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Roger Howarth Exits General Hospital

Photo: ABC

Daytime Emmy-winning star, Roger Howarth, has wrapped his run as General Hospital’s Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt.  Viewers who saw Friday’s episode of the ABC daytime drama series know that Austin was shot twice in the chest and ultimately met his demise.

For Howarth, this marks the third role he has played on GH and departed. Previously, Howarth played Todd Manning, then Franco Baldwin. and most recently Austin Gatlin-Holt.

Initially, Roger came to General Hospital following the cancellation of One Life to Live and brought his Llanview alter-ego over to Port Charles in 2012. He continued the role till 2013, but when a legal battle with Prospect Park and ABC ensued, it forced him to vacate that role.

Photo: JPI

Later in 2013, Roger returned to GH but now as a recast Franco Baldwin, previously played by James Franco. He continued as Franco until the character was killed-off in 2021. Next, Roger returned one more time in the same year as Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt and continued the role until he finished taping back in October of 2023.

According to Soap Opera Digest who confirmed Howarth’s exit, the actor’s contract was up and was not going to be renewed as Austin’s exit was storyline-dictated.

Photo: JPI

Speaking with SOD, Howarth explained: “Several weeks ago, I got a phone call from somebody I’ve known for a very long time who I love very dearly (Executive Producer Frank Valentini) telling me that when my contract was up at ABC, I would not be offered a new contract and that the character of Austin would be killed, and that this was something that both wanted and needed to do to move story.”

The fan favorite actor also shared his reaction to finding out he had been let-go at GH: “It took me a minute to kind of adjust, to kind of hear the news; it took a second for me to let that settle in. And then, immediately, I realized how lucky I was to have been able to do something I really love doing for more than a decade with people who I really enjoyed working with. I’m a lucky guy. I had a great run and this was a decision made by people who make these kinds of decisions for a living.”

Photo: JPI

Roger also weighed-in on if he though that Austin just wasn’t as well-developed as Franco and Todd were previously. He shared: “I don’t feel like I’ve been slighted in any way or that there was bad juju around these decisions. I think that the writers and the producers and the directors work really hard to entertain a really loyal and dedicated audience and I hope that they succeed in thrilling the audience for another 60 years. I will say this: I’m really proud of myself – like, totally truthfully, honest to God, I always tried my hardest. So for me, ultimately, there’s no loss. I know I did everything I could.”

Share your thoughts on Roger Howarth being killed-0ff General Hospital as Austin via the comment section below and if you could cast him on another soap opera, which one would you love to see him on next.

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This is not good… .now I’m going to have Frodd & Austin both down here with the same face, confusing the dragons.

For Hell’s sake Frank…. do NOT bring him back as a 4th character!

Roger makes (made) GH worth watching. Even though Austin never seemed the right fit—Todd Manning would! Storylines with Alexis and Aurora—no brainer!

Maybe Roger can bop on over to YandR and reconnect with his ATWTs mom:)
I adore Roger but the Austin character’s only chance was when he was being paired with Britt, but then Kelly departed permanently. It was nice to see him in scenes with Maura, another ATWT alum.

Unbelievable! He is one of the best actors in daytime television. I can think of many others on GH that should be let go, but certainly not Roger Howarth! What a DUMB decision! Ugh!!!

Totally agree

I agree totally dumb decision to kill Howarth off GH

GH let go of the wrong actor. Roger was finally getting the opportunity to become interesting and now he’s gone and we’re stuck FFing through Finn scenes. What disaster. I hope we get to watch Roger again somewhere else very soon. He’s very gracious considering what a mess GH made.

Not ever watching again

Well, that’s too bad. I was hoping they would bring him back as Todd but then again how do we know Todd would work on GH in the long run. I personally liked him as Franco but I realize that wasn’t a favorite of too many people. It would be great if Days could pick him up and create a role for him. Days needs a formidable villain at this point and Roger Howarth could be just the actor they need!

NO NO NO You can not let an actor this talented go

Please bring him back as Todd Manning. He’s a fantastic actor.

