is allowed to mention Sonny killing AJ anymore. What would be kind of refreshing is with their newfound connection, Sonny and Ava sit around one talking about AJ and Connie. Won’t happen but would be darn interesting.

OG Steve, what a VERY good point!! Forgotten history, and I am sure Satan would agree, truly is “the root of all evil”.

Yeah, there’s a lot of “forgotten history” where AJ’s most recent death is concerned. Like the part where Ava was standing in his hospital room while he was asleep, having a debate with herself about whether or not she should “finish the job”. Because she kinda liked AJ, but couldn’t risk him remembering that she had confessed to ConKate’s murder.

And soon after that, AJ died. Not from a bullet wound, but from a “cardiac arrest”. Funny how nobody – not even his cardiac surgeon/chief of staff mother – ever followed up on what caused a cardiac arrest. I say Ava tampered with his IV somehow. Might have been a drug. Could have been a simple air bubble. Reality of course, is ReRon had a personal beef with Sean Kanan.

Forgotten history also applies where it concerns the circumstances of Avery’s birth, and how either Sonny or Ava could ever tolerate Nina being in the same room with them and walk away alive after that.

Full agree. Ava and Sonny both show such love for Avery, how do they let Nina in the room. I would love to see Sonny, due to be off his meds, plot Nina’s demise with Ava… and then, both get away with it. And us the viewers, will be allowed to forget and over look this too.

There’s no “us.” Many of us are fans of Nina. I’ll root for her every time.

Actually… there is no “us”.

And… the award for the long winded posts ever goes to….

They didn’t forget. Michael disgustingly had Smoltz write that hit piece on Nina that he used against her when they went to court; if you recall Nina was hoping to get visitation rights to see Wiley. Michael was despicable; he had Smoltz recount when Nina had that emotional break from reality and induced Ava’s labor & took Avery. It was quite obvious at the time she wasn’t in her right mind; that she was broken (who wouldn’t be after what she went through?) and Sonny spoke to that in court; he defended her. He said, when he took the stand, that because of his own mental illness he knew that Nina wasn’t in her right mind at the time and so he had forgiven her; doesn’t blame her. Ava knew that too (and she had her own crazy history with the guilt she had when she felt responsible for Morgan’s death; and on another note it was Nina who was there for her when Nikolas made Ava think he was a ghost haunting her) and she had herself committed. If the show was going to not have characters in the same room as each other: Monica should never let Sonny OR Carly step foot in her house after everything they both did to AJ, from taking his son, to drugging him when he was sober, to killing him. And Laura should never exchange a word with Valentin after he tried to kill Nikolas, or Joss speak a word to Sonny after he tried to kill Jax. But that’s how GH rolls.

I loved Sean Kanan as AJ; he WAS (and still is) AJ to me. However, I must admit that I wound up liking Billy in the role too. He broke my heart in many a scene; he made me feel or AJ as Sean always did. Yes, two complete opposites looks-wise, but I think Billy made the role his own so if they brought AJ back and Sean wasn’t available, I’d welcome Billy back if he chose to do it.

I thought it was just right for that moment. It said it all, she loved and believed in him

All she said was she believed in him. There’s no way that was enough. She just found out her son is alive! Brook Lynn should have said something like, Monica isn’t well but she desperately wants to see you; come to the house.” (and then given him the note).

I think his emotion was more a real life reaction to Leslie Charleson and the fact that she obviously has some health issues going on, and can’t be on the show. He’s worked with her for 33 years, longer than 95% of the current cast, so it’s understandable he would miss her and be thinking of her during a scene like that.

They clearly wanted to address Monica’s absence and offer an explanation for why she hasn’t been around, and did the best they could without Leslie being available to do a voiceover or anything. They could have had Jason have a one way phone conversation with Monica, but I think a simple but meaningful note had much more impact. And you don’t need to send a full page note to convey what needed to be conveyed, under the assumption that Jason and Monica would have an in person reunion at some point, in theory anyway.

Acknowledging that Monica still exists, even in the form of a short note, is a lot more than previous writing team bothered to do over the past few years. I think the new writers are doing just fine.

We’ll have to “agree to disagree. I think the way they’re handling Leslie Charleson’s absence passed absurd a long time ago. For over two years we’re supposed to believe she was never available: not when Willow was dying, not when Willow and Michael got married, not at Epiphany or Britt’s memorial, not the entire time Ned was Eddie Maine, not for Amelia’s birth, not when Tracy came back. I think they had a couple of options they could have gone with; a definitive that Monica had taken a job as Chief of Staff or Cardiology out of the country, OR, she passed. Or, recast, which I know at this point would be hard to accept and would be a challenge (I, too, am a long time viewer), but having to play make believe in this make believe world is stretching it. Tracy pretending to talk to her on the phone to tell her she’ll see her at home is ridiculous. They need (in my opinion) to make a decision. The Quartermaine house is bare of actual Quartermaines; in my opinion they should find a way to bring AJ back from the dead again and keep him this time, bring back Dillon, and possibly Skye and Lila Rae. Fill up that house with people we went through the years with; (those of us who watched back in the day) because as it stands now there’s not much of anything about the Quartermaines left. And as much as I ADORE Jane Elliott as Tracy and hope she remains with the show to the end, they’ve watered her down too much. Without Monica to snark with or AJ to belittle, without Ned around…sigh. They need to bring back who they can. I wish for many reasons Leslie would return, but I think at this point we know that’s not going to happen.

