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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 died earlier this year

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 died young

Actress Shell Kepler spent almost half her life portraying registered nurse Amy Vining on "General Hospital." Soapcentral.com 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.

SoapOperaNetwork.com 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."  

Chris Pennock was an early guest star

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 stayed on the show for over a decade

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 taught acting to others during his life

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 Soapcentral.com. 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."