I agree wholeheartedly don’t let him go!!!! He could be the new Nicholas. I am sad and disappointed and grateful for his years on the show especially as Franco with. Liz and her family.

Nikolas? Seriously? Roger is about 5 years younger than Genie. No way he could play her son.

Seriously bad decision. They backed themselves into a corner when they killed off Franco. And THIS is the result.

I totally agree when killed off Franco. I think they pulled Austin Galtin-Holt out of thin air to please the fans. While I am really liking Finn and Elizabeth together, maybe they could resurrect Franco from the dead. It happens in the soap opera world all the time.

What a class act, Roger Howarth is. He is truly a fine daytime actor.

Roger is amazing. Mistake on GH to kill Franco off. I actually liked Frano & Elizabeth together with the boys. I love Roger and will miss him – he is a gem of an actor. GH’s loss – though, I never was interested in Austin, but his scenes with Maura West were always magnetic. Such chemistry there and… what a loss for GH.

I am tired of the dud that is Michael Easton. Silas, Hamilton etc etc are all snooze feasts. I don’t like Hamilton with Elizabeth – it’s still forced.
Enter the return as Franco… wishful thinking.

I really didn’t see this happening to Roger, shame on GH. Hey DAYS, get Roger on contract as the nu-Peter Blake.

He’s too short to be Peter Blake. That guy was well over 6 ft tall.

Great actor ! Will be missed!

The writing has been terrible for years know. Roger was one of the best actors on the show. The writers seem to kill the best actors.

I would support Roger coming back again. It won’t be the same without him. I’ve been following him since One Life To Live. Great actor!

I’ve followed Roger to any soap he was working on. He will be missed but I’ll find him again and that’s where my loyalty is. With Roger. Love him.

At this rate, give it a few months and he’ll be back as Nikolas!

Love Roger. So many others could have been axed. Not Roger. So disappointed.

I have watch him from way back on OLTL and always loved him as Todd. Then followed him to GH as Todd but then because of legal issues they killed Todd off then he came back as Franco and I loved him as Franco and was very upset when they killed him off. Then they brought Roger back as Austin Gaitland , unfortunately I never cared for this character… I would love to see him come back as Franco! Roger has always been a favorite and I’m really sorry to see him go.

This sucks!! They never should have killed off Franco and given him the roll of Austin!! The scripts written for Austin were awful. You will be missed Roger!! GH really screwed this up!!

Never thought Tod/Franco/Austin would be leaving GH!!! Have been watching him for 50 plus years! Why??? Will miss his face in the place! Didn’t think he would be killed off GH. Just assumed he was gonna reover from his wounds!!! If Mason could recover, why couldn’t Austin? I liked him with Ava. They were a good match. Really sorry to see Roger go. Best wishes for him.

Roger debuted on Loving in 1991 – 32 years on daytime including 11 on GH.

Very sad. I have been watching Rodger since before my son was born and he will be 32 in December. I hope he finds a great role in another soap..cause him coming back yo G H in another character is silly..
Hopefully Rodher will go to Prime Time in a great Show or Netflix Sjow or movie.

I’m upset, Roger Howarth, his exit is making me want to quit watching. Roger is pure talent walking on legs. This is one of the worse decisions, you don’t let the assets go, you nurture and grow. Well, I sat this, bring back OLTL

Bummed for him to leave…again. I am never a fan of change, particularly with long term characters like Molly and Christina. I think maybe they should have been killed off instead of trying to make new actresses fit, maybe in a car accident or explosion or something. When the former actresses were still in…they had no storyline…now more storyline, but hard to watch with new actresses. Oh well. I can do laundry while they are on, I guess. I’m thinking I was enjoying the sub writers’ material more than before, so we’ll see how this goes. If this killing off of Austin is from the old, then I have my answer.

Kate Mansi is rocking it as Kristina. She fits in quite well with the Davis clan and Sonny as well.

The Molly situation was beyond the show’s control at first. Scripts were written and Mansi was put on contract as Kristina. The first two Molly replacements were clear misses by casting. They can be forgiven for the first as they likely has a day’s notice to get someone in. The current one has longterm potential – good actress that looks the part.