I would love to have Dylan back. I loved the character and how the actor portrayed him.

And I’ve been waiting since AJ allegedly died for everyone to find out that he isn’t actually dead.

But, as to Monica – I agree that she should be written out of the script in a believable way at this point. Taking a new job elsewhere doesn’t seem believable at her age. Who knows? Maybe they are waiting for just the right time to announce that Monica is deceased. Geeze — the writers have had to do this many times when the actors really did die suddenly. They can figure something out.

Could they be waiting for Brook Lynn’s wedding to be over?

Hi Kay Dee; I’ve always loved AJ and for those who say he’s dead/dead, there are so many absurd happenings on GH that I for one would suspend my disbelief as much as I had to for the long-term payoff of having AJ back. Not only do the Quartermaines need their legacy characters back, but the possible stories between Michael and AJ, Sonny and AJ, Tracy, Drew, Jason, etc would be a wealth of material. Unfortunately Sean Kanan and ex-head writer Ron Carlivati didn’t get along which has been said is the reason AJ was killed off and Sean left. If Valentini would be open to a return I wonder if they could lure Sean Kanan back to the show. I know he’s on B&B (I don’t watch that) so I’m not sure if his schedule would even allow for him to fit GH in. As for Billy Warlock who it took me some time to get used to, I wound up liking him as AJ, too. He’s moved though and I think has left acting…

As for Dillon? Another ridiculous decision to write that character off. They should have kept his as a younger future Quatermaine like Brook Lynn and Michael. Instead, they began eliminating much of the family. So, yes, I’d love to see Robert Palmer Watkins reprise the role.

They really do need to address Monica unless they plan on having her live until the show goes off the air sight unseen like they seem to be doing with Liz’s “gram.” Will she even be at the wedding? Doubt it; she wasn’t at Michael or Willow’s or any other important event which I mentioned in my previous comment. It’s really sad; I’m sorry for her obvious health problems in real life and sad that we’re losing more and more of our fictional familiar faces….

The note was short and covered the sentiment perfectly. Obviously LC was not able to do a voiceover of a longer message, so why make the viewers read or have Jason read aloud? GH has to carefully decide how to mention longterm characters when the performer is unable to appear. They’re not going to recast Audrey, Monica or Mac as those actors have spent 30-40+ years building those characters.

Kudos to Steve for playing that scene quite well. And good job writers for a plausible reason for Monica’s absence.

Very well said. Shows GH respects legacy actors / characters.

LOL; it has nothing to do with “respecting legacy actors/characters.”

If only a two absence could be said…

Toxic.. always toxic .

If not legacy actors…then what? State your counter point if there is one.

Ridiculous. We suspend our disbelief when we watch any show, right? I can sooner suspend my disbelief when a character comes back from the dead that have a mom who thought her son was dead and found out he wasn’t just write, “I believe in you,” It was uninspired, lazy writing from the writers. Those words could have been at the end of the letter; not the only words.

I wish we would see more of Mac. He’s hardly over-the-hill.

I’ve been wondering about Audrey. She isn’t mentioned anymore — that I’ve heard — nor do I recall any mention of Audrey’s death. Rachel Ames is 94 after all.

Anna Lee (Lila) kept working until Anna’s death at the age of 91 — and then it was announced (on the show) that Lila had died peacefully in her sleep.

John York, who has played Mac since 1991 has been going through a challenging health period and has been unable to be on the show since November. Let’s all hope he can return soon.

Rachel Ames retired from acting shortly after she went off contract. Frank was able to get her back for 2 episodes around 10 years ago. Elizabeth occasionally mentions her, but not as much as she used to.

According to her son, Anna Lee was devastated when the previous EP cut her contract which her son claims led to her passing. Not a great way to treat a longtime valued cast member.

I entirely agree with your assessment, I was wondering what to comment , and you said it for me and a lot of others I bet, short and sweet and to the point, without a long, drawn out essay.

I so miss seeing Monica on the show. She was my now deceased partner’s favorite character.

I loved her as well. Especially miss her and Alan alot. I feel so bad that she is sick and not on anymore. Wishing and c hoping 4 her health to improve. Getcwell leslieakaMonica quartermaine

Killing off Alan Q years ago was unbelievably insane. Stuart Damon was as shocked as the viewers were. What a horrible, horrible, decision.

