John Reilly, General Hospital Alum and Soap Opera Star, Dies at aged 84

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John Reilly, General Hospital Alum and Soap Opera Star, Dies at aged 84
John Reilly, General Hospital Alum and Soap Opera Star, Dies at aged 84

Veteran soap actor John Reilly, who starred as Sean Donely on ABC’s daytime drama “General Hospital,” has died. He was 86.

His daughter, actress Caitlin Reilly, announced his death Sunday on Instagram but did not share a cause of death.

“John Henry Matthew Reilly AKA Jack. The brightest light in the world has gone out,” she captioned her Instagram post, which included a childhood picture of her father embracing her. “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,” Caitlin wrote. “I love you forever Daddy.”

The official “General Hospital” Twitter account mourned the loss Sunday.

“The entire General Hospital family is heartbroken to hear of John Reilly’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. Rest in peace,” the tweet said.

Born Nov. 11, 1934, in Chicago, the handsome actor with leading-man looks and a cleft chin starred as Dr. Dan Stewart on “As the World Turns” in 1974.

He joined “General Hospital” in 1984 as WSB agent (and later police commissioner) Sean Donely, a run that lasted 11 years and followed several story arcs. Reilly continued to make appearances through 2013 on the daytime drama, as well as appearing in the spinoff, “General Hospital: Night Shift.”

Finola Hughes, who starred opposite Reilly in “General Hospital” as Anna Devane, posted an Instagram tribute calling the actor a “consummate professional.”

“John’s sensitivity and kindness was most apparent with his family and friends,” Hughes wrote. “I am so happy I got to experience and see that love firsthand. One of a kind. Fellow Irishman, God speed. Love you #JohnReilly.”

“There’s no room on Twitter to say how deeply one feels for a fellow actor & friend passing,” Hughes shared on Twitter. “I spent so many years in John Reilly‘s company, suffice to say he was a huge influence on me and I am forever grateful for his kindness and love.”

Kristina Wagner, Felicia Jones on “General Hospital,” posted a Polaroid featuring Reilly from their time on the show on Twitter. “Rest in peace John Reilly. YOU were a treasure,” she wrote.

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