Austin would be gone no matter which writers were in as Roger’s contract was expiring and the show needed to make a decision.

The first two Molly replacements were clear misses by casting.

Well, Mia Kriegel was only a temporary recast, so I am sure she was only available for a limited time. Then, we got the mis-recast. But the current Molly? She’s doing so well! A perfect blend for the role!

They never should’ve killed Franco.

I really like watch him act and he’s so good at it. I just want him in a role that he can develop the character. I only watch GH so therefore I want him back on. Bring Todd back to GH to live. Make him have a business where he could be in competition with ELQ !!

This is very disappointing news. I’ve been a Roger Howarth fan since his One Life to Live days, was glad when he came to GH as Todd Manning. There was so much they could have done with that character in the world of Port Charles, but the Prospect Park fiasco got in the way, and they had to adapt.

I wasn’t sold initially on the idea of Roger becoming Franco, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t make it work and make the role his own. Loved the chemistry he developed with Becky Herbst, and the family dynamic with him as the father figure to Cameron and the boys. For whatever reason they did it, and I know there are a lot of theories as to why, it was a huge mistake to kill off Franco. And I’ve already given my thoughts in another post about what a dud the Austin character was from the get go, none of that the fault of Roger.

They can say it was done to move the story along, but “your contract isn’t being renewed” sounds like budget cuts from ABC to me, which is a shame. Unfortunately, tough decisions have to be made sometimes. Whatever they have to do in order to keep GH going and on the air for as long as possible.

I’ll miss Roger on GH. He’s one of those actors that I love to watch in every scene, like Tony Geary was, like a Kin Shriner, that you never know what they’re gonna say, or what ad lib they’re gonna throw in. He’s a very talented actor, I’m sure he’ll have no problem finding work. He had a good 11 year run on GH.

Thanks Roger, it’s been fun watching you for all these years. Best of luck in whatever comes next!

No one ever comments how bad of a mob guy Sonny is. All these other bad characters come through, hurt people around Sonny and he is helpless. A real mob guy in Sonny’s position would have Cyrus taken out a long time ago. I am not a mob guy or a criminal and I would have taken him out by now.

This is a very easy fix general hospital. Have him be found by Ava and with all her money and connections have her put him somewhere that they can save him where he will sit for a while and wait. Then when the time is right he will come back all healed and go to war with the Quartermaines. Have him decide to run ELQ instead of being a doctor. Let him be the bad guy who takes it away from NED or Michael whichever way you want to go. He worked pretty good with Ava so let him become a full quartermaine and Eva could marry him for legitimacy. Then just for fun, have him and Sonny become best friends. I want to see them pal around and go drinking. I don’t want him to work for Sonny but more more on The Fringe like Luke was. Let’s see them karaoke together. LOL let’s see Ava get in trouble again and have sunny and Austin go and rescue her. All while he is running ELQ. Let’s let them put on the nurses ball next year. A really fun one that lasts the whole week like they used to. Both of them can be very funny use their humor. Let’s see Ava laughing so hard from them that she’s crying. Shake up these really strong serious people and let them be loose for a little while. Just my opinion.

I think it was time for Austin to be gone. Too many characters on show. Roger will get another good role in future. The. Cyrud part should be gone also.

This is indicative at how slipshod the writing has been on GH for the past few years. Dr. Gatlin-Holt was MOST interesting as the son of Jimmy Lee Holt and, as such, an heir to the family fortune! But the writers dismissed and tied up that storyline in a hurry to embed the character in this sh*tshow called The Many Lives of Cyrus Renault. What a waste!

Roger’s gracious; the contrast between him and Ingo is glaring. Roger was literally written off and blindsided three times now by GH. Granted, writing off Todd wasn’t GH’s fault because of the lawsuit but I’m not sure why they didn’t bring him back on once they legally could. They screwed him over big time with “Austin,” this mess of a character which never got off the ground, a character they promised him would be great, after they blindsided him by killing off Franco who was a popular character, But he leaves with a smile to the producer and the viewers, and some appreciative words (what he thinks about it may be different), expressing thanks that he was given eleven years of more soap work after the cancellation of OLTL). Ingo on the other hand is still hopping from TV to social media to whine about his OWN CHOICE to leave because he didn’t want the vax (which was and is his right to decide; I’m not arguing that) and suing for the loss of his job, which only insured that he’ll never be hired back.