I signed off do not watch any of them now I guess I don’t read recaps but my heart breaks for John York etc I have had cancer it is a horrible thing I pray he comes thru this

General Hospital

Elizabeth MacRae, ‘General Hospital’s’ Meg Baldwin, Passes Away at 88

Veteran actress, Elizabeth MacRae best-known as the third Meg Baldwin on General Hospital and as Gomer Pyle’s girlfriend, Lou-An Ann Poovie, in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C has died at the age of 88. MacRae passed away in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she grew up.

On General Hospital, Elizabeth played Meg Baldwin who had a young son, Scott (Kin Shriner) from a previous relationship and who married Lee Baldwin (Peter Hansen). The role was originated by Patricia Breslin from 1965-1969. Breslin was temporarily replaced by Jan Shepherd for three weeks in the summer of 1967. MacRae took over the part from Breslin full time from 1969-70 and again from 1972-73.

In story, the character of Meg suffered a nervous breakdown and Lee had her committed to an institution. In 1971, Meg was released and came home, but suffered from severe hypertension. In 1973, Dr Lesley Webber was assigned to her case. Meg became jealous of Lesley and began to think that she was trying to get to have sex with Lee. During an argument with Lee, Meg died of a stroke and soon after Lee adopted Scott.

Photo: ABC

MacRae also appeared on other notable soaps, having roles on Another WorldDays of Our LivesGuiding Light, and Search for Tomorrow.  Elizabeth’s career spanned over two and half decades having also appeared in classic TV shows and countless movies such as: Route 66Surfside 6RendezvousThe FugitiveJudd for the DefenseGunsmokeBonanzaI Dream of Jeannie, and The Andy Griffith Show.

Photo: CBS

She is survived by five stepchildren, Terry Halsey, Peter Halsey, Hugh Halsey, Cate Halsey, and Alex Halsey Topper.

Share your remembrances of GH’s Elizabeth MacRae via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

LAPD Continue to Seek Johnny Wactor’s Killers Who Remain At Large; Asks Public for Tips and Leads

The Los Angeles police department is ramping up its search for to the whereabouts of the three thieves, who got away after one fatally shot former General Hospital cast member, Johnny Wactor (ex-Brando Corbin) in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 26th in downtown Los Angeles.

Law enforcement sources told the LA Times that police are trying to pull fingerprints from Wactor’s vehicle and are looking for video from the area. They also are checking to see whether there are any connections to other nearby catalytic converter thefts.

The thieves were attempting to steal the catalytic converter from Wactor’s car at the time of his death. Sadly, the LAPD investigators shared they have seen an uptick in violence when these types of thieves are confronted.

Photo: ABC

Catalytic converters contain precious metals in which thieves can make hundreds of dollars selling them to auto parts suppliers or scrap yards, where they can be melted down and the valuable metals extracted.

In addition, on Tuesday May 28th, the LAPD shared more on the incident that took Wactor’s life, stating, “Without provocation, the victim was shot by one of the individuals. The three suspects involved were wearing all dark clothing and driving a dark-colored sedan. The suspects fled northbound on Hope Street. Central Bureau Homicide is investigating this case and is requesting the public’s help.”

Photo: ABC

If you have tip: y0u are urged to call LAPD Detectives Gonzales or Martinez at Central Bureau Homicide, at (213) 996-4142. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).

In addition, Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go to

Wactor played General Hospital’s Brando Corbin from 2020 to 2022. According to the LA Times, “Wactor recently had been exploring opportunities in screenwriting while working as a bartender.”

Share your thoughts on this developing story as the LAPD tries to seek justice for the death of Johnny Wactor via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

Nicholas Chavez Speaks Out on the Death of Friend and Former GH Castmate Johnny Wactor: “I’m Beside Myself with Sadness”

It has been another rough go for the General Hospital family following the news surrounding the shooting that killed beloved former cast member, Johnny Wactor (ex-Brando Corbin) over the weekend.

Since that time, there has been an outpouring of grief, shock and sadness, and remembrances for the actor who died at 37-years-old.  Many of Johnny’s castmates have spoken out about the loss and shared heartbreaking tributes.

Now, Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer Cassadine) who is soon-to-be-seen in Ryan Murphy’s limited series on Netflix, Monsters: The Lyle and Erik Menendez Story, has also shared his sentiments. With heartfelt words, along with a photo of himself and Johnny, and another former GH co-star, Marcus Coloma (ex-Nikolas), Chavez explained the difficulty he is having processing Johnny’s death and the unbreakable bond they shared.

Photo: Facebook

Nick began, “Johnny — I’m beside myself with sadness. The last time I saw you, we ran into each other by accident in Los Angeles. When we recognized each other your face lit up and you ran essentially across the room to give me a big and tight hug. You were a strong and kind person”

He went on to say, these heartfelt words to Johnny, “You were a phenomenal friend and you always made me feel welcomed and loved. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been a part of your life and I’m praying for you and your family. I will miss you very much.”

Johnny Wactor run on GH lasted from 2020-2022, while Nicholas Chavez appeared from 2021 till early in 2024.

Share your thoughts on Nicholas’ remembrances of Johnny Wactor via the comment section below.

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