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UPDATE: Jonathan Jackson LEAVING General Hospital!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Shocking news today first out of Soap Opera Digest! It looks like four-time Daytime Emmy winner Jonathan Jackson (Lucky) will be leaving General Hospital in early 2012.

According to SOD, “While the show would not confirm, insiders say that it’s a done deal. There’s no word yet if the show plans to recast.

UPDATE from TV Guide late today! Jonathan will shoot his final scenes as Lucky Spencer on November 17.  Word from the set is that the beloved and acclaimed actor is exhausted from a heavy work schedule and months of a harrowing storylines that have included the death of Lucky’s child and the character’s addiction to drugs.  Sources say Jackson had attempted to get GH execs to lighten his schedule with no luck. He also wanted to be romantically reteamed with Rebecca Herbst (Liz) but struck out there, too. The actor has already completed his final scenes with TV dad Tony Geary (Luke). Look for Jackson to be off the air by mid-to-late December.”

With Jackson is leaving that will make another signiifcant blow to the cast which is known for its unbelievable acting chops and performances as GH moves into 2012 a key year as to whether the show has legs and a future with the alphabet network or will be on the chopping block.

Stay tuned for more on developments on Jackson leaving Port Charles as they become available!

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Maureen
Guest
Maureen

Heaven forbid ABC and GH give Jonathan what he has been requesting and thus by default also give fans what they would want…like a reunion of a beloved (and very beleaguered) couple. Because that might just draw fans to the show and increase ratings which doesn’t help their soap-killing plans when trying to rid themselves of their daytime drama.

Much better to only give the fans what they want after the official cancellation announcement has been made.

aria
Guest
aria

i’m really sad to see jonathan go, agian this proves GH doesn’t care one way or the other who stays and goes. GH should be trying so hard to be the best they can be yet instead they keep proving time and time again that they don’t care, and if the people who run the show don’t care then how do they expect us to?, what was the point of bringing jonathan back if it wasn’t to reteam him w/ rebecca? they could’ve done a wonderfull compelling quadrangle along w/ sam and jason yet, the show keeps doing the opposite… Read more »

Webbie
Guest
Webbie

This is another blow to the beleaguered show. First we hear that Genie probably won’t be back and now JJ is gone. I can’t blame him for wanting to lighten the load, and I wish him well.

heidi
Guest
heidi

he will be missed…

Blake
Guest
Blake

Funny that Jill Farren Phelps (the executive producer) did the same thing she did to Beverly McKinsey (Alexandra on Guiding Light) when she worked on GL back in 1992. Beverly didn’t like being in a storyline where she was so mean to her onscreen son and his fiancee and she expressed it and it fell on deaf ears. So Beverly gave her six weeks notice when she took her six week vacation lol.
With Frons, JFP and Guza and Wolf running the show no wonder GH is a sinking ship and has been for a while now.

Mary Anne Robertson
Guest
Mary Anne Robertson

I’m sadden that he is leaving. He is a very talented actor. I’ve been watching GH for 30 years now. I just don’t understand why GH is doing what they are doing now with their storylines and letting excellent actors go or fire them. It is very sad to see this great show go down hill lately.

mike
Guest
mike

There is only one thing to say, GREG VAUGHAN.

Nell
Guest
Nell

I absolutely, 100% agree! Bring Greg Vaughn back as Lucky. Jonathan Jackson was great before he left the first time. Ever since he came back, I simply cannot stomach watching him in any scene. He was a fantastic young Lucky but stinks to high heaven as an adult Lucky.

Sorry, I won’t miss him but wish him the very best!

Chantal
Guest
Chantal

Will he be off the air in early 2012 or mid-december??? Kind of confusing…

Scott
Guest
Scott

Thank goodness. He seemed too off-put for the role, IMO.