I don’t know how GH can make this right for RH. Can they bring him back a fourth time? Would he chance it; would they? What a big opportunity they missed by not incorporating him into the Quartermaine family. I could just see him verbally sparring with Tracy. Siding with Ned agains Drew and Michael over ELQ. He could have brought back some of that good ol’d Quartermaine in-house fighting which the new Drew doesn’t. He’s just nasty, vicious, and obnoxious. Another ruined character, but I digress.

Austin was brought back as a Quartermaine and the writers just dropped the ball. That is THE way he would have tied into the canvas and could have been made a character we got to know and loved watching.

Granted, writing off Todd wasn’t GH’s fault because of the lawsuit but I’m not sure why they didn’t bring him back on once they legally could.

Because, supposedly, Disney-ABC wanted a no-r*pist canvas, hence why Franco was killed off, and why Todd did not return to Port Charles. And no, they shouldn’t hire him for a fourth role. That’s ridiculous; enough of re-hiring actors for third, fourth, fifth roles, etc. The cast *needs* to be trimmed, and this was the right choice for Disney-ABC to make.

Agree with Scott’s analysis. And, the show has nothing “to make right for Roger”. He was gainfully employed by GH for close to 12 years. As Austin, a lesser actor would’ve been released at one of the option periods in his contract. GH kept him the distance and chose not to renew.

Truth is, they should have made him Austin in the first place. Nothing wrong with a soap hiring actors from another soap. When Passions was cancelled, three of their lead actors went to Days of Our Lives. Two of those three are still there. But they didn’t bring their Passions characters with them, nor should they have. Bringing the OLTL characters to GH was the first mistake.

If they would have brought Roger on as Austin the first time around (and Michael Easton as Finn, for that matter), rather than disrupting the whole existence of GH to graft OLTL into it, only to abruptly cancel that due to “legal complications” those two could have been well established characters by now. A doctor who was part of the Quartermaine family tree should have had serious potential on GH… except by the time they got around to that, he had the shadows of Todd & Frodd following him everywhere (and don’t even get a Devil started on the whole fatally stupid Frodd project). So it was kinda hard to take Austin seriously as a character as a result. And that was BEFORE all the “Pawtuck Mafia” dragonshit was written in…. let alone their backtracking on that story so they could tie Cyrus into it.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Ava Receives a Haunting Letter About Austin’s Murder

On Thursday’s November 30th episode of General Hospital, Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) is on the case of who shot Austin (Roger Howarth) and pays a visit to Ava Jerome (Maura West) at Wyndemere.

Dante asks Ava when was the last time she saw Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt. She asks why and what is going on with Austin? Dante tells her he’s dead, and assumes she must already know, especially given her non-reaction to the news.

Ava tells Dante she was last with Austin two days ago at her gallery. When he questions her if security footage can back that up, that would then give her an alibi. However, Ava explains she left out the back, and that the surveillance camera has not been working. Since the murder happened in Pautauk, Dante tells Ava they will want to question her.


She responds that a lot of people in town knew Austin from Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and on. However, Dante points out that Ava was the only one that was kidnapped by Mason (Nathanyael Grey). Ava says she will have her lawyer ready.

As Dante exits, Ava looks through her unopened mail. She finds a letter addressed to her and it says inside on note paper, “You’re welcome.” But that’s not all, inside the letter is a polaroid of Austin’s dead body.


Also in story, Molly (Kristen Vaganos) has a meltdown when she has to start the finding a surrogate process all over again, and is found crying on a park bench by her sister, Kristina (Kate Mansi). Will this be the conversation where Molly will take up Kristina on her initial offer to carry the child for her and TJ (Tahj Bellow)?


