A.J. Quartermaine has been dead and buried on GENERAL HOSPITAL for years now but he had quite the dramatic life in Port Charles. After his birth in 1979, the character was played by a series of child actors before being SORASed in 1991 and portrayed by Gerald Hopkins until 1992. GH recast the role and Sean Kanan took over in February 1993, remaining with the soap until June 1997, when Billy Warlock took over. He departed in December 2003 but returned briefly in 2005. In October 2012, Kanan reclaimed the role until A.J.’s violent death in April 2014.
Alan James Quartermaine Jr. was born to Monica Quartermaine during a terrible blizzard. Although she believed the infant to be the result of her affair with Rick Webber, it was later revealed that his father was her husband, Alan Quartermaine. With the constant marital strife between his parents, A.J. ran away from home and ended up at Kelly’s diner where Ruby called Alan and Monica to let them know. Eventually, they sent A.J. to boarding school, and when he came home, he’d grown up quite a bit.
After leaving school, A.J. was arrested for drunk driving and blamed his troubled childhood. He also needled little brother Jason Quartermaine about being illegitimate. A.J. began dating Nikki Langton not realizing she was out for revenge against Monica. She tricked him into proposing but left him at the altar after Alan paid her to leave town. A.J. began drinking to numb the pain and tracked her down in Malibu to find her married to another man, which sent him further into the bottle. A.J. framed Jagger Cates for the murder of Ray Conway when he believed his father, Alan, was the killer. In 1996, a drunken A.J. got into a car accident with Jason that left his brother brain damaged and with no memory of his life as a Quartermaine, eventually turning him into Jason Morgan.
A drunken one-night stand with Carly Benson resulted in a pregnancy, but when A.J. finally remembered the night in question, he demanded a DNA test to prove he was the father. When Carly delivered Michael, Carly was so worried Tony or A.J. would take her son that she claimed Jason was the father. At the urging of his grandfather, Edward Quartermaine, A.J. patched things up with Carly and they were even married at the mansion. But he continued to suspect Carly of having an affair with Jason and when she got pregnant, he assumed his brother was the babydaddy, but agreed to claim the child as his own.
But when A.J. learned the child was fathered by Sonny Corinthos, he was furious and during an ensuing argument, she fell down the stairs and miscarried. A.J. was disinherited and thrown out of the mansion as Sonny and Carly sought custody of Michael. Sonny kidnapped A.J. and forced him to sign over his parental rights. Eventually, A.J. reconciled with his family and moved back home but continued scheming, trying to drive Sonny crazy by dating his sister, Courtney Matthews. When they married, Sonny nearly killed A.J.! As his drinking worsened, A.J. crashed his car into the Oasis strip club where Courtney had worked and burned the place down. Later, A.J. tried to redeem himself and even became CEO of ELQ for a bit, but ultimately he stole the family’s money and left town with Lydia Karenin.
In 2005, A.J. returned to inform Courtney that she can’t marry Jax while they’re still married. He kidnapped Sonny’s kids, intending to leave the country with Michael. Alan tried to help his son but when Jason came to the rescue, A.J. ended up shooting Alan and wound up in the hospital with a broken back. When A.J. was murdered, Michael was initially a suspect, but it was later revealed that Dr. Asher Thomas was the real killer.
But A.J. hadn’t died that day and returned in 2012 to console Monica after Jason’s death. She and Dr. Steven Webber revived A.J. and smuggled him out of the hospital to go to rehab overseas. Although warned not to leave the mansion due to the charges still hanging over his head, A.J. couldn’t resist contacting Michael. Although he initially wanted nothing to do with his father, Michael eventually softened towards A.J.. But when Carly found out A.J. was alive, she called the cops and Monica was able to arrange for house arrest. Tracy Quartermaine tried to sabotage that and get A.J sent to prison, but ultimately Diane Miller was able to get the charges against A.J. dropped in exchange for him providing information on Cesar Faison.
After an extended power struggle over ELQ and the family’s Pickle Lila recipe, A.J. found himself accused of murdering Connie Falconeri. Having begun drinking again, A.J. had no memory of that night and couldn’t truly claim his innocence. But his drinking actually helped A.J. to recover memories, and he soon realized that the initials “A” and “J” that Connie had scrawled in her own blood pointed to Ava Jerome! A.J. confronted Ava and during their argument, Sonny joined in which led to him shooting A.J.! Although Julian was found over the body and became the prime suspect, A.J. came out of his coma to tell Michael he was innocent. The second time he woke up, A.J. informed Carly that Sonny was the one who shot him. He then passed away, with his spirit haunting Sonny briefly before being led to join Edward and Lila in heaven by his sister, Emily.