BRING BACK GREG VAUGHAN!!! HE WAS LUCKY SPENCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

missyk
Guest
missyk

hate to admit but i’d rather see lucky gone than see him back with his cheating ex-wife. lucky deserves better. i have loved lucky for a long time – good lucky jj!

kate
Guest
kate

lucky is such a great character!! I am sad to see he is leaving

ethel
Guest
ethel

my heart is very saddened by this devastating news about jonathan – i remember his first scene on gh when he still a kid – gh is loosing such an extraordinary actor who is one of the best if not the best males actors in daytime right now – what are they thinking??
i know he will land on his feet and be awesome in whatever he does next in his carrer – i am so disappointed that tiic &tptb let this happen……….

ethel
Guest
ethel

i meant was still a kid..

Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

This is sad news. Jackson really works as Geary’s son. Such a perfect cast. He will be missed but stories go on. That is nature of daytime drama. Maybe the previousl replacement will be available. He did a very good job, too. Issues with GH are with the web, yes, but with the writing. This is not the show I enjoyed years ago. Too much mob and darkness now. Lighten up and find the joy in Port Charles, please!

kay killgore
Guest
kay killgore

Well, the man knows a sinking ship when he sees one. I never could figure out why he came back he has his band, doing films he was doing fine. I don’t think they will recast because I think TG will retire and I heard the actress who plays Lulu is considering leaving.

Avril
Guest
Avril

Oh, Lord – don’t bring Greg Vaughn back… as much as I enjoy him as an actor his version of Lucky was washed out and whiny!!

My2Cents
Guest
My2Cents

Surely this can’t be a surprise? It was leaked out last spring he was going to be done my Christmas time.
Whose next?? Robin?? I think so.

FP
Guest
FP

I just can’t figure out why JJ stayed with the trainwreck that is now GH THIS long. Best wishes to him. As for those who think that GV should return, I wouldn’t wish this show on my worst enemy, let alone a great guy like him. Besides, GV is working pretty steadily now and, unless I heard wrong, he’s landed a primetime series for sometime in the new year.

SS
Guest
SS

I didn’t really want to see him back with Liz after all they’d put between them but if he thought it was a good idea, I think he’s smart, knows his character and they should have listened to him. Or at least calmed down on victimizing his character so much, he’s probably exhausted.

aria
Guest
aria

If the show was more balance, and they gave all the actors something to do, then actors like jonathan, wouldn’t feel burn out . Its sad that the show isn’t willing to give him less to do,if thats what he wants for now. How bout giving someone else a little attention? Whats sad is that GH has such great history, and great actors, if they only had great people running it, then this show would be the easiest to fix. Theres no reason why GH shouldn’t be great, and enjoying the kind of high oltl is experiencing, but then oltl… Read more »

david
Guest
david

Very sad to see him go. Give him what he wants so he will reconsider. GH cannot afford to lose him without the show taking a hit. Liz should return to Lucky after she’s finished being distracted by Matt. Jackson and Herbst are great together. GH needs both if it hopes to continue.

Crystal Harrison
Guest
Crystal Harrison

He was the original and the very best Lucky. I hope he just takes a rest and comes back for I love both the character and the actor.

Brenda
Guest
Brenda

I would be happy about his leaving if they would bring back Greg Vaughn! Jonathan is too much of a whimp for me!

Amber
Guest
Amber

JJ was the BEST lucky spencer, it’s so sad that he’s leaving. WHY couldn’t GH listen to him? He knows this character better than anyone. GH was great back in the 90’s…now it just SUCKS! I loved the Spencer Family but now all the great actors keep leaving. Maybe GH needs to take a hint…listen to the actors, they know what will work and what wont because they actually listen to the fans!

General Hospital

GL Alum Kimberly J. Brown Joins the Cast of General Hospital

Another daytime favorite is coming to General Hospital.  This time its Kimberly J. Brown (Ex-Marah) of Guiding Light fame.  She last appeared on the soaps during her from 1993-1998 and then a brief return in 2006

According to Soap Opera Digest, she will make her GH debut next week in a mystery role.

Kimberly worked with two GH powerhouse actresses during her tine on Guiding Light. 

