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General Hospital Actors You May Not Know Passed Away

The soap opera "General Hospital" debuted almost 60 years ago. Throughout the past six decades, the popular series, which focuses on the residents of Port Charles, has cultivated a dedicated fanbase. The daytime soap is beloved for several reasons. Obviously, fans have been drawn to the drama of it all, but many viewers also appreciate the ABC show's actors and actresses. According to TV Insider, even some Hollywood A-listers, such as Mark Hamill, Elizabeth Taylor, Ricky Martin, and Demi Moore, portrayed "General Hospital" characters.

As the series has been on the air for so long, viewers are likely used to the show's cast changes. However, it is one thing to see a character go and another to have to say goodbye to a cast member. Unfortunately, some of these goodbyes are more permanent than others. Here are the "General Hospital" stars who you may have not been aware have passed away.

Stuart Damon (Dr. Alan Quartermaine)

Stuart Damon's character, Dr. Alan Quartermaine, a medical doctor who had issues with drug addiction, was introduced on "General Hospital" in 1977, per IMDb. He continued to portray the character up until 2013. According to The Hollywood Reporter, on June 29, 2021, a Facebook post from ABC entertainment reporter George Pennacchio announced the actor died at the age of 84 after "struggling with renal failure for the last several years." Damon was a father to his son, Christopher, and daughter, Jennifer. Pennacchio shared that Damon's son revealed the late actor "loved playing Alan and was always so appreciative of that role and that job."

During a 1995 Soap Line interview (via YouTube), Damon shared that a traumatic experience involving Christopher helped him better play Dr. Quartermaine when his character's wife, Dr. Monica Quartermaine (Leslie Charleson), was diagnosed with breast cancer. "What I bring as Stuart is the experience of almost losing my son Christopher to diabetes when he was seven years old when he went into a coma," the "General Hospital" star explained, "and the emotion that comes back from that possibility of losing a family member is very accessible to me even after this amount of time."

Shell Kepler (Amy Vining)

Actress Shell Kepler spent almost half her life portraying registered nurse Amy Vining on "General Hospital." Soap Central noted that the character, who was a known pot stirrer, was Laura Spencer's (Genie Francis) sister. 

Kepler was only 49 years old when she passed away due to kidney failure in 2008, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The publication included a comment from a 1982 interview with Kepler, where the young star shared that she "love[d] playing Amy" because "she's a kid and I love being a kid. She's one of the most fun characters on the show."

"You may not like her but she's always interesting," Kepler continued. "There is always activity going on around her and you know something's going to happen. Something is going to be said, something is going to go wrong, but she's a high-energy character and I think that's nice. And I still haven't seen anybody on daytime TV, or primetime TV for that matter, who is similar to Amy in character," shared Kepler.

Soap Opera Network reported that following her death, "General Hospital" star Jacklyn Zeman honored her late castmate with some kind words. Zeman shared that Kepler "had a big generous loving heart and she was a special friend to [her] and [her] daughters Cassidy and Lacey. We miss her presence in our lives and we treasure the memories of our good times together."  

Christopher Pennock (Mitch Williams)

Dedicated "General Hospital" fans may recognize Chris Pennock as district attorney Mitch Williams on two 1978 episodes and one episode from 1979, per IMDb. He also scored a gig scaring audiences as multiple characters in "Dark Shadows" during the early 1970s. In addition, the actor was featured on "As the World Turns," "Melrose Place," and "Days of our Lives."

According to Deadline, Pennock passed away in February 2021. The outlet included the official Dark Shadows News Facebook account's post in wake of his passing, which revealed that he had "died peacefully in his sleep in hospital on February 12 at the age of 76" and "is survived by his beloved wife Lynn and daughter Tara." During a 2013 interview with the Method Actor Speaks, Pennock revealed that he was not a fan of Tim Burton's 2012 film "Dark Shadows." 

"It didn't work and I'll tell you why," Pennock said. "Because they didn't take it seriously, they sort of made fun of it and you can't do that. You know, we were popular because it was like playing Greek tragedy. We took it very seriously, it was like life and death."

