Ethan Lovett hasn’t been on GENERAL HOSPITAL for years, but he remains very popular with fans who would love to see him back on the soap. The character was played by Nathan Parsons from January 2009 to March 2012. Though the actor went on to find success in film and primetime, he did reprise the role for a couple of episodes in April 2013 for GH‘s 50th anniversary and in 2015 for Anthony Geary’s farewell as Luke. And in September 2020, he made another guest appearance, but when the character resurfaced in April 2023, the role had been recast with James Ryan.
Ethan first appeared attempting to rob The Haunted Star s casino where he was caught by Luke Spencer and the two bonded. It was then revealed that he’d actually sought out Luke on the advice of Holly Sutton. Upon learning that the Lovett’s were Ethan’s adoptive parents, Luke and Tracy Quartermaine suspected he and Holly could be his biological parents. And when a DNA test proved Luke and Ethan were not related, he suspected Tracy of tampering with the results. So Luke had his daughter, Lulu Spencer, come on to Ethan in front of Tracy which forced her to confess to the sabotage and reveal Luke was Ethan’s father. Holly returned to Port Charles to confirm she is Ethan’s mother, and while she initially claimed Robert Scorpio was the dad, she eventually admitted it was Luke.
Although he initially didn’t get along with brother Lucky Spencer, Ethan quickly became close with Lulu and they teamed up to rescue Luke from Helena Cassadine in Greece, where she was holding him prisoner. Ethan then got romantically involved with Rebecca Shaw, a look-alike of Emily Quartermaine, and worked with her to use her appearance to get money out of the Quartermaines but when the scam fell apart, she skipped town. After he defended Kristina Davis during an argument with her brother, Michael, she soon developed a crush on Ethan. This developed as he protected her from her abusive boyfriend Kiefer Bauer, but Ethan eventually had to back off as her sister, Sam, warned him about leading her on.
When Ethan began dating Jennifer Biles, Kristina got very jealous and when he found her beaten and rushed her to the hospital, she told the cops it was Ethan who had attacked her. Although the charges were ultimately dropped, he was then arrested again for the hit-and-run that killed Keifer. After Alexis Davis confessed to the crime, Ethan was cleared and he and Kristina came to an understanding and agreed to be friends.
Ethan began dating Maya Ward, and they agreed to accompany Luke to Las Vegas where he planned to get Tracy drunk and marry her. But as everyone got drunk, a mix-up led to Ethan and Maya tying the knot! Although shocked, they opted not to annul the marriage, especially once Edward Quartermaine offered Maya a million dollars if they stayed married for a year. The marriage began to turn real, but it soon fell apart as she had to travel for business and Ethan eventually found her in bed with another man. Kristina accompanied Ethan to the Dominican Republic to get a quickie divorce, leading everyone to fear they were going to get married, but despite Kristina’s growing feelings, Ethan continued to keep her in the friend zone. However, as Kristina kept pursuing him, Ethan was relieved when she left to attend Yale.
While exploring Wyndemere, Ethan was attacked by Helena, who warned him to stay away as the place was haunted. But he soon found that the mysterious Lady in White was actually a beautiful young woman named Cassandra who had amnesia. Ethan fell hard for her so it was devastating when Helena revealed Cassandra was really her daughter, Irina Cassadine, who had been ordered to seduce Ethan than kill him. When ordered to do the deed, Irina turned on Helena, who ordered her daughter killed instead. As Irina died in Ethan’s arms, Helena was stopped from killing him by the arrival of Holly, who insisted Ethan wasn’t Luke’s son, he was Robert’s. As Robert was suicidal after the presumed death of his daughter, Robin, Luke also lied to him and claimed Ethan was his son and needed rescuing from Helena. Ethan agreed to leave Port Charles to maintain the illusion and Holly and Robert followed to search for “their son.”
In 2013, Luke and Laura Spencer were searching for a kidnapped Lulu only to find Ethan instead. He explained that he’d been living in Lucky’s place in Ireland while his brother was in Africa, leading to Helena kidnapping him instead. The villainess ordered Laura to shoot either Luke or Ethan, but she refused, passing the gun to Luke. In the ensuing shootout, Helena and her guards were killed, and Luke urged Ethan to go back into hiding.
Holly returned in 2015 to reveal that Ethan had been kidnapped again, and when Luke was able to track down his son, he found him in a deathtrap set by his old nemesis, Frank Smith. Although Luke rescued Ethan, they — along with Laura, Holly, Lulu, and Dillon — were held at gunpoint by Smith and his henchman. After Frank shot Ethan in the arm, Holly rushed her son to the hospital as Luke killed the villain to save his loved ones.
In September 2020, Robert and Olivia Falconeri were in Monte Carlo looking for a lead on Holly’s whereabouts. Olivia was stunned to run into Ethan in the casino and he explained he was trying to find out who killed his mother. Olivia revealed she was there with Robert because he didn’t think Holly was dead at all! Ethan and Robert then teamed up to get to the bottom of the mystery, and subdued the villainous Winston Rudge only to receive evidence that Holly was really gone. Flying out of Monte Carlo, Ethan apologized to Robert for lying that he was his father and the two men buried the hatchet, though Ethan couldn’t stick around Port Charles as he had somewhere important to be overseas.
In November 2022, Holly resurfaced very much alive and revealed that she’d been captured by Victor Cassadine and forced to do his bidding as he was holding Ethan hostage and threatening his life! She faked a life-threatening injury to get out from under his thumb and search for her son and when Felicia caught up with Holly in Venezuela in April 2023, they found Ethan being auctioned off to the highest bidder! They were outbid by a mysterious woman who turned out to be Tracy, and together, they were able to escape from the villains.
On the flight back to America, Ethan admitted to Holly that he couldn’t stay in Port Charles because there were a lot of bad people after him and he needed to return to Australia to settle things once and for all. But he did pass on some information to his mother to help take down Victor before they went their separate ways!
Stay tuned to see if he ever comes back again!
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