She noted to SOD about her time in Springfield: Cynthia Watros (Nina, GH, Ex-Annie Dutton, GL) was my stepmom for a bit, and Laura Wright (Carly, Ex- Cassie, GL) played my aunt.”

Brown has appeared in numerous primetime television shows and motion pictures over the last few decades.

Now the question becomes, who will Kimberly play on GH? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital and ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’s’ Billie Hayes Dead at 96

She was one-of-a-kind, and now actress Billie Hayes has passed away at the age of 96.  Hayes’ family announced her death from natural causes on April 29th at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Hayes was best-known for her unforgettable role as Witchiepoo on the 1969-70 Saturday morning live-action children’s classic H.R. Pufnstuf from Sid and Marty Kroft.

However, daytime fans will remember that then General Hospital executive producer, Gloria Monty, hired Hayes to play the recurring role of the street-smart international spy, Brighton O’Reilly, back in the 80’s series hey day.

GH’s Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio) took to Twitter to mourn the loss of Hayes on Monday sharing; “My dear wonderful Billie Hayes has died. Sadly I only got to work with her on GH but it was a magical relationship. Right away Gloria Monty saw something unique and ran with it. I cannot tell you how her passing saddens me.”

Photo:ABC

In story, Brighton O’Reilly was shot and killed by Victor Cassadine back in 1981. Billie told Soap Opera Digest back in 2003 about her time as an agent on GH, and her exit from the series: “I asked Gloria why she killed me off, and Gloria said, ‘To tell you the truth, Billie, we really hemmed and hawed at it. But I decided to do it for selfish reasons. I knew if I killed O’Reilly there’d be such an abundance of sympathy and love for Scorpio that his stock would go up. And he’s my new leading man!’ I understand why Gloria knocked me off, but I would have loved to have gone on with it because I feel it could have been developed into a fascinating character.”

Photo: JPI

Sid and Marty Kroft also took to Twitter and expressed:  “Margaret Hamilton (Wizard of Oz) once told us that Billie Hayes was “one of the best witches ever” We couldn’t agree more. Rest in Peace dear friend.”

Billie’s career spanned decades including Broadway, television, motion pictures and voice-over work. In addition, she founded the Los Angeles-based animal rescue nonprofit organization Pet Hope, a cause she had championed since adopting a puppy abandoned in the basement of Broadway’s St. James Theatre during the run of Lil’ Abner in which she was featured in the role of Mammy Yokum.

Share your remembrances of Billie Hayes and your condolences for her family and loved ones via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

John Reilly ‘General Hospital’ Tribute Episode Set to Air May 21st

Details have emerged on the upcoming John Reilly tribute episode of General Hospital.  The popular star passed away back on January 21st and the ABC daytime drama series had promised they would deliver a special show dedicated to the man who played Sean Donely starting back in 1984.

According to Deadline look for GH enduring stars: Genie Francis, Kristina Wagner, Finola Hughes, Jon Lindstom and John J. York to all appear in the special episode, along with Reilly’s real-life daughter, Caitlin Reilly, which had been previously announced.

The story will involve the mourning of WSB agent Sean Donely, which will set Felicia Scorpio (Wagner), Malcolm “Mac” Scorpio (York), Anna Devane (Hughes), Laura Collins (Francis) and Kevin Collins (Lindstrom) into a mystery involving Sean’s daughter, Annie (Caitlin Reilly).

General Hospital EP Frank Valentini shared in a statement: “John Reilly was an incredible actor and a large part of the 58-plus-year legacy that is ‘GH’. This episode is meant to honor him and his contribution to the show’s rich history. With so many fan favorites returning, new and longtime viewers will enjoy it. We had a lot of fun filming and I am grateful that we were also able to include his daughter. Viewers will hopefully also enjoy one more surprise return – it is just too amazing to spoil.”

Mark your calendars for May 21st when the special episode is set to air.

So, looking forward to seeing the John Reilly tribute episode, and who do you think will be the big ‘surprise’ noted by Frank Valentini? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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