John Reilly (Sean Donely)

As fans are aware, "General Hospital" actor John Reilly's character Sean Donely made waves during his 11 years as a Port Charles resident. According to Soapcentral.com, the character was first introduced in 1984 and presented as a man dedicated to finding "Aztec treasure." Sean was also at odds with Dr. Alan Quartermaine, as he and Monica Quartermaine had relations. Eventually, he makes Tiffany Hill (Sharon Wyatt) his wife, although he was no stranger to infidelity throughout their marriage.

In January 2021, Deadline reported that the actor passed away two months following his 86th birthday. The publication noted that Reilly's 31-year-old daughter, Caitlin Reilly, took to Instagram to comment on her father's passing.

"John Henry Matthew Reilly aka Jack. The brightest light in the world has gone out. Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad. I'm so grateful he was mine. I'm so grateful I got to love him. I'm so grateful I made it in time to hold him and say goodbye. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do, but I know he'll be with me. I love you forever Daddy," read the caption of the post. 

On June 20, the comedian also shared a video of her father dancing on Instagram, which read: "First Father's Day without you. It sucks. I know it gets easier. I love you. Hug your dads/father figures/moms who did it all today."

John Ingle (Edward Quartermaine)

Us Weekly reported that John Ingle died in September 2012. The publication noted ABC put forth an announcement, disclosing he passed on "after a courageous battle with cancer." 

In a 2012 interview, shortly before his passing, the 84-year-old noted that he portrayed his "General Hospital" character Edward Quartermaine during a period of "18 years, except the two years [he] split and worked on 'Days of Our Lives,'" where he portrayed Mickey Horton. As fans are aware, his "General Hospital" character was best known for being the C.E.O. of ELQ and causing countless problems for his wealthy family, per Soap Central. The actor explained that while he was "paid well" during his time on "Days of Our Lives," he "didn't feel like [he] belonged there." 

Ingle also noted that he was an acting teacher "with wonderful students" until "85, when [he] retired from teaching." He went on to mention that he had "five daughters, nine grandchildren, and three new great-grandbabies." He noted his family is "very close" and that his daughters "text each other back and forth constantly."

Annie Wersching (Amelia Joffe)

Annie Wersching's tenure on "General Hospital" was brief, as she lasted less than a year as Amelia Joffe, the producer and host of a television series called "Everyday Heroes" who also carried out a revenge campaign against Kelly Monaco's Sam. Still, the actress enjoyed a wide and well-regarded career in primetime television programs like "24" and "Star Trek: Picard." She made her film debut with a small role in "Bruce Almighty" and her first television guest shot on "Star Trek: Enterprise," soon working her way up to supporting and recurring characters on numerous series.

Wersching seemed to excel at authority roles and women of action. She played the tough special agent Renee Walker on "24," cop Julia Brasher on "Bosch," Karolina Dean's cult member mother, Leslie, on "Runaways," and the serial killer Rosalind Dyer on "The Rookie." She also provided the voice and motion-capture acting for Tess in the Sony videogame "The Last of Us" in 2013 and played Tassyn in Electronic Arts' "Anthem" in 2019 (via PC Gamer).

Diagnosed with cancer in 2020, Wersching continued to work steadily on "The Rookie" and as the Borg Queen on Season 2 of "Star Trek: Picard." The disease claimed her life at the age of 45 on January 29, 2023 (via Deadline).

Sonya Eddy (Epiphany Johnson)

Sonya Eddy's Epiphany Johnson took over as the head nurse on "General Hospital" in 2006 after Audrey Hardy's retirement from the position in the previous year. Epiphany is a tough single mom who tangles with local mobster Sonny Corinthos –- who was responsible for her son's death –- although she later helps him recuperate from a debilitating gunshot wound. Epiphany also leads the nurses in a successful protest against budget cuts to hospital staff.