In another key moment, James thinks Cody (Josh Kelly) would make a great big brother, which then gets Felicia (Kristina Wagner) flashing back to when Cody told Mac that it turns out Mac is not his bio-dad. Felicia senses something is not right. Is she finally on to the fact that Cody lied to Mac? Stay tuned.


So, who do you think sent the letter to Ava about killing Austin? Is it Nikolas? Cyrus? Mason? Could it be Ava herself, who doesn’t remember she did the deed, or could it be someone else? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital Pays Tribute to Tyler Christopher at End of Episode, ABC Exec Nathan Varni Shares: “You’ll Always Be In Our Hearts”

If you caught the end of the Monday, November 27th Thanksgiving episode of General Hospital, the ABC daytime drama ended the show with a special dedication to Tyler Christopher (ex-Nikolas Cassadine), who passed away on October 31st at the age of 50.

With a very touching title card, and a photo of Tyler from his younger days as the dark prince of the Cassadine clan, it read, “In Loving Memory of Tyler Christopher.”

On Tuesday, November 28th, ABC Current Series executive, Nathan Varni, who oversees Grey’s Anatomy, The Conners, Station 19 and General Hospital for the network, shared on X some additional thoughts on Tyler’s contributions to the GH family.

Photo: JPI

Varni expressed: “This lovely tribute card was shown at the end of yesterday’s episode of GH In loving memory of Tyler Christopher. Thanks for bringing Nikolas Cassadine to life on our screens, you’ll always be in our hearts. RIP.”

Tyler played the role of GH’s Nikolas from 1996–1999, 2003–2011, and lastly from 2013–2016. He also took on the role of Connor Bishop from 2004–2005. The late actor took home the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2016 for his work as Nikolas.

Share your thoughts on GH honoring Tyler at the end of their Thanksgiving episode via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Scarlett Fernandez on Charlotte’s Mindset: “She Completely Believes That Anna is Out to Get Her”

Once returning to General Hospital, Scarlett Fernandez (Charlotte) has been involved in a juicy storyline, where an impressionable young Charlotte Cassadine has been persuaded almost brain-washed, if you will, via a letter from Victor Cassadine from the grave.

In it, he implores Charlotte to keep Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) away from her father, Valentin (James Patrick Stuart). So, taking that to heart, Charlotte burned Anna’s house down and much more.  When she gets shot by Anna after intruding into the super spy’s apartment, the stakes get even higher.

Valenin had figured out that Charlotte was stalking Anna and trying to do her harm, but did not inform Anna. That has caused a major rift in their relationship.  Meanwhile, Laura (Genie Francis) and Valentin confronted Charlotte after she returned home from the hospital.

Photo: ABC

In her latest interview with Soap Opera Digest, Fernandez shared on getting to play this kind of story: “It’s definitely an honor because when I was little, I was getting storylines, but this is just crazy! I kind of feel like I’m treated like an adult on the show now, almost, and it’s just been great. I’ve been given great stuff and the fact that Frank (Valentini, EP, GH) and all of his co-workers have trusted me has just been an amazing feeling.”

With everyone confronting Charlotte on her dirty deeds against Anna, and her denying it, Fernandez weighs-in on just where Charlotte is at this point in her mind: “I think that she definitely realizes that the people around her don’t believe her and don’t trust her and I think that really frustrates her because she completely believes that Anna is out to get her. So that (the adults in her life don’t believe her) is hard for her.”

Photo: ABC

There is also burgeoning chemistry between Jake (Hudson West) and Charlotte! So what does Fernandez think of that? Is she using him, or could be the beginning of young love? She expressed: “I think it’s definitely a little bit of both. I think that maybe she and Jake are partners-in-crime, but I also think that Jake has or will have a good influence on her. She just really needs someone to be there for her and for her to be able to confide in and I think that he has been that.”

So, have you been enjoying Scarlett’s performances as a troubled Charlotte? Would you like to see Jake and Charlotte have a ‘date’? Do you think Charlotte needs deprogramming to help her out of the grip that Victor has on her; as she believes Anna is the cause of all the trouble that will come her father’s way, if she doesn’t find a way to get rid of her? Weigh-in via the comment section below.

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