Eddy, a native of Concord, California, joined the cast of "General Hospital" as a recurring actor in 2006 and appeared in more than 500 episodes of the series while also serving as a series regular on the prime-time spin-off, "General Hospital: Night Shift," from 2007 to 2008. Eddy graduated from stage work to television and film roles in the mid-1990s and worked steadily in both mediums. Her small screen credits included recurring roles on "Those Who Can't" and "Legit" as well as guest spots on "Seinfeld" and "Joan of Arcadia." She also appeared in films such as "Barbershop" and took a scary turn as a vengeful mom in "V/H/S/99."

As The New York Times noted, Eddy was cast in several productions as a nurse, including "Seven Pounds" and "Year of the Dog," all while supporting scholarship campaigns for nursing students. Eddy died on December 19, 2022 at the age of 55 from an infection after non-emergency surgery.

Jay Pickett (Lorenzo Alcazar/Detective David Harper)

Actor Jay Pickett appeared on "Days of Our Lives" as Dr. Chip Lakin before settling into a long stint as the perennially troubled paramedic and teacher Frank Scanlon on the "General Hospital" spin-off "Port Charles" for four years. He then moved to the flagship series for two different roles. First, Pickett played Detective David Harper, who fought mob activity in Port Charles, and then switched sides to briefly assume the role of drug dealer Lorenzo Alcazar in 2006 after actor Ted King, who played the character from 2003 to 2007, underwent surgery (via Soap Central).

Pickett worked extensively in television throughout the late 1980s and '90s, scoring guest roles on "China Beach," "Mr. Belvedere," and "Matlock" before heading to "Port Charles" in 1991. After completing his final soap assignment in 2008, he returned to guest roles on primetime series like "Desperate Housewives" and "NCIS: Los Angeles." In the 2000s, Pickett, who began his career in low-budget features like "Boston Strangler: The Untold Story," also appeared in a string of independently made Western-themed dramas like "A Soldier's Revenge" and "Last Shoot Out." Pickett also made his debut as a scriptwriter on one such title, "Soda Springs," in 2012 and directed a short film, "Snake River Rising," in 2018.

While on location in Idaho for another Western he'd written titled "Treasure Valley" in 2021, the 60-year-old Pickett suffered a fatal heart attack on July 30, 2021 (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Susan Brown (Dr. Gail Baldwin)

Though she appeared on Broadway and numerous primetime television series, Susan Brown was perhaps best known for her long association with daytime soap operas, including "General Hospital." Turns on "The Edge of Night" and "The Young and the Restless," among other soaps, preceded her joining the cast of "General Hospital" in 1977 as Dr. Gail Adamson, who married Peter Hansen's Lee Baldwin and served as the stepmother and over-protective parent to his son, Scott (Kin Shriner). After netting a Daytime Emmy nomination in 1979, Brown left the series in 1985, though she continued to make recurring appearances on the series until 2004. She also played Gail on the "General Hospital" spin-off, "Port Charles," from 1997 to 2001.

In addition to her work on "General Hospital," Brown had multiple episode runs on "As the World Turns" and "Santa Barbara," as well as extensive credits on dozens of episodic series, from "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "Mission: Impossible" to "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Frasier." She also owned an interior decorating business and counted many fellow actors among her clients (via Variety). Her acting career closed in 2004 with an appearance on "General Hospital" that paid homage to the late Anna Lee. Brown, who had Alzheimer's disease, died on August 31, 2018, at the age of 86 (via Deadline).

Bergen Williams (Big Alice Gunderson)

A well-loved cast member of "General Hospital" for 13 years (via Newsweek), actor and writer Bergen Williams played Alice Gunderson, the devoted maid to the Quartermaine family, who also harbored a secret second career as a professional wrestler. Alice -– or "Big Alice," as she was affectionately known due to her 6'1" height –- began her stint in the Quartermaine household as the family's bodyguard in 2002 and remained on as head maid until 2015. Known for her forthright opinion on various family members and orbiting figures –- she had a crush on Luke Spencer and counted Edward and Monica as her favorite -– Alice was so beloved by the family that they pulled together to aid her in finding a heart transplant in 2013 (via Soap Central).

Williams began her acting career in the early '90s and played formidable figures on "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" and "Babylon 5" as well as a host of nurses, both comic and otherwise, on "Scrubs," "7th Heaven," and "Nip/Tuck" as well as in films like "Lord of Illusions." She remained active as a guest performer on other series during her tenure on "General Hospital" and also served as writer and story editor on "Power Rangers Wild Force" in 2002. 

The New York Post reported that Williams' family announced her death from Wilson's disease -– a rare condition that causes an excessive build-up of copper in the body -– on July 20, 2021, six days before she turned 62.

George Gaynes (Frank Smith)

Though best known for his kind-hearted or comically befuddled roles on "Punky Brewster" and the "Police Academy" film series, actor George Gaynes played one of Port Charles's most despicable bad guys, mobster Frank Smith, on "General Hospital' from 1979 to 1980. Smith was a thorn in the side of Anthony Geary's Luke Spencer for decades, initially hiring him to kill senate candidate Mitch Williams and later pursuing him and his longtime love Laura (Genie Francis) until putting him behind bars on several occasions. Gaynes was replaced by actor Mitchell Ryan from 1993 to 1994 and by "Green Book" actor Joe Cortese in 2015 (via Soap Central).

Gaynes, born George Jongejans in Finland, came to acting after serving in the Royal Dutch Navy during World War II. His baritone voice was ideal for Broadway and musicals, followed by character work in episodic TV work and several features in the 1960s and 1970s. However, turns as a self-impressed soap star on "Tootsie" and as the eccentric Commander Eric Lassard in six "Police Academy" movies minted him as a comic actor with a gift for stealing scenes. He was a familiar face to '80s TV audiences as the doting Henry Warnimont on "Punky Brewster" and for humorous recurring characters on "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" and "Hearts Afire."

Gaynes returned to his theater roots for Louis Malle's "Vanya on 42nd Street," a filmed version of Anton Chekhov's play "Uncle Vanya" adapted by David Mamet in 1994. He retired from acting after appearing in the 2003 Ashton Kutcher comedy "Just Married" and The New York Times reports that he died at his daughter's home in North Bend, Washington at the age of 98 on February 15, 2016.

Bobbi Jordan (Terri Webber Arnett)

Actress Bobbi Jordan shared a talent with Terri Arnett, the character she played on "General Hospital" from 1976 to 1977 — both had a background in singing. Terri was a performer and owner of Terri's Place, a night club on the daytime series, while Jordan studied opera and performed in musical theater productions throughout her career. The similarities stopped there –- as the character's Soap Central profile notes, Jordan didn't suffer a traumatic car accident caused by the mentally unbalanced ex-wife of her boyfriend, Dr. Mark Dante, as Terri did -– but both actor and character brought a touch of show biz to the long-running soap.

Jordan worked regularly on other television series throughout her career, including "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "The Odd Couple," "Charlie's Angels," and "Highway to Heaven." She also appeared in several feature films, most notably the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical "Mame" with Lucille Ball. Jordan closed her television career with a two-episodic run in 1993 on "Days of Our Lives" and she died of a heart attack on November 9, 2012 at the age of 75 (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Jerry Ayres (Prof. David Hamilton)

Known to "Star Trek" devotees for playing "redshirts" –- those Enterprise crew members in red tunics who invariably met terrible fates –- on two separate episodes of "Star Trek: The Original Series," actor Jerry Ayres was also a familiar face on many other primetime series and a year-long run on "General Hospital" as the creepy David Hamilton. Hamilton worms his way into the home of his old college roommate, Rick Webber, in order to seduce his wife, Lesley. When that plot fails, he turned his attention to Rick's daughter, Laura, who accidentally kills him in a fit of rage.

Ayres was a staple of episodic TV before and after his "General Hospital" appearances. In addition to his two tours on "Star Trek," he enjoyed guest roles on "The Invaders," "Mod Squad," and five episodes of "The F.B.I." In the 1980s, he earned repeat turns on "CHiPs" and "Trapper John, M.D." Ayers capped his TV career with a year-long run on "The Bold and the Beautiful" and Soap Opera Network reports that he died of natural causes on May 14, 2013 at the age of 76.

Todd Davis (Bryan Phillips)

Actor Todd Davis had replaced Laurence Fishburne as Josh Hall on "One Life to Live" in 1977 before joining the cast of "General Hospital" as Bryan (and sometimes Brian) Phillips. Abandoned by his father, Eddie (played briefly by showbiz legend Sammy Davis, Jr.) as a child, Bryan was raised by Rick Webber and remained close with his daughter, Laura and her one-time fiancee, Scott Baldwin. Bryan's storyline culminated in 1983 with reconciliation with his father and marriage to Claudia Johnston (Bianca Ferguson). After raising twin daughters, the couple left Port Charles –- and the series –- in 1986.

Davis made his television debut in 1977 and moved between daytime and primetime series throughout the '70s and '80s. Roles on "M*A*S*H" and "Quincy M.E." preceded his stint on "General Hospital." He returned to TV in the 1990s and made appearances on "Boardwalk Empire" and "Home and Away." He also joined a slew of soap actors, including Tom Pelphrey and Melissa Archer, in the 2012 indie comedy "Excuse Me for Living." Married to fellow actor Rosalind Miles, Davis died on July 25, 2013 at the age of 61 (via the Black Spectrum Theatre Company).

Joseph Mascolo (Domino, aka Nicholas Van Buren)

Though best known as the villainous crime boss Stefano DiMera on "Days of Our Lives," actor Joseph Mascolo also appeared in several other daytime series, including a short stint on "General Hospital" in 1989. Mascolo's memorable, operatically evil turn as Stefano on "Days of Our Lives" naturally meant that he played similar roles in his other soap assignments, and Nicholas Van Buren on "General Hospital" was no exception. Known to authorities as Domino for the trademark tiles he left at every crime scene, Van Buren came to Port Charles in search of a fabled jewel and artifact that would grant him access to a lost Chinese empire. Though he thwarted police across the globe, Van Buren proved no match for Robert Scorpio and his daughter, Robin, whose scheme led to his imprisonment.

Trained as a vocalist in musical theater and opera, Mascolo moved into television and feature films in the 1970s. A go-to for cops, crooks, and authority figures of all types, Mascolo amassed a number of TV credits, including appearances on "All in the Family" and "The Incredible Hulk" before joining "Days of Our Lives" as Stefano in 1982. He would depart and return to the soap on numerous occasions over the next four decades while also turning up on "Santa Barbara" and "The Bold and the Beautiful." He retired from playing Stefano altogether after suffering a stroke in 2015 and died on December 8, 2016, at the age of 87. The New York Times reported complications from Alzheimer's disease as the cause of death.

John Beradino (Dr. Steve Hardy)

An original cast member of "General Hospital," John Beradino played the stalwart Dr. Steve Hardy from the first episode in 1963 until his retirement from the series three decades later in 1996. Beradino — born Giovanni Berardino — came to acting after a career in professional sports. As Johnny Berardino, he played major league baseball from 1939 to 1952, which included a stint on the Cleveland Indians during their World Series win in 1948. Three decades later, he appeared as a minor-league manager in the 1981 TV movie "Don't Look Back: The Story of Leroy 'Satchel' Paige," which told the story of his famed Cleveland teammate.

Released by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1952 after a leg injury, Beradino turned to acting as a full-time career after dabbling in it in the late '40s. Minor roles on television and in features like "Them!," "East of Eden," and "North by Northwest" led to guest roles on series like "Route 66" and then the role of Steve Hardy on "General Hospital." Beradino's screen output slowed during his tenure on the series, though he turned up in several TV movies and primetime series -– typically as a doctor –- in the 1970s and 1980s, including "Moon of the Wolf."

Beradino, who netted three Daytime Emmy Award nominations for his work on "General Hospital," retired from the soap in 1996 after more than 4,000 appearances. Believed to be the only actor on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to also have a World Series championship ring, the Los Angeles Times reported that Beradino died of cancer at the age of 79 on May 19, 1996.

Peter Hansen (Lee Baldwin)

One of Port Charles's longest-tenured patriarchs, Lee Baldwin debuted on "General Hospital" in 1963 as an addiction counselor and worked his way up to town mayor and board of directors for the titular hospital. Actor Peter Hansen played Baldwin starting in 1965 as both a contract and recurring character for nearly four decades until his final appearance in 2004. During that time, Hansen also picked up a Daytime Emmy Award in 1979 for his performance.

A U.S. Marine Corps pilot who flew combat missions in World War II, Hansen became a contract player with Paramount Pictures in the 1950s and appeared in minor roles, often uncredited, in films like "The Greatest Show on Earth," "Brigadoon," and "The Ten Commandments" (via The Hollywood Reporter). Television gave him more opportunities to show his talent, and he appeared in multiple episodes of "The Lone Ranger" before beginning his long run on "General Hospital." In the 1980s, Hansen returned to guest roles on primetime series like "Cheers" and "The Golden Girls," as well as supporting characters in films like "The War of the Roses."

Hansen also played Lee Baldwin on the spin-off series "Port Charles" but returned to the flagship program as a recurring character in 2000. The "General Hospital" universe remained his most consistent showcase until his death at the age of 95 at his home in Tarzana, California on April 9, 2017.

Anna Lee (Lila Quartermaine)

British actress Anna Lee, MBE, served as the resident matriarch of "General Hospital" Lila Quatermaine from 1979 until 2003 after a long career in films and on television. Born Joan Boniface Winnifrith in Kent, she was the goddaughter of Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (via Turner Classic Movies), and after training as an actor, made her film debut at the age of 19 in the 1932 film "His Lordship." She quickly vaulted to starring roles in her native England before moving to Hollywood in the mid-1940s. She starred in films for directors John Ford and Fritz Lang as well as horror producer Val Lewton before moving into television in the 1950s. Minor roles in "The Sound of Music" and "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane" preceded her long stint on "General Hospital" as a contract player.

Though paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident in 1979, Lee remained with "General Hospital" until 2003, when she was taken off contract. According to Soap Central, the move translated as a dismissal in non-soap circles, though the network issued a statement that they intended to retain her as a recurring actor. The Guardian reported that Lee died the following year at the age of 91 and was posthumously awarded a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

Billy Miller (Jason Morgan/Drew Cain)

Billy Miller's acting career included stints on multiple daytime soaps, including "All My Children" and a run on "The Young and the Restless" that earned him five Daytime Emmy Award nominations (including three wins) between 2010 and 2013. He also replaced the outgoing Steve Burton as anger-prone Jason Morgan on "General Hospital" from 2014 to 2017, earning a sixth Daytime Emmy nod for his performance in 2018. When Burton returned to play Morgan in 2017, the "General Hospital" producers retooled Miller's character to become Morgan's twin brother, Drew Cain, which he played until his 2019 departure from the series.

A former model, Miller began appearing in guest roles on series like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" in 2006 before joining "All My Children" in 2007. Between soap stints, he also enjoyed recurring roles on "Truth Be Told" and "Suits" and guest appearances on "Castle," as well as occasional turns in features like "American Sniper." Miller died at the age of 43 on September 15, 2023; in a statement issued after his death (via People.com), Miller's mother said that he had "fought a long, valiant battle with bipolar depression for years."

Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie Spencer)

As nurse Barbara Jean "Bobbie" Spencer, actress Jacklyn Zeman was a mainstay of the "General Hospital" cast for more than four decades. Zeman joined the cast of the daytime soap in 1977 after a brief stint on "One Life to Life," and remained a series regular for more than 900 episodes until 2023. Zeman's Bobbie was the sister of Anthony Geary's Luke Spencer and left behind a difficult early life as an unwed mother and sex worker to become a nurse. She was soon established as an energetic but resilient presence, which made her both an audience favorite and a four-time Daytime Emmy nominee.

Zeman, who briefly pursued dance as a career before moving to acting, was a guest star on several primetime series during her long run on "General Hospital," including "Chicago Hope," and appeared in Garry Marshall's soap spoof "Young Doctors in Love," among several other feature films. In addition to her role on "General Hospital," Zeman was also a series regular on the Peacock soap "The Bay," which earned her an additional Daytime Emmy nomination in 2021. She died of cancer at the age of 70 on May 9, 2023.